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WITH A ''°'''l,.„„v£ TO TlliJ 








"iiumiLV VKi^iw m wtui i^u at the joonh HoruiNa tt 


t ytmttms Larudaok Aawcutio>i 



. '■■I 


J 1 









_^ I 


The Modern Language Association of America 


>*« . 

* ,,/'/|«wir.i, Vol. XIV, No. l.J 



A Word of Introduction, --- 1 

I. The Earlier History of the Romance, ..... 3 

I (a). The Romance in the Orient, ..... 3 

I (6). Transmission of the Romance to the Occident, - - 12 

I (e). The Romance in France and Italy, .... 20 

1. The Dohpathos, 21 

2. The Sept Sages de Borne, 24 

n. The Romance in England, - • 35 

II (a), the Middle English Versions, 37 

1. Description of the Manuscripts, - - - 37 

2. Interrelation of the Middle English Versions, 43 

3. Authorship of the Middle English Versions, - 84 

4. Source of the Middle English Versions, - - 87 
n (6). Sixteenth Century and Chap-book Versions, - - 91 

Appendix, 94 




A Word of Introduction. 

The main object of this study has been to investigate 
thoroughly the relations of the Middle English versions of 
the Seven Sages of Rome, 

As preliminary to this investigation, a review of the history 
of the romance in the several stages through which it has 
passed before reaching English has been made. This survey, 
a recapitulation of the results which modern scholarship has 
attained in the study of the romance, has been made im- 
partially, and with a view to set forth the most approved 
views that have been held rather than to advance any new 
theories of my own. Where these views are conflicting, as is 
particularly the case with respect to the eastern versions, I 
have endeavored to sift truth from error, though here 
naturally some difficulty has been encountered. It is only 
on the question of transmission of the romance that a view 
differing from that of the best authorities has been taken. 

The chapter on the French and the Italian versions has been 
based in large part on the work of Gaston Paris, whose Deux 




Midactiotie has superseded all previous contributions, repre- 
senting as it does the moat recent and the best i-esults that have 
been attained in this branch of the study of the romance. 
Additions which have been made consist largely in informa- 
tion as to a number of manuscripts wJiich were unknown to 
Paris, or which have since been found. 

The second and major part of the study has been devoted 
to the Seven Sages in English. Here I have been preceded 
by Petras and Buchner, the one dealing mainly with the 
Middle English group, the other especially with the relations 
of the Wynkyn de Worde and Rolland versions. The 
dissertations of these two scholars are the only real contri- 
butions which have been made to the study of the English 
versions. It is therefore not surprising that many of the 
current theories with regard to thrae versions are shown on 
closer examination to be erroneous. The most far-reaching 
of these misconceptions ia, I believe, that which regards the 
Wright version as independent of all other English versions. 
My investigations lead me to the conviction that at least seven 
of the eight Middle English manuscripts are related to each 
other through a common Middle English original, 

I regret that I have been foi-ced to forego consideration of 
one of the Middle English versions, — the Asloan, I was 
denied access to this manuscript by its owner. Lord Talbot 
de Malahide, and learned of the existence of a transcript of it 
in the University Library at Edinburgh when it was too late 
to avail myself of it. Prof. Varnhagen believes it to have 
had an immediate basis on some Old French manuscript; 
there are reasonable grounds for doubting this belief, however, 
and I am unwilling to subscribe to it until a further comparison 
with the remaining Middle English versions haa been made. 

This study leaves undone the most interesting, if not the 
most valuable part of the work I had planned, — a comparative 
study of the stories themselves ; for not even the stories of 
the Bidpai collection have enjoyed a wider vogue than those 
of the Seven Sages. The task of tracing these in their travels 




f and of collecting their analogues will be attempted \a a future 
[ publication, wheu it is hoped that an edition of one or more 
f of the uapubliBhed Middle Englisli manuscripts may also be 
I attempted. 

I. The Eaeuee History op the Romance. 
I (a). The Homanee in the Onent. 

It ia universally held to-day that the great collection of 
popular stories known in the West as the Seven Sages of Rome, 
in the East as the Book of Sindibad, is of Indian origin. ^ 
This was well established by Deslongchamps already in 1838, 
in his Esaai eur Us Fables iTidiennes' and has never since been 
Beriously brought in question. The Indiaa original, however, 
has not yet been discovered, nor ia it probable that it ever will 
be; and it even admits of very considerable doubt whether 
the romance ever existed in India in a form very near to that 
in which it is first found. 

All attempts, too, to show a kinship between the romanoe 
and some surviving Sanskrit 8tory have proved in large part 
futile. Benfey first pointed out the analogy between the 
introduction to the Panlckaiantra and the framework of 
the Sindibad' but he very justly concluded that the Pantaha- 
ianira was indebted to the Sindibad rather than the Sindibad 
to the Panichalantra. In a later publication,* he called atten- 
tion to the similarity between the Sindibad and the l^nd 
of Kunala and Asoka, and Caaael has boldly assumed this 
legend to be the ultimate basis of the romance.' 

The story of Kunala is widely known in Sanskrit litera- 
'. Asoka, a famous Indian king, had, after the death of 
first wife, married one of the latter's attendants. The 

' Published at Paris, t83S, in coojimctioD with Lerou de lAacfi edi- 
on of ibe Sept Saga dt Rome. 
'FanUhatantra, Leipzig, 1359, t. § 8; also SISangtt AiiaL, ni, p. 1B8£ 

U ml Oeddmi, in, p. 177 f. 

'^amdbad, BerliB, ISeS, pp. 10 f., 62. 


new queen had been rejected previous to this by Kunala, 
the son of Asoka by another wife, and bore in consequence the 
greatest hatred toward him. The prince is sent by Asoka to 
one of the provinces to put down a rebellion, where he wins 
great distinction for himself. In the meantime the king is 
stricken with a fatal disease, and determines to recall the 
young prince and place him on the throne. The queen, 
realizing what this would mean to her, offers to cure the king 
provided he grant her one favor. Having been restored to 
health through her agency, the king agrees to grant her what- 
ever she may desire. She asks to be permitted to exercise 
supreme authority for seven days, during which time, at her 
instigation, the prince's beautiful eyes ^ are put out. Kunala 
subsequently presents himself before his father in the guise 
of a lute-player, and is recognized. The queen is burned in 
expiation of her crime.^ 

Such in brief outline is the legend, which, if it is indeed 
the ultimate origin of the Sindibdd, at least does not suggest 
, an obvious relation to it. 
^ Abundant proof of a Sanskrit origin of the Sindibddy how- 
ever, is had in the nature or content of its stories and, in 
particular, of its framework, which is distinctly Buddhistic. 
Cassel has treated this aspect of the problem at great length.^ 
He would concede as the result of his investigations that some 
of the many varying stories were not found in the hypotheti- 
cal original, and that no one of the extant versions faithfully 
represents this original. Nor is it strange that this should be 
the case, for it would be a very miracle had the collection 
remained intact throughout a possible half-dozen redactions. 
It is, accordingly, impossible to determine which of the stories 
were in the original, or which not; this, for the present at 
least, must remain largely a matter of conjecture. Still, this 

^ Cf. Mischle Sindbad, p. 10. 

• For further details of this legend, see Burnouf, Introduction oi Vhhtoire 
du Bvddhisme indien, Paris, 1844, pp. 144 f., 406. 
' MischU Sindbad, ^. S2 {. 


mucb may be accepted as established, that some of the original 
Btories, the ethical purpose, and many of the general charac- 
teristics of the Indian prototype have been preserved. 

The Eastern group comprises a Hebrew, a Syriac, a Gi^eeb, 
an Old Spanish, two closely related and a thiixi somewhat 
anomalous Persian, and three cognate Arabic versions. All 
these differ more or less from each other, but, as compared 
with the Western group, with which tiiey have in common 
only four stories and the fi-amework, they distinctly stand 
apart and make up a separate group. There are many 
important details in which the two groups differ, but the 
most marked features which characterize the Eastern group 
are, first, that each sage fells tjoo tales as against one each in / 
the western versions' — a feature which was probably not 
in the Sanski-it original; and, secondly, in contradistinction to 
the entire western group with the exception of the Dolopntkos, 
that the prince has only one instructor, the philosopher Sindi- 
bad. This illustrious teacher is the central figure of all 
verBiona in the East, where by general cooaent the romance 
is called after him the Book of Sindibad.^ 

The origin of the name SintUbdd is in dispute. Benfey 
traces it back to *Siddkapall,^ Teza to *Sid<lhapala;* Cassel, 
on the contrary, helds that the word was coined first after 
leaving India, and is neither SiddhapaM nor Siddkapcda, but 
*Sindubadhjdja := Indian teacher.' 

The name of the prince has not been preserved, but the 
king is named in each one of the representative eastern texts. 
Id the Syriac and the Greek he is called Kurus; in the Old 

' This is the case in all eastern versions save the Seven Yaire and the 
version of Nachshebi: in Che former some sages tell one, some tvro stories; 
in the latter each sage lella only one. 

* Prof. Rhys Davids in his work on the Jdtakai {Biiddhiit Birth Storia, 
£oBton, 1880, vol, i, pp. zli, xciv) seems to have confounded this romance 
with the story of Sinbad ike Sailor of the Arabian Ni^hti. The two are in 
no way related. 

'Fa-ntchaianlra, I, g 5 (p. 23). 

'It Lihro dei Sale Saty, ed. D'Ancona, Pisa, 1864, p. 5 

' MiscMc Sindbad, p. 66. 


SpaDish, jI^cos, which may be considered a variant of Kurus 
(Al-Ctittis), since the Spanish holds very closely with the 
Greek and Syriac, and goes back to the same original. The 
Hebrew version, on the other hand, calls the king Pai Pur, 
or, as Benfey has snggested, Kai (king) Pur, and Cassel 
would identify this Pur with the Indian king Porus, ruler 
of India at the time of the Alexandrian invasion, and third 
before King Asoka of the Kunfila story. Porns, Caasel 
maintains, is a substitution for the less famous Asoka of the 
original — a transference of the Asoka tradition to Porua.^ 
The Kurus of the Greek and Syriac he would explain in like 
manner as a similar transference, after leaving India, from 
Porus, or Asoka, to the far-famed Cyrus of the Persians.* 

The route of transmission from India westward is very 
generally assumed to have been through Pahlavi into Arabic.' 
There seems to be little evidence, however, of the existence of 
a Pahlavi version, unless the current tradition to that eSect, 
or the fact that the Kalila via Dimna had such an inter- 
mediate stage, be reprded as such. Hence Cassel takes a 
radically different view from that generally held, maintaining 
that the lost Arabic text goes back not to a Pahlavi but to 
a Syriac version, which, in its turn, goes back to the San- 
skrit, — the collection, then, having been transmitted westward 
through the agency of the Manicheans in the third or fourth 
century of our era.* The Hebrew and the lost Arabic versions 
he conceives to be coordinate redactions of this early Syriac 
version, finding support of this theory, so far as it concerns 
the Hebrew text, in the Syriac influence which the language 
of the latter exhibits. At the same time, although he thus 
claims for the Hebrew version the greatest antiquity of any 
text which has been preserved, Cassel admits that, in addition 
to the Syriao influence, the Hebrew text also contains traces 
of a Greek influence (as, for instance, in the names of the 

'Jiii, pp. 63, 212. '/iti;., p, 61. 

'So Comperetti, Noldeke, Clouston, and others. 
*Mwi!kU iHiMttod, pp. 61, 310. 


sages),^ which is of itself sufficiently indicative of the lack of 
conclusive proof of bis thesis.' 

The Arabic text, unlike the early Syriac, is in no way 
hypothetical, but the evidence that it ODce existed, even as 
late as the thirteenth century,* is conclusive. Its influence 
haa been very wide, and, until Cassel, it has been generally 
assumed to be the source, either mediate or immediate, of the 
entire Eastern group. The Syriac Sindban and the Old 
Spanish version are believed to be its closest representatives- 
Its author, according to the testimony of the introduction to 
the Syntipas, was a certain Musa, and its date has been con- 
jecturally placed by Noldeke * and others in the eighth century. 

Only ten versions belonging to the Eastern type have sur- 
vived. These are the Hebrew Miachle Sindbad, the Syriao 
Smdian, the Greek Synlipas, the Persian Sindtbdd-nameh and 
its source, the text of As-8amarquandi, the Old Spanish lAbro 
de los Engannos, the three Arabic versions of the S&iefii Fmrs, 
and the eighth night of the TuH-ndvieh of Nachshebl." 

The relative age of these is not definitely knowD. Early 
scholars as a rule held that the Hebrew version antedated all 
others ; but this view was summarily rejected by Comparetti * 
and his followers, who claimed greatest antiquity for the 
Syntipas, a distinction of which it was robbed by Rodiger's 
discovery of the Syriac version. The Nachshebi vei-aion has 
also been held to be the oldest,' and Clouston in recent years 

'These are, accordiag io Cafsel (p. 219 f.), SindibaJ, Hippocrates, Apu- 
leios, Luciao, Arislotle, Pindar, and Homer, 

'MitchU Sindbad, pp. 222, 310. 

^The Old Spanish veraion was made from il in l'J53. 

*Iu his review of BaethgeD'a edition of [he Sindhan in ZeilachH/t d, d, 
Morg. QailUehafl, zxxni, p. 513. 

'AU these, witli the exception of the text of As-Samarqaandi, have been 
rendered acccBaible either in the- original or in IransJationa, and in most 
ises in both. 

'Comparelii, Book afSmdUtdd,f, 53 f. Citation is made from the English 
translation by Coote. for the Folk Lore Soey^ London, 1882. The original 
Bictrche appeared at Milan in 1869. 

' firockhaua for exiunple. 


has contended for the Sindibud-ndmeh as representing most 
closely the hypothetical original/ The result of the latest 
investigation, as has been seen, is to return to the view of 
early scholars, which gives to the Hebrew text first place both 
as regards dat« and fidelity to the lost original. Such is 
Casael's conclusion, which, although somewhat revolutionary, 
is arrived at by argument which at least serves to invalidate 
Comparetti's assumption that the Hebrew text stands for a 
late and very free version of the romance. It ia hardly l^iti- 
mate to conclude, from the circumstance that the Migchle 
Sindbad stands apart from the remaining members of the 
Eastern group, that it is, on that account, less faithful to 
the original tradition. Nor is Comparetti's argument for the 
identification of the Joel to whom the work is attributed by 
Kossi and the British Museum manuscript, with the Joel 
who is reported to have translated the Kalila wa Dimna into 
Hebrew, and the consequent establishment of a thirteenth 
centm-y date for this version, any more valid.^ At the same 
time, it is to be regretted that Casse! has attained no definite 
resulta as to chronology.' 

The Mischle Siiidbad* contains twenty stories, three of 
which, Absalom, The Disgiiised Youth-, and The Humpbacks 
(amniores), appear in no other version of the Eastei'n group. 
Its first three stories come in the same order as in the Syriac, 
Greek, and Old Spanish versions. Other agreements which 
are evident on reference to a comparative table serve appar- 
ently to hold these four texts together;' this, however, ia 
probably rather due to a more faithful preservation of the 

' Clonston, Book o/Sindibdd [Glasgow], 1884, p. l f. 

' Comparetti, Book o/Sindib^ p. 53 f. 'MUtkU Siadbad, p. 310. 

'The Hebrew text has undergone the following editions: Sengelman 
(with Germiui tronBlation), Halle, 1S42; Carmoly (with French traosla- 
tion), Paris, 1849; and Caasel (German translation and copious notes), 
Berlin, 1S88. 

' For the moat complete comparative table, see Landau, Qatlkn des Drka- 
meron, 2d ed., Stuttgart, 1884; aee also Cnssel, p. 382 f., and Comparetti, 


ultimate original on the part of these than to any very close 
relationship with the Hebrew, and comparison will show not 
only that these tliree have much in coraraoo which doea 
not appear in the Hebrew, but also that the latter has many 
features (the naming of the sages, ior example) which are 
peculiarly its own. Additional importance attaches to the 
Hebrew test from the fact that it probably bears a closer 
relation to the Western group than any other known eastern 

The Syriac Sindban was discovci-ed by Rodiger in 1866, 
and was published with a German translation by Baethgen in 
1879.' The text is unfortunately fragmentary, especially at 
the end. Although at first doubted by Comparetti, it has 
been satisfactorily shown by NiJldeke to be the Syriac basis 
of the Syntipas, alluded to in the prologue of the latter.' The 
immediate original of the Sindban must then be the last 
Arabic text of Musa. Noldeke believes it to belong to the 
tenth century. 

The Greek Synlipas is, in interest and inipoi-tanee, second 
only to the Hebrew text. As compared with its Syriac origi- 
nal, it is much more full and ornate, — an almost unfailing 
characteristic of a later text. Its author was, as the prologue 
establishes, a certain Michael Andreopulos and the translation 
was made at the commaud of one Gabriel fiekaivvfLo^. Com- 
paretti would identify this Gabriel with Duke Gabriel of 
Melifene, and thus establish the date of the work as the 
second half of the eleventh century ; * but this, while a gain 
in a measure, is little more than a happy suggestion. Far 
less probability has Cassel's proposition that the reference is 
to the angel Gabriel." The text was first published by 

'See the next chapter on "The Transmission of the Romance to the 

' Baethgen, Sindban, oder die Siebnt Wiiten Meitler, Leipzig, 1879. An 
English translation bj U. GoUancz appeared in Folk Lort, via, p. 99 t, 
June, ISQT. 

'ZeilMhr. d. d. Morg. OtteUKhafl, xtxsn, p. 513 f. 

' Book of Sindihad, p. 67. • MatJUe Sindbad, \). 3S8. 



Boissonacle, and has been lately critically edited by Eberhard.' 
A modern Greek adaptation of the older test is of little value 
in a comparative study of the romance,' 

The Libra de, las Engannon, like the Syriac text, was not 
known until late in the century. It is, according to its pro- 
logue, a translation from the Arabic, made in the year 1'253. 
The test ih complete, but very c^orrupt. Its closest affinities 
are with the Greek and Syriac versions, with both of which it 
exhibits intimate agreement in content and order of stories. It 
seems to have had no influence at all on modem Spanish litera- 
ture. Tlie first edition of the text appeared In Comparetti'a 
Riae)-che, in 1869j a second edition, with an admirable Eng- 
lish translation appended, appeared in the English edition of 
this book in 1882.^ 

The Persian Sindibdd-numeh* dates from the year 1375. 
It purports to be based on a Persian prose text which goes 
back to the Arabic. Clouston first suggested that this origi- 
nal was the text of As-Samarquandi, which was known in the 
early part of the century, but which had subsequently been 
lost sight of. By the rediscovery of a manuscript of this 
version in 1891, he has been enabled to establish this conjec- 
ture as a fact." The As-Samarquandi test agrees closely with 
the Sindibad-namek in content, the only important difference 
being the substitution on the part of the latter of one or two 
extraneous stories for those it found in its original. The 
agreement in order of stories is close throughout. The date 
of the prose test fells late in the twelfth century. It differs 
considerably from the rest of the Eastern group, but is nearer 

' Eberhard, Fabulm iiomaiimifa Grteci, etc., i (Teubner), Leipzig, 1872. 

'For the Syntipai in later literature, see Murko, " Die Geschichte v. d. 
Bieben Weiaen b. d. Slayen," Wierier Akad. Siteaiijst., PIi. Hist. CI., cssn, 

'Book of Sindibad, pp. 7S-164. 

*Thia text has not yet been edited. An abstTBct of it was given by 
Falconer in the Aiiaiic Journal, kxiv, p. 169 f. and xxsvi, pp. 4 f., 99 f. ; 
a. complete translation into Slngllsh appears in Clouston's Book of Sindibad. 

Mlteiootm for Sept. 12, 1891, p. 355. 



to the Syriac, Greek and Spanish versioDS than to the Hebrew. 
There appears to be no evidence to support Clouston's suggea- 
tion that it represents the Sanskrit prototype more faithfully 
than any other known version ; neither is Modi's contention 
for a close relation with the story of Kaus, Sonddbeh, and 
Siavash^ by any means convincing; but the tradition which 
makes its origin in the Arabic test is doubtless well founded. 

Under the head of tlie Sewn Vezirs fall thi-ee versions which 
have been introduced into the frame of the Arabian Nights. 
These are the texts of Habicht and Scott, and the Boulaq^ 
edition.^ They are of late composition, and of comparatively 
slight value for the present purpose. 

The text contained in the eighth night of Nachshebi* is 
one of the most interesting of the Eastern group, and baa 
given rise to much speculation. It differs considerably from 
all other related versions, having but six stories, only five 
of which appear elsewhere in the Eastern group. All five of 
these in the fuller vei-sions are second vezir's tales, and as 
they were also found originally in the Sukasaptati (though 
not connected as with Nachshehi), it has been conjectured by 
Comparetti that they were first introduced into the Sindibdd 
after leaving India, and that Nacbshebi, observing this, again 
inserted them in his free translation of the TuR-nameh, and 
practically in the same form iu which he found them in the 
Sindibdd.* Comparetti would further identify the collection 
before and after this addition with the 'Greater' and 'Lesser' 
Sindibdd referred to by the tenth century Mohammed Ibn el 
Warrak. A radically different theory has been advanced by 
Noldeke, who maintains that the ' Greater ' Sindibdd has been 
lost,* As for the version of the Sindibdd whence Nachshebl 

' Modi, Dnnte and Virqf and Oardk and Kaas, Bombay, 1 892. 

'1001 Niijhts, BrBBlau, 1840, it, pp. 102-172; Scott, Tnia, AneedoUg and 
jMttrs, Shrewsbury, 1800, p. 38 f. ; 1001 Nightt, Boulaq, 1863, lu, pp. 75-124. 

'Brockhaus, Nach»hAVs S. W. Jtfl, Leipzig, 1845; translnwd by Tezs, 
lyAncona ed. of SelU Savj., p. xxiTll f. 

*Sook a/SindibSd, p. 37 f. 

'ZrffwAr. d. d. Morg. OemlUcha/l, xxxiii, p. 621 f. 



drew, both Comparetti and Noldeke concur in the belief that 
it was the text ou which tlie 8indibdd~^iameh was based, or 
that of As-Samai'quandi. The date of the Nachahebi version 
is late, as its author died in 1329. 

Besides the ten versions cataloguetJ above, the existence of 
certain others which have been lost is proved by sundry refer- 
ences from oriental writers. A Persian text is attributed to 
Azraki by Daulat Shah, and there are several references from 
the ninth and tenth centuries to works which do not seem to 
be identical witli anything which has been preserved. The 
best-known of these, probably, is Masudi's (943) statement 
that in the reign of Kurush " lived es-Sondbad, who is the 
author of the book of the seven vezirs, the teacher and boy, 
and the wife of the king. This is the book which bears the 
name KUab-ea-Sindbad." ' A still earlier reference is that of 
Al-Yaqubi (880). Both of these may refer to the Arabic 
text of Musa, though this is by no means certain. Most 
perplexing of all is the reference, already mentioned, to a 
'Greater' and a * Lesser' Book of Sindibdd. 

Doubtless many more versions have been lost than this 
would indicate ; but since nearly a thii-d of the known texts 
have been revealed only within the last generation, it may be 
hoped that the near future has in store many revelations 
which will materially serve to dispel the mist which now 
surrounds almost the entire question of relations in the East. 

I (6). TVansmission of the Romance to Vie Occident. 

Tlie Greek Sipitipas and the Old Spanish Lihro de los 
Etigaimos are the only representatives of the Eastern group 
■which have arisen on European territory. Neither one of 
these, however, can be considered a connecting link in the 
chain of transmission ; nor can, in fact, with all certainty, 
any one member of the Eastern group claim this distinction. 

' Masudi, Mcadoicn of Oold, translaled by Sprecger, Loodon, 1841, p. 176. 
Mnsudi was not well acquainted with the romance, as follows from the fact 
thai be attributes its authorship to Sindibud. 




The question of transmiaaion is, and must doubtless always 
remain, very much ehronded in darkness. The two groups, 
having in common only four stories and the framework, and 
having in these, also, many radical differences, cannot be 
thought of as connected through free or literal translation, 
nor by intermediate redactions; the only valid explanation 
of the enormous gap existing between them must repose in 
the assumption of a basis for the westeru origioal in popular ' 
tradition. This alone can explain the difference between the 
two groups. 

