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Full text of "History of English poetry from the twelfth to the close of the sixteenth century : with a pref. by Richard Price, and notes variorum"




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THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY. 



Of this Edition 500 Copies are printed on fmall paper, 
and 50 on large. 



HISTORY OF 

ENGLISH POETRY 

FROM THE TWELFTH TO THE CLOSE 

OF THE SIXTEENTH 

CENTURY. 

BY THOMAS WARTON, B.D. 

FELLOW OF TRIN. COLL., OXFORD; F.S.A.J PROFESSOR OF 
POETRY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. 

WITH A PREFACE BY RICHARD PRICE, AND NOTES VARIORUM. 

EDITED BY W. CAREW HAZLITT. 

WITH NEW NOTES AND OTHER ADDITIONS BY SIR FREDERIC MADDEN, K.H., F.R.S. ; 

THOMAS WRIGHT, M.A., F.S.A. J W. ALOIS WRIGHT, M.A. ; REV. 

WALTER W. SKEAT, M.A. ; RICHARD MORRIS, LL.D. ; 

F. J. FURNIVALL, M.A. ; AND THE EDITOR. 

WITH INDEXES OF NAMES AND SUBJECTS. 

IN FOUR VOLUMES. 

VOL. II. 



LONDON: 

REEVES AND TURNER, 196, STRAND. 
1871. 



CHISWICK PRESS: PRINTED BY WHJTTINGHAM AND WJLKINS, 
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE. 



SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF 



ANGLO-SAXON POETRY. 



II. 



[The hiftory of Englifh poetry begins in lands where the name of England was not 
known. Not in our " ifland home " was our mother tongue in its earlieft ftage firft 
fpoken, but in parts of the Danifh land, the Anglifh and Saxifh provinces, in Friefland, 
Jutland, and the neighbouring ifles, whence the firft Teutonic fettlers and invaders 
came, to people our England. They brought with them the legends of their con- 
tinental homes j and the one weird poem which has come to us from them whole, 
though much meddled with by later hands, is our national epic. But before we 
give an account of it, and the reft of our forefathers' poetry, we muft fay fomewhat 
of the forms of Anglo-Saxon verfe, and muft note that, for convenience of clafli- 
fication, the continuous changes in our language have been feparated into the 
following ftages : 

I. Anglo-Saxon or Old Englifh, with regular inflexions, up to noo A. D. 
II. Semi-Saxon or Tranfition Englifh, in two ftages, (i) when the inflexion figns 
were ftruggling for fuperiority, from noo to 1(506 A. D. ; i (2) when the 
final e had gained the victory, but the vocabulary was almoft wholly Anglo- 
Saxon, as in Lajamon, 1150-1250 A. D. 
III. Early Englifh, 1250-1500 A. D. when the vocabulary received large French 

importations, and the final e gradually became grammatically valuelefs. 
IV. Middle Englifh, 1500-1620 A. D. F.] 

1 [See the preface to Dr. Richard Morris's Old Englt/h Homilies, I. Early Englifh 
Text Society, 1868 ; and his fketch of the charafteriftics of the Tranfition Period 
of our language in Section i below.] 




[Sketch of the Hiftory of Anglo- 
Saxon Poetry. 

BY HENRY SWEET, OF BALIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD. 

HE forms and traditions of Anglo-Saxon poetry 1 
are thofe which are common to all the old Ger- 
manic nations. The efTential elements of Anglo- 
Saxon verification are accent and alliteration. 
Each long verfe has four accented fyllables, while 
the number of unaccented fyllables is indifferent, 
and is divided by the caefura into two fhort verfes, 
bound together by alliteration : two accented fyllables in the firft 
fhort line, and one in the fecond, beginning with any vowel or the 
fame confonant. Inftead of two there is often only one alliterative 
letter in the firft fhort verfe. The alliterative letter of the fecond 
fhort verfe muft belong to the firft of the two accented fyllables. Of 
this metre in its ftri6teft and fimpleft form the following line of 
Beowulf is an example : 




nee to rune Krae'des eahtedon. 
M 



' 



1 The ftandard work for the ftudy of Anglo-Saxon poetry is the colleftion of 
Grein, publifhed under the title of Bibliothek der Angelfachfifchen Poefie, in four 
vols., the firft two containing critical texts of all known poems, the third and fourth 
a complete poetical diftionary. In \ws,Dichtungen der Angelfachfen Grein has given 
a literal tranflation of nearly all the poems. In the Bibliothek will be found a com- 
plete lift of all previous editions and tranilations, nearly all of which, it may be 
added, are entirely fuperfeded by Grein's work. It will therefore be neceflary only 
to mention thofe works which have appeared fince the publication of Grein'sBibli- 
othek. Thefe are the edition of the fragments of Waldhere by Profeflbr Stephens 
and by Grein, as an appendix to his edition of Beowulf and Finnefburg, and 
Heyne's edition and tranflation of Beowulf, the former of which has appeared in 
two editions. A volume of Metrical Homilies, or Lives of Saints is preparing for 
the Early Englifh Text Society, under Mr. Skeat's editorfhip. 



4 The Structure of Anglo-Saxon Verfe. 

Here are two accents in each fhort verfe, both accented fyllables in 
the firft fhort verfe, and the firft in the fecond beginning with the 
letter r. In the line 

eormenlafe | aeSelan cynnes ft ffl 

there are only two alliterative letters, eo and <*?, which, being vowels, 
are allowed to be different. 

As remarked above, the number of unaccented fyllables is indif- 
ferent ; the fame remark applies, within certain limits, to an excefs 
of accented fyllables alfo. The moft important of thefe limitations is 
that all additional accents in the fecond fhort verfe muft come before 
the alliterative fyllable. Generally fpeaking, the number of accents 
in an ordinary long .line does not exceed Jive : 

Uiilce^ morgenfweg j maere Jseoden. n 
ijaidei; on lafte | stefcan for$ gewat. 'i 

Such is the general ftructure of the great majority of Anglo-Saxon 
verfes. More elaborate modifications are, however, occafionally in- 
troduced, generally in folemn, lyrical paffages. The moft important 
characterise of thefe metres is the regular introduction of unaccented 
fyllables, each accented fyllable being followed by one or more unac- 
cented, the laft foot but one of the line (containing the alliterative 
letter) efpecially being often a dactyl. This kind of verfe often re- 
fembles the ancient hexameter, when read accentually. The com- 
parifon of the two following lines will at once fhow how much of the 
character of Anglo-Saxon verfe depends on the ufe of unaccented 
fyllables : 

micel morgenfweg | maere J?eoden. 

rinca to rune gegangan | hi $a on refte gebrohton. /.' , 

This kind of verfe is alfo generally character i fed by an increafed 
number of accented fyllables, generally not lefs than fix, often 
more : x 

& fcoSine hi maeft mid him | mse'rfca gejremedon. f\+ti 
ft ft geofian mid goda gehwllcum | Seah he his gingran ne fende. 
geheawan fcifne morSres bryttan | geunne me minra gefynta. 
fira beam on SifTum fafeftum clommum | onglnnaS nu ymb Sa fyrde Jjencean. 
More rarely we meet with an increafed number of accented, without 
unaccented fyllables ; the effect is peculiar, and quite different from 
that of the hexameter-like lines quoted above ; two lines of the Wan- 
derer afford a good example : 

hwar cwom mearg ? hwaer cwom mago ? | hwar cwom maumgifa ? 
hwaer cwom simbla gefetu ? | hwa^r sindon feledreamas ? 

Different as thefe metres are, they all belong to the fame type, 
which is reprefented in the fimpleft form in the verfe of Beowulf 
firft quoted. All the variations reduce themfelves to : 

(i.) Infertion of additional feet before the alliterative fyllable of 
the fecond fhort line. 

(2.) Regular ufe of unaccented fyllables. 

(3.) Increafe in the number of accents in the firft fhort verfe. 
So that the only really arbitrary feature is the varying number of 
accents in the firft fhort verfe ; although this licenfe, like all others 



Charafferijlics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 

in Anglo-Saxon poetry, is always regulated by the metrical feeling 
of the poet, and often depends on the more or lefs regular ufe of un- 
accented fyilables. The ftri&eft part of the line is the fecond fhort 
verfe : only one alliterative letter is allowed, and its pofition and that 
of the inferted fyilables are fixed (compare alfo the remark about the 
dactylic feet). This tendency to metrical concentration and ftridt- 
nefs at the end of the line is common to all metres ; it is alike evi- 
dent in the ftru6ture of the claffical hexameter and of the modern 
rhyming metres. The alliteration, though not the efTence of the 
Anglo-Saxon verification, is a neceflary element of it, being indif- 
folubly conne&ed with the accentuation. It cannot therefore, like 
modern rhyme, be omitted or modified at pleafure. There are alfo 
traces of rhyme, and one poem, commonly called the Rhyming Poem, 
is compofed throughout of very elaborate rhymes. 

An eflential feature of Anglo-Saxon poetry is the ufe of poetic 
words and phrafes : words being employed in poetry which do not 
occur in profe, or profe words and phrafes being ufed in a peculiar 
fenfe. There is alfo a ftrong tendency to appofition, which in fome 
cafes almoft amounts to parallelifm, as in Hebrew poetry : " daet ic 
ftsneffas gefeon mihte, wlndige weallas" fo that I could fee the fea- 
headlands, the windy walls j " daet du us gebrohte brante ceole, hea 
hornfcipe, ofer hwaeles edel," that thou mighteft bring us in a fteep 
veflel, a high-prowed (hip, over the whale's country (the fea). In 
this laft example the two adjectives are exactly parallel, and have 
praclically the fame meaning. This tendency is ftrikingly mown 
in the frequent ufe of an adjective in appofition to a fubftantive, 
inftead of attributively : "haefdon fwurd nacod, heard on handa," we 
held in our hands keen fwords unfheathed. 

This fimplicity and freedom of form, which is charadteriftic of 
the earlieft poetry of all the Teutonic nations, has led narrow- 
minded and fuperficial writers to defcribe Anglo-Saxon poetry as 
lines of bad profe, joined together by alliteration ; forgetting that 
the higheft artiftic excellence is attainable in many ways, and that 
the metrical laws which fuit one language, are totally out of place 
in another of different ftru<Sture. A itri& and unvarying fyftem 
of verification, like the Homeric hexameter, in which a battle and 
a cooking operation are defcribed in the fame metre, would have 
feemed intolerable to a Northern poet : he required one which would 
adapt itfelf to every phafe of emotion and change of action, which in 
defcribing profaic incidents, fuch as will occur in every narrative 
poem of any length, could be let down nearly to the level of ordi- 
nary profe, with an effective tranfition to the more concentrated 
paffages. The leading principle in Anglo-Saxon poetry is to fubor- 
dinate form to matter. No brilliancy of language or metre is ac- 
cepted as a fubftitute for poverty of thought or feeling ; purely 
technical poetry, with a few trifling exceptions, is not known. This 
tendency is clearly brought out by a comparifon of the clofely allied 
poetry of the Scandinavians, as carried to its higheft point of develop- 
ment in Norway and Iceland. Here the original metrical fvftem, 



6 Char a Serf/lies of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 

eflentially the fame as the Anglo-Saxon, was at an early period 
brought to a high degree of perfection. The number of fyllables was 
made invariable, the alliteration was refined and regulated, and 
rhymes, both initial and final, were introduced, the original allitera- 
tion being (till preferved. But thefe technical advantages were 
counterbalanced by an almoft total ftagnation of any higher artiftic 
development. Lyric and dramatic poetry, traces of which are found 
in the earlieft poems of Edda, remain undeveloped, and at laft 
poetry degenerates into a purely mechanical art, valued only in pro- 
portion to the difficulty of its execution. The Anglo-Saxons, on the 
other hand, whilit preferving the utmoft technical fimplicity, deve- 
loped not only an elaborate epic ftyle, but what is more remarkable, 
produced lyric and didactic poetry of high merit, and this at a very 
early period, certainly at leaft as early as the beginning of the eighth 
century. 

Important characteriftics of Anglo-Saxon poetry are concifenefs and 
directnefs. Everything that retards the action or obfcures the main 
fentiment of the poem is avoided, hence all fimiles are extremely rare. 
In the whole poem of Beowulf there are fcarcely half a dozen of 
them, and thefe of the fimpleft character, fuch as comparing a (hip 
to a bird. Indeed, fuch a fimple comparifon as this is almoft equiva- 
lent to the more ufual " kenning " (as it is called in Icelandic), 
fuch as " brimfugol," where, inftead of comparing the ftiip to a 
bird, the poet fimply calls it a fea-bird, preferring the direct aflertion 
to the indirect comparifon. Such elaborate comparifons as are 
found in Homer and his Roman imitator are quite foreign to the 
fpirit of Northern poetry. 

A marked feature of Anglo-Saxon poetry is a tendency to melancholy 
and pathos, which tinges the whole literature : even the fong of vic- 
tory (hows it, and joined to the heathen fatalifm of the oldeft poems, 
it produces a deep gloom, which would be painful were it not 
relieved by that high moral idealifm which is never wanting in 
Anglo-Saxon poetry. This tendency was, no doubt, ftrengthened 
by the great political calamities of the Anglo-Saxons, their pre- 
carious hold upon Britain, their civil and foreign wars, which ulti- 
mately brought about their national extinction. Defcriptions of 
nature are not unfrequent in Anglo-Saxon poetry, and form one of 
its moft characteriftic features ; for defcriptions of natural fcenery 
are generally unknown in early literature, and are often rare in 
many, which are otherwife highly developed. Elaborate defcrip- 
tions of gardens may be found in Homer and the Italian poets, but 
hardly any of wild nature. In the lyrical German poetry of the 
thirteenth century, there is evidence enough of a ftrong feeling for 
nature, but there is no diftinctnefs or individuality nothing but 
general allufions to the brightnefs of the flowers and the fong of the 
birds, which foon petrify to mere formulae. In Anglo-Saxon poetry, 
on the other hand, fuch paflages as the defcriptions of Grendel's 
abode in Beowulf (p. n below), have a vividnefs and individuality 
which make them not inferior to the moft perfect examples of de- 



Chara&eriftics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 7 

fcriptive poetry in modern Englifh literature, perhaps the higheft 
praife that can be given. This chara&eriftic forms a ftrong bond of 
union between the two literatures, fo different in many other re- 
fpedts, and it is not impoflible that fome of the higher qualities of 
modern Englifti poetry are to be affigned to traditions of the old 
Anglo-Saxon literature, obfcured for a time by thofe dida&ic, politi- 
cal, and allegorical tendencies which almoft extinguished genuine 
poetry in the Early Englifh period. The bulk of the poetical 
literature that has come down to us is confiderable, but the pieces 
are of various degrees of value, and fome of them are totally defti- 
tute of poetical merit. There can be no doubt that the works we 
pofTefs do not fairly reprefent the actual literature. They have not 
been handed down to us from generation to generation, and pre- 
ferved in many MSS., as is the cafe with the literatures of ancient 
Greece and Rome ; where, if a work is loft, we are to a great 
extent juftified in afluming it to have been of inferior merit. We 
know that for many centuries after the Conqueft books written in 
the old language were confidered as wafte parchment, and utilized 
accordingly ; and that great havoc was made among the monaftic 
libraries at the Reformation. The confequence is that many of the 
fineft poems are mere fragments, and thofe that are preferved have 
efcaped total deftru&ion by a feries of lucky chances, and, with a 
few trifling exceptions, are preferved only in fingle manufcripts. 