But this assumption should not carry with it (as with 
Comparetti apparently; I. c, p. 2) the further assumption 
that, since the medium of transmission was oral, all possi- 
bility of ever determining the specific original of the Western 
group is thereby done away with. Tliis need not follow at 
all. The oral tradition on which the western parent version 
had its basis, must itself have had some basis, and this cannot 
have been the entire Eastern group, nor with any d^ree of 
probability any two of its members ; it was some one member 
of the Eastern group. Accordingly it is legitimate to endeavor 
to determine which one of the Eastern versions is the origi- 
nal, or the closest representative of the original, of the Western 

Modem scholars in general have refrained from any investi- 
gation of this stage of the history of the romance. With a 
single exception, the only judgments upon the problem date 
from the earlier part of the century. Daeier, Keller, Deslong- 
ch amps, Wright, D'Aucona, and others put forth claims for one 
or another of the Eastern group (some for the Greek, others 
for the Hebrew), as the original of the western type. But 
all these claims were unsustained by any evidence adduced, 
and were in every case scarcely more than conjectures. The 
modem scholar who alone has put himself on record here is 
Landau;^ and he is, at the same time the only one of the 

' MnrcnB Laodna, Qutlkn dta Dekameran, 2d ed., Stntlgart, 1884. 



whole number who has made a serious effort to sustain his 
position. At the basis of Landau'a work, however, lies the 
assuQiption that the Latin prose Hlstoria Septan Sapieiitum 
(H) 13 the parent vereion of the Western group, — an assump- 
tion which is entirely gratuitous, for surely Gaston Paris has 
succeeded iu demonstrating that H is not the original western 
text ; while the majority of Landau's ai^umenta therefore hold 
also in a comparison of the oldest tests with the Eastern 
group, it is in view of this fundamental misconception on his 
part that he has in reality proved nothing more than that the 
fourteenth century Hisloria is nearer the Hebrew than to any 
other eastern version. 

With the proof of the unoriginality of S, the question 
as to the nearness of the various sub-types of the western 
group to the parent version has been left open. The oldest 
text preserved is the Dolopathos; hut this is a nniqne version, 
and, as will be shown in the next chapter, cannot with the 
I: probability be looked upon as the western original, 
though it is assuredly connected in some way with the pre- 
vailing type of the Western group, the Seven Sages of Rome, 
Next to the Dolapalkos the Seaki Cbeli {S) and Keller (A'^ 
texts have been treated as the oldest by the latest and best 
authorities ; to these, in view of its prime importance and the 
uncertainty as to its relations, we should like to add the type 
A*} No proof of the priority of any one of these has yet been 
brought forward; moreover, the earliest dating proposed for 
any of them is the first half of the thirteenth century. We 
may begin, then, with the assumption that the immediate 
parent version of the Western group has been lost. At the 
\ time, since the Dolopathos^ which dates from the last 
quarter of the twelfth century, is evidently based on some 
version of the prevailing western type, we may assume for 

' The Old French veraions A, G, D ol Paris (Deux Redactuna) have been 
"starred" throughout io order to avoid oonfuBion with the Middle English 
(M, E.) veraions J, QH. 



this lost original a. date not later than the middle of the 
twelfth century, 

A twelfth century origiual having been assumed for the 
Western group, the lAbro de los Engaimos (xiii cent.), the 
Sindihad-nameh (xrv cent,), aud the Seven Vezirs {very late) 
may be eliminated from the investigation ; likewise the unique 
text of Nachshebi for reasons that are obvious. There remain 
the Misohte Sindbad, the Sindban, and the SytUipas, no one 
of which can be dated later than the eleventh century, if 
we accept Cassel's view as to the comparative antiquity of 
the Hebrew text. Further, since the western original of the 
Western group has been lost, comparison can be made with 
the latter only on the basis of the constant elements appearing 
in its most ancient versions, — S, K, A.* Accordingly, the 
comparison must be instituted between tlie Hebrew, Syriac, 
and Greek versions, on the one band, and 8, K, A* on the 

The framework of the romance has undergone a radical 
change in the course of its transmission westward. There is 
no longer mention of a philosopher Sindibad, but the seven 
sages of Rome become the central figures, and play the double 
r6le of instructors and defenders of the prince. Simdry other 
characteristic features of the Eastern group, such as the prince's 
early stupidity, the multiplicity of the king's wives, etc., have 
been lost; but the most far-reaching change consists in the 
curtailment of stories, each sage telling only one story in 
the Western group as against the prevailing number of two 
in the Eastern, 

In these variations the Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac versions 
present essential agreement; but there are several features in 
which these three texts do not agree, and it is significant here 
that where the Western group preserves auy of these features, 
it is always in agreement with the Hebrew, and in no single 
instance with the Greek or the Syriac. 



The following features peculiar to the Hebrew text as 
compared with the rest of the Eastern group reappear in the 
oldest western versionB : ^ 

(1). The seven sages are not referred to simply as such, 
but are mentioned fjy name^ (Landau, p. 48). 

(2). They vie in their efForts to secure the office of instructor 
of the prince' {Landau, p. 48). 

(3). These sages, and not the vezirs or counsellors of the 
king as with the rest of the Eastern group, relate the stories 
which preserve the prince's life ' (Landau, p. 48). 

The mode of punishment of the guilty queen offers nothing 
determining. The eastern texts have little in common here 

'All tbese Eeveral bits of argument adduced here and on tbe follomog 
pages, with tbe eiceptioo of those under the story avis, have been advanced 
by Landau (pp. 47- 50) ; in addition lo these, owing to his false bypotheeU 
of the originality of ZT, Ltindau has lunde use of two other features in which 
/f agrees with the Hebrew text versus the remainder of the Eastern gronp, 
but which must be cancelled, since they are also peculiar to H. These are 
(1) the diflgnUed-yonth incident of -H, which Landau (p. 43 f.))ncUae3 to trace 
back to the seventeenth stOry of the MisMe Sindhad, and (2) amafores, the 
twelfth fitory of tbe HUloria, which is ulUmalely the same as the Hebrew 
Btoryof Vae HTi-aehbaela I.M. S 18; tee B&iier, Lea B'abliavx, Paris, 1893, p. 
201 f.). Neither of these appears in any other western version, whence 
the only legitimate inference that they were not in the lost western original, 
but are late incorporations on the part of Jf into the frame of the collection. 

'This, a characterisiic feature of the Western group, appears in all 
westora texts save those (as S) which have been abridged. The names 
of the sages in the Mixhie Sindbad are Sindibad, Hippocrates, Apuleius, 
Lucian, Aristotle, Pindar, and Homer (Casset, p. 253) ; in the Western 
group, Baacillos, Ancilles, Malquidras, Lentulus, Caton, Jesse, and Meros. 
For variants of these, see Landau, Qaellen dee DelcamtTon, p. 60 n. 

' In the Hebrew (see Cassel, p. 2-55 f, ) one proposes to instruct him in 
five years, another in two years, a third in one year, — -and finally Sindibad 
offers to make him wisest of all men in sis months. The term of years 
proposed by the sages in tbe western versions varies from seven to one. 

'Carmoly (p. ti5) states expressly that these were the king's counsellors, 
and not tbe sages, who, he says, were now in hiding to avoid the king's 
anger; but, as Landau (p. 48) points out, the sage Aristotle is referred to 
by name at the end of the thinl story an having saved the prince's life by 
his stories on tbe preceding day (Cassel, p. 267); accordingly, although 
there is a alight confusion, it is evident that Carmoly is in error. 



beyond the bare outline. In the Greek and As-Samarquandl 
texts, the woman is condemned to wander through the streets 
on an ass, with her head shaved and her face soiled, and with 
two oriera proclaiming her shame. In the Hebrew text, she 
is, at the prince's request, pardoned unconditionally. The 
Syriac text is fragmentary here. Of the western feature of 
condemning the queen to die the death prepared for the 
prince, there seems to be no hint in the eastern versions. 

A comparison of the four stories (canis, aper, avis, and 
wnescalctts) common to the two main groups also shows many 
variations, but here, too, where the Misohk Sindbad difFers 
from the Syntipae and other versions of the Eastern group, it 
will be seen to accord in several particulars with the Western 

(1). Oanig. The story cani^, the only one found in all 
versions of the Sefven Sages, both eastern and western, exhibits 
in the earliest western versions no noteworthy variations from 
the prevailing type of the story in the East, In the ^ndihad- 
ndmeh it is a w^sel or ichneumon which attacks the sleeping 
child ; in all other versions it is a snake. The child is left in 
charge of nurses in the western versions, a feature entirely 
foreign to the Eastern group. The derivative types, Dolo- 
■paihos and Hisioria, introduce a bird {Dolap., a goshawk; 
S, a falcon) which wakes the child on the snake's approach. 
This and several other additions, especially to the Dolopathos, 
are not found in the types 8, K, and A*, a circumstance which 
well warrants the inference that they were not in the western 
parent version. 

(2). Aper. This story, like eanis, has been subjected to 
considerable alteration in the course of transmission, — e, g., in 
the East, the boar comes to his death as the result of holding 
up his head in the expectation of more fruit {the sinews drying 
up) ; in the West, he is slain by the shepherd, who, descending 
the tree until in reach of him, " claws " him on the back until 
he falls asleep, and then dispatches him with his knife. But 



the special value in the collation of this story lies io the fact 
that the Hebrew test coincides with the West«m group in 
having a man chased up the tree, while in the remaining eastern 
versions it is a monkey who thus flees from the boar. This 
coincidence, first notefl by DesIongchamj^B (I. c, p, 110 n.), 
is one of the most striking agreements of lie Hebrew text with 
the Western group. 

(3). Seae«ixilGUt. A comparisoQ of the various versions of 
seTtescahus reveals no eastern motive reproduced in the West 
which is not common to the entire Eastern group. The 
western version of the story agrees iu general outline with 
the eastern, but is distinguished from it by the introduction 
of even more objectionable details than those which characterize 
its oriental original. The western texts vary in the method 
of punishing the seneschal: in S he is hanged; in K, A*, 
and the prevailing sub-groups, he is banished by the king on 
pain of death in case he return. In the East the bathmau 
(= seneschal) dies by his own hand. 

(4). Avia, The essential features of this famous story have 
been preserved remarkably intact thoughout all versions. 
There are, however, two features which occur in the East 
only in the Misckle Sindbad which have been preserved in 
the western tests. These are (1) that the wife goes on the 
kouse-top in order to sprinkle water over the bird's cage, and 
(2) that she is aided and abetted in her efforts to deceive the 
bird by her maid. Of the first of tliese we have in no other 
eastern version any hint ; likewise, for the second, there is no 
real suggestion in any of the Eastern group besides the Misehle 
Svn^ad, for, although there is mention elsewhere of the maid, 

og been suspected of informing on her mis- 
the rfile assigned her in the Hebrew and 

it is only as havi 
tress, and never 
the western versi 

' The argumenls made bj Laadau under avu are not valid. That tlie 
bird speakfi Hebrew us well as Latin, is not true of any of the oldest 
western yeraions, but appears to be peculiar to H; while the argument 
from the killing of the bird in H and the Hebrew teit is altogether in- 



To recapitulate then, the features peculiar to the Hebrew 
and the oldest western texts are as follows ; 

(1). The seven sages are mentioned by name. 

(2). Tiiere is a rivalry between the sages in their efforts to 
secure the tntelage of the prince. 

(3). The sages, not the king's counsellors, defend the prince. 

(4). In aper, the adventure happens not to an ape, but to a 

(5). In avis, (a) the deception is practised on the bird 
through an opening in the house-top, and (b) the maid appears 
as an assistant of the faithless wife. 

A comparison with the Syntipas fails to bring out any 
feature exclusively common to it and the Western group. 
The same holds for the Syriac and later versions. The 
question is then narrowed down to the significance of the 
agreements between the Hebrew and the western tests. Are 
they only accidental, or have they a real significance? Cer- 
tainly they do not prove a direct relationship between the 
Hebrew and any western version, as Deslongchamps and 
Landau have maintained ; nor are they sufficient to justify 
the thought of a connection of the Eastern and Western groups 
through intermediate literary stages ; indeed, they yield no 
oonolusive proof of anything with regard to the problem of 
relationship. Nevertheless, they are in a measure significant ; 
though some of them are in all probability accidental, yet it 
does not seem possible that all of them can be mere coinci- 
dences. They justify, at least, the negative conclusion that 
neither the Syviipas (nor the Sindbav) wa.s the eastern original 
whence sprang the tradition which culminated in the parent 
veraion of the Western group. And while they do not prove 
the Hebrew text to represent this eastern original, they- 
do, nevertheless, establish this as a probability, with the 
only other alternative in the supposition that the eastern 
original of the Western group has been lost. 

valid, since the lame feature ifl found in all eastern versions s 
S^nh'ptw, and would be in any case of little value tor the purpose ti 
Landau would put it, since it is a simple and natural variation, 

ve tbe 



I (c). The Romance in France and Italy, 

Between the eastern and western types of the Seven Sages, 
as has been seen, there is a very wide difference. Four of the 
original stories and the main outline of the eastern framework 
have been preserved in the western versions, but, as Comparetti 
has aptly said, " there is no eastern version which differs so 
much from the others as the whole Western group differs from 
the Eastern, whether it be in the form of the fundamental 
story or in the tales which are inserted in it." In explanation 
of this wide difference a basis has been assumed for the Western 
group in oral accounts. 

Where these oral accounts first took literary form has not 
been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily determined. 
Some have maintained an origin on Latin territory; but the 
probabilities favor a French origin, though it is more than 
possible that the parent version was written in the Latin 

The oldest form, apparently. Under which the weSt*m type 
has come down to us is the Dolopathos. There can be little 
doubt, however, that the more widely known Sept Sages de 
Rome, of which there survive many manuscripts dating from 
a period but a little later than that of the earliest version of 
the Dolopathos, preserves more nearly the form and contents 
of the western parent version. And it is under this form that 
the romance has acquired its marvellous popularity in France, 
whence it has penetrated into nearly every other country of 

With regard to the relationship of these two forms or groups 
under which the romance apjiears in the West, early scholars 
were very much in error. For a long time it was believed 
that the poetical version of the Dolopathos found its source in 
the Latin prose Historia Septan Saplentum -f^ again, it was 
always assumed as fundamental that the Hiatoria antedated 

' The most widely known of all 



and was the ultimate western original of the entire Western 
group, — these two misconceptions pervaded the entire litera- 
ture on the romance during the first half of this century. The 
error of the first was first shown by Montaiglon in 1856,' and 
its utter absurdity was conclusively proved a few years later 
by Oesterley's discovery of the Dolopathos of Johannes, from 
which Herbert had made his poem.* The second was current 
even until the appearance of Gaston Paria's D^ix RSdaciiotia' 
in 1S76, in which the comparatively recent date of the Hie- 
toria, and its immediate dependence on A*, has been placed 
beyond question. 

1 . The DotopaihoK, — The DolopcUhos exists in two versions, 
the Latin prose of Johannes de AltaSilvaaud theOld French 
poem of Herbert. The latter is pi-eserved, so far as is known, 
in but three manuscripts;' of the former, there are known, 
besides the original manuscript discovered by Oesterley, three 
late copies pointed out by Mussafia,' an Innsbruck,* and 
a British Museum MS.' 

'Id the preface to his edition of the Herbert versioD: Li Romam de 
Dolopathoe, ed. Bmaet and Montaiglon, Paris, 1866. 

'Tills manuscript was discovered bj Ocsterle7in 1ST3, and was published 
bj bim in the same year: Juhanaia de Alia Sitva Di^opaJios . . . ., Strasbnrg. 
See reviewB by Paris, Romania, u, p. 481 f. ; by Studetnund, Z.f. d. A., xvn, 
p. 415 f. and xviii, p. 221 f. ; and by Kohler, Jahrb. f. ram. u. engl Lil., 
xm, p. 323 f. Several manuacripta discovered by Mussalia ( Wiener Akad. 
SUoiag^., Ph. HiaL CI., Ktvill, p. 246 f., 1864) prior to this, and at first 
EQpposed to be original, were soon shown to be fifteenth century copies 
of the older manoscript. 

•Published in the Soe. d. Ane. Ttxtafr. for 1876. For the Hiooria, see 
pp. xxviii-xuu. 

< See Paris in JComanio, ii, p. 503. A. leaf of a fourteenth century UB. of 
the Herbert version has been lately acquired by the Bibtioth^ue Natioimle 
—Naat. 934, No. 6 (BuHelm de la Soe. d. Anc. Tateifr., for 1896, p. 
71 f.). See also Haupfs AUd. Bldlter, i, p. 119 f., for a German version of 
BJx stories of the Dolopalhoi. 

^See Wiener Akad. SitaingiA., Ph. Hiat. CI., XLViii, p. 246 f. 

'Also brought to light by Oesterley, 

' Usually overlooked ; see Ward, Catologae of Bomaneei, London, 1893, u, 
p. 228 f. 



Johannes de Alta Silva, the author of the Latin original, 
was a Cistercian monii of the monastery of Haute Seille. His 
work bears the title Dolopalkos, slve Opusaiium de rege et 
iepiem Sapientibus. It was dedicated to Bishop Bertrand of 
Metz, who had jurisdiction over the monaatery of Haute Seille 
from 1184 (when it was transferred from the see of Toul to 
the see of Metz) to 1212, during which period, since Johannes 
would naturally dedicate to his own bishop, we may safely 
place the composition of his work. Paris favors a dating 
between 1207 and 1212 {Romania, u, p. 501). 

The Old French poem of Herbert was made from the Latin 
prose text of Johannes toward the end of the first quarter of 
the thirteenth century (Montaiglon, 1223-1226 ; Paris, before 

This type of the romance differs from all other western 
types in having only one instructor for the prince. For this 
reason it has been conjectured that it was founded on some 
oriental original, but there is no real evidence in support of 
this. In the suppression of the queen's stories, a feature in 
which it agrees with the Nachshebx version, equally as little 
indication of an immediate eastern original is to be found. 

The Dolopatkoe has only one story (eania) in common with 
the Eastern group, and inasmuch as this, together with three 
other of its stories {gaza, puieus, and inctusa), is also found in 
the Sept Sages de Rome, it is reasonably certain that the monk 
Johannes was acquainted with some version of the latter type.^ 
There is only one alternative supposition, viz. that both types 
grew up independently of each other and almost contempo- 
raneously, the one drawing only one story from the traditions 
brought from the East, while the other drew this and three 
others in addition, — with the further coincidence that both 
receive, as the result oi' like influence and environment, three 
stori^ {gaza, pvieua, and induBa) in common which were not 

' See Comparetti to the contrary ; Vergil in iA« Middle Agea, translated by 
Benecke, London, 1895, p. 234 f. 


in the eastern framework. That such was the case is, to say 
the least, very improbable. 

But, in any case, the prose Dohpathos was made not from 
written, but from oral sources. This is expressly stated by 
its author — who says he wrote n<m ut vUa, sed ut audita— and 
is borne out by the introduction of the Lohengrin story, which 
appears here for the first time,' as well as by the variations to 
which both framework and stories have been subjected. 

The poetical version of Herbert is based directly on the 
Latin prose version of Johannes. It contains many details 
and several important episodes which do not appear in the 
text discovered by Oesterley, chief among which additions are 
(1) the story indusa, which has been fused with puteus in 
the poem, and (2) a very interesting episode with which gaza 
has been supplemented. Gaston Paris' thinks that these were 
contained in Herbert's original, which he believes to have 
been an enlarged copy of the first draft of the work as seen 
in the Oesterley manuscript ; but whether they are to be thus 
explained, or are to be attributed to the independence of the 
poet, has not yet been definitely settled. 

The Herbert version is very long, containing nearly 13,000 
lines. In both length and style it stands in striking contrast 
to the Keller metrical version of the Sepl Sages de Rome (JC)' 
which, although it has nearly twice as many stories, has only 
5,060 lines. The Dolopathos has an introduction of about 
4,800 lines where K has but 68. 

The king in this branch of the Western group bears the 
name Dolopathos, and rules over the island of Sicily. The 
prince is called Lueinius. Before his birth it is predicted that 
he will become very wise, but will undergo many hardships, 
and will ultimately become a worshipper of the true God. 

' See Todd, La Witgsance du Oheoolier au Cygne, Introdnction, p, m f., in 
Prihliealiima of the Mod. Lang. Asmu ofAmtriea., vol. iv, 188B. See also Paries 
leview Id Royamaa, xiE, p. 314 f. 

' Romania, It, p. 500. 

' See the dissertation of Ehrel, Der Vrrfaaer dt» Ronum da Stpl Sages and 
HtrbtTt, Heidelberg, 1886. 




The prince's instruction begins when lie has reached the age 
of seven. He is sent to Rome, and put under the care of the 
poet Vergil, whose figure is supreme thrpughout the romance, 
and gives to it one of its strongest claims ujion our interest.' 
The sages, who ai-e, owing to Vergil's prominence, placed 
somewhat in the background, come up as in the other western 
versions, one each day and in a most mysterious fashion, — 
always just in time to save the prince's life. The prince 
relates no story at all, but Vergil tells the eighth and last. 
The order of stories ia as follows : (1) cants (Dog and Snake), 
{2) gaza (King's Treasury), (3) senes [Best Friend), (4) credilor 
(the Pound of Flesh episode of the Merchant of Fejiice),^ (5) 
nduaefilius (Widow's Son), (6) latronis filius (Master- Thief), 
(7) cygni eqiies (the fabled origin of Gfodfrey de Bouillon), (8) 
indusa-puteus (ISoo Dreams and Husband Shut Oui)? 

2. The Sept Sages de Rome, — The Sept Sages de Rome, in 
contradistinction to the Dolopaihos, comprises a very large 
number of more or less closely related versions. Probably 
one hundred manuscripts of its type are already known, and 
many others, we may be sure, remain to be revealed by further 
research. The immediate source whence these have sprung 
has not come down to us. The date, too, of the parent ver- 
sion is uncertain, but, in view of its influence on the Dolopaihos 
and the comparatively large number of thirteenth century ver- 
sions, it must be placed as early as 1150, and it may fall in a 
time considerably anterior to this. 

The normal number of stories in this branch is fifteen; of 
these the queen relates seven, the seven sages one each, and 

'SeeComparetti, Vtrgiiin the MidniU Agts, p. 232 f. 

'Ward, Gatatogux of Boraanca, ii, p. 122, makes the slight oversight of 
BSBerting that the caaket-epLsode of the Merchant of Vcaict ie also intro- 
duced iota the Dolopalhoe, 

^Tliese Btories have had a wide currency, and, in several instances, a 
most interesting history. For the fullest collections of analogues to them, 
Bee the editions of Montaiglon-Brunet and Oesterley, and the appendix \a 
the latler'a edition of the Oesia Bonutnoruin. 



the prince the fifteenth. The scene of action is prevailingly 
Bome, though in two instanceB — K and D — it is Constanti- 
nople.' The emperor's name is Diocletian.' 

The interrelation of the various sub-types into which the 
Sept Sages fells has been the subject of almost continuous 
investigation for more than half a century. The first serious 
attempt at an orderly classification was made by Goedeke in 
1866 (Orient und Occident, ni, p. 402 f.). He was followed 
two years later by Mussafia,' in a study which possesses great 
merit, and which served very much to clear the way for sub- 
sequent investigation. But it is to Gaston Paris above all 
that credit is due here for bringing order out of chaos. The 
Preface to his Deux RBtlaciions is by far the roost significant 
contribution to the study of the Seven Sages which has yet 
been made, and leaves but the one regret that he has not 
extended his investigations so as to include the problems of 
the origin and propagation of the romance. It goes without 
saying that the excellence of Paris's work has been recognized 
on all sides, and that his coDclusions have been almost uoi- 
versally adopted. 

Paris classifies in five sub-groups, as follows: 

1. S. The Scala Coeli abridgment published by Goedeke. 

2. K. The well known metrical version of Keller. 

3. H. The very large group, of which the Historia is the 

4. 7. The Veraio Itaiica. 

5. French prose versions (other than H), including A*, 
L, D* ( V), and M. 

1. S. The first of these, the test contained in the Soala 
Coeli, a compilation of the early fourteenth century by the 
Dominican Johannes Junior, is a Latin prose abridgment of a 
lost Liber de Septem Sapieidibua. For the latter, Goedeke 

' This is only partly true of D; see Paris, Don: Efdaelionx, p. 1. 

'There are several eitceptiona to this: in £~ he is called Vespasian ; in 
D*, Marcomecis, son of Priam (1); in S, PontianuB,— the name Diocletian 
being transferred to the prince. 

' WiewT Akad. SiUungib., Ph. Hisl. CI., Lvn, p. 37 f. 



(who has published the text according to the Scala Coeli in 
Orient u. Occident, m, p. 402 f.) eonjeeturea a date in the first 
half of the thirteenth century. An extract in the Sitmma 
Reurealorum (xv cent.), which agrees very closely with S, has 
been pointed out by Mussafia (Wiener Akad. SUzungsb., Ph, 
Hist. CI., Lvii, p. 83 f ). 