The chronology and authorfhip of the poems are in moft cafes 
very uncertain. Several of them were certainly compofed before 
the German colonization of Britain, however much they may have 
been altered and interpolated in later times. It is equally certain 
that by far the greater number of the other poems were compofed in 
Northumbria. Caedmon we know to have been a Northumbrian, 
both from the exprefs teftimony of Bede, and from the facl: of a 
few lines of his being preferved in the original northern dialect. 
The name of Cynewulf is introduced into feveral poems con- 
tained in the Exeter and Vercelli MSS., three times in a kind of 
acroftic in Runic letters, once in a riddle or rather charade on his 
own name. As all thefe poems are written in the ordinary Weft- 
Saxon dialect, it was at firft fuppofed that Cynewulf was a native 
of the fouth of England ; but when the Runic infcription of the 
Ruthwell crofs in Dumfriefshire was deciphered, and fhown to be a 
fragment of a poem of CynewulPs, which is preferved entire in the 
Vercelli MS., it became at once evident that the poems of Caedmon 
and Cynewulf in their prefent (hape are copies of Northumbrian 
originals, altered to fuit the fouthern dialect. How far the analogy 
holds good for the remaining poems of unafcertained authorfhip is 
uncertain. As we know that literature was firft cultivated in the 
north, there is an a priori probability in the cafe of all the older 
poems that they were either compofed by Northumbrians, or at 
leaft were firft written down in Northumbria. Indeed, there are 
only two poems of any merit to which we can aflign with any cer- 
tainty a fouthern origin. Thefe are the ode on the battle of Brunan- 



8 Chara&eriftics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 

burg, and the narrative of the battle of Maldon, which were, no 
doubt, compofed immediately after the events they record. King 
Alfred's trannation of the metres of Boethius is almoft entirely defti- 
tute of poetical merit. 

It is probable that the earlieft poetry of the Anglo-Saxons con- 
fifted of fmgle ftrophes, each narrating, or rather alluding to, fome 
exploit of a hero or god, or expreffing fome fmgle fentiment, gene- 
rally of a proverbial or gnomic chara6ter. Such is the poetry of 
favage nations. The next ftage is to combine thefe ftrophes into 
conneaed groups. The third is to abandon the ftrophic arrange- 
ment altogether. With regard to the poetical form, it is tolerably 
certain that in the earlieft ftage there was no difference between 
poetry and profe ; in fa&, poetry was entirely unformal fimply 
a concentrated profe. Of all civilized poetical literatures, the moft 
primitive is that of the ancient Hebrew, which is only diftinguifhed 
from profe by the fymmetry and mutual correfpondence of its 
fentences. This parallelifm we have recognized as a frequent, 
though not effential, ingredient of Anglo-Saxon verfe ; it is alfo 
ftrongly developed in the earlieft Scandinavian poetry. It feems, 
therefore, not improbable that the Anglo-Saxon poetry in its earlieft 
ftage confifted of lines of profe connected only by parallelifm. When 
alliteration had developed itfelf and become a conftant element of 
the poetic form, the parallelifm would gradually fall into difufe, as 
in Latin literature the regular alliteration of Naevius becomes 
fporadic in Virgil. 

Almoft the only example of ftrophic poetry in Anglo-Saxon is the 
poem known as Dear's Complaint. The poem is obfcure, and has 
been handed down to us in a corrupt and mutilated ftate, but its 
ftrophic character is unmiftakeable. The firft and laft two ftrophes 
confift of fix lines each, and all fix ftrophes end with the fame 
refrain. All the old Scandinavian epic and mythological fongs are 
ftrophic ; and the connection between the ftrophes is often fo little 
evident that it is a work of difficulty to arrange them in proper 
order ; in fhort, the regular epos is hardly developed at all. It is 
not impoffible that Dear's Complaint is a folitary remnant of the fame 
ftage of Anglo-Saxon poetry ; the poem deals exclufively with the 
hiftorical and mythological traditions common to all the Teutonic 
nations, and may eafily have been compofed before the migration to 
England. It muft, however, be borne in mind that the ufe of a 
primitive form is quite compatible with a comparatively recent origin 
of a poem, efpecially one of a half lyric chara6ter, like Dear's Com- 
plaint. The other epic pieces feem to be quite deftitute of ftrophic 
arrangement, moft of them exhibit the epos in its moft advanced 
and artiftic form, although the greater bulk of the epic poetry being 
preferved only in fragments, it is difficult to determine whether 
thefe fragments form part of a regular epos, or are merely epic 
fongs like thofe of the Edda. It is probable that fome of them may 
belong to this latter clafs, of which we have an undoubted fpecimen, 
compofed in hiftorical times, the Battle of Maldon. Every genuine 



Charatterijiics of Anglo-Saxon Poetry. 9 

national epos prefuppofes a ftage of literature, in which thefe fhort 
hiftorical fongs were the only narrative poems exifting ; for the 
genuine epic, which is regarded by thofe for whom it is compofed as 
hiftory, and nothing elfe, is never invented, but has to draw on the 
common national itock of hiftorical and mythological tradition. 
How far the original fubftru&ure of feparate fongs is ftill vifible in 
the finifhed epos, depends entirely on the genius of the manipulator, 
and his command of -his materials. If he is deftitute of invention 
and combination, he will leave the feparate poems unaltered, except, 
perhaps, in cafes of repetition and very obvious contradiction, and 
merely cement them together by a few lines of his own. Many of 
the Eddaic poems are in this ftage : they are patchwork, evidently 
executed long after the true epic fpirit had died. Very often the 
connecting and complementary paflages are written in profe, fo that 
the genius of a Lachmann is hardly needed to cut out the interpola- 
tion. But if the traditions contained in thefe fongs are handled by 
a poet, that is to fay, a man of invention, combination, and judg- 
ment, they are liable to undergo confiderable modifications. There 
will be room for original work in connecting the various incidents 
and introducing epifodes, in removing incongruities and repetitions, 
and in fufing together two or more different renderings of the fame 
tradition. In fhort, the ufe of traditional material does not in the 
flighted degree preclude originality. This has often been overlooked 
by critics who have endeavoured to analyfe fuch poems as the Iliad 
or Nlbelungenlied into their original fongs ; the refult in the cafe of 
the Nlbelungenlied is that the difle6tor, after employing an elaborate 
apparatus of brackets, parenthefes, and italics, is obliged to confefs 
that the excifed paflages not only mar by their abfence the fymmetry 
of the whole, but are often fuperior to thofe which are allowed to 
remain. We know that Shakefpeare founded his Julius Ctefar on 
Plutarch, but we do not wim to fee his play cut up according to the 
chapters of North's Plutarch. 

The only national epic which has been preferved entire is Beowulf. 
Its argument is briefly as follows : 

The poem opens with a few verfes in praife of the Danifh kings, 
efpecially Scild, the fon of Sceaf. His death is related, and his 
defcendants briefly traced down to Hrodgar. Hrodgar, elated 
with his profperity and fuccefs in war, builds a magnificent hall, 
which he calls Heorot. In this hall Hrodgar and his retainers live 
in joy and feftivity, until a malignant fiend, called Grendel, jealous 
of their happinefs, carries off by night thirty of Hrodgar's men, and 
devours them in his moorland retreat. Thefe ravages go on for 
twelve years. Beowulf, a thane of Hygelac, king of the Goths, 
hearing of Hrodgar's calamities, fails from Sweden with fourteen 
warriors to help him. They reach the Danifh coaft in fafety, and, 
after an animated parley with Hrodgar's coaft-guard, who at firft 
takes them for pirates, they are allowed to proceed to the royal hall, 
where they are well received by Hrodgar. A banquet enfues, during 
which Beowulf is taunted by the envious Hunferhd about his 



io Sketch of " Beowulf ." 

fwimming-match with Breca, king of the Brondings. Beowulf 
gives the true account of the conteft, and filences Hunferhct. At 
nightfall the king departs, leaving Beowulf in charge of the hall. 
Grendel foon breaks in, feizes and devours one of Beowulf's com- 
panions, is attacked by Beowulf, and after lofmg an arm, which is 
torn off by Beowulf, efcapes to the fens. The joy of Hrodgar and 
the Danes, and their feftivities, are defcribed, various epifodes are 
introduced, and Beowulf and his companions receive fplendid gifts. 
The next night Grendel's mother revenges her fon by carrying off 
jEfchere, the friend and councillor of Hroctgar, during the abfence of 
Beowulf. Hroctgar appeals to Beowulf for vengeance, and defcribes 
the haunts of Grendel and his mother. They all proceed thither ; 
the fcenery of the lake, and the monfters that dwell in it are defcribed. 
Beowulf plunges into the water, and attacks Grendel's mother in her 
dwelling at the bottom of the lake. He at length overcomes her, 
and cuts off her head, together with that of Grendel, and brings the 
heads to Hroctgar. He then takes leave of Hroctgar, fails back to 
Sweden, and relates his adventures to Hygelac. Here the firft half 
of the poem ends. The fecond begins with the acceffion of Beowulf 
to the throne after the fall of Hygelac and his fon Heardred. He 
rules profperoufly for fifty years, till a dragon, brooding over a hidden 
treafure, begins to ravage the country, and deftroys Beowulf's palace 
with fire. Beowulf fets out in queft of its hiding place with twelve 
men. Having a prefentiment of his approaching end, he paufes and 
recalls to mind his paft life and exploits. He then takes leave of his 
followers one by one, and advances alone to attack the dragon. 
Unable from the heat to enter the cavern, he fhouts aloud, and the 
dragon comes forth. The dragon's fcaly hide is proof againft 
BeowulPs fword, and he is reduced to great ftraits, when Wiglaf, 
one of his followers, advances to help him. Wiglaf's fhield is con- 
fumed by the dragon's fiery breath, and he is compelled to feek 
fhelter under Beowulf s ftiield of iron. Beowulf's fword fnaps 
afunder, and he is feized by the dragon. Wiglaf ftabs the dragon 
from underneath, and Beowulf cuts it in two with his dagger. 
Feeling that his end is near, he bids Wiglaf bring out the treafures 
from the cavern, that he may fee them before he dies. Wiglaf 
enters the dragon's den, which is defcribed, returns to Beowulf, and 
receives his laft commands. Beowulf dies, and Wiglaf bitterly re- 
proaches his companions for their cowardice. The difaftrous con- 
fequences of Beowulf s death are then foretold, and the poem ends 
with his funeral. 

It is evident that the poem as we have it, has undergone confider- 
able alterations. In the firft place there is a diftin&ly Chriftian 
element, contrafting ftrongly with the general heathen colouring of 
the whole. Many of thefe paffages are fo incorporated into the poem, 
that it is impoffible to remove them without violent alterations of 
the text ; others again are palpable interpolations. Such are the paf- 
fages where Grendel is defcribed as a defcendant of Cain. Perhaps 
the ftrongeft inftance is one where we have a chriftian commentary 



"Beowulf" its Source, and a Sample of it. 1 1 

on a heathen fuperftition. We are told that the Danes, in order to 
avert the miferies brought on them by Grendel, began to offer 
facrifices to their idols. Then follow fome verfes beginning : ''Such 
was their cuftom, the hope of heathens -, they thought of hell, but 
knew not the Lord, the Judge of deeds, &c." 

Without thefe additions and alterations, it is certain that we have 
in Beowulf a poem compofed before the Teutonic conqueft of 
Britain. The localities are purely continental : the fcenery is laid 
among the Goths of Sweden and the Danes ; in the epifodes, the 
Swedes, Frifians, and other continental tribes appear, while there is 
no mention of England, or the adjoining countries and nations. It 
is evident that the poem, as a whole, cannot have been compofed 
directly from the current traditions of the period : the variety of in- 
cidents, their artiftic treatment, and the epifodes introduced, (how 
that the poet had fome foundation to work upon, that there muft 
have been ftiort epic fongs about the exploits of Beowulf current 
among the people, which he combined into a whole. In the poem 
as it itands, we can eafily diftinguim four elements : the prologue, 
the two chief exploits of Beowulf againft Grendel, the dragon, and 
the epifodes. 

The attempt to eliminate thefe elements in their original form 
would be loft labour, as we have no means of determining the degree 
of alteration they have undergone ; an alteration which, however, to 
judge from the remarkable unity and homogeneoufnefs of the whole 
work, muft have been confiderable ; otherwife we fhould_hardly fail 
to perceive fome traces of the incongruity and abrupt tranfition which 
betray a clumfy piece of compilation. The epifodes would be lefs 
liable to alteration than thofe paflages which form part of the main 
narrative, and it is highly probable that among them the oldeft parts 
of the poem are to be found. Many of thefe epifodes are extremely 
obfcure, partly from the corrupt and defective ftate of the text, partly 
from the elliptical way in which they are told, evidently leaving a 
good deal to be filled up by the hearer, to whom the traditions on 
which they are founded were naturally familiar. 

The following literal tranflations will give fome idea of the ftyle of 
Beowulf. The tirft is the defcription of Grendei's abode ; the fecond 
is part of Hroctgar's farewell addrefs to Beowulf; the third is part 
of the defcription of Beowulfs funeral, with which the poem ends : 

"They hold a hidden land: where wolves lurk, windy nefles, / 4 ^fr- '*i 
perilous fen-traces, where the mountain-ftream fhrouded in mift 
pours down the cliffs, deep in earth. Not far from here ftands the 
lake overfhadowed with groves of ancient trees, faft by their roots. 
There a dread fire may be feen every night mining wondroufly in 
the water. The wifeft of the fons of men knows not the bottom. 
When the heath-ftalker, the ftrong-horned ftag, hard-prefled by the 
hounds, courfed from afar, feeks fhelter in the wood, he will yield 
up his life on the more fooner than plunge in and hide his head. 
That is an accurfed place : the ftrife of waves rifes black to the 
clouds, when the wind ftirs hoftile ftorms, until the air darkens, the 
heavens fhed tears." 



1 2 A Sample of " Beowulf" Widfid the Minjlrel 

^ "Strange it is to fay how mighty God generoufly difpenfes 

wifdom, riches, and virtue among men : he has power over all ! 
Sometimes he at will allows to wander the thoughts of the mighty 
race of man : grants him in his country worldly joys, a man-fheiter- 
ing city to hold, lands and wide empire, fo that for his folly he thinks 
not of his end. He lives in revelry ; neither ficknefs nor age afflict: 
him, gloomy care befets not his heart, nor does ftrife aflail him from 
any fide with hoftile fword, but the whole world follows his will. 
He knows not misfortune, until pride begins to grow and bloflbm 
within him, when the guardian of the foul fleeps. The fleep is too 
heavy, bound with forrows, the murderer near at hand, who fhoots 
with cruel bow. Then he is wounded in the heart through the 
fheltering breaft by the bitter {haft. He cannot ward off" the itrange 
influence of the accurfed fpirit. The riches he held fo long feem to 
him now too little, greed hardens his heart, he feeks not fame with 
gifts of rings (of gold), but forgets and neglects the future, becaufe 
of the honour which the Lord of glory formerly granted him. 
Then comes the end : the worn-out body falls, doomed to death. 
Another fucceeds, who diftributes the hoarded gold without ftint, 
heeds not the former owner. Shun this baleful vice, dear Beowulf, 
beft of men ! Choofe what is better, eternal wifdom ! Cherifh not 
pride, illuftrious champion ! Now is the flower of thy might for a 
time : foon will fickne'fs or fword part thee from thy ftrength, or 
fire's embrace, or the fea's flood, or fword's gripe, or flight of fpear, 
or fad old age aflail thee, and veil in darknefs the glance of thine 

17 b $ eves ' Soon, prince, will death overpower thee !" 

-/ " Then the men of the Goths wrought a mound on the hill, high 
and broad, eafily feen from afar by all wave-farers, and built in ten 
days the warrior's beacon : they raifed a wall round his afhes, as 
honourably as the wifeft men could devife it. They placed in the 
mound rings and gems, all the treafures, of which hoftile men had 
fpoiled the hoard. They let the earth hold the treafure, the heritage 
of earls, where it ftill remains, as ufelefs to men as it was before. 
Then round the mound rode a troop of nobles, twelve in all ; they 
wifhed to mourn the king with fitting words : they praifed his 
courage and deeds of valour, as is right for a man to praife his dear 
lord with words, and love him in his heart, when his foul has de- 
parted from his body. So the Goths mourned their lord's fall, his 
hearth-companions faid that he was the mildeft and moft humane of 
"51 fl world-kings, the gentleft to his people, and moft eager for glory." 

Moft of the other national epic pieces are mere fragments. Two 
of them, Widfid: and Finnefburg, are of fpecial importance, on ac- 
count of their intimate connection with Beowulf. The greater part 
of the firft of thefe poems is taken up by a long lift of kings and 
nations, which Widfid, a minftrel of noble Myrging family, profefles 
to have vifited. The only paflages of the poem which have any 
poetical worth are thofe in which the wandering life of the minftrel 
is defcribed with confiderable piclurefquenefs and power j the main 
intereft of the poem is hiftorical and geographical. An allufion of 



Widfid. Finnefburg. Deor. Byrhtnod. 13 

the poet in the introductory verfes to a vifit he had made to 
Eormenric, king of the Goths, who died A. D. 375, has been affumed 
as a criterion for determining the age of the poem, but there feems 
reafon to doubt whether Widfid himfelf ever exifted at all. The 
name Widfid, literally the "wide wanderer," is fufpicious, and a com- 
parifon with many names of Odin of like fignificance in the Scandi- 
navian mythology, makes it probable that Widfid is a purely mytho- 
logical perfon, probably Odin himfelf. This does not diminim the 
value of the lifts of kings and nations put into his mouth, many of 
which are found alfo in Beowulf. There can be no doubt, from the 
want of any mention of England and the intimate knowledge dif- 
played of the continental tribes, that this poem was compofed before 
the conqueft of Britain. The fubjedt of the other poem is the attack 
on Fin's palace in Friefland, which is alfo alluded to in Beowulf. 
The poem is a mere fragment. Two inconfiderable fragments of 
the epic of Waldhere have alfo been prefer ved. 

Laftly, there remains one poem, which although not ftric"tly epic 
in form, yet has a certain connection with the poems treated of 
above, being founded on the common traditions of the north. This 
is the piece called Dear's Complaint, mentioned above as remarkable 
for its ftrophic form. It is indeed almoft lyric in its character. 
Deor, the court-poet of the Heodenings, complains that he is fup- 
planted by his rival Heorrenda, but confoles himfelf by the reflection 
that as Weland and other heroes furvived their misfortunes, fo may 
he alfo regain his former profperity. 

Next in importance to thefe legendary poems are the two hiftorical 
pieces Byrhtnod and Brunanburg, the former purely narrative, the 
latter {bowing a decided lyrical tinge. Byrhtnod (otherwife known 
as the " Battle of Maldon "), is meagre in form, being in fact little 
better than alliterative profe, yet fhows confiderable dramatic power, 
and is animated throughout by a ftrong patriotic feeling. The lan- 
guage and general tone of the poem mow that it muft have been 
compofed immediately after the battle it celebrates (A. D. 993) ; it is 
even poffible that the poet himfelf took an active part in it. This 
hiftorical character gives the poem its fpecial intereft ; in it we re- 
cognife the epic fong in its moft primitive ftage, unaltered and un- 
adorned by tradition. The beginning and end of the poem are loft, 
but the context fhows that there cannot be many lines miffing. The 
argument of the poem is as follows : The " ealdorman " Byrhtnod: 
aflembles a body of men to oppofe the landing of a body of Danifh 
pirates at Maldon in Eflex. They offer to return to their mips in 
peace, if Byrhtnod will agree to pay them any fum of money they 
may fix. Byrhtnod rejects all terms, and prepares to oppofe their 
landing. The bridge over the Pant is fuccefsfully defended, but as 
the tide ebbs, the Danes ford the ftream higher up, and attack the 
Englifti on their own ground. Byrhtnod falls, and a general flight 
enfues. Many of the beft men however rally and the fight is 
renewed. 

The Brunanburg battle fong commemorates the great victory of 



14 Brunanburgh Battle-Song. Cadmon's Life. 

jEdelftan over the Danes and Scotch at Brunanburg. This piece is 
inferted in the Saxon Chronicle under the year 938 inftead of the 
ufual profe entry. This deliberate fubftitution, together with the 
general ftyle of the poem, fhows that it is not a popular fong, but was 
compofed expreflly for the Chronicle. This piece is inferior in in- 
tereft to Byrhtnod. The language and metre are dignified and har- 
monious, but there is a perceptible tendency to bombaft and over- 
charging with epithets, while the fineft paflages have rather the 
character of reminifcences from the common poetical traditions than 
of original invention. Neverthelefs as a whole it is a noble poem, 
and ftands alone in our literature. Its fubftance is as follows : 
King jEclelftan and his brother gained life-long glory at Brunanburg. 
From early dawn till funfet the Northmen and Scotch fell Two 
kings, eight earls were (lain, and a countlefs hoft befides. Anlaf, 
the Northern king, fled over the dark fea with a fad remnant, and 
Conftantine, the King of Scotland, left his fon on the battle-field ; 
nor had they caufe to boaft of their meeting with the fons of 
Edward. Then the brothers returned to the land of the Weft- 
Saxons, leaving behind them the wolf and raven to tear the ilain. 
Never was a greater flaughter in this ifland, fince rirft thofe proud 
warriors the Englifh and Saxons crofled the broad fea, overcame the 
Welfh, and won their lands ! 

There are feveral other poems of inferior merit incorporated into 
the Chronicle. The beft perhaps is the fhort piece commemorating 
the releafe of five cities from the Danim yoke by Edmund (A. D. 942) : 
it {hows fomething of that fkilful command of proper names, which 
forms fo eflential an element of Roman poetry. 

Befides the national epics there are a large number of narrative 
poems founded on religious fubjers. Thefe poems are entirely na- 
tional in treatment : the language, coftume and habits are purely 
Englifh ; there is no attempt at local or antiquarian colouring. The 
molt important of thefe poems are thofe of Caedmon, of whofe life 
and compofitions an interefting account is given by Bede in his 
ecclefiaftical hiftory. The fubftance of his account is this : At- 
tached to the monaftery of the Abbefs Hild at Whitby was a certain 
man named Caedmon. Caedmon, never having learned any poems, 
often ufed to fteal out of the houfe, when the harp was pafled round 
at feftive meetings. On one of thefe occafions he retired to the 
cattle-ftall, and there fell afleep. A man appeared to him in a 
dream, and commanded him to fing fomething. He excufed himfelf 
at firft, but finally when aflted to fing of the beginning of things, he 
began a poem, which he had never heard before. When he awoke, 
he remembered the words, and added many more in the fame metre. 
The abbefs then perfuaded him to forfake worldly life, and become 
a monk. He learnt the whole of the Bible hiftory, and all that he 
remembered he ruminated, like a pure animal, and turned it into the 
fweeteft poetry, and his teachers wrote it down from his mouth. 
He fang of the creation of the world, and the origin of the human 
race, the whole hiftory contained in Genefis, the departure of the 



MSS. of Ctedmon. Poornefs of his Poetry. 15 

Ifraelites from Egypt and their entering into the promifed land, and 
many other fcripture narratives, of the incarnation, paflion, refurrec- 
tion and afcenfion of Chrift, of the coming of the Holy Ghoft and 
the apoftolic doctrine, alfo of the terror of the day of judgment, the 
torments of hell and delights of heaven, and he compofed many other 
poems about the beneficence and juftice of God, and never would 
make any poems on fecular or frivolous fubje&s. Hild was abbefs 
from 657 to 680. The firft lines of Caedmon are preferved at the 
end of a MS. of Bede's Ecclefiajtical Htftory of the early part of the 
eighth century. They agree very clofely with Bede's tranflation of 
them in the hiftory, and as they are in the old Northumbrian dialect 
we may conclude that in them we have the exacl: words of the poet. 
The great bulk of his poetry is contained in a much later MS. written 
in the ufual fouthern dialed!:. The beginning of this MS. correfponds 
in matter to the firft lines of Caedmon in their oldeft form, but there 
is fuch difcrepancy in the actual words and expreffions, that the au- 
thenticy of the later MS. has been denied. However, the compari- 
fon of the analogous difcrepancies between the twoverfions of Cyne- 
wulf's poem of the Crofs, alfo preferved both in the original northern 
form and in a fouthern MS., fhows that either the original poems 
were liable to confiderable variations or that the fouthern tranfcribers 
took great liberties with their originals ; probably both caufes worked 
together. In the cafe of thefe lines of Caedmon fuch variations are 
quite conceivable. Their poetical merit is not high; they form merely 
an introduction to a longer poem, and as fuch might eafily have been 
altered afterwards by the poet himfelf. We may have in the earlier 
lines the rough draft, which appears in the later MS. in a revifed and 
expanded form. The contents of the later MS. agree alfo with 
Bede's enumeration, although it contains only a part of his poems. 
Caedmon's poetry naturally falls into four divifions. The firft con- 
fifts of the poems founded on the book of Genefis, which feem to be 
preferved entire, with the exception of a few leaves cut out in the 
MS., down to the intended facrifice of Ifaac. Then follows the de- 
parture of the Ifraelites from Egypt. All the other Old Teftament 
narratives are loft except that founded on the adventures of Daniel. 
The New Teftament pieces are chiefly reprefented by Chrift's de- 
fcent into hell. This poem is not mentioned by Bede, probably 
becaufe it is not ftri<5Hy a fcripture narrative. There are befides 
feveral fmaller pieces founded on New Teftament narratives, fome 
of doubtful authenticity. 

It has exercifed an unfortunate influence on the due appreciation 
of Anglo-Saxon poetry that Caedmon has always been held up as its 
moft important reprefentative. Although his poetry contains many 
fine paflages and always ihows confiderable metrical power, it is as a 
whole inferior to that of the other religious poets. The moft 
ferious fault of his poetry is the almoft total want of conftru&ive 
power and command of his material, which often reduced his 
poems to mere paraphrafes. Thus, to the narrative of the creation 
and fall is appended a circumftantial and tedious lift of the de- 



1 6 Ctedmon. "Judith" Cynewulf and bis Hymns. 

fcendants of Adam, and the length of their lives, followed by the 
remaining hiftory contained in the Book of Genefis. This fea- 
ture of Caedmon's poetry is the more ftriking as it contrafts re- 
markably with the perfect ftru&ure of Judith and the religious epics 
of Cynewulf. The beft portions of his poetry are thofe which 
narrate the creation and fall of the rebellious angels. Thefe pafTages 
have all the grandeur of Milton, without his bombaftic pedantry. 

Of the poem of Judith only the laft three cantos are preferved ; 
the firft nine, with the exception of a few lines of the laft, are en- 
tirely loft. The fragment opens with the defcription of a banquet, 
to which Holofernes invites his chiefs. Then follows the death of 
Holofernes at the hands of Judith, the attack on the AfTyrian camp 
at daybreak, and (laughter of the Aflyrians. Mutilated as it is, this 
poem is one of the fineft in the whole range of Anglo-Saxon litera- 
ture. The language is of the moft polifhed and brilliant chara6ter ; 
the metre harmonious, and varied with admirable fkill. The adtion 
is dramatic and energetic, culminating impreffively in the cataftrophe 
of Holofernes' death ; but there is none of that pathos which gives 
Beowulf fo much of its power : the whole poem breathes only of 
triumph and warlike enthufiafm. In conftru&ive fkill and perfect 
command of his foreign fubje6r., the unknown author of Judith fur- 
pafles both Caedmon and Cynewulf, while he is certainly not inferior 
to either of them in command of language and metre. 