S differs materially from H, and is almost as &.T from K 
and D*. It Btands nearest to X, having in common with it 
the two stories JUia and noverca in the place of Roma and 
inclusa of the remaining types. The agreement with D*, in 
that the queen is defended on the last day by a champion, is 
doubtless a mere coincidence (Paris, i. o., p. viii). Its only 
influence seems to have been that exercised on L. For 
Goedeke's claim that it is the closest extant representative 
of the western original no sustaining argument has yet been 
brought forward.' 

2. H. The type of the second group is the well-known 
Historia Seplem Sapientum Romae, Buchner' enumerates six- 
teen manuscripts in which the Historia haa been preserved. 
Its first edition appeared at Cologne in 1472, and the bibli- 
ographers report many of subsequent date. The latest edi- 
tion, and only nineteenth century reprint, is that of Buchner.^ 
An Old French ti-auslation, printed at Geneva in 1492, has 
recently been republished by Paris as the second text of 
his Deux Reactions (pp. 55-205). The Historia Calumnia 
Novercali (Antwerp, 1496) differs from it mainly in the 
omission of all Christian features. 

The Histoiia is by far the most widely known of all 
western versions, having had equally as great a vogue in 
some other European countries — Germany for instance — as in 
France. In English the Wynkyn de Woi-de text (to which . 

' Ward, Catalogiie if Rontaneei, n, p. 200, orroneoualy atales that Paris 
upholds Ooedeke here. 

' Ertanger BeUrage tur cnytiteken Philologic, v, p. 1. Of these six were 
first pointed out by Paris, I. e., p. sssix, — eight hy Varnhagen, Eine Hal. 
Protavenion d. Sid>en Weuen, p. xv. 

'Erbmg. Beilr,, v, pp. 7-BO. An Innsbruck MS. which dates from 1342. 



the many English chap-book versions owe their origin), the 
Copland, and the Roiland versions found in it their ultimate 
original. With the Germans the Historia type is practically 
the only one which has found acceptance, and the number of 
versions, either in Latin or German, which are contained in 
their libraries is very large.' It is under this form, also, that 
the romance has acquired its popularity in other Germanic 
and in the Slavonic laoguages.^ 

The history of opinion with regard to this type of the 
romance possesses much interest. Until quite recently, as has 
been seen, H was supposed to be the oldest member of the 
Western group. Goedeke, in 1866, was the first to break 
with this tradition, but without showing why. Paulin Paris 
followed in 1869, throwing the question open.' Comparetti, 
also, in the same year, expressed the opinion that H was far 
from repPKienting the western original.* The matter was not 
satisfactorily cleared up until the appearance of Gaston Paris's 
book in 1876. The results of Paria's investigation (I. c, p. 
XXVIII f.) are to entirely dethrone H from the position which 
had been traditionally accorded it, and to establish for it a 
date in the first half of the fourteenth century, and an im- 
mediate basis on type A*.^ 

The distinguishing features of H, aside from its slight 
difference from A* in the order of stories, are the introduction 

' For the first general diacnssion of the romance in Germany, see the 
preface to Keller's Li. Ronvme dot Sept Saga, Tubingen, 1837. A more 
comprehensive discnEBion of the German yereions accompsnies his edition 
of the Hans von Biihel metrical verKion, DifKiedaivas LeJien (Quedlinhnrg, 

'Keller enumemtes veraiona, either in manUBcript or in print, in Dutch, 
WeUh, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, and Arme- 
nian; see the prefaces to his two editions cited above. See, also, Murko, 
"Die Geachichte v. d. Sieben Weisen b. d. Staven" in WimtrAkad. Sit- 
TOTigsfi., Ph. Hist. CI., cixn, 1890, and " Beitr. zur Teitgesch. d. H. S. S." 
in ZdUetiT.f, vergl. Lii.-ge>eh., pp. 1-34, 18S2. 

• Bmioph. FVanpiis, iv, p. 69 f. ' Booh of Sindibad, p. 47. 

'It ia hard to see how Landau, Qacilen da Dekanteron, 2d ed., p. 51 f., 
and a, few others, can still persist in their adherence to the old view. 


of the atoriea amaiores and amid {the latter appended to 
vaiidnium), the fusion of seneaciUcua and Roma, and its 
unusual mass of detailB. 

3. K. The Old French metrical version, ZA Romans des 
Sept Sages, was published by Keller, at Tiibmgen, in 1836. 
Of this version there exists only one complete manuscript, to 
which its editor gives a date in the late thirteenth century. 
A fragment of a metrical text agi-eeing closely with it in 
content, but differing slightly in order of stories, is preserved 
in M8. 620 of the Library of Chartres.^ An edition of this 
has been promised by Paris, 

K has the same stories as D* and A*, but in a different 
order. The agreement in oixler, as also in incident, is, as a 
rule, closest with D* ; in the stories vidua, Roma, induaa, and 
vaiicinium, however, K exhibits a very close, at times even 
verbal, agreement with A*. In esplanation of this, the possi- 
bility of an influence ofKoaA* is precluded by the iaet that 
the former is of earlier date ; hence it is necessary to posit for 
A* aod ^a common source, designated by Paris as F. 

4. I. The Versio Italiea was fii-st so styled by Mussafia in 
his study of the Italian versionn, in Jahrb.f. rom. u. eiiglisdie 
Lit., IV, p. 166 f , 1862. This group consists of six versions, 
three of which are in Latin. One of the latter has been 
brought to light only within the last few years ;^ one was 
published by Mussafia { Wimer Akarl. Sitzungsb., Ph. Hist. 
Ci., LVii, p. 94 f.) in 1868, and is well known; and the third 
is the British Museum MS. Addl. 15685.* Of the Italian 
versions one is in verse,* but of late date, — Rajna in his 
description {Romania, vii, pp. 22 f , 369 f ; x, p. 1 f ) plac- 

'See Paris, i. e., p. iii n,, and Paul Meyer in the Bulletin d. L Soc. dei 
Ane. recto fran^it, 1894, p. 40 f. The order of Btories here is— (miamino, 
Bxma, anti, eapienUe, vidva, Virgilius, indtua, vaticinium. For the order in 
JTand other veriions, see the comparative table, p. 35. 

' Bj Murko ; see Bomania, xx, p. 373. 

* Ward, Oilaloffue of Ramaiuxe, n, p. 207 f. Hitherto onnoticed in ihia 

* Edited by Rnjaa, Sloria di Stefano, Bologna, 1 


ing it between 1440 and 1480. The two remaining Italian 
versions early underwent publication, one in 1832 by Delia 
Lucia,' the other by Cappelli in 18S5.' 

The order of stories in / ia materially different from that 
in any other group or version. The queen in this group, 
instead of relating the first story, follows in each instance the 
sage, thus reversing the order, — 2 becoming 1, 4-3, and so 
on. In consequence of this innovation, the number of stories 
is reduced to fourteen, the seventh being crowded out.' 

In the absence of the Jilia-naverca and amatores-amiei 
features, I groups itself with K, D*, and A*: Its closest 
agreement in incident is with A*, in which recent scholars 
believe it to have had its source.' 

The modern Italian Brasto, which at one time was placed 
by itself as representing a free adaptation of the romance, 
and as bearing a somewhat similar relation to the remaining 
Italian versions as the Dolopaihos to the prevailing French 
type, is now universally acknowledged to be an offspring of 
the VfTsio Italica. The Erasto has been very popular in its 
own country, and has been translated into other languages. 
The first edition of it appeared at Venice in 1 542, the last in 
1841. An English translation was made by Frances Kirkman 
in 1674. 

5. French Prose Redactions. The number of French prose 
redactions is very large. Paris already in 1876 knew of nine- 
teen manuscripts in Paris, besides the four in Brussels, and 
one in the Cambridge University Library. A number of 
others have been since pointed out.* 

' DellH Luda, NavtUaa-titifa aa-illa ntl bium tec. d. liiufoa, Venice, 1332. 

' Csppelli, li libra dei leUc aavi di Roma, Bologna, 1866. 

'It is interesting to note here that Iheetorytbua discarded is atnegcalcus, — 
a fealare in nhich (he Viraio lialica has anticipated one of the English 
Teraiona— Cambridgo Ff, ii, 3S {F). 

' See. for the most recent opinion, Rajna in fiomonio, vri, p. 389 f. 

* These are mentioned under the discUBsion of the various groups Into 
which they fall. 



(1), Paris classifies under the sub-groups D* (T^, L, A*, 
and M. Of these M — the Male Marastre — is of little interest 
other than as sliowing the immense popularity of the romance 
in the thirteenth century. Only three manuscripts of it have 
80 far been brought to light. In all these the emperor is 
Diocletian and the prince, Fiseus ; Marcus, son of Cato, 
is given prominence; and, a feature which distinguishes this 
sharply from all other groups, six new stories are substituted 
for a corresponding number of those in the prevailing types. 
The original of M is believed to have been made on a very 
mutilated manuscript of the^*-type. The new stories, which 
are of a much lower order than those they displace, are proba- 
bly the invention of the author.' 

(2). With AT may be associated the numerous ' continuations ' ' 
of the Seflpt Sages in French, of which the most important is 
the Marques de Rome. This type originated in Picardy in the 
thirteenth century. A version of it has been recently pub- 
lished by Alton {Li Romans de Marques de Rome, Tiibingen, 
]889). In the introduction to this edition, the editor states 
that the romance was certainly not written later than 1277, 
and probably even forty years earlier (Alton, p. xiv). It 
seems to have met with cousiderabJe popularity, as Alton 
describes ten manuscripts which still survive. It doubtless 
had its ultimate basis in A* — Alton thinks with M as an 
intervening stage, but Paris [Romania, xix, p. 493) denies 
this, maintaining that M is posterior to the Marques. 

(3). D*. The Version DirlmSe, a unique prose manuscript 
published by Paris as the first text of his Deitx Ridadiona 
(pp. 1-56), is thus called on account of the numerous instances 
of rime still discernible in the text, and which prove beyond 
doubt a metrical original.* 

'See Paris, i. «., p. xxill f. 

' For these coropare P. Paris, Les MSS.Jranfaie de la Biil. dv, Boi, Paris, 
1836, I, p. 109 f. More accessible in LeroDz de Lincj, I. e., p. x f. 
* This WM first shown by Paris, Deux Sidaetiont, p. v f. 



D* agrees more cloaely with K than with any other known 
version. It cannot have been baaed on K, however, aa Paris 
has shown, but the two doubtless flow from a common source, 
which Paris designates as V. From this V, also, the Chartres 
manuscript was in all probability made {Paris, I, c, p. x.) 

(4). There remain the two families L and A*. The first 
of these comprises all versions of the type of the first Leroux 
de Lincy print,' in which the order of stories is arbor, canis, 
aper, medicos, gaza, putmia, aenesaa/cue, taitamina, Virgilius, 
aim, sapientes, noverca., Jilia, Only six manuscripts (four 
strictly according to L, and two slightly influenced by J*) 
were known to Paris (I. c, p. 10 f.). To these must be added 
the Catalan version in oitava rivia, edited by Mussafia ( Wiener 
Akad. DmhcAr., xxv, p. ]86f., 1876), and five Old French 
prose manuscripts, partly fragmentary, enumerated by Paul 
Meyer in Bulletin de la 8oa, dea Anc. TexUa Jr. for 1894, 
p. 38 f.= 

In its employment of the 3tories_/t/ia and noveroa, L at once 
groups itself with S. This, however, is not the only feature 
which the two types have in common, A general comjiarison 
with the rest of the Western group serves to show that (if we 
may except A* for the time being) S is also nearest to L in 
motive (Paris, I. c, p. xii). In order of stories, too, S and 
X fall together, the only difiereuces being the reversal on the 
part of L of tentamina and puteus, and the suppression of 
vidua and vatidnium. Paris has therefore concluded that L 
was made on a manuscript of 8 which was mutilated toward 
the end, and that the scribe has in consequence had to trust to 
his memory for his last stories (/, c, p, xiii). 

' Leroui de Lincy, Romans dea Sept Sai/es, PariH, 1838, pp. 1-76. 

' Meyer does not expreas hiniaelf definitely aa to the class of but one of 
these — the Chartres Ma., which he groups with L. He implies, however, 
in his statemeoC that the Bib. NaL fragment (p. 39, n. 2) i>elongs to A*, 
that all the rest belong to L. Neverthelesa, hia notices leave the impres- 
sion that some of these manuscripts (possibly all except the two just 
mentioned) have not been h&ndled, and that a part of them may yet be 
found to belong to the larger group 4*. 


(5). A*, the largest and most important of all French 
groups, has been reserved for the last place. To this family 
pertain, besides its immediate members, the groups Ma^-quea, 
M, I, and H; it ia, then, the original, either directly or indi- 
rectly, of four-fifths of the manuscripts and printa of the 
romance which survive. It is not only the ultimate source 
of all Italian versions, — whether direct, as with the D'Ancona 
edition, or indirect through /, but it is also, through H, the 
parent of almost all the manifold versions of the Sepi Sages 
outside of Romance. And, what is of prime interest and 
imporfaoce to the English student, it was some manuscript 
of this group which furnished the immediate original of the 
Middle English versions. 

Under group A* Paris includes all manuscripts of the type 
of the Italian version published by D'Ancona.' He enumer- 
ates in his preface {p. xvi f), in addition to the Italian 
version whence the group is named, fourteen manuscripts 
in Old French,^ several of which date from the thirteenth 
century, Four other manuscripts, pointed out since the 
appearance of Paris's work (Brit. Mus. Harl. 3860 [xiv cent.], 
St. Jno. Bapt. Coll., Oxf., 102 [xiv cent.],^ Cambr. Uuivy. 
Liby. Gg, 6, 28,' and a fragment in the Bib. Nat.-Nouv. 
Acq. fr. 1263 [xill ceut.])," increase the number of French 
versions to eighteen. To this family, also, belongs the British 
Museum Italian prose version published by Varnhagen.^ 

The text oi A*'' falls into two parts, — the first eleven 
stories (-d,*) being textualjy very close to L, while the last 
four (^a*), as Paris has shown, agree very closely with K, 

' 11 Libra dei SttU Sai^ di Roma, Piaa, 1864. 

'One of tlieae is Chn manuscript 2137 of the Bib. N&t,, published in part 
by Leroui de Line)', pp. 79-110, 

'For these two, cf. Vanihagen,2./. cOTii. Pi., I, p. 555f. See also for the 
first, Ward, i. e., II, p. 199 f. 

'Bomania, XV, p. 348. 

' Delisle, jtfSS. (a(. cl Jr. (youtia aaz Fonda, etc, Paris, 1891, i, p. 259. 

'Ei/ae Ilal. Proaaiienion der Siebm Weiaen, Berlin, 1S81. 

' Bj this ia meant the secoud Lerouz de Lincj redaction. Other versions 
of thifl type, as, t. g., sta. 8849 (new No, 189), are not so close to L, 



The composite nature of the text Paris explains as due to the 
fact tliat the scribe primarily employed a fragment of i con- 
taining only eleven tales, and that K, or its source, V, has 
been used for the remaining four tales,' And this seems to be 
borne out by internal evidence ; for A^* not only falls in with regards incident, but, as in the case of D*, there is often 
even a textual agreement in which entire lines that appear 
in K are reproduced,' Yet, as already observed, this metrical 
original of -4a* cannot have been K, since there are a number 
of ^1*-Dianuscript8 which antedate tlie latter, especially if we 
may accept Keller, who despite his maintenance of the priority 
oi K, ventured a date no earlier than 1284, or later in all 
probability than the composition of the English parent text. 
Moreover, a comparison of A^ with K and D* will show 
that each of the latter possesses features in common with A* 
which are not found in the other. The original of J,* must 
therefore be sought in some other version than K, — probably, 
as Paris assumes, in V? 

' DtMX MSdaelions, p. XVlll. 

'Ibid,, p. X!S, for H citation of parallel paBsages from J i* and X". Almost 
BB Qoteworlh? agreement will be found in name of the renisining stories. 

" But con this be final '! Is it Dot possible, however improbable it ma; 
seem, that the mamiscripts of A* which, have survived were ultimately 
baaed on a metrical leit which preserved the J*-order of storiee (or, at 
least, was nearer the /l*-order than the K-, 0*- or Z)*-order), and which was 
closely related with V'! la this case, of coarse, L (the first eleven stories), 
would have to be explained as based on A* (rather than the reverse, m 
with Paris), and At* as representing a prosing of a portion of the metrical 
A*, to which K has very nearly approached. Against tbia view would 
be the strong evidence submitted by Paris. In favor of it, however, are 
the considerations (1) that this would better account for the popularity 
of the A*-tjpe during the first half of the thirteenth century ; (2) that the 
Middle English versions both favor a metrical original and were based on 
a text nearer to ff in many details than is the De Lincy print of A* ; (3) 
that to base A* on i., and consequently, as Paris maintains, ultimately on 
<Si is to connect it with a different line of tradition from that which it 
seems to follow (of certain tertual agreements with .E" which-!*, t exhibit: 
p. 16; "comrae il fist au cheualierde son Ienreier"=^£' 1141-2: "Comme 
il fist an cheualier, £i atort ocdst son leurier;" p. 39 : " II apela son senes- 
chal "^.fflSOS; "LorsapielBsonseaeBcbsli" p. 40 : " Voa gerrei auec le 



E£sum6. Looked at externally the Western group falls 
into two main sub-groups, the Dofopathos and the Sept Sages 
de Rome. The Dolopathos, however, did not develop from 
the Eastern group independently, but must have had an 
ultimate basis (doubtless through an oral medium) on some 
version of the larger group. 

The Sept Sages de Rome, as regards order and content of 
stories, also falls into two groups, — one represeuted by S and 
L, the other by K, J)*, C*, { V), and A* and its variants, /, 
a, M, and Marques. Peculiar to the former group {S, L) are 
the etories jllia and noverca, to the latter the stories Roma 
and inclusa. 

Which of these groups represents most faithfully the lost 
western original is, at the present stage of our knowledge, 
impossible to determine, but the fact that the Dolopathos of 
Herbert contains the story indusa seems to point to the 
priority of the K-, D*-, j4*-group.^ 

With respect to the separate sub-groups, i may have been 
based on A* and ^S", though the view of Paris, that it had its 
basis in 8 alone, carries with it greater probability. Either 
explanation leaves the origin of 8 unexplained. K, D*, C* go 
back to the same lost metrical original, V. A* is probably to 
be explained with Paris as having its source in L and V, though 
this, as yet, has been by no means established. It is not 
improbable that a metrical vereion of^* existed ataorae time. 

roi"=K 1531 : "Anoeques le roi vous girols;" p. 50: "Qui me ferra, je 
trerai jil"=^3e38: "Ki me ferm, je trairaiia"); (4) that we may still 
find in J.*, what appear to be reflectiona of a versified original; lhaB,p. 15 r 
"Cela que je mout amoie et en qui je me fioie; " p. 23 ; "Li snngliers vint 
vers I'alier, si commenfa a mengier," and " qaant 11 vlt le sanglier. si s'en 
volt aler;" p. 33; "Quant elea virent lor pere trainer, si commenoiBrent 
(a brSre et) A, crier; " p. 50 r "Sire, il ot en ceate vile un clerc qui ot noo 
Vergile." When all this is said, however, the case is by no means strong, 
and we woald not presume to inaist on this theory as presenting the proba- 
bility, by any meane, which attaches to the view set forth by Paris; it is 
merely suggested as an alternnle possibility, which has not yet been dis- 
posed of. 

'See also, Paris, Bomania, iv, p. 128, for the additional evidence in 
support of this view drawn from the story Boma. 


Table of Stories in the Weatem Versions? 

































































An tenor 

vid.— fil. 





aen.— Rom. 









lawo.— fil. 


fill a 










vatic. + 

vat.— amioi. 



incl.— put. 

II. The Rom.4nce in England. 

The enormous popularity of the Seven Sages in French 
found but a faint reflection in early English. So far, only 
eight .Middle English versions have been brought to Iipht,i- 
and as at least seven of these go back to the same lost origi- 
nal, it appears that the romance did not at first take a very 
firm root in English soil. Nor has it in more recent times 
acquired the popularity in England that it enjoyed in other 
conntries of Europe; for, besides the numerous chap-book 
versions, all which are of a low order of excellence, there 
have survived only two versions belonging to the Modern 
English period. 

Yet, despite this comparatively small popularity of the 
romance in England, it is very evident that the English 

'The order of the fragmentary Old French metrical version C* ia as 
ibllowa r^Ienfamtnu, Bona, avis, sapientee, vidua, Virgiliaa, induaa, mlidnium. 
In the Vamhagen Italian prose veraion, pttltui haa been supplanted by a 
new story, which V. calls ma^ator. All the Middle Engliah versions aave 
F (for which see p. 62 of this study) follow the ^"-order. The later Eng- 
lish versions belong to group H. 


versions have not received attention commensurate with their 
importaDce. Indeed, there is no department of the study of 
the Seven Sages, much neglected though all have unfortu- 
nately been, which has been more neglected than the English. 
"Weber, the first in the field, offered with his edition of the 
Auchinleck text practically no introduction at all.^ Likewise 
Wright, in the essay which accompanied the Cambridge text 
(Dd, I, 17), while he presented an abstract of the Hisloria, 
confined the discussion of bis own text, singularly enough, to 
less than two pages.^ Besides these, Ellis in his Specimens,^ 
Clouston in his Book of Sindibad' and Gomme in the preface 
to his reprint of the Wynkyn de Worde edition ' have sub- 
mitted analyses of the Weber, Wright, and Wynkyn de Worde 
editions respectively, and sundry others have made incidental 
references ; but there has so far appeared only one detailed 
and serious investigation of the problems which the English 
versions present — the dissertation Vdter die mittdenf/Iischen 
Fassungen der Sage von den steben weisen Mdstem, Breslau, 
1885, by Paul Petras. This scholar, in dealing with Ihe 
source and inter-eonnection of the English versions, has 
arrived at some very gratifying results, but his work leaves 
much to be desired. Three of the eight Middle English 
versions have escaped notice at his hands, as also, for some 
unaccountable reason, the well-known edition of Wynkyn de 
Worde, — and a good half of his conclusions may be overthrown 
by a more thorough investigation. In view, then, of this 
manifest neglect of the English versions another detailed 
study of them — especially of the relations of the Middle 

' JWeineoi ilomoTiMs, Edinburgh, 1810, i, p. iv and ni, pp. 1-163. 

' The Stxea Saga, Percy Spciety PublicationB, toI. xvi, p. ijcvin, Loodon, 
1846; also iii'Wa.rion'& HUtory of English Poetry, ed. Hallitt, London, 1871, 
I, p. 305 f. 

'i^>ecimm» of Early English Metrical Bomaneet, London, 1811, Iil, pp. 

' Book of SindUdd [Glasgow], 1884, p. 327 f. 

<• The Hislory of Ike Seven Wiee Maita-i of Home, published for the Villon 
Society, London, 1885. 


EDglish manuscripts — will not, it is believed, be deemed 

II (a). The Middle English Vermons. 

The Middle English group comprises eight known versions, 
in as many different manuscripts. All these are in verse, 
and in the octosyllabic or four-stressed couplet. 

They are as follows: Auchinleck (^4), Arundel 140 {Ar), 
Egerton 1995 {E), Balliol College 354 (_B), Cambridge Ff, 
u, 38 (F), Cotton Galba E, ix (O), Cambridge Dd, i, 17 {D), 

1. Description of the Mamiseripts, 

A, — The Auchinleck M8. of the Advocate's Library, Edin- 
burgh, denoted throughout as A. For a general description 
of this mauuacript, see Kolbing, Englieche StudUn, vn, p. 
185 f. The text of the Seven Sages occupies if. 85a-99d, 
and is fragmentary at both beginning and end, only 2646 
lines remaining. It has been published by Weber, Metrical 
Momances, Edinburgh, 1810, iir, pp. 1-153, where it com- 
prises lines 135-2779, the Cotton ms. (C) having been used for 
the remainder. For a collation of this edition with the manu- 
script, see Kolbing, Englische Studien, vi, p. 443 f. Copious 
extracta with an analysis may be found in Ellis's Specimens, 
Loudon, 1811, in, pp. 1—101. With regard to date of com- 
position there is no internal evidence other than linguistic; 
since, however, the Auchinleck MS. dates from about 1330, 
the composition of A must fall before that time." The form 

' I have haoAled and made transcripts of all these manuscripts save tlwse 
irbioh bare been printed and the Asloan. Five of them (A, B, C, F, and 
D) bare been studied either in whole or in part by Fetraa, and the Asloan 
MS. waa also known to bim through Laing'a very incomplete description of 
il in the preface to bis edition of the Bolknd text, p. xii. Of the Arundel 
and Balliol manuscripts Petras was apparently unatrare. 