The name of Cynewulf has already been mentioned as contained 
in feveral poems. Thefe are the cycle of hymns on the threefold 
coming of Chrift, commonly known as Cynewulf's Crift, the 
Paffion of St. Juliana, both in the Exeter MS., and the Elene or 
Finding of the Crofs in the Vercelli MS. His name is alfo con- 
tained in a charade prefixed to the collection of riddles in the Exeter 
MS. The poem of Elene is immediately preceded in the MS. by a 
work of a fimilar character, relating the adventures of St. Andrew 
among the cannibal Marmedonians, ending, like the Elene and 
Juliana, with an epilogue, wherein the poet, after briefly alluding to 
the fates of the other apoftles, exprefles penitence for his fins. 
There is every reafon for believing that the conclufion of this piece, 
which is unfortunately cut out, contained an acroftic fimilar to that 
in the Elene, and from their marked refemblance of language and 
ftyle, that the two poems are by the fame author. The poem of 
Elene is preceded by a fhort piece called the Dream of the Crofs, 
evidently compofed by Cynewulf as an introduction to the longer 
poem, and expreflly alluded to in the epilogue of the Elene. There 
are feveral other pieces contained in the Exeter book, which from 
evidence of ftyle feem alfo to be Cynewulf's. Thefe are the Life 
of St. Gudlac, and the defcriptive poem of the Phoenix, and feveral 
fmaller lyric pieces, the moft important of which are the Wanderer 
and the Seafarer. 

Thefe paflages in which the poet introduces his name, are alfo 
of value, as affording fome biographical data. They tend to fhow 
that in his youth Cynewulf held the poft of minftrel at the court 



Cynewulf and his minor Poems. 17 

of one of the Northumbrian kings, and that in one of thofe civil 
wars which defolated Northumbria in the 8th century, he was 
driven into exile. In his old age a total change came over Cyne- 
wulf, which he himfelf attributes to the miraculous vifion of the 
crofs. Up to this time he confefles that he was a frivolous and 
finful man, given over to worldly purfuits ; but after being com- 
manded by the crofs to reveal his vifion to men, he devoted himfelf 
entirely to religious poetry. To this period of his life belong, there- 
fore, the longer narrative poems, all of which are founded on re- 
ligious fubjedls. The internal evidence, on which thefe refults 
depend, may not be altogether truftworthy ; but the main refult, 
viz, that Cynewulf was a minftrel by profeffion, and not, as formerly 
fuppofed, a churchman, feems incontrovertible. The mod valuable 
and chara&eriftic of Cynewulf's poems are the early lyric pieces ; 
the longer poems, although always diftinguimed by grace of diction 
and metre, pathos, and delicacy of feeling, are inferior to Beowulf 
and Judith in the fpecially epic qualities. 

The fhorter poems of Cynewulf fhow lyric poetry in its earlieft 
ftage, in which the narrative and defcriptive element is ftill to a 
great degree predominant : the lyric idea is enclofed, as it were, in 
an epic frame. The Wanderer and the Wife's Complaint both turn on 
the miferies of exile and folitude. In the former of thefe poems, which 
is the more important, the Wanderer bewails the flaughter of his 
lord and kinfmen, the deftru&ion of their burg, and the hardmips of 
his wanderings. Into this half-epic matter are woven reflections on 
the excellence of conftancy and filent endurance, and on the tran- 
fitory nature of earthly things : the ruins which cover the face of the 
earth are but prefages of that general deftruclion to which all things 
are tending ; the world grows old and decrepit day by day. The 
Seafarer is fragmentary, and therefore fomewhat obfcure. Its 
general fubject is the dangers and hardmips of the fea, and the 
fafcinations of a failor's roving life, with a purely lyrical under- 
current of ideas fimilar to thofe of the Wanderer* Thefe poems 
have a wonderful harmony of language and metre, which is of 
courfe quite loft in a translation. The following piece is a literal 
rendering of a few lines of the Seafarer : 

" He cares not for harp, or gifts of gold ; his joy is not in woman, 
nor are his thoughts of the world, or of aught elfe except the rolling 
waves ; but he yearns ever to venture on the fea. The groves 
refume their flowers, the hills grow fair, the heath brightens, the 
world {hakes off floth. All this only reminds him to ftart on his 
journey, eager to depart on the diftant tracts of ocean. The cuckoo 
alfo reminds him with his fad voice, when the guardian of fummer 
fmgs, and bodes bitter heart-forrow. (The cuckoo's fong is here 
taken in the double fenfe of a bad omen and harbinger of fummer 
Rieger.) The man who lives in luxury knows not what they 
endure who wander far in exile ! Therefore now my mind wanders 
out of my breaft over the fea-floods, where the whale dwells, 

II. C 



i 8 Minor, Lyrical, and DiJaftic Poems. 

returns again to rne, fierce and eager, fcreams in its folitary flight, 
impels me irrefiftibly on the path of death over the ocean waters." 

The Ruin is, unhappily, a very mutilated fragment. It defcribes 
a ruined caftle, whofe builders have long fince pafled away. This 
poem, together with the Wanderer and Seafarer, are the fineft lyric 
pieces we pofTefs. The Complaint of the Soul to the Body, and The 
Bleffed Soul's addrefs to the Body, treat of a favourite fubjecl: of the 
middle ages. Other fhort poems of a lyrical and didaclic charafter 
have for their fubjects the various fortunes of men, the various arts 
of men, the falfehood of men, the pride of men. Thefe pieces are 
of no great literary merit, but their antiquarian value, as illustrations 
of life ajid manners, is confiderable. 'The -Father's Advice to his Son, 
is, as the title (hows, purely didactic. The Gnomic poems confift 
of a firing of aphorifms and proverbs ftrung together, often in a 
fomewhat difconne&ed manner. Many of the paflages are extremely 
poetical, and the poems generally bear a ftriking refemblance to the 
Norfe Havamal, and like them, belong no doubt to the earlieft ftage 
of poetry, however much they may have been altered in later times. 
The curious poem, Salomon and Saturn, confifts alfo of a variety of 
gnomic fentences, mixed, however, with a variety of other matter, 
in the form of a dialogue. Much of the poem is of foreign origin, 
and often wildly extravagant, but many paflages have a ftrongly 
heathen character, and are probably fragments of fome older piece 
refembling the Eddaic Vafjjrudnifmal. Solomon and Saturn treats 
of the divine virtue, perfonified under the myftic name of " Pater- 
nofter," of " vafa mortis," the bird of death, of the fall of the 
angels, of the good and evil fpirits that watch over men to en- 
courage them to virtue or tempt to evil, of fate, old age, and various 
moral and religious fubje&s. Many paflages of the poem are of 
high poetic beauty. The Riddles of Cynewulf are very pleafing. 
Many of them are true poems, containing beautiful defcriptions of 
nature ; and all of them have the charm of harmonious language 
and metre. 

The religious lyric poetry is chiefly reprefented by the metrical 
pfalms. The tranflation is a very fine one, far fuperior to any 
modern verfion. The language and ftyle fhow that it was origi- 
nally compofed in the Northern dialed!:. The imperfect fcholarfhip 
of the tranflator makes it doubtful whether the work is to be afcribed 
to Aldhelm, as fuggefted by Dietrich. Several metrical hymns and 
prayers, of little value, have alfo been preferved. The moft valuable 
of the religious lyrics is the " Dream of the Crofs," compofed by 
Cynewulf, as an introduction to the Elene. The following is an 
abridged tranflation of the poem : 

*' Lo ! I will tell of the heft of vifions, which I dreamed at mid- 
night. I thought I faw a noble tree raifed aloft, encircled with light, 
bright with gems and molten gold. On it gazed all the angels of 
God, men, and all this fair creation ; for it was no felon's gallows, 
but a noble victorious tree, and I was ftained with fins. My mind 
was fad, aweftruck at the fair fight, as I watched its changing hues : 



Cynewulf s " Dream of the Crofs." 19 

now it was wet with blood, now bright with gold. I lay there a long 
while, gazing forrowfully on the Saviour's tree, till I heard a voice : 
the belt of woods began then to fpeak : ' It was long ago (I re- 
member it ftill), when 1 was hewn on the borders of a foreft, torn 
from my roots. Strong foes feized me, bore me on their moulders, 
and fixed me on a hill. There they bade me raife aloft their felons. 
Then I faw the Lord of mankind haften courageoufly, ready to 
afcend me. The young hero girded himfelf, he was God Almighty, 
refolute and ftern of mood ; he afcended the lofty gallows, proudly 
in the fight of many, eager to redeem mankind. I trembled, when 
the King embraced me, yet I durft not bow to earth ; I could eafily 
have felled all my foes, yet I flood firm. They pierced me with 
dark nails, the wounds are ftill vifible on me, open games of malice. 
I durft not harm any of them, and they reviled us both together. 
I was all ftained with blood ; it poured from the hero's fide, when 
he had yielded up his fpirit. Many cruel fates have I endured on 
that hill ! The Lord's body was fhrouded in black clouds ; deep 
fhade opprefled the fun's rays. All creation wept, mourned the 
king's fall : Chrift was on the rood. Nobles came, haftening from 
afar; I beheld it all. I was forely opprefled with forrow, yet I 
bowed humbly before thofe men, yielded myfelf readily into their 
hands. They took Almighty God, and raifed him from the cruel 
torment. They laid him down weary "in his limbs, flood around at 
the head of the corpfe, gazing on the Lord of heaven, and he refted 
there a while, weary after the great toil. They began then to work 
an earth-houfe, cutting it in white ftone, and placed in it the vic- 
torious king. They fang then a lay of forrow, difconfolate at even- 
tide, when they departed weary from the noble prince. He refted 
there with a fcanty retinue. The corpfe grew cold, the fair life- 
dwelling. They began then to fell us all to the ground : that was a 
terrible fate ! They buried us in a deep pit, but the Lord's difciples 
found me, and adorned me with gold and filver. Now thou haft 
heard, dear friend, what forrows I have endured. On me the Son 
of God fufFered, therefore I now tower glorioufly under the heavens, 
and I can heal all who revere me. Once I was the hardeft of 
tortures, the moft hateful to men, until I cleared for them the way 
of life.' "] 




The Hiftory of Engliih Poetry. 




SECTION I. 

N the foregoing account of Anglo-Saxon poetry, 
Mr. Sweet has intentionally pafled over feveral 
Saints' Lives and othef like productions which 
are hardly to be diftinguifhed from alliterative 
profe in fhort lines, and are not really metrical. 
The Percy Society's Anglo-Saxon Pajfion of St. 
George (1850), Mr. Earle's Saint Swi&un, &c., 
are of this clafs ; and the third feries of /Elfric's 
Homilies (mainly lives of faints), on which Mr. Skeat is now engaged 
for the Early Englifti Text Society, 1 will probably prove to be fo. 

We now pafs on to the Second or Tranfition ftage of Englifti, 
which is generally called Semi-Saxon. Its firft ftage, 1100-1150, 
A.D. contains no very ftriking fpecimens in any fpecies of compo- 
fition Its fubftance was Anglo-Saxon, with degrading forms, and 
{lightly mixed with Norman-French. The Saxon, a language 
fubfifting on uniform principles, and polifhed by poets and theologifts, 
however corrupted by the Danes, had much perfpicuity, ftrength, 
and harmony : while the Norman-French imported by the Con- 
queror and his people though of mixed origin (principally Latin, 
with a flight admixture of Teutonic and Celtic), was a tongue of 
great beauty and power. 

[Norman and Saxon ftruggled for the maftery, and] in this fluc- 
tuating ftate of our national fpeech, the French predominated [for a 
time]. Even before the Conqueft the Saxon language began to fall 
into contempt, and the French, or Frankifh, to be fubftituted in its 
ftead : a circumftance which at once facilitated and foretold the 
Norman acceflion. In the year 652, [if we may truft the fpurious 
Hiftory of Ingulphus] it was the common practice of the Anglo- 
Saxons to fend their youth to the monafteries of France for educa- 

1 [This fociety has undertaken to print all our unedited Anglo-Saxon MSS. 
Thole of the time of Alfred are under Mr. Sweet's charge j the later ones-will be 
edited by Dr. R. Morris, Mr. Skeat, and Mr. Lumby.] 



22 Norman French the Fajhionable Language. s. i. 

tion : l and not only the language but the manners of the [Franks] 
were efteemed the moft polite accomplifhments. 2 In the reign of 
Edward the Confeflbr, the refort of Normans to the Englifh court 
was fo frequent, that the affe&ation of imitating the Frankifh cuf- 
toms became almoft univerfal ; and the nobility were ambitious of 
catching the Frankifh idiom. It was no difficult tafk for the Nor- 
man lords to banifh that language, of which the natives began to be 
abfurdly afhamed. The new invaders [are laid, but probably in 
error, to have] commanded the laws to be adminiftered in French. 3 
Many charters of monafteries were forged in Latin by the Saxon 
monks for the prefent fecurity of their pofleffions, in confequence of 
that averfion which the Normans profefled to the Saxon tongue. 4 
Even children at fchool were forbidden [fays the fpurious Ingulphus] 
to read in their native language, and inftrudted in a knowledge of 
the Norman only. 5 In the meantime we fhould have fome regard to 
the general and political ftate of the nation. The natives were fo 
univerfally reduced to the loweft condition of neglecl: and indigence, 
that the Englifti name became a term of reproach : and feveral gene- 
rations elapfed before one family of Saxon pedigree was raifed to any 
diftinguifhed honours or could fo much as attain the rank of baron- 
age. 6 Among other inftances of that abfolute and voluntary fubmif- 
fion with which our Saxon anceftors received a foreign yoke, it is 
faid [in the fpurious Ingulphus] that they fuffered their hand- writing 
to fall into difcredit and difufe; 7 which by degrees became fo difficult 
and obfolete, that few befide the oldeft men could underftand the 
characters. 8 In the year 1095, Wolftan bifhop of Worcefter was de- 
pofed by the arbitrary Normans : it was objected againft him, that 
he was " a fuperannuated Englifh idiot, who could not fpeak 
French." 9 It is true that in fome of the monafteries, particularly at 
Croyland and Taviftock, founded by Saxon princes, there were regu- 
lar preceptors in the Saxon language : but this inftitution was fuffered 
to remain after the Conqueft as a matter only of intereft and necef- 
fity. The religious could not otherwife have underftood their original 
charters. William's fucceflbr, Henry I., gave an inftrument of con- 

1 Dugd. Mon. i. 89. 

2 Ingulph. Hift. p. 62, fub ann. 1043. 

3 But there is a precept in Saxon from William I. to the flieriff of Somerfetfhire. 
Hickes, Thes. i. Par. i. p. 106. See alfo Praefat. ibid. p. xv. 

4 The Normans, who pra&ifed every fpecious expedient to plunder the monks, 
demanded a fight of the written e.vidences of their lands. The monks well knew 
that it would have been ufelefs or impolitic to have produced thefe evidences, or 
charters, in the original Saxon ; as the Normans not only did not underftand, but 
would have received with contempt, inftruments written in that language. There- 
fore the monks were compelled to the pious fraud of forging them in Latin ; and 
great numbers of thefe forged Latin charters, till lately fuppofed original, are ftill 
extant. See Spelman, in Not. ad Condi. Anglic, p. 125 ; Stillingfl. Orig. Eccles. 
Brttann. p. 145 Marfham, Pra?fat. ad Dugd. Monaft. , and Wharton, Angl. Sacr. 
vol. ii. Praefat. pp. ii. iii. iv. See alfo Ingulph. p. 512. Launoy and MabilJon have 
treated this fubjet with great learning and penetration. 

5 Ingulph. p. 7 1, fub ann. 1066. 



6 See Brompt. Chron. p. 1026 ; Abb. Rieval, p. 339. 

7 Ingulph. p. 85. 8 Ibid. p. 98, fub ann. 1091. 



9 Matt. Paris, fub ann. 



s. i. Saxon the Language of the People. 23 

firmation to William archbifhop of Canterbury, which was written 
in the Saxon language and letters. 1 That monarch's motive was 
perhaps political : and he feems to have pra&ifed this expedient with 
a view of obliging his queen who was of Saxon lineage, or with a 
defign of flattering his Englifh fubje&s, and 9f fecuring his title 
already ftrengthened by a Saxon match, in confequence of fo fpecious 
and popular an artifice. It was a common and indeed a very natural 
pra6tice, for the tranfcribers of Saxon books to change the Saxon 
orthography for the Norman, and to fubftitute in the place of the 
original Saxon Norman words and phrafes. A remarkable inftance 
of this liberty, which fometimes perplexes and mifleads the critics in 
Anglo-Saxon literature, appears in a voluminous collection of Saxon 
homilies preferved in the Bodleian library, and written about the 
time of Henry II. 2 It was with the Saxon chara6ters, as with the 
fignature of the crofs in public deeds, which were changed into the 
Norman mode of feals and fubfcriptions. 3 The Saxon was [of courfe] 
fpoken in the country, yet not without various adulterations from the 
French : the courtly language was [Norman-] French, yet perhaps 
with fome veftiges of the vernacular Saxon. But the nobles in the 
reign of Henry II. conftantly fent their children into France, left 
they mould contract habits of barbarifm in their fpeech, which could 
not have been avoided in an Englifh education. 4 Robert Holcot, a 
learned Dominican friar, confefTes that in the beginning of the reign 
of Edward III. there was no inftitution of children in the old 
Englifh : he complains that they firft learned the French, and from 
the French the Latin language. This he obferves to have been a 
practice introduced by the Conqueror, and to have remained ever 
fmce." 5 There is a curious paflage relating to this fubject in Trevifa's 
translation of Hygden's Polychronicon. 5 " Chyldern in fcoles, a3enes 

e ufage and manere of al oj?ere nacions, buj? compelled for to leve 
ere oune longage, and for to conftrue here leflbns and here Jringis 
a Freynfch ; and habbej? fu]?e J?e Normans come furft into Enge- 
lond. Alfo gentilmen children buj? ytau3t for to fpeke Freynfch 
fram tyme that a buj? yrokked in here cradel, and connej? fpeke 
and pleye wij? a child his brouch : and uplondyfch 7 men wol lykne 
hamfylf to gentile men, and fondej? 8 with gret byfynes for to fpeke 

1 Wharton, Auftor. Hiftor. Dogmat. p. 388. The learned Mabillon is miftaken 
in aflerting, that the Saxon way of writing was entirely abolifhed in England at the 
time of the Norman Conqueft. See Mabillon, De Re Diplomat, p. 52. The French 
antiquaries are fond of this notion. There are Saxon ch.ara6r.ers in Herbert Lo- 
fmga's charter for founding the church of Norwich, temp. Will. Ruf. A.D. mo. 
See Lambarde's Difiion. v. NORWICH. See alfo Hickes, Thefaur. i. Par. i. p. 149. 
And Prsefat. p. xvi. An intermixture of the Saxon w is common in Englifli 
MSS. [up to 1200, A.D. ; the was ufed ftill later, and the p after 1500; indeed, 
the latter is ftill feen in our ye for the.} 

2 MSS. Bodl. NE. F. 4. 12. 3 Yet fome Norman charters have the crofs. 

4 Gervas. Tilbur. de Otiis Imperial. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. lib. iii. See Du Chefne, iii. 

P- 3 6 3- 

5 Left.inLibr. Sapient. Left. ii. 1518. 

6 Lib. i. cap. 59, MSS. Coll. S. Johan. Cantabr. Robert of Gloucefter, who 
wrote about 1280, fays much the fame : edit. Hearne, p. 364. 

7 upland, country. 8 try. 



24 Education of Children. s. I . 

Freynfch for to be more ytold of. Thys manere was moche yufed 
tofore J?et furfte moreyn ; and ys fe]?e fomdel ychaunged. For John 
Cornwall, a mayftere of gramere chaungede j?e lore in gramere fcole, 
and conftruccion of Freynfch into Englyfch : and Richard Pen- 
cryche lernede j?at manere techynge of hym, and o]?ere men of Pen- 
cryche. So J?at J?e 3er of oure Lord a tboufand thre honored four e 
fcore and fyve, [and] of j?e fecunde Kyng Richard after e conqueft 
nyne, in al be grammere fcoles of Engelond childern leueth Freynfch 
and conftrue]? and lurnej? an Englyfch," 1 &c. About the fame 
time, or rather before, the ftudents of our univerfities were ordered 
to converfe in French or Latin. 2 The latter was much afte&ed by 
the Normans. All the Norman accounts were in Latin. The plan 
of the great royal revenue-rolls, now called the pipe-rolls, was of 
their conftru<5Uon and in that language. Among the Records of the 
Tower, a great revenue-roll on many (beets of vellum, or Magnus 
Rotulus, of the Duchy of Normandy for the year 1083, is ftill pre- 
ferved indorfed in a coaeval hand ANNO AB ICARNATIONE DNI M 
LXXX in APUD CADOMUM [Caen] WILLIELMO FILIO RADULFI 
SENESCALLO NORMANNIE. S This moft exactly and minutely re- 
fembles the pipe-rolls of our exchequer belonging to the fame age in 
form, method, and character. 4 But from the declenfion of the barons 
and prevalence of the commons, moft of whom were of Englifh an- 
ceftry, the native language of England gradually gained ground ; till 
at length the intereft of the commons fo far fucceeded with Edward 
III., that an a<5t of parliament was pafled [in 1362], appointing all 
pleas and proceedings of law to be carried on in Englifh ; 5 although 
the fame ftatute decrees, in the true Norman fpirit, that all fuch 
pleas and proceedings fhould be enrolled in Latin. 6 Yet this change 
did not reftore either the Saxon alphabet or language. It abolimed a 

[ l From the contemporary MS. Cotton. Tiberius, D. vii., collated with Harl. 
MS. 1900, in Dr. R. Morris's handy book for ftudents, Specimens of Early Engli/fi, 
1250-1400, A.D. p. 338-9. F.~] 

2 In the ftatutes in Oriel College in'Oxford, it is ordered that the fcholars or fel- 
lows, " fiqua inter fe proferant, colloquio Latino, vel faltem Gallico, perfruantur." 
See Hearne's Trokelonve, p. 298. Thefe ftatutes were given 23 Maii, A.D. 1328. I 
find much the fame injunction in the ftatutes of Exeter College, Oxford, given 
about 1330 ; where they are ordered to ufe " Romano aut Gallico faltem fermone." 
Hearne's MSS. Collect. No. 132, p. 73, Bibl. Bodl. But in Merton College ftatutes 
mention is made of the Latin only (cap. x.). They were given 1271. This was 
alfo common in the greater monafteries. In the regifter of Wykeham bifhop of 
Winchefter, the domicellus of the prior of St. Swythin's at Winchefter is ordered 
to addrefs the bifhop on a certain occafion in French. A.D. 1398. Regiftr. Par. 
iii. fol. 177. 

[ 3 Privately printed by Petrie, 1830, 4. Two other rolls of the Norman era 
have been publifhed by Stapleton, 1848, 2 vols. 8.] 

* Ayloffe's Calendar of Ant. Chart. Pref. p. xxiv. edit. 1774. 

5 But the French formularies and terms of law, and particularly the French 
feudal phrafeology, had taken too deep root to be thus haftily abolimed. Hence, 
long after the reign of Edward III., many of our lawyers compofed their trab in 
French. And reports and fome ftatutes were made in that language. See For- 
tefcut. De Laud. Leg. Angl. c. xlviii. 

6 Pulton's Statut. 36 Edw. III. This was A.D. 1363. The firft Englifti inftru- 
ment in Rymer is dated 1368. Feed. vii. p. 526. 



s. I. The " T ran/it ion" Period. 25 

token of fubjecSHon and difgrace, and in fome degree contributed to 
prevent further French innovations in the language then u r ed, which 
yet remained in a compound ftate, and retained a confiderable mix- 
ture of foreign phrafeology. In the meantime, it muft be remem- 
bered that this corruption of the Saxon was not only owing to the 
admiflion of new words, occafioned by the new alliance, but to 
changes of its own forms and terminations, arifing from reafons 
which we cannot investigate or explain. 1 

[The Tranfition Period of the Englifti language, between uoo 
and 1250 A. D., may be divided into two ftages, 1100-1150, 1150- 
1250. The charadteriftics of the language of each of thefe ftages 
are its fucceffive changes from Anglo-Saxon, principally in in- 
flexions ; and of thefe changes, between uoo and 1300 A. D., we 
are enabled to prefent 2 the following (ketch : 

Changes from uoo to 1150. 

(This period includes part of the A.-Sax. Chronicle^ and fome profe 
pieces as yet inedited. No poetical compofitions of this period 
have, as yet, been found.) 

The changes are moftly orthographical ones. 

1. The older vowel endings, #, 0, , were reduced to e. This 
change affected the oblique cafes of nouns and adjectives, as well as 
the nominative, caufing great confufion in the grammatical inflexions, 
fo that the termination 

an became en. 

um en. 

ena en. 

on en. 

as es. 

ath eth. 

ra, ru re. 

od, ode ed, ede. 

The older endings were not wholly loft, but co-exift along with the 
modified forms. 

2. C is fometimes foftened to ch^ and g to y or /', but fc remains 
intact. 

3. An n is often added to a final e, and n often falls off, efpecially 
in the endings of nouns of the n declenfion and in the definite 
declenfion of adjectives. 

Changes from 1150 to 1250, 
(Including pieces in Dr. R. Morris's Old Englijh Homilies, 

La^amon, &c.) 

Great grammatical changes take place, and orthographical ones 
become fully eftablifhed. 

[ ! This fubjea will be further illuftrated in the next Seaion.] 

[ a By the kindnefs of Dr. Richard Morris, who drew up the prefent infertion.] 



26 The " Tranfition " Period. s. i. 

1. The indefinite article an (a], is developed out of the numeral 
an (one). It retains moft of the older inflexions. 

2. The definite article becomes the, theo, thet (that), inftead of 
fe,feo, that. 

There is a tendency to drop fuffixes, and to ufe an uninflecled the. 
The occurs as a plural inftead of tha or tho. 

3. Plurals of nouns end in en or e inftead of the older a or u, 
thus conforming to the n declenfion. 

4. The plural ending es is often fubftituted for en. 

5. Genitive plural es, is occafionally found for e or ene. 

6. Confufion in the genders of nouns, fhowing a tendency to 
abolifh the older diftin&ion of mafculine, feminine and neuter nouns. 

7. Adjectives (how a tendency to drop certain cafe endings : 

(i.) The gen. fing. mafc. indef. declenfion. 
(2.) The gen. and dat. fern, of indef. declenfion. 

8. Dual forms are ftill in ufe, but are lefs frequently employed. 

9. New pronominal forms come into ufe : 

ha, a = he, {he, they ; is [hife] = hire = her ; 

his, is = hi, heo = them ; me = men = man = Fr. on. 

That is ufed as an indeclinable relative (i) for the indeclinable 
the: (2) for fe and feo. Which, whofe, whom, what, come in as 
relatives. 

10. The n of mm, thin, drops off before confonants, but is retained 
in the oblique cafes. 

11. The genitive cafes of the pronouns are becoming mere poflef- 
fives. 

Mi-felf, thi-felf, for mefelf, the f elf . 

12. The infinitive frequently omits the final n, a.sfmelle=fmellen. 
The infinitive often takes to, as in the earlier text of La3amon. 

13. The gerundial or dative infinitive ends in en or e, inftead 
of ene (= enne^ anne). 

14. The n of the paffive participle is often dropped, as icume = 
icumen = come. 

15. The prefent participle ends in inde (for ende). 

The participle in inde often does duty for the dative infinitive in 
ene, as to fwimende == to fwimene = to fwim. 
This corruption is found before 1066. 
Shall and will, are ufed as auxiliaries of the future tenfe. 

1 6. The above remarks are bafed on the Southern dialect, but the 
Ormulum has a general difregard for nearly all inflexions. 

(i.) The article is uninflecl:ed in the fingular, and for the pi. we 
only find the nom. tha. 

That is a demonftrative, and not the neuter of the article. 

(2.) The gender of nouns is much the fame as in modern Englifh. 

(3.) The genitive s is ufed for mafc. and fem. nouns. 

(4.) The$$, theftre, the^m, are ufed for hi, heore, heom. 

^ho = (he, for heo. 

(5.) Verbal plurals end in en inftead of e th (except imper. pi.) 

(6.) The particle / (or ge) is dropt before the paffive participle. 



s. i. The " Tranfition" Period. 27 

(7.) Inflexion is often loft in the 2nd perfl pret. of ftrong verbs. 

(8.) The Ancren Riwle^ St. Marharete^ &c. hzvefeb forfe, which 
change feems to have taken place after 1200. 

There is a mixture of dialect in thefe latter works, and there is 
more fimplicity of grammatical ftru6ture than in La^amon, &c. 

(9.) Arn occurs, as in the Ormulum, for beotb or find. 