' Cf. Morehscli, M. E. Oriaimatik, HaJle, 1896, p. xr, and Brand] in PouTs 
Ommtriis, ii, 1, p. 635. 


hardly jiistifiea a dating earlier than 1300. In text and 
metre A is, as a rale, very good, though in both there are 
occasional imperfections and corruptions.' The dialect is 
Kentish, though not of the strict type.' 

Ar. — MS. Arundel 140 of the British Museum, — cited as 
Ar. Paper, dating from the first half of the fifteenth century. 
For general description, see Ward, Catalogue of Romances, ii, 
p. 224. This text occupies ff. 152— 165b, and is fragmentary, 
beginning with the conclusion of nper (3) and ending with 
the 21st line nf vatidnium (15); 2565 lines remain. It is 
very much faded, and in many cases illegible, especially at 
the end of the b- aud at the beginning of the c-cohirans. With 
regard to initial capitalization, it is very irregular. A line 
has been lost after 1, 618 ; after 1. 919 an extra line has been 
introduced with no corresponding rime. The text is metri- 
cally very poor, and many final e's have to be inserted in 
order to secure the required four stresses; there are also a 
number of imperfect rimes (such as yspede: saue, 243-4) 
and other textual irregularities ; nevertheless, Ar, as ia shown 
below, ia the clo.sest representative of the lost M. E. original. 
The dialect is Kentish.* The test has not been published. 

' There are man; emendations which lie on the BUrface and which ore 
BnaUined b; the closely related versionB ^r, E, etc Some of these are: 
(1) for sehild. 1016 read jcAuW(e)— cf. -F 1487, Ar, B, E\ (2) for tieUh 1031 
read m/fo or BeAe— cf. ^r 91, etc.; (3) for Wi o/ 2050 read W V—cf- ■'^ 2082, 
etc.; (4) for (o-deiue 2417 read ffo deiue— of. B 2509, etc. i (5) after He 2657, 
ioaett ^ou5(— cf. At 1782, etc 

'A. 8. y is regularly represeoled by the e-sound, though this may not 
always he graphic Of the 27 determining rimes, 22, or SI per cent., 
have the e-coloring. There is nothing in other developments to contradict 
this result. The only Northern forms in the rime are a pres. pari, in 
-and, l!l7T-8, and two instances of the third pers. sing, of the present tense 
in 8,615-6 and 937-S. 

' To the deyelopment of A. S. y (stable or nnslable. long or short) into i, 
there is only one certain exception : uifne; ■!/»«, 6Ql'-2. Elsewhere we find 
only the e-quality; cf. iiede: Ayde, 383-4; ifel: ifcirl, 601-2; gardyner ; Jyr, 
863-4, 872-3; also 862-3, 939-40, 979-80, 1433-4, 1515-6, 1636-6, 1641-2, 
1683-4, 1761-2, 1847-8, 2059-60. The additional rime-evidence is alto- 
gether coafirmatoiy of a Boudiern scribe: A. S. a > 6 uneiceptionally, the 



E.— MS. Egerton 1995 of the British Museum,' — cited 

throughout aa S. Ff. 3-54b. Paper, dating from the fif- 
teenth century, — probably the second half.' Written in single 
columns, with initials in red. Very regular as r^ards capital- 
ization. Complete, containing 3588 lines, and bearing the 
title Seven Sages of Rome, with the colophon Explidunt Septem. 
Sapientes, Before the first story, arbor, stands the simple 
rubric, " He[re] begynnythe the fyrste tale of the Emperasse ; " 
before nine others, there is substituted for this a couplet indi- 
cating the contents of the story which follows, as e. g., cania 
(695-6) : 

' Hera begynnythe tha tale of a knyght 
That cylde hjB grehoimde witA onryghL' 

The stories avis, vidua, Roma, incljisa, and vatidnium have 
nothing corresponding to this. The dialect is Kentish, though 
less strongly marked than in Ar.^ No edition of ^has yet 
appeared. An extract, including 11. 2251-2358, accompanies 
the monograph of Petra'?, "Anhang," p. 54 f. 

B.— MS. No. 354 of Balliol College Library, Oxford,— 
denoted as B.* Ff. 18a-54b. Paper, belonging to the early 

pres. part, (eicept bidand .- biynd, 1689-90) ends in -Ttg, the verb is Southern 
(Have eryBn: men*, 2556-7, \¥here we have a Midland form), the post part, 
preserves, as a rule, the prefix, and rejects (in the case of the strong veA) 
the ending, etc. Within the line, however, there are occauonal Northern 
forma, particularly of the pres. pact., as baland, 158S, 1591, 1595, brifiumd, 
1922 ; but these are by no means the rule, the Southern form being in 
general preserved as well within the line as in the rime. 

* For a general description of this manuscript, see Ward's Oatalogue, u, 
p. 218 f 

•See the siith article; "Gregory Skinner's Chronicle of the Mayors of 
London, ending in 1469," ff. 113-122b. 

'The usual development of A. S. y ia e, or the e-qnality, — see the limeB 
of 11. 245-6, 577-8, 783-4, 84.5-6, 1323-4, 1645-6. 1799-1800, 1821-1822; 
but oocasionally y,^c{. kyrme; lipme {O.N. linna), 1317-8 and Ktfnne; tyne, 
1635-6. The evidence is othenrise strongly indicative of a Southern scribe, 
though a few Northern forma are borne out by the rime; cf. hondsa: stondyt 
{3d sing.), 439-40, also kynge: yonge, 93-1, and yongc: coanyngc, 3581-2. 

*The existence of this version of the Seven Saga was first pointed out by 
Tamhagen, in bia Eine Ilal. Protav. d. Sitben Ifnien, Berlin, 18SI,p.3(i; 
see in the same connection his review of Fetraa, Eag. Stud., x, p. 279 f. 




sixteenth century.' In single columns; irregnlar in capitali- 
zation. Described in Coxe's Oatalogua, r, p. 110, aa in the 
hand of John Hyde. The text is complete, containing 3708 
lines. The first rubric, which contains the title, reads as 
follows : " Here begynneth ]ie praioges of the vn. sagis or 
vn. wise mastere which were named as here-aftei- fFollowing." 
Each story has a heading or title, as e. g,, arbor: "The 
empTesse tale off the pynote tree." At the end of the text 
stands the colophon : " Thus endith of the vn. sages of Rome, 
which was drawen owt of crownycles and owt of wrytyng of 
old men, and many a notable tale is tber-in, aa ys befibre 
sayde. Quod Richard Hill." This manuscript contains very 
few abbreviations, and the language is much modernized. In 
line 1761 : "On the ffiill suche as fell to a old man by his 
wif," we have two lines in one. The rime is, if anything, 
slightly better than in A, Ar, and E, but is, nevertheless, 
occasionally imperfect, cf. visage ; noyse, 459-60 ; assonance, 
as in all other related M. E. texts, abounds ; often four lines 
rime together, and occasionally sis, cf. 2583-8. The dialect 
is Southern.' No edition of the text has yet appeared, but 
the E. E. T. S. has for some time been advertising the entire 
manuscript as needing editing. 

P.— MS. Ff, II, 38 (formerly marked More 690) of the 
Cambridge University Library, — denoted as F^ Ff. 134a— 
156d. Paper, dating from about the middle of the fifteenth 
century. Written in double columns of about 40 II. to the 
column. Handwriting uniform ; irregular as to capitaliza- 
tion, though most lines begin with a capital. The beginnings 
of stories indicated merely by lar^e initial capitals in red. 

'Cf. Art. 31, "Memoranda of Richard Hill," and Art. 98, "Kames of 
Mayors (of London)." 

'Southern forma are austained by the rime almost without eioeplion. 
A. S. ^ is reprebented by both y and e, in about equal proportion ; the rimes 
in e ure probably to be explained, however, as reminiecences of a Kentish 

^ Cf. HalliweU, Thomtan Bomanetx, Camden Society, vol. xxi, p. xxxTi f., 
and the Cambridge Univ. Lib, Catalogue of uss^ u, p, 403, 



The text is fragmentary; ff. 141 and 144 (or less than 400 
11.) have been lost, and fol. 135 is in a mutilated condition;^ 
2555 11. remain. Criteria for determining the dialect are not 
abundant, as the manuscript is late and the forma are some- 
what mixed ; but the bulk of the evidence favors a Southern 
dialect.^ The text has not been edited, although, in view 
of its uniqueness, it is not uninteresting, and in its last four 
stories is of considerable value. Extracts are given by Halii- 
well, Thornton Romances, p, xLiii f., Wright, The Seven Sagee, 
p. Lxx f., and Petraa, I. c, p. 60 f. 

C— MS. Cotton Gaiba E, ix, of the British Museum,— 
denoted as C Ff, 25b-48b. Vellum; in double columns, with 
initials in blue and red, and in a very plain hand of the first 
third of the fifteenth century. Complete, in 4328 11. Bearing 
the title pe Proees of pe Seuyn Sages. Each prolog and each 
story marked off by rubrics : in the ease of the former, such 
as " Here bigins (>e fyrst proees " (called " prolong " after the 
fourth story), with the latter, "Here bygins pe first tale of 
J>e whyfe," etc., the number being given in each JDstance, 
and, in the case of the masters' stories, their names also. 
The dialect is Northern, Both text and metre are very 
pure;* the rime, especially, stands in marked contrast to the 
Southern versions, being almost free of assonance aud the im- 

> The Cambridge Catalogue fails to 9pecif7 the leaves which ha^e been loat. 
Petraa (p. 8) and others go to the other eitreme in asserting that the text 
is verj incomplete. 

*A- S. a > D, and the forma of the verb, with the eiception of the strong 
paat part., where -en is the uaaal ending, are Southern, The scribe, how- 
ever, probably belonged rather to the middle or western South than to 
Kent, or its neighborhood; cf. the riraes in y where the u-quality prevails: 
tymit;kynnti,&\S-4; tB!/Ue.-psae,mb-G; Ajm; iytino, 871-2; 1M8-B, 1636-7, 
etc. The rimes bedd: hydd, 200-1, and lumde: saute, 1890-1, are probably 
to be traced to the Kentish original. 

*Cf. Ward'a Oulalogue, ii, p. 213 f,, for a general description of this manu- 

*There are very few veiaes that are too short [among these are 84, 443, 
811, 1868, 1901, 1918, 2973), and almost none that are too full (ef. 843). 
Among the few inexact rimes are sages ; meseagc, 355-6; brend: muenf, 2321- 
2; htmrnoae, 2842-3. 




perfections in which the latter abound. No complete edition 
of C has 80 far appeared; but lines 1-134 and 3108-4328 
are printed in Weber, Jfrfr. Bom., in, pp. 1 f. and 108 f., 
where this fext has been employed to supplement A. The 
Btory avis, comprising lines 2411—2548, appears in the "An- 
hang " to Pctras'a monograph, p. 56 f.' 

D.— MS. Dd, I, 17 of the Cambridge University Library, 
—cited as D.^ Ff. 64a, col. 1 — 63a, col. 3. Parchment ; in 
treble columns; appears to beloog to the end of the fourteenth 
century.* Textually very imperfect, and plainly the work of 
a careless scribe. Thirteen lines have apparently been lost, — 
after 1312, 1417, 1696, 1719, 2094, 2293, 2695, 2840, 2960, 
S057, 31 34, 3365, 3395. Irregularities in rime are numerous, 
but in most cases easily emended.* The dialect is southeast 
Midland, with an intermixture of Northern forms.' The 
text lias been edited by Wright (Percy Society for 1845, vol. 
XVI, pp. 1—118), For a collation of this edition with the 
manuscript, see Kolbing in Englische Studien, vi, p. 448 f. 
An analysis of the romance on the basis of this text appears 
in Clouaton's Book of Smd'ibad, p. 327 f. 

Ab, — MS. Asloan, in the possession of Lord Talbot de 
Malahide, Malahide Castle, Ireland, — denoted hy As. For a 
general description of the manuscript (quoted from Chalmers), 

'An edition of thia mnnuscript bj the lamented Dr, Robert Morris waa 
anuoDnced hy the E. E. T. S. many jeara ago ; and an editor nas advertised 
for for some time after Dr. Morris's death, but in the recent iEsues of the 
publications this advertisement no longer appears. It is the purpose of 
the present writer lo prepare a, critical edition of this text within the ni 

•For n general description of this manuscript, see the Cambridge Cola- 
UigUB, I, p. 16 f.; Skeiit, PMimliom o/ E. E. T. S., vol. xxsyiii, p. xsm f.; 
ftsd Halliwell, Manmeripl Barities of Oambridge, p. 3. 

'Morsbach, for some unknown reason, would place it earlier, "1300?"; 
Bee liis M. E. Ommmatik, p. 9. 

'Lines 837'9 mnj be explained as a triplet, bot it is better to suppose 
that n verso iuie been lost. A more probable example of the triplet la 
M. E. ia found in ^,915-7. 

'See Skeat, K E. T. 8., vol. iiXTiii, p. xxv, and Brandl, in PauFi 
Orundrisa, li, 1, p. 636. 



flee Schipper's Poems of Dmibar,'VieDoa, 1891, Pt. 1, p. 5 f.^ 
The text of the Seven Sages occupies ff. 167-209, and bears 
the title The Buke of the aevt/ne Sagis. According to Laing ' the 
text is incotuplete, extending to only about 2800 lines, and the 
twelfth and thirteenth stories are wanting entirely. It begins, 


' Syne geid till heajn and sa do we 
Sayis all Amen for cherite.' 

Its dialect is Scottish.* A complete transcript, made by D. 
Laing in 1826, exists in the University Library, Edinburgh. 
An edition, long ago promised by Varnhageu, is expected to 
appear shortly in the Scottish Text Society Publiaaiions. 

2, Interrelatimi of the Middle English Versions. 

With regard to the relationship of the Middle English 
versions there has been a variety of opinions, and, as in the 
case of the French versions, there has existed no little ignor- 
ance and error. The general tendency has been to consider 
any and all versions of the M. E. period indepeudent trans- 
lations from the French. This has been nowhere better 
demonstrated than in Petras's dissertation, where it has been 
boldly maintained that at least four of the M. E. versions 
{A, C, F, D) are unrelated save through a common foreign 
original. And while others have been more conservative 
than Petras, the prevailing opinion seems to have been that a 
majority at least of the M. E. group are independent of each 
other. It will be one of the results of this study, however, it 
IB believed, to show that seven of the eight M. E. versions 

'A further degcription, together with an extract containipg the story avU, 
lias recently appeared in Englitche Sludien (xxv, p. 321 f.), through the 
kindness of Prof. VarahBgen. 

'The Sam Saga in SeoUaK Mtire (RoUand), Edinbargh, 1837, p. xii. 

'Chalinere Bays of it: "Evidently written by a Scoliah verevfier in the 
leign of Jamea IV, as a number of Seotisli terms occur, which would not 
have been introduced by a Scotiah transcriber of an English work." 



are ultimately related through a common M. E, parent ver- 
sion {x), and it is lield not improbable that the eighth (As) 
is also thus related to x. 

All the M, E. versions, however, do not represent the same 
line of tradition. One of the texts, D, as later shown, is a 
development from x, independent of the rest of the M. E. 
group, and Varnhagen holds that As was made directly from 
the Old French. The remaining versions fall together into 
one connected group, all related through a common original 
{y)i which goes back to x, but which was not identical with 
it. This group will be designated as Y. 

The close relationship of the tests which constitute this 
group Y is confirmed by evidence from all sides, but it can be 
□o more effectively illustrated than by a comparative table of 
lines. For this purpose a Hne-for-line comparison of the 
section which the five most important texts of this group [A, 
Ar, E, B, C) have in common has been made, the comparison 
being restricted to identical lines and similar rimes, with the 
following results : ' 


.d = 1816 11. 


IdmL 11. Sim 




234 7 
125 6 

{2) At 

= 1916 11. 







169 7 
137 i 
19 i 


= 1843 11. 



125 6 




= 1931 11. 


davL II. i 







= 2067 11 





' Ad illuBtratioD of the method hj which these figares have heen urived 
at may be found in the appendix to this study. F, owing to special featoree 
which are discuBsed below, ia excluded fiom this comparison. 
'Petcas, p. 11, finda A and C, the entire tests being compared, to have 
aimilar rimes. 

^^^^^^^H THE SEVEN SAOGS. 45 ^H 

But this GomparisoD, while valuable as far as it goes, serves ^^H 
only to show a connection between the texts compared; it ^H 
does not suffice to show the nature of this connection. ^H 

Accordingly, in addition to this, a comparison of motive or ^^M 
1 incident — as a safer basis fur classification — has been made ^H 

1 for the entire Middle English group ; and it is by means of ^M 
1 this, in the main, that our results as to the interrelation of the ^M 

1 M. E. versions have been reached. The limits of this publi- ^M 

1 cation, however, preclude the submitting this except in part, ^^H 
so that only the tabulation for the story vidua {Matron of ^H 
Ephesua) appears here. ^H 

(1) A cerbtiD knight had a j 
wife. {A, Ar, B, D state 
that he waa a. sheriff.) 

1 Ar 






Loheniinne." ^^H 

(2) They loved each other .^ 
eieeedingly. {Ar only 
relates that he loved her. 
In F, he will not permit 
her C» go half a mile 
from him, "neither to 
^^ church nor to cheplng.") 







^^H (3) A new sharp knife is 

I Ar 





^^B (4) While playing with this, 

B ■" """ ""{fj-, 

1 (C, in the fingerTT in ' 
the hand; D is silent 
as to part, f adds that 
the wife wna paring a 


1 Ar 



pouce." ^^^1 

(5) For dole be dies on the j 
morrow. (F adda that 
he a^ks for a prieat be- 
fore be dies.) 





(6) This was great foUy. 

1 Ar 











(7) He was richjj buried 

state tbal this occun 
after a masg. D iddt 
that the place of burial 
was outeide the city, 
since there were objec- 
tions to his being buried 
within the cit;.) 

) The wife refnses to leave 

(10) Tbey suggest that she 
joung, and maj TDarrr 
again, and beget chil- 


(11) She rejects their cugKEs- 
tioDs,iisEuring theiD that 
she will die on his grave. 
They are sorry. 

(13) Also, a fire. (iJ, Bbe 
makes the fire herself. 
An addition of D is 
that she sends for ber 

(14) Her friends leave het 

(16) On the same day thcee 
thieves have been taken. 
(B, on a day before; B, 
silent; i^' one thief.) 

(19) They were knights who A At 
had wasted the country, 
and had been hanged ai 
soon aa caplared. 


(17) A certain koi^ht wj 
goard the bodies for the 
first night. (A adds that 
he waa to watch for three 

(18) Becoming cold, he spies 
the fire in the "chnrch- 
haw,'' goes thither, and 
Suds the lady. 

(19) He asks to be let in. 

(20) She refuses his request. 
In A nhe swears by St. 
(John,— in Ar, E, B, by 
"St. Anstyn.") 

(21) He MBures her that he 
will do her no harm, 
and that be is a knight. 


(22) Bhe lets him : 
warms by the fii 
D there is no i 
of ihe wife's refusing 
to permit the knight 

(23) He sees her making 
dole, and tells her she 
is foolish to 
ehe may yet 
knight. She replfes that 
he was so kind that she 
may not love any othe 
(D adds that she begii 
to love him when al 
finds him to be a knight; 
and that be lies with 

□nlv to tind one of tb 
bodies stolen. {A, At, I 
-E^ he rides on aftml.) 

ftlier — la 

A* (K 3763, 
rart le fil 
also K* 37.) 



(26) He fean he will loee hia 
adTanoemait if onabte 
to recover the bod;. 

1 marry her, ( 
£^ she propoees only ihat 
he be her "lemiui,"^ 
be suggests matriiDoii;. 
In C, she asks if he has 
a wife.) 

(30) Thisbeingsgreedlo, she 
advises that they dig up 
the body of her hosbaad, 
which is done. 

(32) The lady pDte a rope 
roand the neck of iii« 
corpse. {£, the koighi 

■) The knight tecatis thit, 
the thief hsd a wound ' 
his head, and fear.'i t)i 
the "jgnile may be p( 
oeiveiP' unless the ht 
l»iDd have asimilaron , 
this the wife advises bini 
to malie with bis ev 

o do it. 






B B 



E S 


































J» (the order 
of 28-7 re- 
FDA* (cf. K, 

F A* 

F A* 


(38) 8iie )imit«s villi all her 
strength " amid the 
brayn." ( In D, she 
wounda him with 

(40) He remembers that the A 
thief B fore-teeth had 
been broken out. (D, 
F, in agreement vith 
A*, K, have Iwo teeth | 

but ei 

i D* 3 

(41) She propOBesthat hedis- , 
figure her huitband in like 
manner, hut he refuses, 

(42) She does it herself with A 
a Btone. (In A, Ar, E, 
B, F, she knocks out i " 
his teeth ; in D, ouly In 

F inserts here anoth 
disfiguration — the loss of 
two fingerB. In D, the 
hodj is not hung up till 
after the mutilation.) 

(43) The wife stales that she A 
has now won bis love, 
which he denies, adding 
that he would marry her 
for no treasure, lest she 
serve him m she has 
served her lord. 

(44) The sage wishes Diode- ^ 
tian such fortune if he '' 
not respite the prince 

.(45) He asks that judgm 

i^ui 111 If eiuui 
this, and I 



(47) Tlie emperor goes \ 
his bower ; the empre 
" loors " oo him. (A, At 
add that his "sergeants 
make solnce" with him.) 

C F D \A' 

(4S) The empress is silent till / 
the morrow. 

(50) When she asks if he has A 
heard the "geate," etc., 
why men made a fiail q/ 
fom} {Ar, " How Rome 
was in great dread." " 
likewise makes no □ 
tionof the feast of foi 

A. — A is naturally the most valuable of all Middle Eng- 
lish verBiODS, since it its found in the oldest manuscript which 
has come down to us, and doubtless iu many respects best 
preserves the original. In view of its age cue would at least 
hope to find iu it either the parent English text or the closest 
representative of it, but a close collation with the remaining 
manuscripta shows that it is neither the one nor the other. 
It is not even a link in any one of the chains of development. 
This is established by the fact that A often abridges where all 
the other texts of Fare true to the French.' 

There are, however, some features in which A appears to 
reflect the original more feithfully than any other member 
of its group. Thus, we find in A 666, "Deu vous doint 
bonjour" = i 15, "Diex voa doint bon jor," where none 
_ approximate A save B 652, "And sayde, deux vous garde 
I bonjour;" or, in .4 743, "The levedi stod inpount toui-nis"^ 

' For the origin of this feature, see Pbtis, Romania, rv, 128. 

i not seem to be confined to our leit, but appears 
also in other poema of the Auchinleck H9., as has been alread]' observed 
bj Kolbing ; cf. his Arliovr and Merlin, IV, p. CLiiT, and his BevU (^ ffata- 
(oun, E. E. T. 8., Ei. Bet., i.kv, p. xu. 



Ln, "surleponttorneiz," where C reads "on a vice," and^, 
B, "in the castle on high." And there are sundry details of 
the original which A reproduces in common with only one 
other text; but these are easily explained by the circumstance 
oi A's closer proximity in time to the parent text, in conse- 
quence of which it has suffered less from the ravages of time, or 
at the hand of the modernizer, than have some of the later texts. 

The abridgments of the original which characterize j1 fall 
chiefly in the conclusions of certain stories. In fact it is a 
noticeable feature — due probably to the desire to avoid repeti- 
tion — that it is almost entirely in the 'epilogaciouns' (as some 
of the i?-texts name them) that A has made any serious altera- 
tioDS, while there is a very marked agreement, and only 
occasional freedom, exhibited in the body of its stories. 

This tendency to abridge is manifest throughout the ^-text. 
It is moat violent, however, in the stories aper, gaza, Vvrgiliua, 
and avis. Chief among the passages in other versions which 
find nothing corresponding in A, are the following : (1) aper, 
At, 1-20 = E 949-968 = B 933-948 = C 1041-1058 = 
L, p. 25 ; (2) Virgilim, Ar 1280-1288 = E 2204-2212 = B 
2244-2252 = C 2370-2376 = L, p. 55 ; (3) avis, Ar 1433- 
1446 = E 2367-2372 = B 2401-2414 = L, p. 59. 