Changes from 1250 to 1300. 

(i.) The def. article has not wholly loft in the Southern dialect 
the gen. fing. fern, and ace. mafc. inflexions : tbo is the plural in all 
cafes. 

(2.) The gender of nouns is much fimplified, owing to lofs of 
adjective inflexions. 

(3.) Plurals of nouns in en and es are ufed indifcriminately. 

(4.) The genitive es becomes more general, and often takes the 
place 

(i.) Of the older en or e. (n. decl.) 

(2.) Of e (fern, nouns). 

(3.) Of the plural ene or e. 

(5.) Dative e (fing. and pi.) is often dropt. 

(6.) Dual forms rare; and loft before 1300. 

(7.) Adjective inflexions are reduced to e. 

The gen. pi. re is retained in a few cafes, as al-re, as well as 
the gen. fing. es in a few pronominal forms, as eaches^ other es. 

(8.) The gerundial infinitive in e or en is more common than in 
ene. 

(9.) Some ftrong verbs become weak. 

(10.) Prefent participles in Inge make their appearance in the 
fecond text of La3amon, fay 1270 A. D. 

All thefe points are fubject to occafional exceptions caufed by 
dialectal differences. Thus, the Kentifh of the thirteenth century, 
as far as we know it, has older forms than the weftern, as exhibited 
in La^amon^ as fe = the (m.) j/, f. &c., while the Ayenblte of the 
fourteenth century is more inflectional in many refpects than the 
Ancren Riwle and St. Marharete. 

Having thus ftated the characteriftics of the two ftages of the 
Tranfition Period, in the firft of which we have, as above noted, no 
poetry, we proceed to give a lift of the principal poetical works 
known to us in manufcript in the fecond ftage of the Tranfition 
Period, and the Early Englifh Period with fome extenfion, only 
warning our readers that our dates are in many cafes hypothetical 
ones, as it is very difficult to fettle the date of an old romance or 
poem known to us only through a late and often altered copy. Of 
the MS. of the latter we know the date, but it would be abfurd to 
give that date to the early original. 

As it would be impoffible, under exifting circumftances, to notice 
in detail all the Early Englifh Poems that have been printed, or made 
known in modern times, we truft that the reader will be content 
with our lift of the principal ones, and the volumes containing moft 



28 Lift of Early Englifh Poems. s. i. 

of the minor ones, fo that he may examine for himfelf thofe that he 
does not find defcribed in the courfe of the Hijtory : 

Before 1200 A.D. 

Poetical pieces from the Lambeth MS. 487. 
From i zoo to 1250, A.D. 

Dr. R. Morris's Old Englifh Homilies (Early Englifh Text Society), 

pp. i 182. 

? The Grave, in Thorpe's Anale&a. 
Ormulum (ed. White). 
Lajamon, the ift text (ed. Madden). 
St. Marharete, the ift text (ed. Cockayne). 
St. Katherine (ed. Morton, Abbotsford Club). 
St. Juliana (ed. Cockayne). 

The Poetical Pieces in Dr. R. Morris's Eng. Homilies (pp. 182 287). 
Later verfions of the Moral Ode. 
From 1250 to 1300 A.D. 

Genefis and Exodus (ed. Dr. R. Morris). 

Beftiary (ed. by T. Wright in Reliq. Antiq., and by Dr. R. Morris in 

Old Englifh Beftiary, &c., Early Englifh Text Society, 1871). 
Lajamon, and text (ed. Madden). 

Cuckoo Song and Prifoners' Prayer (ed. A. J. Ellis, Philolog. Soc., 1868). 
The Owl and Nightingale (eds. Stevenfon and T. Wright j Stratmann, 

beft edition). 

The Religious Pieces from the Jefus MS., in Old Englifh Beftiary, 1871. 
' Havelok the Dane (eds. Madden and Skeat). 
O. E. Northern Pfalter (ed. Stevenfon, for Surtees Society). 
Athanafian Creed (Hickes's Thefaurus). 

1264-1327. Political Songs (ed. T. Wright, Camden Society). 
1280-1300. Hendyng's Proverbs (ed. T. Wright and R. Morris). 

Lyric Poetry, Harl. 2253 (ed. T. Wright, Percy Society). 
Harrowing of Hell, Maximon &c., Harl. 2253 (ed. Halliwell, &c.) 
v Horn (ed. Michel, Roxburghe Club ; ed. Lumby, Early Englifh Text 
Society; ed. Matzner and Goldbeck in their Sprachproben, beft 
edition). 
Clofe upon 1300 A.D., but probably after, to judge by ou for . 

Romance of Alexander (in Weber's Metrical Romances, vol. i.). 
Robert of Gloucefter (Cotton MS. not the verfion printed by Hearne). 
Lives of Saints (ed. Furnivall ') j SS. Brandan and Beket (Percy Society) ; 
Popular Science (ed. T. Wright) ; and the reft in the Harleian MS. 
2277. 

1303. Robert Manning of Brunne's Handlyng Synne, MS. about 1370 (ed. 
Furnivall, Roxburghe Club). 

(?) Meditations on the Lord's Supper. 

Curfor Mundi, or Curfur o Worlde 2 (in hand for the Early Englifh 

Text Society, 2 parallel texts). 
1 310-20? Metrical Homilies (ed. Small). 
1310-20? Pieces in Digby MS. 86. Maximian, Dame Siriz, Vox and Wolf, &c. 

(Rel. Ant., Matzner, Hazlitt, &c.) Harrowing of Hell, c. 
1320 ? Poem on the times of Edward II. (ed. Hardwicke, Percy Society). 
1 320-30 ? All the Romances and pieces in the Auchinleck MS. in the Advocates' 
Library, Edinburgh, of which a lift is given in Sir Walter Scott's edition 
of Sir Triftram, and Mr. D. Laing's Permiworthe of Wit, &c. (Abbotf- 
ford Club, 1857). The principal are: Bevis of Hampton (Maitland 
Club) ; Guy of Warwick (Abbotsford Club) ; Sir Triftram (ed. Scott) ; 

[' The contraction i c was by miftake printed ic inftead of ich, in this edition. jp.] 

[ 2 There are a great many u's for ou's in Curfor Mundi (Cotton MS.), and Dr. R. 

Morris is inclined to think that the oldeft text, from which many dialedtal copies 

have been made, was written before 1300; but this original has not yet been 

found.] 



s. i. Lift of Early Engtifo Poems. 29 

Otuel (Abbotsford Club) ; Roland and Vernagu (Abbotsford Club) ; 
Orfeo and Heurodis (ed. Laing) j Arthour & Merlin (Abbotsford 
Club); Seven Sages (Weber); Syr Degore (Abbotsford Club); Guy 
and Alquine ; Lai le Freine, King of Tars, and Horn Child (Ritfon) ; 
Liber Regum Anglic ; AfTumption of the Virgin ; Joachim, our Lady's 
Mother ; Amis and Amiloun (Weber) ; Owayn Miles ; Harrowing of 
Hell ; Body and Soul ; Pope Gregory ; Adam ; St. Margaret ; St. 
Katherine. 

1325 ? Shoreham's Poems (ed. T. Wright, Percy Society). 
1338. Robert Manning of Brunne's Chronicle (Part I. ed. Furnivall ; Part II. 

ed. Hearne). 

134.0 ? The Pfaims wrongly called Shoreham's (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 17,376). 
1 34.0 ? Alifaunder, a fragment, with William of Palerne (Skeat's ed.). 
134.0-8. Hampole's Pricke of Confcience (ed. R. Morris, Philological Society) 

and Minor Poems. 
1350. William of Palerne, or William and the Werwolf (ed. Madden, Rox- 

burghe Club ; Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society). 
1352. Minot's Poems (ed. Ritfon). 
1360? Early Englifli Alliterative Poems (ed. R. Morris, Early Englifh Text 

Society), and 

Gawayne & the Green Knight, Cotton MS. Nero, A. x. (ed. Madden, 
Roxburghe Club ; R. Morris, Early Englifli Text Society ; See too 
Percy Folio, ii. 56). The coarfe paintings in the cotton MS. are later 
than the text. 

Refpefting the age of the Cotton MS., however, Sir F. Madden obferves 
(Sir Gawayne, 1839, 30 : " I* W U not be difficult, from a careful 
infpeftion of the manufcript itfelf, in regard to the writing and 
illuminations, to aflign it to the reign of Richard the Second; and 
the internal evidence, arifing from the peculiarities of coftume, armour, 
and architecture, would lead us to affign the romance to the fame 
period, or a little earlier. 1 ' 

1360 ? Morte Arthure (eds. Halliwell, Perry, and Brock, the two latter for the 

Early Englifh Text Society, from the Thornton MS. about 1440 A.D.). 

? The Geft Hyftoriale of the Deftruftion of Troy (ed. Donaldfon and 

Panton, Early Englifh Text Society). 

1362. Piers Plowman, Text A (ed. Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society). 
1366? Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rofe. 1 ff~ 
1369. Chaucer's Boke of the DuchefTe. X" 

Rewle of St. Benet (Northern). 
1373 ? Chaucer's Life of St. Cecile. ^ 

Chaucer's AfTemble of Foules, and Palamon and Arcite. Jr 
1375. Barbour's Brus (ed. Hart, Anderfon, &c.; Pinkerton, Jamiefon, James; 

beft ed. Skeat, 1870). 

About 1375. All the pieces in the (Southern) Vernon MS., 2 of which Mr. Halli- 
well printed an incomplete and incorreft lift. 3 The chief are : 
*Old and New Teftament, abridged. 
Saints' Lives, &c. (Other Brit. Mus. MSS. are Harl. 2277, 4196 

[' Mr. Henry Bradfhaw difputes the Glafgow MS., the only one known of any 
Englifh tranflation of the Rofe, being Chaucer's verfion.] 

[" A very imperfeft duplicate of this MS., the Simeon or Additional MS. 22,283, 
is in the Britifh Mufeum.] 

[ 3 The Vernon MS. has thefe Lives, &c , which are not in the earlier Harl. MS. 
2277. (The numbers are thofe of Mr. Halliwell's lift). How the Martyrs be God's 
Knights, " Now bloweth this newe fruyt that late bigon to fpringe," (ift line of 
Lives.) 2 New Year's Day, 3 Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 4 St. Hillare, 5 St. 
Wolfton, St. Edward, and William of Normandy, 6 St. Fabian, 7 St. Agnes, 
8 St. Vincent, 9 St. Juliane, 10 St. Blafe, n St. Agace, 12 St. Scolace, 13 St. 
Valentin, 14 St. Juliane, 15 St. Mathi[as], 16 St. Gregori, 17 St. Longius, 18 St. 
Edward the King, 19 St. Cuthberd, (20 St. Benet), 21 St. Julian, 22 St. Bride, 23 
St. Ofwald, 24, St. Chadde, 40 St. Pernele, 42 St. Adboruh, 44 St. Aylbriht, 45 



30 Lift of Early Englijh Poems. s. i. 

(Northern), Egerton, 1993 ; Additional, 10301, 10626). Mr. Earle 
has printed the St. S within and St. Mary of Egypt. 
*Barlaam and Jofafaph. 

*La Eftorie del Evangelic tranflated (to the Nativity). 
*Gofpels illuftrated by Stories. 

Wm. of Naffington's Mirror of Life, from Jn. of Waldby's Speculum Vitae. 
fHampole's Prick of Conlcience. 
The Prikke of Love. 

Bodie and Soule (ed. T. Wright, in Mapes's Poems, pp. 340-6). 
Chriftes PafTion ; Chrift and the Devil, &c. 
Caftell ofFLoue (ed. Weymouth, Philological Society, 1864). 
fKyng Robert of Cicyle, &c. 

Kyng of Tars and Soudan of Dammas (ed. Ritfon, Metr. Rom.). 
* Proverbs and Cato. 

Stacions of Rome (ed. Furnivall, Early Englifh Text Society, 1867). 
Virgin and Chrift's Crofs (ed. Morris, Early Englifh Text Society, 1871). 
*fPiftyl of Sweet Sufan. Stimulus Amoris. 

Hampole's Perfecl Living. Contemplative Life. 

Mirour of St. Edmund. Abbey of the Holy Goft, or Confcience. 

Spiritum Guidonis. *Life of Adam and Eve. 

Piers Plowman, Text A. (ed. Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society). 
*Jofeph of Arimathaea, or the Holy Graal (ed. Skeat, Early Englifh Text 

Society, 1871). 

Lives of Pilate and Judas (ed. Furnivall, Philological Society). 
Minor Poems (fome printed). 

1370-80. Sir Amadas, Avowyng of Arthur, &c. (eds. Stephens and Robfon). 
1377 Piers Plowman, Text B. (ed. Crowley, T. Wright ; Skeat, beft edition, 

Early Englifh Text Society). 
1377 ? *Sir Ferumbras (Afhmole MS. 33). 
Chaucer's Troylus and CrefTeyde. 1 
1380 ?* Piers Plowman, text C. (ed. Whitaker). 
1 384 ? Chaucer's Houfe of Fame. 

Chaucer's Anelida and Arcite, Complaynt of Mars and Venus, and 

minor pieces. 

Chaucer's Legend of Good Women. 
1387 ? Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. 2 

Sowdane of Babyloyne and Sir Ferumbras (Roxburghe Club). 
Barbour's Troy Book, MSS. fragments. 
Audelay's Poems (Percy Society). 

* Copied, and in hand for the Early Englifh Text Society, 
f Of this, another MS, has been printed. 

St. Aeldrede, 46 St. Botulf, 47 St. Patrik, 50 St. Athelwold, 55 St. Mildride, 
58 St. Allix (different metre), 59 St. Gregory, 60 The 7 Sleepers, 61 St. Dominick, 
62 King St. Ofwold, 65 St. Perpolyt, 69 St. Egwyne, 73 St. Juftine, 74 St. Leger, 
75 St. Francis. Alfo in different metre : 87 Sanfta Paula, 89 Virgin in Antioch, 
90 ditto, Miracle of a Virgin, 91 Sithia and Climonen, 92 St. Theodora, 93 St. 
Bernard, 94 St. Auftin, 95 St. Savyn. The Beket is different too. 

The earlier Harl. MS. 2277 has thefe Lives, &c. not in the Vernon 14 Leynte, 
6 Pafcha, 7 Afcencio, 8 Pentecoft, 1 3 Letanie, 14 Rouifons, 18 Quiriac, 19 Brendan, 
24 Teofle, 46 Denis, 47 Luc, 48. 11,000 Virgins, 49 Symon and Jude, 50 Quintin, 
51 All Saints, 52 All Souls, 53 St. Leonard, 54 St. Martin, 55 Edmund Confeffor, 
56 Edmund King, 63 St. Anaftace, 65 Invencio Stephani. 