There is, in addition to these, in the conclusion of yaza, a 
fourth passage which A abridges radically, and which, since it 
is a comparatively close paraphrase of the Old French, may 
be cited here as giving a graphic illustration of this pecu- 
liarity of ^, and, at the same time, as showing once for all 
its unoriginality, and its subordinate importance in settling 
the question of the interrelation of the English versions. 
This pas,sage-is, in Ar, II. 456—479 ; the corresponding lines 
are, in E 1401-1426, B 1393-1420, and C 1472-1490. Cita- 
tion is made from Ar as best representing the lost text Y. 

Ar 456 ' Loude l>ei gonne on hjm to crje, L 34. ' Cba8cun H escria : 

And saide, lentjlyon kjl« Vj mnstry, Ha! mestre, or pnnseE de 

Heipe Jjy disciple at H3 nede. vostre deciple.' 

)3e master a-ljst 1^ of his Btede, . . . ' et descent de son 


', . . et e'ea TJent devant 
I'emper^ur, si le 9iilue : . . 
Li emperSres respoDt hq 
salu qui li a dit: Ja dex 
ne vos beneie.' 

'Avoil fet meflaires Lan- 

tulea, pourcoi dites Toa ce? 

' Ge le voE dirai, fait I! 

baillie mon £1 i sprendre 
et h, eodoctriner, et la pre- 
miere doctrine que li avex 
faite, si est que vos li avea 
la parole toke; I'sutreqoi 
vealt prendre ma fame & 
force. Mes ja Dez ue vos 
en doint joir; et bien aa- 
chiez que lanloat comme 

apres, et seroiz deetniit 

460 And grete !« Emperouron his kne. 

Unnel« wold he hyin see. 

pe Emperour gaide, hou fals man, 

Be hjm l>at aJ men-kynde wan, 

)»u art fekeU and fatonr, 
465 Losenger and eke traytour. 

A, why syr leue lord ? 

Bo nas I neuer, aaue hy word. 

Syr, iiy gentyll wyue lale ub her, 

And witA goddea helpe we schull ui 

470 I gow toke ray N>n to loke 

And for to tech hym on boke, 
And )>ou first bygan to tech, 
By-nome hU tong and his spech. 
And lan^t hym sith with mor etryf, 

475 Ffor U> nyme forth my wyf. 
seschuU write t>eir-of noust; 
Bot when he is to det« broujt, 
I Echull dampne l>e and t>y feren 

479 To drnwe and hooge by Jie awyren,' 

As against this^ has only the following lines (1387-92)! 

'And th' emperour wel sone he fond: 

He gret him faire, ich undersWtid. (^ Ar 460) 

Th' emperour aaide, ao God me spede, (= Ar 462) 

Trailour, the scbal be quit thi medel 

For Qii sones tuislerntng, 

Ye schulle habbe evil ending!' 

Other less important omissioDs occur in the conclusions to 
aper audpiUeua: apei — the people invoke the master to help 
his disciple (L 25, C 1064, E, B); puteua — the empress 
threatens, on learning of the respite of the prince, to leave on 
the morrow. Ar 624-5, "And saide scho wold away at 
morowe. Nai dame, he saide, jef God it wyll. . . ," ^L 38, 
"je m'en irai le matin, Non ferois, dame . . . . se dieux 
plest." The same incident is omitted in the jl-text of avis; 
of. i 59, ^r 1440-1. 

In the body of the stories, as already observed, this tendency 
is not nearly so marked. There is in fact no significant 


feature of the stories of the original which has been preserved 
in any other English version that does not appear also in A, 
The nearest approaches to such are the following, both from 
the story Roma: (1) An old wise man {^= A* 86, " un home 
viel et ancien. . . .") makes the proposition that the city be put 
in charge of seven sages, a bit of detail which is omitted by no 
other English version ; (2) after these sages have kept the 
city for a month, the food supply is exhausted ; cf. Ar, E, B, 
C, ^, and A* 86, "vitaille failli a eeuls." Id addition to 
these there are certain other minor details in which one or 
more of the related English versions preserve the French 
more closely. For example, in medtous (A 1149), Ypocras 
pierces the ton in 1000 places, as against Ar (208), E, B, F, 
which agree with L 28, -c- brockes. Likewise in Virgiliua, 
A (1977-8) translates the O. F. "arc de coivre et une sajete, 
bien entesse" {L 50) as "arblast .... and quarel taisand," 
while the remaining members of group Frender more literally 
how and arrow; in aapieniea, C, Ar, E, B have the masters 
ask Merlin his name, in agreement with L 60, " et li demand- 
Srent commant il avoit a non," where A abridges ; to which 
add that A makes no mention of the divine service at the 
burial of the husband in vidua, where E, B, C, fall in with 
A* 80, and that in the same story, A (2fil8) has the knight 
come to the gallows to watch (hree nights, while Ar, E, B, C 
fall together in their adherence to the French — A" 81, " la 
premiere unit," and we have the sum of A's noteworthy 
variations within the body of its stories- 
Additions in A are even less numerous. An occasional 
extra couplet (so far as the evidence of the remaining English 
versions goes) now and then crops out, as e. g., 645-8, and we 
also find here and there additional details, such as (1) in Vw- 
giiiua, where the poor, in addition to warming themselves at 
the magician's wonderful fire, are represented as also prepar- 
ing their food by it {A 1973); and as (2) in sapienies, Herod 
is described as the richest man in Christendom {A 2340), — 
neither of which appears in any other text, whether English 



or Romance. But such additioaa are very few in number, 
and, in any case, too iDsiguificant to play a prominent part la 
solving the problem in baud. They are, nevertbeleas, con- 
firmatory of the evidence already adduced, with which they 
unite in demonstrating conclusively the uuoriginality o{ A, 

We have, then, in A a secondary development from the 
lost y. It cannot have beeu based on any manuscript of which 
any other text of Y is a close transcript, since it preserves 
the original in some places more faithfully than any other 
M. E. text. On the other hand, it cannot have been the 
source nf any of the known M. E, manuscripts, since all these 
preserve features of the French which A omits. 

At, — Nearest to A stands the fragmentary text from MS. 
Arundel 140, This version, while most important as repre- 
senting in all probability the lost y more closely than any 
other known text, has been singularly neglected by former 
investigators. Petras makes no mention of it, whence we 
draw the inference that he was unacquainted with it. And 
apparently the only notice which has been accorded it, beyond 
Varnhagen's several references to it,' is that of Ward in his 
Catalogue of Romances (ir, p. 224 f.). From a comparison 
of the introductory lines of ^»' with the corresponding jMissages 
in A, E, C, Ward observed that its affinities seemed closest 
with E; and this indeed holds for the conclusions of several 
of the stories (Ward deals with a conclusion ; cf. our parallel- 
ling of lines for medicua, in Appendix), where A has been seen 
to be often free, and where Ar, in consequence, frequently 
agrees more closely with any other text than with A. It does 
not hold, however, as regards the stories themselves, where 
E yields the first place to A. 

Except in these conclusions, Ar agrees with A very closely. 
Their intimate relation is evident at once from our line-for- 
line statistics on p. 44. Of the 1916 lines of the Ar-aection 
(==A \&\&), 234 are identical with lines in A, and there are 

' First referred to in his Eint IlaL Proiaversum d. Sid>m Weittn, p. Xi, 
and later in his review of Petras, Eng, Slwi., x, p. 27S. 



722 similar rimes. Next cornea i^ (1843 11.) with 169 iden- 
tical lines and 746 similar rimee, — a slightly larger percentage 
of rimes than for A, and an apparent discrepancj, which is, 
however, easily reconciled by the fact of A's characteristic 
curtailments; B (1931 11.) has 137 lines identical with Ar 
and 646 like rimes, and G, which comes last, has only 19 lines 
identical and 413 similar rimes. 

But the closer relationship of Ar to A develops conclusively 
only from a comparison of details. Here, while a careful colla- 
tion of ^r with all other members of 1^ reveals no noteworthy 
bit of detail in common with any other single text when con- 
trasted with A, there are several interesting and significant 
agreements of Ar with A against the rest of Y. Among these 
are the following; (1) A 1462, "Ich wille bicome wod and 
wilde," which is identical with Ar 552; in JE 1498, the 
empress (who is speaking here) seeks to slay herself (cf. L 36, 
"seroie-je morte"), (2) A 1580, "And he com als a 
leopard " ;= Ar 668, " pane cam he rynnyng as a lyvarde." 
(3) A 1588, "Bihot€ hem pans an handfolle" = ^r 676, 
" Behote heme pens a pours full." (4) A 2396, "Al to loude 
thou spak thi latin"^4r 1518, "To loude |>ou spake \ty 
latyn." (5) A 2744, " Withe riche baudekines i-spredde" = 
Ar 1868, " Willi rich cIo]je8 all byspred." None of these 
verses have anything corresponding in any other English text. 
Doubtless some of them are only accidental, but such cannot 
be the case with all. Their evidence is well supported by 
such further agreements as in geneseaicus, where A and Ar 
unite in retaining the twenly marks of the original, other 
M. E. texts varying, or as in vidua where these two agree in 
that the wife is cut in the womb, while E, B preserve the 
French — in the thwmb {A* 80, d police), C states that the 
wounded part is a finger, E the hand, and D is indefinite. 
Of these agreements there can be only one explanation, namely 
in the assumption of a connection between the two texts. 
What the nature of tbis relation is, however, can be best 



determined after a collection of corresponding data for the 
other manuscripts. 

In comparing the remaining texts with Ar, one is at once 
struck with the remarkable agreement of B, E wilh A, Ar. 
These four versions have a number of features in common 
which do not survive in C, F, or D, Thus fl) in gaza, the 
son stabs himself in the thigh (= L 33, en la cmisae), where 
C> ^are free, the one reading ckeJce, the other honde. (2) In 
eeneecalcus, the king falls sick " by God's vengeance " {not in 
L ; also omitted by C, D, — F omitting the entire story). (3) 
Again in the same story, the king offers twenty raarks or 
pounds for a lady to lie with (^ L 40, xx mars), where C 
reads ten pounds, and D simply " gold and silver." And this 
is still more apparent in a line-for-line collation, as is suffi- 
ciently demonstrated in the Appendix. 

At the same time, also, one cannot but remark certain 
occasional agreements of Ar with E, B in opposition to A, For 
instance, (1) the king in seneacalcus, with the former, has 
great delight in women, where A on tlie contrary, in agree- 
ment with the O. F., as also with C, D, describes him as 
disdaining women above all things (i 39, " II desdaingnoit 
fame seur toutes riens "). And (2) in sapientee, the sages in 
Ar, E, B ask respite for sewen days, where A, C give four- 
teen days,F 12, L 4-8, and K15. Likewise (3) the servants 
of the king in sapienles dig under his bed " four feet or five " 
in Ar, E, B, while A makes no mention of the distance, but 
says ten or twelve men dig ; so L 62, xx homes. To which 
is to be added (4) the agreement of Ar, E, B in having the 
husband in vidua [Ar 1756) swear by St. Austyne; — by 
<S(. Johain in A (2630). Nevertheless, these are not of such a 
nature as to contradict the classification of Ar with A, but 
merely indicate that in such cases, Ar best preserving the 
original, independence has been asserted by the poet of ^4. 

But in view of these and of ^'s frequent abridgments, we 
cannot look for the basis of Ar in A, nor — as it is hardly 
necessary to add, after the citation of textual agreements with 



A — in E or B, — and Btill less, for even more obvious reasons, 
ia C or F. The marked agreement of Ar with A, however, 
begets the assumption of a development of the former, parallel 
with the latter, from a common source r, through which 
they both go back to y. 

Certain agreements of Ar with E against all other versions 
including A (treated more at length under E) are not alto- 
gether easy to reconcile, but owing to Ar'a nearness to other 
texts — A in particular — as against E, it is impossible to con- 
sider Ar as derived from it ; we are led rather to the converse 
assumption, of a partial connection, or contamination, of E 
with Ar, or, in more likelihood, with the latter's immediate 

That Ar so far as it goes, best preserves the lost M. E. 
original is borne out on all sides : (1) by its close agreement 
with the texts A and E, which otherwise best reproduce this 
source; (2) by the fact that J^ in the last four stories (in 
which we should expect a close adherence to its original) is 
closer to it than to any other text; and (3) that while A, 
especially, and E, B, in a less degree, often add or omit lines, 
Ar almost never adds, and in only rare cases abridges.' 

However, that no manuscript which has survived was based 
on Ar follows from its occasional freedom, as e. g., (1) its 
rimes to 171-2, 227-8, 463-4, etc., which are parallelled by 
no other text, and (2) in Roma the names of JvMua and July, 
— where all other texts better preserve the Genua (Janus) and 
Jtmuary of the French. 

E. — With the exception of Ar, the Egerton MS. would be 
of most value in preparing a normalized text, since it next 
beat preserves the original, and especially since it is complete. 

The value of E is considerably impaired, however, by the 
fact that its author — or more probably its scribe — has made 
an unusual number of textual abridgments, — as a rule for 

'Tbeonlj addition in the first 1900 11. is 1871-2; 
' When day bygane to sprynge, 
And )>e foules mery to eyage.' 


Bingle couplets only, yet id a few cases for a half-dozen or 
more lines. Some of these are the following: (1) after 996 
= A 991-2,(2) 1024 = ^ 1019-20, (3) 1216 = A 1211-2, 
(4) 14fX) = ^ 1385-6, (6) 1500=^ 1465-6, (6) 1530=A 
1500-1,(7)1558=^ 1529-30,(8) 1578=^ 1549-50,(9) 
1646= A 1616-6, (10) 1652=^ 1623-4, (11) 1662=^ 
1633-4, (12) 1784= J 1749-50, etc., and, most radical of 
all, (13) after 2472 =:^ 2424 t, where ten lines have been 
lost.' In consequence of this, E is somewhat shorter than 
either of the other complete texts, B and C. For the 2564 
lines of the Arundel fragment, it has only 2365 ; and this 
number in reality sliould be reduced 18 lines, since the couplets 
with which E heads nine of its stories, and which have been 
included in this numbering, did not belong to the original, it 
is safe to assume, and should not, for purposes of comparison, 
be regarded as part of the text. 

But beyond these slight abridgments, the author of E has, 
in the handling of his original, exhibited almost no independ- 
ence. One looks in vain for such abridgments aa characterize 
A, as also for significant additions such as are found in F and 
C Excepting such occasional freedom as the assigning to 
the incident in Roma the date of the first of January, and the 
changing of the barber in tentamina into a borowe — a scribal 
error, doubtless — we shall find scarcely one other feature ex- 
clusively peculiar to E, until we have reached almost the end 
of the poem, when the poet for once appears to assert his inde- 
pendence, and we have in consequence the very interesting 
addition that — 

' whenne that his fadyr dede was, 

He leCe make u nobjlle pi as, 

'The additioDB are less numerauB. Among those which are jiHrallelled 
bjno more than one other text, or are peculiar to E.axe (1) 98S-7 (after 
A B74), (2) 1015-6 (a. A 1012), (3) 1245-6 (a. A 1238), (4) 1021-2= J 
1591-2, (5) 1693-6 (a. A 1664), (6) 1761-2 (a. A 1726), (7) 1809-10 (a. A 
1780), (8) 2097-2103 (a. A 2068), (9) 2291-4 {a. A 2246J, and (10) 234B- 
61 (a. A 2298). 


And a fayre abbeje he lete begyane, 
And VII. Bchoce inonkyB brought thereyo, 
And eujr more lo rede and sjnge 
For hys fadyr witA-owte lesynge.' {3561-6) 

All other important variations in E are repeated in some 
one or more of the related M. E. versions. The agreement 
here is closest with B and Ar. Its near relation to the latter 
has already heen shown, and it has been pointed out that 
there are features in which the two are alone ; and there are 
also cases in which the two are alone in textual abridg- 
ments: e. g. Ar 227-8 ^E 1\7 1-2. It has also been seen 
under Ar, that £ in several instances falls in with E, Ar, as 
against A, C, F. 

It remains to point out some of the motives common to 
E, B versus the remaining texts of Y. The most important 
of these are the following : (I) arbor — lords and ladies begin 
to weep when they see the prince led forth to be hanged; 
(2) arbor — Bancyllas assures the emperor that the prince 
will recover his speech; (3) sapieidcs — both urait the detail 
of A, Ar, C that Merlin declines the offer of money made 
by the man whose dream he has interpreted ; (4) mdua — 
the wife is cut in the thumb, where other texts have vari- 
onsly womb, finger, and hand ; as also (5) vidua — the knight's 
disregarding the widow's suggestion that he knock out her 
husband's teetli ; (6) Roma — the sage who makes the propo- 
sition for saving Rome is called Junyus {^A, C, F, Gemes ; Ar, 
Jvliua; D, Gynevcr). In several of these, to wit 3, 4, 6, it will 
be observed, E, B are truest to the French. 

Such evidence as this precludes the thought of a basis of E 
in Ar, but in view of the agreements between the two already 
noted, and, especially, of the fact that there is a greater num- 
ber of .Ar-lines than of B-lines identical with E's (cf. p. 44), 
it does not seem improbable — though I am unable to prove it — 
thattheauthorof .E has known and been partly influenced by Ar. 

On the other hand there is abundant evidence of an all but 
immediate connection between B and E: (1) in the agree- 
ments iu details just cited, and (2) in the textual omissions 



aod additions which the two have exclusivelj iu cotnmon. 
Thus, of the thirteen ^omissions collected above, six {1, 7, 
9, 10, 11, 12) are also in B; and of the ten additions cited in 
the footnote (p. 68), tliree (1, 8, 9} are common to B, — or a 
total of 9 out of '23 — a remarkable showing when it is borne 
in mind that in ten of these cases E is alone, agreeing in only 
one case (abridgments — 9) with any other text than B. 

Despite these, however, E cannot have been based on B, 
since it preserves in agreement with other texts — notably 
Ar — features of the original which B omits. 

In the next section it will be shown, also, that B was not 
based on E, and it will be further demonstrated that the two 
are related through a common source. 

B. — The Balliol text, like E, is complete and of late com- 
position. The analogy between the two does not stop here, 
however; there are many things which bind them together, 
not only when looked at externally, but also from an interior 
point of view. One of the most striking phenomena which 
they have iu coramon, and which one canuot but remark in 
comparing them with Ar and the remaining F-texts, is the 
tendency to reverse the order of words, or to substitute 
synonymous or analogous expressions, — in consequence of 
which the identity of the line and often the rime is destroyed. 
This is equally as prominent in £ as in E, if not more ao. 
In B especially, the change of epithet often flows, one feels, 
from a desire to modernize, rather than from a conscious 
effort, as might be supposed, to conceal the source. 

In some other respects, however, B and E are very unlike. 
For instance, while it is characteristic of £ to drop out one 
or more couplets for every column, B is exceptionally free 
from such slight curtailments, while its additional couplets 
are comparatively numerous.' Moreover, while E is at first 

'In the first 1000 lioee of the part selected for a line- Tor-line comparison 
(^ B 93S-1951), B has 16 couplets which do not appear in any other 
manuscript, ond which were accordingly, in large part in all probability, 
its own additions. E, on the contrary, has only 4, or one-fourth as many 
{1015-6, 1245-6 and 1693-6). 



close to the original — more so by far in the first thousand 
lines than auywhere else — and becomes more and more free, B 
exhibits just the reverse tendency, and we find it in the last 
third of the poem textually almost as close to the original 
as is E, 

As r^ards incident, B is usually more free than any 
one of the texts so far treated. Its chief variations — in the 
nature of additions largely — are the following : (1) aper — 
the herd fills both arms and sleeves (later laps) with the haws; 

A, E, laps = L 23, girona; 0, D, hood. (2) medieus — the ille- 
gitimate father of the sick prince, called in the remaining 
members of F either the earl oi the king of Naveme (=L 27, 
U qaens de Namur) is not named. (3) puteus — besides the 
feature peculiar to Y, viz. that the burgess would only marry 
some one from a distance, B adds that he also would marry 
no poor woman, — with the additional information that he 
already had had two wives. The feature of A, E, Ar, that 
he made a covenant with the bride's father, does not appear in 

B. (4) sintsealciis — while in the reraainiog texts the steward 
is banished, in B he is put to death — and by pouring molten 
silver and lead down his throat. This incident, which consti- 
tutes the most violent freedom of B, is apparently borrowed 
from Virgilius, where Crassus dies a similar death. The 
punishment in either case is fitted to the crime. (5) tenta- 
mina — the wife wishes to love the parish prifst, where A, Ar, 
E, F, C have simply priest ^ i, provoire (but see D" 27, 
Measire Guillauvie le chappelain de la parroise). ( 6) sapientes — 
they meet with the old man after two days; other texts not 
definite as to time. (7) Roma — the town is put in charge of 
tv)o wise men ; in other texts it is «etieji. (8) inclusa — the 
knight has travelled only one month before he comes into 
the land of his lady ; according to other M. E. versions it is 
three months {K, D*, A* 89, trois semaines; but cf. Varn- 
hageu's Ital. Prosaversion, p. 36, Ire megt. (9) ineluaa — the 
wife's ring had been given her as a New Year's gift, — an 
invention of B, 


But while B has thus many features peculiar to itself, it 
possesses very few exclusively peculiar to itself and any one 
other text, — a circumstance which renders the problem of ita 
relations somewhat difficult of solutiou. We may resort, 
however, to the verse-omissions or additions, and it is signifi- 
cant here that the evidence from motive -comparison (submitted 
already under E) which pointed to a relation with E, receives 
very strong confirmation. In almost every instance in which 
B agrees in an addition or omission with only one other text, 
this text is E, Thus, in the first thousand lines of the con- 
stant element in Y (= B 934 f.), there is a total of ten such 
variations, of which nine are in agreement with E — the tenth 
being with C, an agreement which can only be explained as a 
coincidence or, at least, as signifying nothing. The agreements 
with E, however, cannot well be accidental. They offer strong 
confutation of the evidence of the line-collation (p. 44), which 
seems to indicate a closer relationship with A or Ar. 

That B was not based on either of the latter — A, Ar — 
follows from the fact that it preserves certain features of the 
original (cf, 3, 4, 5 of motive-agreements of E, B, p. 59) which 
they have either lost or altered. 

And that both B and E go back to y independently of each 
other is rendered improbable in the highest degree by their 
agreements in omissions and additions. We are forced then to 
the a.ssumption of the existence at some time of a manuscript — 
denoted by s — which served as the common source of B 

P. — There is no one of the M. E. texts of the Seven Sages 
which has been more imperfectly reported than that contained 
in the Cambridge Univei-sity M8. Ff, ii, 38. Wright as early 
as 1845 was acquainted with this version, and printed in the 
introduction (p. Lxx) to his edition of D the opening lines, 
but vouchsafed no further description of the text than that it 
presented many different readings from A and was much 
mutilated. And Petras, on the basis of this description, and 
with the aid of about 190 lines of the text, has inclined to the 


view that F is nearer to C than to any other M. E. versioD.^ 
Neither Wright nor Petras, however, has made reference to 
the description of Halliwell in his Thornton Romances (Cam- 
den Society PublicatiooH, XXX, p. xui f.), and both were 
evidently ignorant of it. 

The description of Halliwell is the most reliable which has 
up to this time appeared ; yet in one or two instances it, too, 
ie inaccurate. For example, the thirteenth story of F has 
been overlooked entirely; again it implies that there in only 
one new story introduced into this version, — the one which 
he prints on p. XLiii f. In reality there is a second story in 
F which is peculiar to it, — the ninth story, to which Halliwell 
gives the name The Squyei- and his Bwowe. This tale is 
complete and runs as follows : 

' Hjt was a aqojer of lhy» conlre, 
1116 And full welbeloujd WHS he. 

Yn deJya of arrays and jn juBtjng [145 b.] 

He bare hym beate yn hya begynnyng. 

So hyl befelle he had a BjHtiir aone, 

That for ajluyr he had nome, 
1120 He was put yo preson etrong, 

And Bchulde be dampned, and he hong. 

The aquyer faste thedur can gon, 

And askyd theai atrythe anon 

What liyng he had borne a-way; 
1125 And they answerjd, and can say, 

He had stolen ajluyr grete plente ; 

Therfore hangyd acbulde he bee. 

The aquyer hym jiroford, perniafaj', 

To be hya borowe tyll a cerlen day, 
1130 For to amende that be myadede, 

Anon ihey toke hym yn thnt atede, 

And baiinde hym faate fote and honde 

And caste hym yn-to preson atronge. 

They let hj8 coajn go a-way 
U3S To qnyte hym be a cerlen day. 

Grete ]iathes then a^ he, 

And men he alewe grele plente. 

Moche he stale and bare a-way, 

And Btroyed the contre nyght and day. 