The following are loft from the beginning of Harl. MS. 2277 : Hillarij, 
Wolftani, Fabiani, Sebaftiani, Agnetis, Vincencij, Juliani conf[eflbris], Juliani 
hofp[itis], Brigide, Blafij, Agathe, Scolaftice, Valentini, Juliane virginis, Mathie 
apoftoli, Ofwaldi, Cedde conf[efToris], Gregorij, Longij, Patricij, Edwardi 
Juuenis, Cutbmi, and (part) Bened/c/i.J 

t 1 The profe Boece was probably written before Troylus.'] 
5 The profe Aftrolabe contains the date 1391.] 



s. I. Lift of Early Englijh Poems. 31 

The altered verfion of Wm. of Naffington's Mirrour of Life, (from Jn. 

of Waldby's Speculum Vitae). 
1390 ? Barbour's Lives of Saints (MS. in Camb. Univ. Library, about 40,000 

lines). 

Troy Book, Bodleian MS. 
1392-3. Gower's Confeflio Amantis (ed. Pauli, a poor text). 

1 3 94 ? Pierce the Ploughman's Crede (ed. Wolfe, Rogers, Whitaker, T. Wright ; 

Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society, beft ed.). 

1395 ? Plowman's Tale (ed. 1687, Wright's Polit. Poems, ii.) 
1395 ? Richard Maydenftoon's Pfalms (Rawlinfon MS. A. 389). 

The Lay Folks' Mafs Book (ed. Simmons, Early Englifh Text Society, 

in the prefs). 

1399. Depofition of Richard II. (ed. T. Wright for the Camden Society, and 
in Political Poems, vol. ii.). 

After 1400 A.D. e final rapidly loft fuch grammatical value as it 
had at the clofe of the I4th century. Many copies of earlier ro- 
mances, &c., are preferved for us only in I5th century MSS. 

? Morte Arthure, from MS. Harl. 2252, ab. 1440-50, A.D. (ed. Panton, 

Roxburghe Club; ed. Furnivall). 
1410. Lydgate's Tranflation of Boethius. 
1414. Brampton's Penitential Pfalms (Percy Society). 
1414-25. Poems of James I. of Scotland. 
1420 ? Mirk's Duties of a Parifh Prieft (ed. Peacock, Early Englifh Text 

Society). 
1420 ? Occleve's De Regimine Principum (ed. T. Wright, Roxburghe Club) : 

Minor Poems (ed. Mafon, 1796, and thofe in MS.) 
1420. Siege of Rouen (Archaeologia, xxi, xxii.). 
1425 ? Palladius on Husbandry, tranflated (ed. Lodge, Early Englifh Text 

Society ; in the prefs). 

1426. Lydgate's Pilgrim (from De Guileville). 
1430 ? Partonope of Blois (ed. Buckley, Roxburghe Club). 
1430 ? Minor Poems of Lydgate (ed. Halliwell, Percy Soc. Others are in 

MS. at Trinity College, Cambridge, &c. &c.) 
1430 ? Merlin, Douce MS. 236, 1296 lines (differs from Affleck copy). 

Athelfton (and other pieces in Reliquiae Antiquae, ii.). 
1430 ? Poem on Freemafonry (ed. Halliwell). 
1430? Chevelere Affigne (ed. Utterfon, Roxburghe Club j H. H. Gibbs, Early 

Englifh Text Society). 

1430-40. Lincoln's Inn MS. 150; Ly beans Difconus; Merlin, &c. 
1430 ? Ancient Myfteries from the Digby MS. (Abbotsford Club). 
1430. Political, Religious, and Love Poems (ed. Furnivall, Early Englifh Text 

Society). 
1430 ? Englifh verfe tranflation of Speculum Humana Safoationis. Mr. Hy. 

Huth's MS. 
1430? Sir Generides (ed. Furnivall, Roxburghe Club; Lydgate's verfion is in 

a MS. at Trinity College, Cambridge). 
Robert of Cycille (ed. Halliwell, in Nugae Poeticae). 
The Siege of Jerufalem (2 verfions). 

Jon the Gardener, and Poems on Herbs (MS. Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, in hand for Early Englifh Text Society). 
1430 ? Hymns to the Virgin and Chrift, the Parliament of Devils, &c. (ed. 

Furnivall, Early Englifh Text Society). 
1430-40? The poems in the Cambr. Univerfity MS. F f 2, 38. Many of the 

minor poems have been printed. The principal pieces are : 
Commandments, 7 Works, 5 Wits, 7 Sins and Virtues. 
The Good Man and his Son, Merchant and Wife, Merchant and Son 

(all printed). 

Erie of Tolous (ed. Ritfon, Metr. Rom., iii. 93-114). 
Syr Eglamoure (ed. Halliwell, Thornton Rom. 121-176. See too 
Percy Folio, ii. 338.) 



32 Lift of Early Englifh Poems. s. i. 

Syr Tryamoure (ed. Halliwell, Percy Society, See, too, Percy Folio, ii. 78.) 
Oaavian (ed. Halliwell, Percy Society, 1844). 
Seven Ages (imperfect:, differs from Affleck copy). 

Guy of Warwick (12156 lines, perfect). Another copy at Caius Col- 
lege, Cambridge. Copies of Lydgate's tranflation are in the Bodleian, 
and in Harleian MS. 524-3. 

Le Bone Florence of Rome (ed. Ritfon, Metr. Rom. iii. 1-92). 
Robert of Sicily (ed. Halliwell, 1844). 
Sir Degare (imperfect. See too Percy Folio, i. 344). 
fBevife of Hampton. 

1430 ? Lydgate's Siege of Thebes, and other Poems. 
1430, 1460, &c. The Babees Book, RufTeli's Book of Courtefy, &c. (ed. Furnivall, 

Early Englifli Text Society). 

1430. Two Alexander Fragments (ed. Stevenfon, Roxburghe Club). 
1440 ? Lyfe of Ipomydon (Harl. MS. 2252, later ed. Weber.) 
1440 ? Arthur (ed. Furnivall, Early Englifh Text Society). 
1440 ? Torrent of Portugal (ed. Halliwell). 
1440 ? Sir Gowther (ed. Utterfon). 

1440 ? Poems of Charles Duke of Orleans (Roxburghe Club). 
1440? Thofe pieces in the Thornton MS. which do not belong to a much 
earlier date. See a lift of the contents of the MS. in Mr. HalliwelPs 
"Thornton Romances" for the Camden Society. The principal 
poems are: 

Morte Arthure (ed. Halliwell, ed. Perry, and beft ed. Brock). 
fO&avyane, fSyr Ifumbrace, f Erie of Tholoufe, fSyr Degravante, 

f Syr Eglamoure. 

Tomas off Erfleldoune (ed. Laing, in Select Remains). 
Syr Perecyvelle of Gales (ed. Halliwell, Thornton Rom. 1-70.) 
Awnetyrs of Arthur at the Tarne Wathelan (ed. Laing, in Select: Re- 
mains, and Madden in Syr Gawayne, 15-128). 

Wm.of Naffington on the Trinity (ed. Perry, Early Englifh Text Society). 
Sayne Johan, &c. (ed. Perry, Early Englifh Text Society). 
1443. Bokenam's Lives of Saints (Roxburghe Club). 
1440-50? Henry Lonelich's Saynt Graal (ed. Furnivall, Roxburghe Club) and 

Merlin ; both imperfect. 

Songs and Carols (ed. Wright, Percy Society and Warton Club). 
1450? Sir Degrevvaunt (ed. Halliwell, Thornton Romances, 177-276), and 

many poems in Cambridge Univerfity, MS. F f i, 6. 
1450? Chefter Plays (ed. T. Wright, Shakefpeare Society). 
1455? The Buke of the Howlat, by Sir R. de Holande (ed. Pinkerton, 1792 j 

Bannatyne Club, 1823). 

1460. Wyntown's Chronicle (ed. Macpherfon, 1795). 

1462 ? The Wright's Chafte Wife (ed. Furnivall, Early Englifh Text Society). 
Wey's Pilgrimage to Jerufalem (Roxburghe Club, and Mr. H. HutrTs 

MS.). 

1460? Towneley (or Widkirk) Myfteries (ed. Surtees Society). 
1460? Play of the Sacrament (ed. Stokes, Philological Society). 
1460 ? York Myfteries (Lord Afhburnham's MS.) 
1460 ? Mifcellanies from the Porkington MS. 
1460 ? Liber Cure Cocorum (ed. R. Morris, Philological Society). 
1460 ? Tundale's Vifions, &c. (ed. Turnbull). 
1460? Blind Harry's Wallace (ed. Jamiefon, &c.) 

1460? Knight and his Wife, and Life of St. Katherine (ed. Halliwell). 
1460 ? The pieces in the Cotton MS. Caligula A ii. from older originals, 
f Eglamor of Artus. 

fOftavian Imperator. > 

Launfal Miles (ed. Ritfon, Metr. Rom.). 

Lybeaus Difconus, or The Fayre Unknown (ed. Ritfon, Metric. Rom. 
ii. ; ed. Hippeau ; fee alfo another copy in the Percy Folio, ii. 4.15). 



| Of thefe, other MSS. have been printed. 



s. i. Lift of Early Englijh Poems. 33 

The Nightingale, from John of Hoveden's Latin. He wrote the PraElica 

Chilindri in the Chaucer Society's Effay, Part 2. 
Emare (ed. Ritfon, Metr. Rom.). 

Ypotis (Vernon MS. ; in hand for Early Englifh Text Society). 
Stacions of Rome, St. Gregory's Trental, (ed. Furnivall, 1866, Early 

Englifh Text Society). 

Urbanitas(ed. Furnivall, Babees Book, Early Englifh Text Society, 1868). 
-f-Owayne Miles (another MS. pr. at Edinburgh). f Tundale. 

Sege of Jerufalem (fee Velp. E. xvi. leaf 78). 
flfumbras. 
St. Jerome. St. Euftache. Minor Poems. 

1460 ? The Rule of the Moon, &c. (in hand for Early Englifh Text Society, ed. 
Furnivall). 

1468 ? Coventry Myfteries (ed. Halliwell, Shakefpeare Society). 

1470. Harding's Chronicle (printed). See MS. Selden B. 26 : Harl. 66 1. 

1460-88. Henryfbn's Poems (ed. Laing). 

1500? Lancelot of the Laik (ed. Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society). 

1500? Partenay or Lufignan (ed. Skeat, Early Englifh Text Society). 
? Robert the Devyll (ed. Herbert, 1798). 

1500? Doftrynall of Good Servauntes, &c. (circa 1550, repr. Percy Society). 

1450- Caxton's Book of Curtefy, 3 verfions (ed. Furnivall, Early Englifh Text 
1500. Society.) 

1480-1515. Dunbar's Poems (ed. D. Laing). 

1506-30. Hawes's Poetical Works (W. de Worde, &c., Percy Society, &c.). 
Death and Life (Percy Folio Ballads and Romances, iii. 56). 

1508. Golagrus and Gawayne, &c. (ed. Madden ; ed. Laing). 

1513 ? Scotifh Field (Percy Folio Ball, and Rom. i. 199). 

1520? John the Reeve (Percy Folio Ball, and Rom. ii. 550). 
Sir Lambewell, i. 142. 

Eger and Grime i. 341. 

Merlin, i. 417. 

1 520 ? Gawin Douglas's Works. 

[The reader is alfo referred to the feftion of Englifh Poetry in the 
Clafs Catalogue of MSS. in the Britifh Mufeum, now being made under 
Mr. E. A. Bond's direction j to Mr. Coxe's Catalogue of the Oxford Col- 
lege MSS. j Mr. Kitchin's, of the Chriftchurch MSS. ; the Index and 
Catalogue of the Cambridge Univerfity Library, of Corpus Chrifti Coll. 
Cambridge : of the Afhmole, and other collections in the Bodleian Library ; 
in Trinity College, Dublin 5 in Sir Thomas Philipps's and Lord Afh- 
burnham's collections j and to the Reports of the Hiftorical Manufcripts 
Commiflion under the Mafter of the Rolls, &c. &c. Mr.W. Aldis Wright 
is cataloguing the MSS. in Trinity Coll. Cambridge.] 

Among the Digby MSS. in the Bodleian library, we find a re- 
ligious or moral Ode, confiding of one hundred and ninety-one 
ftanzas, [the original of which 1 , if it ftiould be difcovered, may be as 
old as] the Conqueft 2 ; but [it is certain that the earlieft MS. we 
have of this poem, Lambeth 487, is not earlier than the latter half 
of the 1 2th century, if it is not after 1200 A. D. 3 ] It exhibits a 

f Of thefe, other MSS. have been printed. 

1 Ling.Vett. T//^ . Part i.p. 222. There is another copy not mentioned byHickes, 
in Jefus College library at Oxford, MSS. 85, infra citat. This is entitled Traftatus 
quidam in Anglico. The Digby manufcript has no title. 

2 [Monis's Old Englifh Homilies, Early Englifh Text Society, 1868, p. vi. note.] 

3 Sir F. Madden attributes the Digby MS. to the reign of Henry III. He enu- 
merates five other MSS. of the Ode : Jefus Coll. 29 j Trin. Coll. Camb. B. 14, 
52 j Lambeth, 487, f. 39 b. ; and two others in the Egerton MS. 613, in the 
Br. Mus. } and printed in Dr. Morris's Old Englijh Homilies, p. 159. The copy 

II. D 



34 The Moral Ode. s. i. 

regular lyric ftrophe of four lines, the fecond and fourth of which 
rhyme together : although thefe four lines may be perhaps refolved 
into two Alexandrines ; a meafure concerning which more will be 
faid hereafter, and of which it will be fufficient to remark at prefent 
that it appears to have been ufed very early. For I cannot recollect 
any ftrophes of this fort in the elder Runic or Saxon poetry ; nor of 
any of the old Frankifh poems, particularly of Otfrid, a monk in 
Weiflenburgh, who turned the evangelical hiftory into Frankifh 
verfe about the ninth century, and has left feveral hymns in that 
language ; 1 of [the Strickers,] who celebrated the achievements of 
Charlemagne ; 2 and of the anonymous author of the metrical life of 
Anno, archbifhop of Cologne. The following ftanza is a fpecimen 
[of the Lambeth MS., but with the lines arranged as in the Digby 
MS.] : 3 

Sendeth fum god biforen eow 4 
The hwile thet Je mu?en to hovene, 
For betere is an elmefle biforen 
Thenne both efter fouene. 5 

That is, " Send fome good thing before you to heaven while you 

in the Egerton MS. 613, was printed by Mr. Furnivall for the Philological Society 
(Tranfaftions, 1858, pt. II. p. 22), and partly in Morris's Old Engli/b Homilies, 
p. 288.] 