'See hie dissertaUon, p. 31. Cf. also Yam h age n, in bU review of 
Englwdie Slvdim, X, p. 281 f. 


1140 Bot upon )<e Bqayer hight he Dothjng 

That he yn preson lefte Ijetig, 

So that tyme csme as j JDW aij-, 

But for the eqiiyer came do pa;e. 

He wai hanged on a galowe tree. 
1145 For hjm was dole and greie pyte, 

When the noble aquyer was alon, [145 c.] 

For hjm morned many oon. 

That odur rohbjd and stale inoche tyng, 

And sethyD was hangyd at hjs endyng. 
1160 Thai schall be-tyHe of )>e, syr Enip«rour, 

And or thy aone, so gret of honour.' 

Otherwise Halliwell's description is characterized by the 
strieteat accuracy, and leaves no room for the assumption, 
apparently made by Petras, of an identity in the order of 
stories between F and the remaining M. E. versions, 

The correct order of stories in F is as follows : (I) arbor, 
(2) pvieitB, (3) aper, (4) tentamina, (5) gaza (end of), (6) vidua, 
(7) Riotous Soil (beginning of), (8) canis {end of), (9) Squyer 
and Borowe, (10) avis, [II) sapientes, (\2)medicus, (13).Ro7no, 
(14) indusa, and (15) valicinium. Eight stories then (1, 3, 5, 
10, 11, 13, 14, 15) retain their usual order. The two new 
stories, 7 and 9, supplant senescalcus and YirgUius, taking their 
respective order. For the remaining five stories, 2 changes 
place with 8, 4 with 12, 6 with 2, 8 with 4, and 12 with 6. 
For this order there is no parallel either in other English or 
in foreign versions, and there can be little doubt that it was 
original with the ii^-redactor. 

In content, also, F is very unique. In some cases the orig- 
inal story has been altered almost beyond recognition. This 
alteration consists largely in textual abridgments, but it is also 
very evident in the many new incidents that have been intro- 

The introduction, in contradistinction to the stories of the 
first part, is but slightly abridged. It exhibits several more 
or less interesting variations, but the only one of any signifi- 
cance is the assigning to the king's steward the distinction 


(accorded the king's retinue in the other texts) of making the 
petition which saves the prince's life the first day, 

'Tlien come fartlie the ateiraTd, 
And Bejile, Bjrr, thjs was not forward, 
When that j helde the thy londe. 
When ii. kjng«a bade l>e batell wM wrong-, 
And then t«u swere be heuen kyng 
Thou Bchuldeat neuer watne me myn aakjng. 
Geue me thy sonea Ijfe to-daj, 
Yentyll Empfrour, y the pray, 
And let hym to-morowe be at t>j wylle, 
Whethar >ou wylt hym saue or spylle. 
I graunt the, eeyde the Empwour, 
To geue hym lyfe be seynl Bauyour.' (S80-391) 

Arbor is very much abridged, the story proper comprising 
only twenty lines. There is no mention of the burgess's going 
away from home, nor of the trimming away of the branches 
of the old tree. 

Of canis only a short fragment is left, for which compare 
Halliwell, Thornton Romances, p. XLiv. 

Aper has to do with a " swynherde " who has lost a " boor," 
and who 

* durete not go home to hya mete 

For drede hya mayBtyrs wolde hym bele,' 

but climbs a tree, and is making a repaat of acoms when the 
wild-boar of the forest comes up. 

Medicos is one of the last four stories, — hence agrees faith- 
fully with its original. 

Only the conclusion of gaza has been preserved. 

Pideus has undergone radical alteration; (1) The curfew 
of the original is omitted. Instead of it there is a law in 
Rome that whosoever shall be found away from home at 
night with any woman other than his wife shall be stoned 
to death on the morrow. (2) The lover here is a "squire of 
great renown," (3) The burgess uses a rope in trying to get 
his wife from the well. (4) He has already had two wives 
before his marriage with the one who figures here. This 



feature has been transplanted from the introduction to tenta- 
mina, where it properly belongs. 

Senescalcua and Virgtlius do not appear in F. 

Tentamina is characterized by the addition of a fourth trial, 
the killing of the knight's hawk. Other features are (1) the 
assigning to the wife the office of the gardener in the first 
trial (she fells the tree, and sets "dokys and nettuls" in its 
stead), (2) the omission of mention of the church as the meet- 
ing-place of mother and daughter, and (3) the transference to 
puteus of the ' two-wives '-feature. 

Avis, though textnally free, contains no unusual details 
other than (1) that the lover is a priest, and (2) that the wife 
is killed by the enraged husband. 

In sapientes, however, there are several striking variations: 
(1) The sages build a " horde-house " just above the city gate, 
which renders the emperor blind whenever he tries to pass it 
in going out of the city. (2) There is no mention of Merlin's 
first dream -interpretation, a feature in which J^ agrees with 
D, — an agreement, however, which can only be accidental 
since i^ contains the search fur and meeting of the sages with 
Merlin, which we find no hint of in D. 

Ftdua has the following peculiar features: (1) The husband 
willneverlethiswifegoahalf-itiilefromhim, "neither to church 
nor to cheping." (2) The wife is paring a, pear when she cuts 
herself. (3) There is mention of only one thief, and he is not 
alluded to as a knight. (4) A "pyke and spade" are used in 
digging up the corpse. (5) In addition to the mutilations 
usually recorded, F adds a fourth, — the cutting off of two 
fingers which the knight claimed that the thief had lost. 

The last three stories, Roma, indusa, aud valicinium, offer 
essential agreement in detail with the other texts of K 

The variations of F are thus seen to be very numerous. 
Yet, significant though many of them are, they tell only half 
the story. The whole truth is revealed only when it is con- 
sidered that along with these, and partly consec^uent upon 




them, the length of the poem has been reduced by about 
one-third, or to little more thaii 2500 lines. 

And what ia most noteworthy about this abridgment is 
that it is not carried through the entire text, but extends only 
through the eleventh story. Up to the conclusion of this 
story the greatest freedom prevails, old incidenta are rejected 
and new ones introduced at will, and, again resorting to 
figures for forcible illustration, the text is reduced from a 
normal 2500 lines to scarcely more than 1000,' In the 
remaining four stories, however, there is, as has been seen, 
dose agreement with the remaining texts of Y. 

How to account for this wholesale mutilation to which F 
has subjected its original ia not an easy problem. One would 
think of a. basis for the first part in oral accounts, but this is 
rendered extremely improbable by the fact that throughout 
this part there is frequent agreement of rimes, and not unusual 
identity of lines, with other M. E. versions. Or again, there 
is a possibility that F was made from some very fragmentary 
manuscript, but there is do substantial basis for this supposi- 
tion, and the changed order of storiea is distinctly against it. 
The most probable view, by far, seems to be that the poet had 
before him a complete manuscript, which, for some reason, 
possibly to conceal his source, he has for the first eleven stories 
arbitrarily altered ; and that beginning with the twelfth story, 
having grown tired of his task, he has for the remaining stories 
reproduced his original with fidelity. 

With the acceptance of this explanation, the problem of F'b 
relationship is rendered comparatively simple ; for, if the 
variations of the first part are attributable to the poet, this 
part is of little value for purposes of comparison, and we are 
accordingly restricted to the last part as the basis for any 

For this part there ia comparatively close textual agreement 
with E, B, C, Ar, and A (the last two uufortunately frag- 
mentary here in part). No single important detail and a very 

' For the corretponding pitrt, E has 2593 lines, lud B, 2658. 


email pei'centage of the rimes have been changed, while lines 
identical with one or more of the other texts are numerous. 
The agreement is closest with Ar as a rule, with E next in 
order ; thus, for the 845 lines (F 1440-2286) which the three 
texts have in common, only 53 lines of F are identical with 
lines in F, while the corresponding figure for Ar ia 116, 
Again, for this section Ar has agreement with F in 26 couplets 
which do not appear in _E(J'1476~7, 1490-1, 169.^5 [B, A}, 
1714-5, 1726-31, 1738-9, 1754-5, 1774-7, 1790-1, etc). 
But despite this affinity with Ar, i^ cannot have been based 
on it, for in one case (i^2280-l)^r lacks a couplet which both 
Eaad ^have preserved, and in other cases, it has made inde- 
pendent additions (ef. Ar 1896-7, 2374-7, 2384-5). This 
slight evidence is everywhere well supported : on the one 
hand we find B, though much farther removed than F or Ar, 
nearest F (cf. B 1096 = F 1578) ; again A will be found to 
be nearest (cf. ^ 997=J^1464,A 1016 = i^l487, ^ 1048 
= _F1518, ^ 1088-9 = J?" 1553-4); while in other instances 
several will agree as against Ar (cf. A 2762 =B 2848 =-f 
1679, and A 2751 ^ F 2762 -= B 283.3 ^ F 1662). 

In the face of this otherwise contradictory evidence, it is 
impossible to find the source of i*' in any one known manuscript. 
At the same time there is nothing to indicate a partial basis 
on any two of them, since some exclusive agreements with 
each of the other closely related texts are found. On the 
contrary, the evidence from all sides combines to show tliat F 
goes back to y independently of any other known manuscript. 

O. — Petras, although he showed a close agreement of C 
with A — 52 lines identical and 1296 with similar rimes — 
classed it apart from A, and as only related with it through 
a common O. F. source.^ His owa figures, however, ae 
Varnhagen has already pointed out, justiiy quit« another 
conclusion ; for it is inconceivable that two independent trans- 
lations from a foreign source should have 52 out of about 
2500 lines identical, or 1300 with like rimes. The rather are 
'See his disaertation, p. 21. 


we to conclude that C \a ultimately based on the ultimate 
common original of A, Ar, E, B, F, and belongs with them 
to group Y. 

Of all M. E. texts C ia the fullest and, from a literary 
point of view, the moat perfect. At the same time it is, with 
the exception of F, the freest of the texts which comprise Y, 
This freedom, however, does not consist in the changed order 
of stories nor the wholesale mutilation of text which charac- 
terize F; nor is it violent or spasmodic. It flows from 
an independence or individuality of a much higher type, which 
neither eliminates old motives nor introduces new ones of a 
startling nature, but which contents itself, on the one hand, 
with a slight variation of the episode (generally in the nature 
of additions), on the other, with the enlargement and embellish- 
ment of the often more or less lifeless langui^e of its original, — 
in both cases with the purpose of heightening the poetic effect. 
So that, while we see in ^ the most important of the M. E. 
texts from an historical viewpoint, in Ar the most faithful 
representative of the lost y, we have in C preeminently the 
most perfect poem, holding, as it does, in language, style, and 
metre, the first place in the early English group. 

As regards fidelity to the original, as already suggested, G 
does not occupy a very high rank. Its variations, however, 
consist rather in ampliflcatiou than in invention, as is well 
illustrated by the fact that, while 600 additional lines have 
been interwoven into the text, there are only the following 
noteworthy variations of incident: (1) The step-mother in 
bringing about the prince's downfall seeks counsel and assist- 
ance from a witch (297). (2) In arbor, the tree with which 
the story deals is a pineapple-tret ; A, E, B, F read pynnote- 
tree, and D, apple-tree. (3) The queen in medictis states that 
it has been twelve years since the Earl of Naverne had visited 
her (11 67); other texta indefinile. (4) The patient in the same 
Btory is advised to "Ete beresfless anrf drink |>e bro" (1184), 
A, Ar, E, B, "beef's flesh with the broth" (E, "with the 
blood ") ; X 27, char de hue/. (6) There is mention of only 




two clerks mgaza, where the remainiag English and the French 
texts have semen, five of whom are stationed away from the city 
(1319). (6) In the same story the father alone goes into the 
tower Creesent, while in the other texts both father and son 
go (1340). (7) In tentamina, the history of each of the two 
deceased wives is related separately ; in other texts it is simply 
stated that the husband had survived two wives (1879). (8) 
In the same story, also, it will be noted that only the right 
arm of the wife is bled. (9) In F(V^i/iu«, the two brothers them- 
selves fill the two " forcers" ; elsewhere theKing has them filled. 
Other variations here are the changed order of incident in 
burying the treasure, and the omission of the name of the 
Emperor (Crassus). (10) There is, in avis, no mention of a 
maid as assisting the faithless wife. (11) The lord of the 
castle in inchisa is playing chess when the knight rides up 
(3294). (1 2) The son in vatidnium learns of the whereabouts 
of his fether through a vision (4135). 

We may judge from this enumeration how faithfully C has 
reproduced the Bubject-matter of the original. It has altered 
very few details, and none radically, while no single significant 
feature, either from the body or from the end of its stories, 
has been omitted ; at the same time, only an occasional bit of 
detail has been added, — a remarkable showing, indeed, when 
the laT^e increase in the number of lines is considered. 

But there is more specific evidence of C's fidelity to its 
original. There are certain details in which it appears to give 
a more faithful reflex of the Old French than any other M. E. 
text. Thus, in aper, the boar on reaching the tree finds 
"hawea ferly fone" (987); cf. L 23, "s'il se merveille mult 
durement de ce qu'il ne pot autretant trover des aliea comme 
il soloit faire devant." According to other M. E, versions the 
boar finds no haws at all. Another illustration may be had 
from inclusa, where C (3264) preserves the Hongrie of the 
French {A* 89) as the land into which the knight finally 
comes in search of his lady; M. E. variants arePfe(ye in Ar, 
and Poyk m E, F, and D. 



And there are also instances in which C is in agreement with 
only one other text in its preservation of the French : (1) With 
A in its rendering blanche leuriere {K 2604 ; L 45, only leu- 
nfe-e) by gray bitch, where Ar, E, B render greylumjid, F 
simply hound. (2) With i^'in giving, in Roma, the informa- 
tion as to the origin of the word January at the beginning of 
the Janiis-episode ; other M. E. versions, where they preserve 
this detail, depart from the O. F, order in placing it at the 
conclusion of the story. 

It is to these facts in the main that we have to resort to 
determine C's immediate relations ; for the theory of a direct 
translation from the O. F, can no longer be defended in the 
faoe of the evidence from a comparison of rimes, etc. From 
this comparison it is evident that C is nearly related to the 
other versions of group Y. That it cannot have been based on 
any one of them, however, follows from its agreements (just 
cited) with the French where the remaining M. E. texts are 
free. And this also derives confirmation from the features 
which it has esclueively in common with only one M, E. ver- 
sion and the O. F., for neither of the two M. E. versions in 
point here (-4 and F) can possibly have been its original. 

We have, accordingly, to assume for G an independent basis 
in the lost text y. Whether one or more maanscripta inter- 
vene between C and y cannot be determined so long as they 
are not forthcoming; in any case there seems nothing to sup- 
port Varnhagen's proposition {Eng. Stud., x, p. 280) of a 
" miindliche Ueberlieferungsstufe " between the two. 

D. — Version D, as compared with the texts so far con- 
sidered, is unique, and cannot be classed with them in group 
Y. Though it is written in the same metre as the remaining 
M. E. versions, and while it preserves, also, the ji-order of 
stories, it differs from each and every text of Kmuch more 
radically than any one of these differs from any other. And 
so great has this difference seemed that scholars have been 
□nanimous in assuming forZ) an immediate basis in the Old 
French, The thought of a near kinship with any other M. E. 



version appears never to have been entertained. Wright's 
testimony is to the effect that "The two English metrical 
versions (by which be meant ^ and D) are altogether different 
compositions ; but .... were evidently translated from the 
same original. . , ." * And the views of Petras (p. 44 f.) and 
others are of like import. Scholars without exception seem 
to have blindly accepted Wright's view, with no effort what- 
ever to test its validity. 

That \V' right's assumption is unwarranted, however, may 
be demonstrated, it is believed, beyond question. And it 
will be the purpose of the following pages to make good this 
assertion. With this end in view, we may first bring together 
the chief variations in incident which D exhibits. 

The introduction of D contains no significant alteration 
of the original. A unique feature is the naming of the queen 
Helie (variant Elye, 22-3) where the French is silent, but 
where Y has the name MUicent (or Ilacent), In not giving a 
name to the prince it falls in with the French ; other M, E. 
tests call him Floreidine. There is a slight enlargement in 
the account of the meeting of the father and son, in which 
we have possibly a more faithful preservation of the French 
than in Y. Other slight variations are the additional nature- 
touch in having the queen ask to see the prince " In a myry 
momyng of May" (261), and the requiring the sages to 
come to court within three days after the receipt of the royal 
message (312). 

Arbor preserves all the essential motives of the French. 
A slight abridgment is the omission of mention of the knight's 
going away for the sake of " chafl^re " {A, E, B, C, L), 

Oanie, on the other hand, contains a number of interesting 
variations : (1) The infant has only two nurses ; in A, E, B, C, 
K,L, there are three, — cf. i 17, "Li enfes avoit -m- norricea." 
(2) D also fails to catalogue the duties of the nurses, which is 
otherwise a constant feature in both English and French (cf, 
Y, K, L 17). (3) A third curtailment is the complaint of the 

' See the preface to his edition of the D-teit, Percy Soc, xvi, p. i.xTin. 



knight against women when he finds his child alive, (4) A 
very original addition is that the knight drowna himself for 
sorrow in a fiscke-pole in his garden (883) ; L 21 and Y have 
him go OD a pilgrimage by way of atonement. 

Aper exhibits comparative agreement with Y, except in the 
conclusion wliich has been much abridged. 

The tale medkua is very much condensed. The tou-motif 
is cancelled altogether (L 28 f., A 1142 f.), and there are 
numerous less im[«)rtant omissions i e. g. (1) mention by name 
of the Earl of Navern {Y,L 27, " li quens de Namur ") ; (2) 
the cure of the invalid (F", "beef's flesh," etc, ; i 27, "char 
de buef"); (3) specific allusion to the prince as an avetrol 
(L 27, avoUres, — so Y, except F, C read korcopp). A single 
addition is that the queen of Hungary is accompanied by ten 
or twelve maids (1082). 

Gaza. Omissions are (1) the names of both emperor and 
tower (Octavian and Oressent, respectively, in A, A?; IE, B, G, 
L 30), aud (2) the warden's finding the headless body, and his 
endeavor to identify the same, — a feature which ia preserved 
and worked out io detail in all other related versions (of. L 
32 f,, A 1319-48). 

Puims. (1) No mention of the Roman law until late in 
the narrative (1413 f,); in other versions it appears at the 
beginning of the story {Y, L 36). (2) This law is not alluded 
to at all as ctvrfew (cf, L 36, coevrefeu). (3) The wife makes 
no threat of drowning herself in the well (Y,L 37), (4) The 
husband's excuse for being out thus late is that he thought he 
heard a spangel, which he had " mysde al thys seven-nyght " 

SeneBcalcus, (1) Much abridgment of the scene between 
the seneschal and his wife on the former's announcing his 
infamous purpose. (2) Abridgment also of the early morning 
scene, notably the dialogue between the king and his seneschal. 
(3) An omitted detail ia the bestowing the wife on a rich earl, 
which is found in Y, but which seems not to have been ia 
the Old French, 



Tentamina variations are (1) the wife herself contrives the 
" tentamina." In all the related versions, they are proposed 
by the mother. (2) A brother of the sage assists in the blood- 
letting. OmissionB are (1) mention of the sage's having sur- 
vived two wives (cf. L 43 and all M. E. versions except F), 
and (2) the wife's third visit to her mother, and the implied 
r6le of the parish-priest of the original and the remaining 
M. E. versions. 

Virffiliwi. (1) A striking and altogether unwarranted alter- 
ation is the substitution of Merlin for Vergil (1880). (2) 
Allied with this is the very radical variation — probably the 
most radical of all in D — in the omission of the entire first 
episode, the incident of the mirror-pillars alone being preserved. 
Other less strikiug variations are (3) the two cofers of gold 
are buried, not as in the remaining M. E. versions, at the gates 
of the city, but in "lyttyl pyttys twaye" (1926); (4) the 
emperor is not asked to divide half with the brothers, nor does 
he accompany the latter to their place of digging, but sends 
one of his men with them (1932 f., 1956) ; (6) the brothers set 
fire to the foundation of the pillar before going to their inn, 
and even visit the emperor to bid farewell before taking final 
leave of the city; (6) instead of pouring molten gold down the 
emperor's throat, a hall of gold is ground to powder and bis 
eyes, nose, and throat are filled with it (20G7-71). 

Avis. Instead of the pie of other texts we have a popynjay 
(2145), and (2) instead of the moid, a boy as the wife's assist- 
ant. (3) Only the boy goes on the house-top. (4) He breaks 
great blown bladders in imitation of thunder. (5) There is 
no mention of the husband's discovery of the wife's deception. 

Sapientea. Important omissions are the search for, and find- 
ing of, the child Merlin and the incident, dependent thereon, 
of the interpretation of the dream. 

Vidua. (1) An interesting invention is the husband's bnrial 
"withouten the toun at a chapel" (2484), since, in view of 
the manner in which he met his death, "In kyrke^arde men 
wolde hym nout delve " (2482) ; -4* 80, simply au moustier, (2) 



The wife herself kindles the fire and makes her bed beside the 
grave (2502 f.), having first sent after her clothes (2500), (3) 
The knight is permitted to enter immediately im knocking; 
in other texts, he has to repeat his knocking and petitions. 
(4) The wife does not, as in other texts, propose matrimony 
to the knight. 

Roma. (1) There are three heathen kings instead of seven 
as in the original (2649). (2) The page is not named till 
towards the end of the story, when he is called Gynever (2730) ; 
cf. A* 86, Genua; A, B, C, F, Gemes; E, B, Jmyua; Ar. 

Inclusa. This story presents remarkable agreement with 
Y, the chief and only important variation being the temporary 
omission of the knight's explanation of the reason for his flight 
from his native land in that he had slain there another knight. 
This excuse is employed later in the story, but originates with 
the lady (2961). 

Vaticinium. (1) The father also has the power of inter- 
preting the language of birda (3138). (2) The name of the 
father is omitted {A* 101, A' 4919, Girart leJUs Thierri; B, 
C, F, Jerrard Noryea aone; E, Bamarde Nirryaahe), and there 
is othetwise much condensation of the narrative. 

Such are some of the variations of D. And these are doubt- 
less what led Wright to his classification of this version. But 
since all these variations are peculiar to D they can in no way 
be held to confirm Wright's view. They are in fact of no 
value whatever in determining D's relations, except in so far 
as they put one on guard against laying too much stress on 
any agreements which D may be found to have exclusively in 
common with any particular group or version. 

Wright's theory, however, does seem to derive some sup- 
port from another quarter, namely that D, in a number of 
instances, preserves the Old French more faithfully than any 
other M. E. version.' These are as follows: (1) In sencacalcits, 
the king rules in Apulia (so L 39) ; in F, he rules over both 
' Wright, however, has not adduced any of this evidence. 


Apulia and Calabria. (2) In sapientes, after all the sages 
have been slain and the cauldron has become clear, Merlin and 
Herod ride out of the city by way of testing results ; the king, 
on reaching the gate, regains his sight (D 2409 f, L 63). 
Other M. E. texts omit this feature. A less significant agree- 
ment of _D with the Old French in the same story is that the 
king remains blind from the time he goes outside the city 
gates, where F represents him as being blind only when with- 
out the city, and as always recovering hia sight on his return. 
(3) B 2803, A* 89 have the knight in indusa travel three 
weeks in a fruitless search for the lady of his dream. Ar, E, 
C, i''have him travel three months, — B, one month} (4) In 
vatidnium, the father and the son, at the beginning of the 
story, are on their way to visit a hermit on an island in the 
sea (3141 f.). This feature is suppressed in the remaining M. 
E, versions, but appears in all the important O. F. versions; 
A* 98, " por aler il -i- reclus qui eatoit senr -i- rochier," and 
^4693— 4, "Naiant en vont a un renelus, ki en un rochier ses- 
toit mis." (5) Iq the same story (3327), the city to which 
the father comes in his poverty, is, in agreement with A* 101, 
Plede (cf. also j^4918, "Ales moi tost an plaseis," — which 
Godefroy identifies with plais&eis ^ cldture). The dty is not 
named in Y. 

Of these agreements two (the 2d and 4th) are very signifi- 
cant, and serve at least to show that D was not based on the 
common original (y) of the six versions so far treated. They 
do not prove, however, that D goes back to the French unre- 
lated with these, for there still remains the possibility of a 
connection of D with y through a common M. E. original (x), 
which y does not for these features faithfully reproduce. Yet 
it must be granted that this explanation would seem to 
have little in its favor could not some agreements of D 
with certain members of Fas against the French be shown. 

t published by Varnhagen BBrees hera with tte 




Among theae agreements are: (1) with A Bad C, in canie, 
in that the knight cats out the dog's rygge-boon (D 859) ; m 
the French, he cuts off his head {L 20, " si li cope la teste ") ; 
(2) in aTper, with 0, in that the herd fills hia hood with haws 
\d 945), A, E, B, L, his laps; (3) in Virffiliua, with the entire 
group Y, in that there are only two brothers who bring about 
the overthrow of the image (D 1899) ; L 51, on the contrary, 
"•HI. bachelers"; (4) in vidua, with F, A* 84, in that the 
wife is called on to knock out only two of her husband's teeth 
(Z> 2592); according to A, At, E, B, C, all are knocked out; 
Bee also D* 39, iovleB les dens ; (5) in inelusa, (a) with the 
entire group Y, in the substitution of Hungary for the Mon- 
bergier of A* 89, K, as the laud whence the knight conies {D 
2787), (b) with E, F in the substitution of Poyle for the 
illogical Hungary of the French {A* 89, K) as the land into 
which the knight finally comes {D 2805), and (c) with F in 
the additional detail, that the earl had been warre<I against 
for two years {D 2849). 

But here it is possible that theae agreements were accidental. 
Furthermore, inasmuch as the ultimate O. F. original of the 
M. E. versions has in al) probability been lost,' it may be 
argued that those features in which D and other M, E. 
versions are in accord aa contrasted with the Old French may 
have been just those in which their common original varied 
from the known O. F. manuscripts. Hence no final conclu- 
sion may he had from this quarter. 

There remains the evidence of phraseolf^y and of rime, and 
it is in this that we have a final proof of the error of Wright's 

The following are some of the parallel passages revealed by 
a comparison of A and E with D.' Others might be cited, 
but these Tvill suffice for the purpose. 

' .See the section devoted to a atiidy of the source of the M. E. Tereiona. 
'Where A is fragmeatary, E has been selected in prefereoce to Ar, aitice 
■r is also largely fragmentary. 

1 78 KILLIB CAMPBELL. ^^^^^^H 

r D. 


Sum tyme |>ere was an Emperonre, ^^M 

^^ A ram o! swjth mikil hanur. 

That ladde hys iyfe wilh moche ^H 

honowre. ^^M 

Hi/s Tuaae vxa Diodician. ^^H 


(3-5) H 

1 Uppon his Bone that was bo bolde. 

The chylde wax to 'Tii- yere oide. ^^M 

r And was bot sevene wjntur olde. 

Wyae of apeche ande dedys boide. ^M 


(15-16) H 

The emperour for-th(^ht sore 

Hj8 ffadyr was olde and ganne to ^H 

1 Tha the child ware setle lo lore. 

hoore, ^H 

Eia Bone thoo he eette to lore. ^H 


(19-20) H 

Wbilk of thajm he myght talie 

To liem he thought his Bone lake ^^| 

HjH eone a wyes man ta make. 

Forto knowe the letters blacke. ^H 


(23^24) H 

1 The thirde a leoe man was. 

The -iii- mayster was a lyght man. ^M 



And waa callid Lentulua. 

His name was callyd lentylloUB. ^H 

Hee aayed to the emperour thus. 

He Bayde a-non to the kyng. ^^| 


(54-6} ^1 

And er ther paese thre and fyve, 

Uppon payne of lemys and Iyfe, ^^M 

1 Tf he have wjt and hia on lyve, 

I bhalle teche h;m in yerya -y: ^H 


(5^0) H 

' And inred man he was, 

The -iiii' mayster a rednusn was. ^^1 

And waa callid Maladaa. 

Men hym caliyd Malqoydraa. ^H 

1 (61-2) 

(61-62) ^H 

The sevent mayiater auswerd thus. 

The -vii' mayster hette Maxioua, ^M 

And was hoten MarciuB. 

A ryght wyse man and a yertuous. ^H 


(99-100) ^H 



' Erermore wil he wooke, 

Whan maiiUr him Ul, anolher Mm ^H 

When on Inwfo, anothir looke. 



He was ever upon hie bok. ^H 

f (159-60) 

(139-90) ^1 

BjGtod, maiflter, I am noght dronkan, 

Other ich am of wine dronke, ^H 

L Yf the rofe hie nouEt aonken. 

Other the firmament is i-Bonke. ^M 



1 Hym byfel a barde caea. 

Ac Bone hem fil a feili cae. ^^| 


(222) ■ 

And to have anothir wyf, 

Yelibbethanaiengelif: ^1 

1 For to Jedde with thy lif. 

Te eholde take a gentil wif. ^H 



(227-3) H 



Hit is thi tone, and thin alt; 

A ■»!? child, iod a hir. 

^^^^^ESS<{K«E«n«n^ mya. 

For Ihi <ODe 1 tel mine. 

■ 2hRMl«lfa.dMlliy^ 

Aiie uri oil li-u dofl line. 

F (asT-70) 


■ 3to«vl.<q^it.«illa., 

^^^ -FbrnditlutluswQodiren: 


^^^^^ Tliai^im uke mainel bodc 


^^^H WhUhnbaHodoB, 

How tbu we nisi best don. 

^^V The dilde aniwad ther be Mood, 

Than s^de Ibe Khild, Saoni hil. 

^^^^ " I wyk gyf son aonDsd goad ; 

Ich you right wil coDDSpil, 

This seren daies I n'el nort ipeke; 

I Thmtlnegrf DO>i>nrar«; 

Kowt a word of mi mowht breke; 

I (360-S, 368-71) 


1 Itcbalnnclhjljfmdaje. 

I schal tbe wamtti o dai. 

1 (381) 


1 Thos they were at on alle. 

With this word, thai beo alle 

^^^^ And wenten Bgajen into the halle. 

^^^ (3SS-9) 


^^^^H By bym that made sone mnd mone. 

I swere bi soooe and hi mone 

With me ne hadde be never to done. 

^^H (464-5) 


^^H "KysiDe,yfthyw7llebee. 

Ke» me, leman, and loue me, 

^^H Alle mj lyfe hys 1«^ od the." 

And I Ihi s^et »!I i-be. 

^^V (474^) 


■ Oaiid to him a comeotonr. 

r (509) 


I Ako mole bylide the 

Ase wel mot hit like the 

^^^^ A« dyde the fyne sppnl-lre. 

Als dede the pinnote Ire. 

^^M (5S2-3) 


Than seide mauler Bancillaa, 

^^^^^1 "A I sire emperour, slu 1 " 

Sire, that were now a sori caa. 

^^H (SSg-9) 


^^H ADd hir clothe, al to-reot, 

Th' emperonr saide, I fond hire to- 

^^H Afie the thef wold Mr have ibeDl. 


Hire her, and hire face i-«chent; 

^^B (700-1) 


^^^^^H Tbil knave keat hym fruyt y-Dowe, 

He test the bor doun hawea anowe 

^^^^H And clam B-doaae fra boagh to bofbe. 

And com hiroielf doun bi a bowe. 

^^H (972-4) 


^^^^H Aitd rent bya wombe with the knyf, 

The herd thon. with bis long kni/ 

^^^^H And bynam the bore bjg lyl. 

Biraft the bor nt hU llr. 

^^^H (9S2-3} 


^^^^^H "A 1 ure," quod majBter Ancilles, 

Than saide mai«ter Ancilles, 

^^^^^H " G!od almighty send us pees ! " 

For aod«a lote, aire, bold thi pea. 

^^H (lOlS-9) 



That 58 bytyde swilk a cas On the lalle swich a cas 

Ab bytjde Ypocraa, Ala fll oo Ypocras the gode clerk, 

That slow hjB cosyn vithouten gjlt. Tbat alow hU neveu with fnla werk. 
(1026-8) (90i-6) 

With my tordefor to play, WUh mi lovtrdfor to plai ; 

An d love mix bytwen UB twej. And so he dede, ronai a, dai. 

(1100-1) (1083-4) 

OppoD a day thay went to pleye, So bifel upon a dai 

He and hys cosyn ihaj Iwey. He and his neveu yede U) plai. 

(1118-9) (llia-4) 

And mad hym njry, and spendid And heren bit horn wel on hast, 

faste, And maden hem large whiles hit 
Al the wylle that hit wolde laste. last. 

He that lokyd the treaour, Acaorewe aros that 
Gome a day into the (onr. 

And kattilkht gird of min kevid, 

But thou me in lets, ich wille telle, 
Ich nille me dreachen in the welle. 

Have womman to pleie arij^ht, 
Yif ye wil be hoi aplight. 

Ich moate have som other lovel 
Nai, dowter, for God ahovel 

Who might that yraage fel adoun, 
He wolde him j If his w 

Bot hiat^ieh amyt af tny hede. 

Byfore the dore, as I gow telle, 
Thare was a mykyl deppe welle. 

To do thy wyl by a-night, 
Yf I schal helle the aryght. 

Now be alakys to lygge above ; 
1 wyl have another love. 

Br the mjrronr be broght a-doune, 
And than gyf na oure warrysoun. 

And Bayed, we wyte, eire emperour, 
About this cite gret tresour. 

(1932^) {2049-50) 

And dolryn a Iftyl withinne the And ther thai doluen in thegrondej 

gniiinde, A riche forcer ther thai founds. 

And the trasonr was sone founde. 

(1952-3) (2079-80) 

The ton sayed, sire emperour. Than eaide the elder to the emperonr, 

Undir the pyler that berys merour, Undertheymagethathaltthemirour. 

(2002-3) (2091-2) 

Gladlich, sayed scho, Bletheliche, sire, bo mot ich the, 

The bettyr jf hyt wylle bee. Bo that ye wolde the belter be. 

(2287-8). (2337-8) 

And hadde seven clerkya wyse, He hadde with him seveo wise. 

(2293) (2313) 

^^^^H THE SEVES SAGES. 81 ^^M 

^^^^H WIio so anoT cwevene hy iifght, 

That who that mette a gweven anight, ^^| 

^^^^H monte «rhen the daj was brvghL 

He sdiolde come amorewe, aplighL ^^M 

^^H (2296-7) 

(2^9-50) ^H 

The emperour him ladde anon, ^^M 

^^^^P InU) the chambvr Ihi; gonne gone; 

^^^H (2339-40) 

(24-53-4) ^M 

^^^H ffyivxua tnyght, a ridic tehyrete, 

Sire, he saide, Ihou might Die leue, ^^H 

^^^^1 That iras lot hys wyf to greve. 

Hiiama knight, a rieht leherreut, ^H 

^^^H He sate a dave b; hjs »vf. 

So, on a dai, bim and his wif ^H 

^^H And in bys honde belde a knyf. 

Was i-yooen a newe knif; ^H 


(2563-4, 25«9-70) ^H 

^^^^H Bot sayed for non vrorldlya wjne 

Tho teaedi eaide, for no wenne, ^^M 

^^^^H Schalde no man pane bom a-twyne. 

Sche ne wolde nener wende thenne. ^^M 


(25S1--2) H 

^^^^^H In hyr hooDd scho took a sloon, 

Than wU ich, she saide, and lok a ^H 

^^^H And knockyd out t»a teth anoon 1 

Bton, ^H 

And Bmot hem ont enerichon. ^^M 


(2713-4) ^H 



^^^H Made to fle nith hya boste 

And made more Doyee and boste ^^H 

^^^^^1 Thre kyngys and hare hoste. 

Xhenne wolde a kyng and hys hoste. ^^M 

^^H (2732-3) 

(2812-3) ^M 

^^^^P The knjgbl [hat met tbat Bweven at 

And BOO there come rydyng thya ^^M 

^^^ nyght 


r Of that lady was so bright, . . . 

That bad Booght the lady bryghte. ^^M 

1 Byght a Ijtjl fram the loiire 

He lokyd uppe into the toiire, ^^H 

h Tbsre wsa the lady of honour, 

And eay that Udy bg white as fiowre; ^H 

^^^■^ Asdate thewyndowthelady hesee. 

And anon, as he byr say, ^^M 

^^H (2822-3, 2S26~7, 2831) 

(2914^) ^M 

^^^^^ He bytoke aodyr bya bond. 

And toke hym hys goodys in-to hya ^^M 

^^^^^ A-nd made hym itymtrde of al hyt londt. 


^^^^H Oppon a day be went to playe. 

And made hym ilywarde oayr oUe Ayi ^^H 

^^^^H Undir the tour he made hys naye. 

lande. ^H 

So oppon a day, will nioche bonoure, ^^M 

The knyght come playnge by the ^^M 

^^^H (2S69-72) 

(2944-7) ^M 

^^^^1 Lenand to the mykyi tonre, 

To make a chambyr byfore the toure ^H 

^^^^1 To do in hys tresoar. 

That may ben for my honoure. ^^M 

^^^^1 Thotow a q weynlyae he Ihout to wyne 

Thenne thought he uppon sum qaent ^H 

^^^H The lady that waa loke there-inne. 

gyune ^H 

Howe be myght to that lady wynne, ^^1 

^^^B (2895-8) 

(2962-3, 296a-9) ^M 

^ J 


OppoQ ft da; atjlle as Btoou 
Be Bent eft^r masoiu anoon. 

And Bale stille and mnde hjm glade, 
Altd thus bjs wyf made hym made. 

Into Flecie when he was comen, 
Ner hytfadir hys in was nome. 
To mele when he was redy to gon. 
After hjB fadir he sent i 


The knvght toke workemen a-uon, 
Aud made a chamber of Ijine and 

And bade hjm ete and be glnd, 
And euyr he «at as he were mad. 

Amorowe the kyng ihedyr came, 
And wilh hytfadyr hys in he name. 
He and hjH barony s euerycbone 
Wente to mele vith hym a-non. 


It is impossible to account for these agreements as mere 
coincidences, or as flowing from a translation from the same 
O. F. source. Some of them may indeed be, and doubtless 
are, due to the often stereotyped style, or the fondness for like 
epithets or collocations which characterize the M. E. romance ; 
but all of them cannot be so explained. They warrant this 
assumption alone, that D and y are related either through 
the derivation of one from the other, or through a common 
M. E, original. 

And inasmuch as D cannot have been based on y or on any of 
the texts which have developed from it, since in all the latter 
some of the O, F. features are lacking which are preserved in 
D,—oT, conversely, y on D, in view of the very many inde- 
pendent variations of the latter where y is faithful to the 
French, we can only conclude that both y and D go back to 
the same lost M. E. version x. 

We may accordingly sum up our results as to D as follows : 

(1) it is remarkably free, and exbibita many unique variations; 

(2) it does not represent an independent translation from the 
Fi-ench, but is connected with at least six other M. E. versions 
through a common M. E. source ; (3) this source was not the 
same as the more immediate common original of these six 
versions (y), but was a version one or more stages nearer the 
Old French. 


As. — The Asloan version is at present inaccessible in the 
original manuscript,' and, as only about 200 lines of it have 
been printed,' any discussion of its relations must be very 
unsatisfactory. We may be permitted, however, to bring to- 
gether the few facts which are known about it, and to draw 
from these such conclusious as their evidence may justify. 

From the descriptions which have appeared, it is established 
that As, so far as it is not fragmentary, preserves the usual 
M. E, order of stories, but that beyond this it is, in many respects, 
extremely free. The names of the sages are much garbled, 
and they vary in the introductory enumeration from their 
form in the stories themselves. They are, moreover, in no 
case close to those of any version now in print, or to those of 
the remaining M. E. manuscripts. 

Avis, too, the story which has been printed, exhibits very 
radical variation from other versions, both textually and as 
regards incident. There are apparent no significant agree- 
ments in rime or phraseology with any other M. E. version, 
while two uew epiaodes,' well-knowu in other collections, but 
otherwise foreign to the Seven Sages, are woven info the narra- 
tive. And there are other variations, besides, such as the intro- 
duction of the wife's mother as a go-between, and mention of 
the bui^ess's name — first AniiabiU, later Balan. 

But none of these serves to shed any light on the question 
of relationship. All the new features of As, as compared with 
the remaining M. E. versions and the accessible Romance ver- 
sions, are peculiar to it, and hence afford no grounds for deter- 
mining its connections. 

' As ttlread.y stated in my " Word of Introdnction " (p. 2), Lord Talbot ds 
Malahide declined to permit my coaaoltiag tbii m&nuscrjpt. Bis reasona 
for doing bo are, I rniderstaild, the aame Bg those given by certain other 
poBseaaors of valnable M. E, niHiiuBcriptB, for which I beg to refer to Dr. 
FnmiTJill, Ttmporary Fref. to tin Siz-Texi Ed., Chaucer Soc., 1868, Ft. I, p. 6. 

'In a eootribntion by Prof. Varnhagen (Englitche Slttdien, xiv, p. 
321 f.), who will edit the leit for the Scottish Text Society. 

•See Enylitche Sliidicn, XXV, p. 322. 



Prof. Varnhageu claims that As was made directly from 
some O. F. version,' and the lack of textual agreement between 
it and other M, E. versions in the story avis may seem to offer 
some support to this view, — but by no means necessarily, since 
it is evident that the author of As worked very independently.* 
And that the evidence offered by Varnhagen in support of his 
claim, viz., the agreement in order of stories with the O. F. 
j4*-type, is not adequate, he himself, I believe, will concede 
on reconsideration. 

3, Authorship of the Middle English Versions. 

It has been assumed in the preceding chapter that the Eng- 
lish original {x) of the seven M, E. manuscripts A, Ar, E, B, F, 
C, and D, has l)eeu lost. It remains to inquire when, where, 
and by whom this original was made. For this purpose we 
unfortunately have almost no data at all, and can only resort 
to indirections to find directions out. 

(1) For the determining the date of x the Auchinleck MS, 
{A) is of first importance. This manuscript dates from around 
the year 1330 ; this, then, must be the superior limit for the 
dating of y. And since, as has been shown, A was not derived 
directly from y, but rests in all probability on a lost manuscript 
r, which may have been based on y directly or through an inter- 
vening manuscript, and since, moreover, it is highly credible 
that A had already been composed some time before the Auch- 
inleck copy was made, it is not probable that the date of y 
would fall later than the beginning of the fourteenth century. 

And inasmuch, now, as y cannot have been this parent vei-sion, 
since D, though closely akin to it, was neither based immedi- 
ately on it nor on any of its derivatives, but was connected with 
it through a common source, which source we may assume lo 
be either identical with, or based directly on, the translation 

' Ibid., xsv, p. 322. 

' F offers even more radical varialioa from other M. E. veraiouB in eome 
of its BlorieB thai) does As in ai>t<. 

TBi: ^:rEX sag^ 

fioa tbe Frendk, it is neoeasur to kss^ to Me [Hrent v«i^ 
■CB a date be&n d>e yea 1300. The yMr 1275 woaM, it 
a bc&rad, npRB^ a GODBCrradve ooigcBtim. 

(2) Available nuternl for tfajfrmiaiiig Ac place of transla- 
tioB of tidi parent text iascnevliat more salisbctoiy. Oftbe 
entire gimp of sev^ versons wludt have been shown to be 
baaed on z, onir one is in tbe Nortbero dia]«ct, and tbis ( C) 
is of cmnpaiativdy Ute dtae. One other (i>) brfoogs to the 
soath-east Midland, wbile the rest (-4, Jr, E,B,F) beloug to 
tbe Soath, — a &ct whi<^ well justifies ihe assumption that x 
was also Sootheni. Fiirthenuore, inasmuch as three of thrae 
▼OBions (A, Ar, E) possess ouu-bed Kentidi features, and two 
otfaera [B, F) show a Kend^ infiueoce, but less marked, we 
seem Justified in a farther restriction to the tadrrn South — 
Kent or its neighborhood — as the home of the pai^it text. It 
is further confirmatory of this view that jnst those versions 
(Ar, E) which are most faithful to x are most distinctly 

(3) But while we are thus justified in indulging ia conject- 
ore as to the time and place of composition of x, in tbe mat- 
ter of itB anthorship we have no grounds for such an indulgence. 
The nature of the subject might establish a slight probability 
in favor of lay authorship, but not at all necessarily ; and the 
same is true of the reference to priests, in tenlamirw. and avis, 
as adulterate lovers, — especially siuce in the only story in 
which it is a constant feature (tentomtna), it was also iu (be 
Old French ; so that, in respect to this aide of the jiroblem 
in hand, we have, for the present at least, aud probably for all 
time, to content us with absolute ignorance. 

With regard to the authorship of the texts which have been 
preserved, we are equally at a loss for definite information. 

An ingenious and praiseworthy effort has been made by Dr. 
Kolbiug to demonstrate a community of authorship for the 
A-text and the Auchinleok texts of the Arthur and Merlin, 

'The dialect ofD — Bouthenal Midlind — also offers Biip[jort W lliis viovf. 


Kyng AlUaunder, and Richard Coer de Xiom/' but without 
iDeaning to discredit his coDclusions in general, it is necessary, 
we regret to say, to reject them in so far as they concern the 
Seven 8age». Kolbing's ai^uraent ia made on the basis of 
features (rime, lauguage, etc.) exclusively, or almost exclu- 
sively, peculiar to these poems. The only part of his argu- 
ment which holds is that which concerns the expletives cert 
and vair. These appear only in the jl-text, being either orig- 
inal with it, or, if in y, having been displaced in the remaining 
texts by other rimes. On the other hand, of the 18 rimes 
which Kolbing cites* (one of which, 2803—4, batatUe: mer- 
vaUe, should be cancelled, since it is taken from C), a com- 
parison with the remaining members of Fshows 12 to reapi)ear 
in the corresponding lines in Ar, 9 in E, etc. The evidence 
to which Kolbing attaches most importance, that of certain 
textual agreements between Arthur and Merlin (1201 f.) and 
A (2389 f.),' is liliewise not valid, as is manifest from the 
following parallel comparison of these passages wither and 
E, Compare 

' Herlin in te atrete )>o plejd, ' On a dai )>ai com Rr Merlin pleid, 

And on of hie felawei him trujd.' And on of his felawes him tndd.' 

(A. M. 1201-2). [A 2389-80). 


' Bo t>ei come t>eir )* child played, 'Thenne come they thorowe h»ppe 
Andanof hisfelaweBhjmbjtrayed.' there he playde, 

One of his felowys hym myBsayde.' 
(,Ar 1511-2). (E 2437-3). 

Compare further, as against his citation of 

'Foule schrewe fram oub go I ' 'And cleped him schrewe faderles.' 

' piya haat ysejd to loude t>i roun.' 'Al to loude l>i)U apuk fi latiD.' 

pat hat" me sougt al Hs ger.' ' pat han me sought al fram Rcme.' 
(A. M. 1204, 18, 20). {A 2392, 6, 8). 

MrfAtir B-itd Merlin, Leipzig, 1890, p. ls f. 


the following from Ar and Ei 

'And clepjd bym schrewe foderlese.' 'And calde the chjlde fadjrlea.' 

' To loude (>0Q spake iif latyn.' 

' tMt haue me sonst fro gret Borne.' ' That have rought me fro Borne.' 

{At 1514, 18, 20). {E 2440, 0). 

From these it is evident that any inference as to A^B author- 
ship made on this basis will apply equally as well to Ar and 
E. Accordingly the parallels pointed out by Kolbing must 
either be explained as accidental, or as traceable either to an 
inBuence of Arthur and Merlin on the source of A, Ar, and E, 
or, conversely, of some one of these on the Arthur and Merlin, 

4, Source of the Middle English Versions. 

The question of the ultimate source of the M. E. versions 
has, to all intents and purposes, been settled by Petras.' We 
need only present here his general argument and his conclu- 
eion, inserting where deemed exjiedient additional proofs, and 
adding here and there details which he has omitted. 

But first of all it ift necessary to state that such expressions 
(which Petras [p. 32] inclines to accept as evidence) aa A 2771, 
'So seigh |je rime" (to which add 7^*1690, 'as sey)' pe ryme') 
proves nothing, for by a like reasoning we might, on tlie basis 
of Ar 1906, ' as it sai]j in latyn,' prove a Latin source for the 
M. E. versions. It is not on such formulae that the pre- 
sumption in favor of a metrical original of the lost M. E. 
original must repose; this must rather rest on the fact that 

' See hiB dissertalion, p. 31 f. Ouf investig&tioQ muaC difier from hie, 
howerer, iu that we are concerned only with the source of the parent ver- 
doD, X {Ai being disrefarded], while Petras has assumed each of four ver- 
sions {A, 0, ^, D) to be independent translationa from the French, Since, 
however, he begins with the aaaumption that the same O. F, version was 
the source of all these, his atgnment is essentially the same as ours. 

'References to source in the M. E. versions are nomeroua: A 317, 1245, 
2786, 2770; Ar 1900, 190«, 2206, 2261, 2442; £1253,2779,2784,3446; 
B 295, 123a ; F 928, 1633, 1690, 1973 ; C 623, 1324 ; D 1385, 1520, 2690, 


this original (a;) was itself in verse, and, hence probably made 
from a metrical text, — and that this does not permit of any 
definite conclusion it is hardly necessary to add. 

It is not improbable, however, that this original of x was, 
like itself, composed of octosyllabic couplets, and it is needless 
to state that it was in the French language. 

There exist three O, F. metrical versions, — the Dolopatkos, 
the Keller text (K), and the fragmentary version C*. The 
first of these, the Dohpathos, must, for obvious reasons, play 
no part in this investigation. The unique version i>* should, 
however, since it represents a prosing of a lost metrical ver- 
sion, receive equal attention with -ffand C*.' 

The only one of this group which has ever been proposed 
as a possible source of the M. E. versions is K; but a com- 
parison of the two types as regards order of stories* reveals a 
considerable difference between them, only ten stories (1, 2, 4, 
6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15) having the same position in each, 
Snch a comparison, however, while bearing with it much 
weight, can in no wise be accepted as determining, as it would 
be quite natural for the redactor, or even the translator, to 
change about the stories at will, either with artistic purpose or 
with a view to making his source less apparent. Hence the 
safest test of relationship should be from the consideration of 
content, rather than of order of stories. And it is on this basis 
that Petras's comparison has been made. The Cotton-Auchin- 
leck {C-A), or Weber, text he finds to contain only 4fiO lines 
which could be possible translations from the Keller test.* 
And since the latter contains over 5000 lines, it is not probable 
that even numerous intermediate redactions could have made 
such a difference. Besides this, there are many variations in 
incident, all which unite in making it extremely improbable 
that K was used by the English translator. 

' For the Dalopalh 

France and haly." 

' For the order of stories in I 
oar companitiTe table od pa 
See p. 33 of bis diaaertatioo. 

K, O* and D*, see the chapter on "The Romance 
ariooa Bub-tfpea of the Weatem group, 


The iragmentary text C*, though difFeriog somewhat from 
Km order of stories, seems, nevertheless, to be much nearer 
to it than it is to the Eoglish. 

The prose version D", representiog & lost metrical version 
V, exhibits still less agreement with the M. E. type, and 
possesses many unique features. In the content of its stories, 
however, it is comparatively close to K, so that in denying 
the claims for it, the legitimacy of any claim for Z>* is also 

K, C*, and i>* having been eliminated from the problem, it 
is necessary to conclude that the O. F. original, if metrical, 
has been lost. It remains to show whether or not the M, E. 
parent test was based on any of the prose texts which have 
come down to us, or, at least, which one of them nearest 
approximates the lost original. 

The most widely known of the prose versions, the Historia, 
must be ruled out at once, since Paris has shown that the 
earliest date which can be given it is around the year 1330, 
or some time after the composition of the derivative M. E. 
version A. Other circumstances, such as the order of stories, 
the introduction of avuitorea, and the amicus-legead, as well 
as the fusion of Homa and senesealcus, together with its many 
modern touches, all unite in invalidating any claim ibr H. 

The Seala Coeli (S) also exhibits many features at variance 
with the M. E. type, and its two new stories,_^Mi and noverca, 
are sufficient to exclude it from the list of possibilities. 

Likewise the first Lerous de Lincy (L) version, although 
it agrees very closely with the Middle English versions for 
the first eleven stories, caiiuot be considered their source, 
since it also contains the stories ^ia aud noverca. 

Nor to the Veraio Ifalica does there attach any more proba- 
bility, its distinguishing feature — the reversal of the order 
of stories — finding no parallel even in French, 

There remains group A*, or the family represented by the 
second text of the Leroux de Lincy edition. A presumption 
in favor of some member of this family is at once established 


in the fact that it has the same order of stories as the M. E. 
group. This circumstance has led Paris and others to see in 
this group the source of the M. E. texts, but no explicit claim 
has been made as to which one of the ^'-manuscripts served 
as this original, though Petras has made a detailed investiga- 
tion with a view to arriviug at some definite conclusion.^ 

The results which Petras reaches,^ however, are wholly 
negative. He shows in the first place that ms. 6849 [new 
No. 189] of the BibIioth6que Nationale, which EIHb had 
su^iested as the probable source of the M, E. versions, is not 
even a possible source, but belongs to group L. He next 
endeavors to show that the Leroux de Lincy text of A* (the 
only one of the O. F. manuscripts of this type yet published) 
is not as close to the M. E, versions as are some of the 
unpublished manuscripts belonging to this family. Among 
the latter, he finds the MS. 4096, Laval. 13, to be nearest 
to the M, E. versions; thus, by way of illustration, where i, 
A* call the seventh sage Merons, this manuscript names him 
MeGmmSy which approximates the M. E. Maxencim much 
more closely. Despite this fact, however, he is not willing to 
concede that this text was the source of the M. E. group, but 
maintains that the latter had its basis in a lost manuscript 
which is connected with the former through a common lost 

And in this conclusion Petras is probably correct, — and 
assuredly so as regards the Leroux de Lincy text, as is estab- 
lished by certain features, which are not in A*, but which the 
M. E. texts have in common with Kand other O. F. versions. 
A few of these are the following : (1) in i&niamina, A, C read 
graif bitch = K 2604, blanche leuriere; L {A* 45), only une 
leurih~e; (2) in Vtrgilius, L (A* 51) has lost the feature of 
Vergil's casting images also for the east and west gates of 
Rome, which has been preserved in K 3960 f. and the M. E. 
group; (3) in vaiicinium, the child, when discovered alone on 
the island, has had nothing to eat for /our days in E, S, C, 

' Petras, p. 37 f. *lbid., p. 44. 


and ir4725 ; A* 99 and D*, only three days. These suffice 
to indicate the result which would follow from a detailed 

In view of this conclusiou, the problem of the source of the 
M. £. parent text must, so far as a specific source is cod- 
cemed, remain for the present unsolved. Examination of <iU 
^^-manuscripts will doubtless bring us nearer to the truth, 
and, it is hoped, settle the questiou. 

II (6.) Sixteenth Centurt/ and Chap-book VersioTis. 

Under this head fall the WjTikyn de Worde version and 
the many chap-books founded on it, the lost Copland text, and 
the Holland metrical versiou, — all which fall together into cue 
distinct group apart from the M. E. group. 

1. The Wynkyn de Worde text is in prose. Its date is not 
definitely known ; in the British Museum catalogue it is 
entered as 1520, though Hazlitt (Handbook, p. 660) gives it 
a dating fifteen years earlier. Only one copy of the Original 
text has been preserved, and that is imperfect. A reprint 
made by Gomme for the Villon Society (1885) makes the text 

This version seems to have been the first prose version made 
in English, and, as already noted, it can in no way be related 
with the M. E. metrical versions which antedate it. In length 
alone the contrast is sufficiently striking to justify a serious 
doubt as to any immeiliate relationship between them, the 
prose version comprising 180 pages in Gomme's edition. It 
is based on some member of the HUloria family — probably a 
Latin ' rather than an O, F. text. As a translation of H it 

TAe Eietory of the S. W. M, of Borne, London, 1885. A few pages misaiag 
from the Wjakyn de Worde text are supplied from a chap-book version 
printed in 1671. 

' Oracsse enumerates a half-dot«a or more prints between 14S3 and 149S, 
any one of which maj have served as the basis of this version. 



is comparatively close, though it abridges at times, and also 
makes occasional iudependeDt additions.' 

2, The Wynkyn de Worde edition served as the basis of a 
second prose edition, attributed to the printer Copland, which 
has been lost. The superscription to this edition, which alone 
has been preserved, agrees almost word for word with that 
of the Wyniiyn de Worde edition, and it is more than 
probalile, as Buchner suggests,' that it is only a repriut of it. 
The date of the Copland text is variously placed between 1548 
and 1561. 

3. The Rolland version is a very long poem written in 
heroic couplets, and in the Scottish dialect. The original edi- 
tion bears the date 1578, but Laing has shown it to be probable 
that its composition dates from the year 1560. It seems to 
have been very popular in its day, undergoing at least five 
editions {1590, 1592, 1599, 1606, 1620) in little more than 
half a century after its first publication, A modern reprint 
was edited by Laing for the Bannatyne Club in 1837. 

Sundry conjectures as to the source which Rolland employed 
have been made. Laing maintained that he used either the 
Copland print, or some O. F, or Latin taxt of H. Petras, 
who did not know of the Wynkyn de Worde version, and who 
makes the Rolland version his "Redaction C," investigated 
the question at some length,* and concluded in favor of the 
O. F, translation of H ss Rolland's original.* But that 
neither of these views is correct, and that the Rolland text 
was the rather based on the Wynkyn de Worde version, has 
been conclusively proved by Buchner in his dissertation in the 
Drlanger Beitrage, V, p. 93 f. This he established by show- 
ing that where there are differences between the three versions — 
^(either Latin or French), the Wynkyn de Worde, and the 
Rolland — the last two are in almost every instance in accord 


'Bee Buchner, Erlang. BtUr. 
'Erlang. Beilr., v, 
' The second text 

p. 95. 

'See hU diaBertation, p. 47 f. 
Dttix Bidaetum. Its date ia 1402. 


with eadi other. A large namber of textual pimdleb be- 
tween the two 1^ngli.«A versions are cited in farther soppoct 
of this. 

(4) The "Rnglish diap-book versicHis merit hot little atten- 
tion. They have been nmnerotis, hot of poor qnalitj, the 
latar versions especially having detmorated firom the original. 
In some of these, new stories have been introdooed, and in 
almost all of them the old stories have been abridged — in 
some of them, so as to be scarcelj more than cfHtomes of their 
prototypes. That they were very pc^mlar fi>r a loi^ time, 
howerer, is indicated by the £Eict that the Britidi Moseom 
alone contains at least twelve various prints, one of which 
pnrpmiB to have reached its twenty-fifth edition. Another 
was published at Boston in 1794, — the most leoent at War- 
rington in 1815. 

All veroons of the diap-bo^ g^Nip contain the distinctive 
features of J31 They doubtless go back to the Wynkyn de 
Worde, or to the Copland, text. 

In addition to the four verrions or groups already d€»cribed, 
there is eYideoee that there once exisud another sixteenth cen- 
tury versi<Hi, whidb, like the Copland text, has not survived. 
This is a dramadc version, bearing the title Th/e Saxn Wue 
JLuuUrn of Bz/me^ wbkh is meotif/oiid in Heni^we's Diary* as 
havii^ beien made by Dekker, Chettle, Ha^gbton, and Day, 
and as havii^ l^een acted at I»odon in March, Iddd-IQOO. 
'So later nfAusfi fX iXa pr«i«K!Otation has been pointed out, bow- 
ever, and it vi a]u>$pab^ yx'^iaX^ft thm the work was lost 
without undet^goin^ i^ihiifoitUm/ 

^ £1 OAtkr, fyjfi^m, 7W/, ^. 1^, )^. IM «W/ Um J^rmmMe Wwk$ 

*TU: *«uv«uw«>^ ^A ih^ j*«* k^U^ iteft^fm tA^MA iJ«^/ ioctttie fteCer- 

wmo/arym V/ h. ^IW k^U^ iji^i^^Utt ^/UU^if* m^^nX ntcnAmm id ikm 



[CoDUining the Btorj mediem according to Ar (1-228), i 
of the correBpondiDg lines in A, E, B, C, . 

ith B tabni&don 

Hys comaundement )»ei dide be-lyve. 
]>aue wex \ieif moehci stry ve 
Be-tuen kynge and baroD, 
ffor ]te Empwowr wold sole his son, 
5 ]»e Empcrou?' hym nold save. 

He lete a-iione to spoile |'at knaue, 
And with scourges hya body swynge ; 
To foul dethe thei wold bym brynge. 
A-none after that, god it wote,* 

10 He bade hem to hange hym fote bote. 
With scourges jjei dide hym swynge, 
To foull de]ie jiei wold bym brynge, 
He was lade for{?e with-oute pite 
liorouj-oute all [lat fai? cite ; 

16 ]>ei? be-gan a rewfull cry 
Of many gentyll lady. 
All J>e folke oute of Rome 
A-jeyne pat gentyll child come. 
Waleway, ]>ei saide, vaith wronge 

20 Schali ]>i8 child nowe be honge. 
Ryjt a-mydward pat ilke pres 
Come rydynge Masilles, 
And be sawe pat rewfull cas; 
Hys second master foraope he was 

25 Hya acole? to heipe and to rede 
All pe folke to hym pei bede ; 
A-none to court be gan ryde, 
And viiih pe Empecoitr in reson oblde 
fiPonde to let pe Empecowr wronge 

30 pat hia son be noujt an-hange. 

'Thie line ia repeated after I, 12, bot is erased. 


Swyfie fast fro jie foike he rode, — 

His palfray a-none to pe paleys glode: 

]>o come he by-fo? ]>e 'Emperour, 

And grete hym fai? v/ith hoEOwr, 

J>e emperour by hym sty II stode, 

And by-helde hym with stcren mode 

he saide to hym, " master, jjou haue 

Jie cora of god for techyng of ]m knaue, 

je haue by-iiorae my sone his spech ; 

]>& devyll of hell I |'e be-tech, 

Thyn felows and ]>o\i be my swye? ! 

je echull haue lytyli hye?." 

" O Syr Emperour, kuyjt of prys, 

In dedes ]jou achold be wa? and wyse. 

It is no wysdome no lyuys hale 

To by-!eue no womans tale. 

Mo? to harme pane to note 

A womans bolt ia son schote, 

ffor jef ]joii sclest hym, I be-sech 

On ]>i heued fall Jiat ilke wrech 

Jiat fell on Ypocras, |>e good clerk, 

J»at Bclewe his scole? Jjorouj fals werk." 

" Maste*-, I pray ]>e, tell j^at caa 

Of ])at clerke Ypocras." 

" Sy?, pis tale is noujt lyte ; 

ffor jef pou wyllt jef py son respyt, 

A-for to-morowe day lyjt, 

I wyll pe tell a-none ryjt, 

A-jenst pe lawe, with grete wowe, 

How Ypocras his nefew sclowe." 

" I jeue liym respyt," said pe Empfl'our, 

And saide auone witA-oute soiou?, 

Mon Bchold a-jeyne feeche his son. 

And put hym in-to prison. 

pe chyld was broujt oute of pe ton 

Wt't/i well grete procession. 



)?o he cam to )?at hall, 

He a-loutede J?e barons all ; 

And in to prison y-put he was. 
70 Now tell we forJ?e of Ypocras. 

iy?," saide Mazillas, "paramour, 

Ypocras was a clerke of grete honnour ; 

Of lechcraft was none his pe? 

Neuer jit in J?is londe he?. 
75 He hade with hym his nefewe 

J7at he schold leren of his vertue. 

He saw J?at child comyng of lo?, 

J?at he nold tech hym no mo? ; 

ffor he t'oujt, and saide also, 
80 J?at he in lo? wold to-fo? hym go. 

J?e childe perseuyd full well, I-wis, 

And hid it full wele in hert his. 

His nefys herte he gan a-spye, 152c. 

When he couj^e all J?e mastrye. 
85 Ypocras gins understonde, 

J^orouj werkes of J^e childes honde, 

]7at he cou)?e all his mastrye. 

He ba? to hym grete envye. 

Sy by-fell apon a J^ynge, 
90 Of hongre J^at ilke kynge, 

Hade seke a son gente ; 

To Ypocras a messenge? sente, 

]7at he schold come his son to hele, 

And haue he schold of gold full a male, 
95 Ipocras wend ne myjt ; 

He clepyd his nefewe anone ryjt. 

And bade hym wende to J?at londe, 

To nyme J^at chylde under honde ; 

And whane he hade so i-do, 
100 He schold come ajeyne hym to. 

]>e child was set on a palfray, 

And rode hym forJ?e on his way. 


J?o he to J?e kynge came 

]>e kynge hym by ye honde name, 
105 And lade hym to )?e seke childe. 

Ihesus cryst to us be mylde ! 

J?at jonge man sawe J?e childes payne, 

He tastes his armes and his veyne ; 

He asked an urynall, as I wene, 
110 And schewed J^at uryn kenge and qwen, 

Of ye childe all god it wyt, 

And saide it was mys-by-get. 

He gan J^e qwene on side drawe, 

And saide, " dame, a-knawe, 
115 What man ha)7e by-gete J^is childe?" 

"Bel amy," scho sayde, "art J^ou wylde? 

Who schold bot ye kynge ? " 

" Dame, say you for no )?ynge. 

He was neue? of kyngges streen." 
120 " Lat," scho saide, " soch wordes ben ; — 

Or I schall do ye bete so, 

}?at J70u schalt neuer ryde no? go." 

" Dame," he saide, " with soch tale, 

yy childe schall neue? be hale. 
125 Tell me, dame, all )?at cas, 

How ye childe by-gete was." 

" Bel amy, saist you so ? " 

"Series, dame," he saide, "no." 152d. 

He schoke his hede upon ye qwene, 
130 And saide, " j'ouj you do me to-scleyne. 

May I noujt do J?y childe bote, 

Bot je me tell hede and rote. 

Of what man he was be-geten." 

" No man," scho saide, " may it weten ; 
135 ffor jef my counseill we? un-hele, 

I schold be sclowe with ryjt skyll." 

" Dame," he saide, " so mot I the. 

No man schall it wyt for me." 


" Syr/' scho saide^ " it so by-fell, 
140 )?i8 o)?er day in Auerell, 

)?e kynge of nauerne come to yis }?ede, 

On fai? hors and in rich wede, 

With my lord for to play, 

And so he dide many a day. 
145 I gan hym son in herte to loue, 

Ouer all }>ynge so god aboue ; 

So )?at for grete drewrye, 

I late ye kynge be me lye ; 

So it was on me by-gete : 
150 Sy?, late no man )?at i-wete/' 

" Nay, madame, for so}?e, i-wys, 

Bot for }?at childe was gete a-mys. 

He mot both drynke and ete 

Contrarious drynke and contrarious mete, 
155 ffresch beef and drynke }?e bro}?e/^ 

He jaf a-none }?e child forsoj^e. 

)?e childe was heled fai? and wele. 

ye kynge hym jaf many jewell, 

A wer hors i-charged with sWuer and gold, 
160 A Is moch as he nyme wold. 

He dide hym for}?e a-none ryjt, 

And come home in )?at nyjt. 

ye master hym asked jef he we? sond 

" ja si?," he saide, " be seynt Symond ! ^^ 
165 yo asked he, "what was his medecyne?" 

He saide, " fresch beef good and fyne ^^ 

" )?an was he a nauetroll." 

" you saist so|>e, be my poll ! '' 

" O," quod Ypocras, " be goddes dome I 
170 you art by-come a good grome.^' 

yo by-gan Ypocras to ]?ench 

To sole his nefewe witA some wrench, 

)?ei?-afte?, ye yride day, 153a. 

With his nefew he went to play. 


99 1 

^V 175 

Yu-to a faif grene gardyu ; 

Vei? wex raauy an erbe fyn. 

Ve childe sawe an erbe on f>e groiinde, 

|vat was mypy of raochell raonde ; 

He tokc it and schewed to Ypocras, 


^M 180 

Eot he saide a bettej- J-er? was ; 
For he wold J^at child be-cach. 
He stoupyd soch on to rech. 
]>o fyle Ypocraa mth a knyf, 
He nome bia nefewe of his lyf. 


^M 186 

He dide hym bury unkonnynglych, 
A8 he had dyed sodeynlych, 
And afie?-warde, swy]>e jerne, 
He dide his bokes all to-bryne. 
God of heuen, ]ie hy^e kyuge, 


^M 190 

pat \a oue?-8ea? of all ^yage, 
Sende Ypocras for his tresou, 
ye foul rankkeland menyaon. 
Ypocraa wyst wele, for hia quede, 
Vat he schold son be dede ; 


^M 195 

Bot for no Vynge l>at he coupe pynch 
pe raenyson he no my^t quench. 
A nempty ton he dide forpe fett, 
And full of clene water he it pyt, 
Also full tope moupe; 


^M 200 

ffor he wold it we? coupe, 

And dide after sende mochel! and lyte, 

Nejboura hym lo byayte. 

He saide to-fore hem euerchon 

pat pe dep was liym apon, 

^1 205 

All wi't/t ryjt and nou^t wttA wou3e, 
ffbr his nefewe pat he sclowje, 
pat treson he gan hym reherce. 
On pe tone a C. holes he gan perce. 
Wlien pe holes we? mad so fell, 

^1 210 

He dide hem stope .wi'tA dosell, 



And saide to hem once or tweye, 

" je sehall see of my mastrye/' 

He smered ]?e dosells all a-boute^ 

And made heme after-ward drawen oute. 
215 A dro}?e }?ei?-of oute ne came; 

)?a?-of merveiled many man. 

Ypocras saide, " water y can stope, 

)?at it ne may une}?es drope; 153b. 

But y ne may stope my menyson. 
220 All it IS for )?at foul treson, 

}?at y my nefewe sclewe vylengly, 

ffor he was wyse? man }?ane y. 

I no? no man unde? eon 

jeue me helpe ne can, — 
225 Bot my nefewe o-lyue we?. 

Ryjt it is )?at y mys-fai?. 

To soffre wo it is skyll 

ffor y sclouj my lyuys hele.'^ 

Table of Corresponding Lines.^ 

Ar A E B C F 

949 933 1041 

950 934 1042 

951 1043 

952 1044 

5 953 (1045) 

954 (1046) 

955 (1047) 

956 (1048) 

(957) (1436) 

10 (958) (1438) 

959 (1051) 

^An identical line is indicated by an asterisk (*), an omission by a dash 

( ), an addition by brackets ([]), a corresponding but not similar line 

by leaders ( ), and altered rimes by parentheses (). 



At A E B OF 

960 (1052) 

961 942 1054 

962 941 1053 

15 963 943 1057 

964 944 1058 

965 945 

966 946 

967 947 

20 968 948 

963 969 949 1069 

964 970 950 1060 

966 972 952 1062 1440 

966 971 951 1061 1441 

26 974 


(967) 976 967* (1065) 

(968) 975 968 

977 959 

30 978 960 

979 (961) 

980 (962) 

969 981 963 1067 (1442) 

970 982 964 1068 (1443) 
35 (971) 983 965 (1069) (1444) 

(972) 984 966 (1070) (1445) 

(973) 985 967 1071 (1446) 

(974) 986 968 1072 (1447) 
[87-88] [69-70] [48-49] 

(975) 989* 971 1460 

40 990 972 1461* 

991 (973) (1073) (1452) 

(976) 992 (974) (1074) (1453) 

(977) 993 975 1454* 

(978) 994 976 1455* 










































B C F 

(977) 1456 

(978) 1457 



979 1460 

980 (1085) 1461 

981 (1086) 1462 

982 (1087) 1463 

983 (1088) 1464 

984 1465 

985 (1466) 

986 (1091) (1467) 

(987) 1468 

(988) 1469 


(1093) 1471 

989 (1094) 1472* 

990 1473 

(991) 1095 1474 

(992) 1096 1475 

993 1476 

994 1477 

995 1478 

996* ..;... 1479 

997 1480* 

998 1481 

999 1101 1482 
1000* 1102 1483 
1001* (1103) 1484* 
1002 (1104) 1485 
1003* 1105 1486 

1004 1106 1487 

1005 1109 1488 
1006* 1110 1489* 















































































































































































































































































































^ J 






































































































































































































































At A E B 

180 1120 1124 1106 

1121 1125 1107 

1122 1126 1108 

1123 1127 1109 

1124 1128 1110 
185 1125 1129 1111 

1126 1130 1112 

1127 (1131) 

1128 (1132) 

1129 1133 1113 
190 1130 1134 1114 

1131 1135* 1115* 

1132 1136 1116 

1133 1137 1117 
1134* 1138* 1118 

195 1135 1139 1119 

1136 1140* 1120 
[cf. 1142] 

1143 (1141) 1121 

1144 (1142) 1122 

1145 1143 1123 
200 1146 1144 1124 

1137 1145 (1125) 

1138 1146 (1126) 

1139 1147* 1127 

1140 1148 1128 
205 1141 1149 (1129) 

1142* 1150 (1130) 
[cf. 1136] 

1147 1151 1131 

1148 1152 1132 

1149 1153 1133 
210 1150 1154 1134 

1155* 1135* 
























































































































This partial table will serve to illustrate the correspondences 
between the various members of group Y. The array of 
figures may look repellent, but I have preferred to submit 
the tabulation for an entire story rather than to give only a 
part of it, or to resort to any printer's devices to compress it, 
and thereby incur the risk of impairing its value. 

KiLLis Campbell.