1 See Petr. Lambec. Commentar. de Bibl. Co-far. Vindebon. pp. 418, 457. [A 
modern German tranflation, by Kelle, of Otfrid's poems has juft been publifhed.] 

3 See Petr. Lambec. ubi fupr. lib. ii. cap. 5. There is a circumftance belonging 
to the ancient Frankifh verfification which, as it greatly illuftrates the fubjecl of 
alliteration, deferves notice here. Otfrid's dedication of his evangelical hiftory 
of Lewis I., king of Eaft France, confifts of four-lined ftanzas in rhyming 
couplets : but the firft and laft line of every ftanza begin and end with the fame 
letter : and the letters of the title of the dedication refpeftively, and the word of 
the laft line of every tetraftic. Flacius Illyricus publifhed this work of Otfrid at Bafil, 
1571. But I think it has been iince more correftly printed by Johannes Schilterus. 
It was written about the year 880. Otfrid was the difciple of Rhabanus Maurus. 
[Schilter's book was publifhed under this title : Schilteri Thefaurus antiquitatum 
Teutonicarum, exhibens monumenta veterum Francorum, Alamannorum <vernacula et 
Latina, cum additamentis et notis Joan. Georg. Schertzii. Ulmse, 1727-8. 3 vols. 
in fol. The Thefaurus of Schilter is a real mine of Francic literature. The text 
is founded on a careful collation of all the MSS. to which he could obtain accefs ; 
and thefe, with one exception, perhaps the Life of St. Anno are highly valuable 
for their antiquity and correftnefs. In the fubfequent editions of this happieft 
effort of the Francic Mufe, by Hegewifch, Goldman, and BefTeldt, Schilter's over- 
fight has been abundantly remedied. The Strickers (a name which fome have in- 
terpreted the writer}, is written in the Swabian dialeft; and was compofed towards 
the clofe of the thirteenth century. It is a feeble amplification of an earlier 
romance, which Warton probably intended to cite, when he ufed the Strickers' 
name. Both poems will be found in Schilter ; but the latter, though ufually ftyled 
a Francic produftion, exhibits a language rapidly merging into the Swabian, if it 
be not in faft an early fpecimen of that dialect in a rude uncultivated ftate. Price.] 

3 St. xiv. 

4 " Sen^e 30^ biponen him man, 
pe hpile he mai to heuene ; 
Fort betejie if on elmepj-e bijrorien 
Danne ben apteji reuene." 

This is from the Trinity MS. at Cambridge, written about the [middle of the i3th 
century, in Mr. Wright's opinion.] Cod. membran. 8vo. Traftat. I. See Abr. 
Wheloc, Eccles. Hift. Bed. p. 25, 114. 

6 MSS. Digb. A 4, membran. 



s. i. Early Englifh Homilies. 3 r 

can : for one alms-giving before death is of more value than feven 
afterwards." The verfes might have been thus written, as two 
Alexandrines : 

Sendeth fum god biforen eow the hwile thet Je mo Jen to hovene, 
For betere is an elmefle biforen, thenne both after fouene. 1 
Yet alternate rhyming, applied without regularity, and as rhymes 
accidentally prefented themfelves, was not uncommon in our early 
poetry, as will appear from other examples. 

^ In the archiepifcopal library at Lambeth, among other [Tranfition 
Englifh] homilies in profe, there is a homily or exhortation on the 
Lord's prayer in verfe, 2 which we may place with fome degree of 
certainty [about the year 1200] : 

Vre feder thet in heovene is 

Thet is al fothful i wis. 

Weo moten to theos weordes ifeon 

Thet to live and to faule gode beon. 

Thet weo beon fwa his funes iborene 

Thet he beo feder and we him icorene 

Thet we don alle his ibeden 

And his wille for to reden, &c. (lines 1-8.) 

Lauerd God we biddeth thus 

Mid edmode heorte jif hit us. 

Thet ure ibule beo to the icore 

Noht for the flefce forlore. 

Thole us to biwepen ure funne 

Thet we ne fteruen noht therinne 

And jif us, lauerd, thet ilke Jitte 

Thet we hes ibeten thurh holie fcrifte. AMEN.' 

(Lines 298-305.) 

In the valuable library of Corpus Chrifti College in Cambridge, 
is a fort of poetical biblical hiftory, extracted from the books of 
Genefis and Exodus. 4 It was probably compofed about [1250]. 
But I am chiefly induced to cite this piece, as it proves the exceffive 
attachment of our earlieft poets to rhyme : they were fond of multi- 
plying the fame final found to the moft tedious monotony, and with- 
out producing any effect of elegance, ftrength, or harmony. It begins 
thus: 

Man og to luuen lhat rimes ren. 
The wifled wel the logede men. 
Hu man may him wel Joken 
Thog he ne be lered on no boken. 
Luuen God and ferven him ay 
For he it hem wel gelden may. 
And to alle Criftenei men 
Beren pais and luue by-twen 

1 As I recolleft, the whole poem is thus exhibited in the Trinity MS. [and in 
all the others except the Digby. Sir F. Madden's information.] 

2 [The whole of this Lambeth MS. 487, written before 1200, has been edited 
for the Early Englim Text Society, by Dr. R. Morris, in his Old Engli/h Homilies, 
1867-8. The verfe Lord's Prayer is on pages 55-71 of Part I. F.] 

3 [The Story of Genefis and Exodus. An early Englim fong, about A.D. 1250. 
Now firft edited from a unique MS. in the library of Corpus Chrifti College, Cam- 
bridge. With Introdu6lion, Notes, and Gloffary. By Richard Morris. Early 
Englim Text Society, 1865.] 

4 Quart, minor. 185. Cod. membran. [487,] f. 21, b. 



36 Early Religious Poems. s. i. 

Than fal him almighti[n] luuven. 
Here by-nethen and thund abuuen, 
And given him blifle and foules refte[n], 
That him fal earvermor leften. 
Ut of Latin this fong is dragen 
On Engleis fpeche on fothe fagen, 
Criftene men ogen ben fo fagen, 
So fueles arn quan he it fen dagen. 
Than man hem telled fothe tale 
Wid londes fpeche and wordes fmale 
Of blifTes dune, of forwes dale, 
Quhu Lucifer that devel dwale 
And held hem fperd in helles male, 
Til God frid him in manliched, 
Dede mankinde bote and red. 
And unfpered al the fendes fped 
And halp thor he fag mikel ned. 
Biddi hie fingen non other led. 
Thog mad hie folgen idel-hed. 
Fader god of alle thinge, 
Alinigtin louerd, hegeft kinge, 
Thu give me feli timinge 
To thaunen this werdes beginninge. 
The, leuerd God, to wurthinge 
Quether fo hie rede or finge. 1 

We find this accumulation of identical rhymes in the Runic odes, 
particularly in the ode of Egill cited above, entitled EgilFs Ranjom. 
[At the end of the Cotton MS. of the Owl and Nightingale, are 
feven religious metrical pieces which are printed in one of the 
modern editions 2 of that poem, and alfo in Dr. Richard Morris's 
Old Engli/h Bejliary, &c., (E. E. T. Soc. 1871,) together with 
other verfions from the Jefus Coll. MS., which give hints towards 
fettling the date, &c. of the poems. Among thefe is] a poem on 
the fubje&s of death, judgment, and hell torments, where the rhymes 
are fingular, and deferve our attention : 

Non mai longe lives thene, 

Ac ofte him lieth the wrench : 

Feir weder turneth ofte into reine, 

An wunderliche hit maketh his blench, 

Tharvore, mon, thu the bithench, 

Al fchal falewi thi grene. 

Weilawei ! nis kin ne quene 

That ne fchal drincke of deathes drench. 

Mon, er thu falle of thi bench, 

Thine funne thu aquench. 3 

To the fame period of our poetry I refer a verfion of Saint Jerom's 
French pfalter, which occurs in the library of Corpus Chrifti Col- 
lege at Cambridge [and in Cotton MS. Vefp. D. vii. 4 ]. The [ninety- 
ninth] pfalm is thus tranflated : 

1 [Nafmith's Cat. No. 444. It is defcribed by Dr. Morris as in the Eaft Mid- 
land dialeft.l 



3 [Edited by T. Wright for the Percy Society, 1843.] 

3 Bibl. Cotton. MSS. Calig. A 5x. vi. f. 243. [Sir F. Madden pointed out that 

Coll. Oxf. 29, f. 252, b.] 

by Mr. Stevenfon for the Surtees Society, 1843-7, 



there is another copy in Jefus Coll. Oxf. 29, f. 252, b.] 
* [Printed from this MS. by Mr. Stevenfc 



2 vofs. 8vo. F.] 



s. i. Ancient Verjions of the Pfalms. 37 

Mirthhes to lauerd al erthe that es 

Serues to lauerd in fainenes. 

Ingas of him in the fight, 

In gladefchip bi dai and night. 

Wite ye that lauerd he God is thus 

And he vs made and cure felf noght vs, 

His folk and fchepe of his fode : 

Ingas his yhates that ere gode : 

In fchrift his porches that be, 

In ympnes to him fchriue yhe. 

Heryes of him name fwa fre, 

For that lauerd foft es he j 

In euermore his merci efle, 

And in ftrende and ftrende his fothnefle. 1 

In the Bodleian library there is [another MS. of this] tranflation 
of the Pfalms, (No. 921, olim Arch. B. 38,) a folio on vellum, writ- 
ten in the fifteenth century. 2 A fourth copy written in the reign of 
Edward II. has been purchafed for the Britim Mufeum. This ver- 
fion may be afcribed to the period of his predeceflbr. The Bodleian 
MS. alfo contains the Nicene creed 3 and fome church hymns veri- 
fied ; but it is mutilated and imperfect. The nineteenth pfalm runs 
thus : 

Heuenes tellen Godes blis 

And wolken fhewes loud werk his, 

Dai to dai worde rife right, 

And wifdome ftiewes niht to niht, 

And pai nare fpeches ne faihes euen. 

Of whilk wat noht es herde war fteuen. 

In al the werld out yhode war rorde 

And in ende of erf> of pame pe worde. 

In funne he fette his telde to ftande 

And bridegome he als of his boure comad. 

He gladen als eten to renne fe wai 

Fro heghift heuen his outcoming ai, 

And his gainrenning til heht fete 

Ne is gwilk mai hide him fro his hete 

Lagh of loumi vnwemned ifle 

Turnand faules in to blifle 

Witnes of loumi es euer trewe, 

Wifdom leuand to litel newe 

Loumles right wifnes riht hertes fainand 

Bode of loumi light eghen lighand 

Drede of loumi hit heli ifle 

In werlde of werld ai ful of blifle, 

Domes of loumi ful fojte are ai 

Righted in pame felue are pai 

More to be yorned ouer golde 

Or fton derwurpi pat is holde, 

Wei fwetter to mannes wombe, 

Ouer honi ande te kombe. 

This is the beginning of the eighteenth pfalm : 

1 f Cott. MS. Vefp. D, vii. fol. 70.] 2 [Sir F. Madden's information.] 

3 Hickes has printed a metrical verfion of the creed of St. Athanafius : to whom, 

to avoid prolix and obfolete fpecimens already printed, I refer the reader, Thefaur. 

Par. i. p. 233. I believe it to be of the age of Henry II. [In 1835, Mr. Thorpe 

published his edition of the Pfalter in Anglo-Saxon from a MS. in the BibL 

Imper. at Paris.] 



38 Ancient Verjions of the Pfalms. s. i. 

I fal lone the louml of blifTe 
Strengh mine louird feftnes min efie 
And in fleing min als Ib 
And mi lefer out of wo. 

I will add another religious fragment on the crucifixion, in the 
fhorter meafure [of the middle of the thirteenth century] : 

Vyen i o the rode fe, 

Faft nailed to the tre, 

Jefu mi lefman, 

Ibunden, bloc ant blodi, 

An hys moder ftant him bi, 

Wepande, and Johan : 

Hys bac wid fcuurge ifwungen, 

Hys fide depe iftungen, 

For fmne and lowe [love] of man j 

Weil aut [well ought] i fmne lete 

An neb wit teres wete, 

Thif i of loue can. 1 

In the library of Jefus College at Oxford [MS. Arch. i. 29], I 
have feen [an early Englifh] poem of another caft, yet without much 
invention or poetry. [This Jefus MS. is of the latter half of the 
thirteenth century. Another MS. of the firft half of the fame cen- 
tury is in the Britifh Mufeum, Cotton, Caligula, A. ix. 2 ] 7'he poem 3 
is a conteft between an owl and a nightingale about fuperiority in 



1 MSS. Bibl. Bodl. 57, f. 102, b. [In MS. Bodl. 42, are two ftanzas of 
a metrical verfion of a paflage in the Meditations of St. Auftin, very fimilar to 
Walton's fragment, and the fame lines occur on a piece of vellum inferted in a 
MS. in theCath. Lib. Durh. written in the middle of the thirteenth century. Both 
texts are printed in Mr. FurnivalPs Political, Religious, and Love Poems, for the 
Early Englifh Text Society, p. 214.] 

2 The latter has been edited by Mr. T. Wright for the Percy Society, and very 
carefully by Dr. Stratmann (Krefeld, 1868), with a full collation of the Jefus MS. 
The Jefus MS. was printed by Mr. Stevenfon for the Roxburghe Club, and his 
GlofTary contains fome aftonifhing miftakes.] 

3 [Nicholas de] Guldevorde is the author of the poem which immediately pre- 
cedes in the manufcript, as appears by the following entry at the end of it, in the 
handwriting of [Thomas Wilkins, LL.B., reftor of St. Mary, Glamorganfhire. 
Sir F. Madden's Corr.] : " On part of a broken [fly?] leaf of this MS. I find thefe 
verfes written, whearby the author may be gueft at : 

" 'Mayfter Johan eu greteth of Guldworde tho, 
And fendeth eu to feggen that fynge he nul he wo, 
On thifTe wife he will endy his fonge, 
God louerde of hevene, beo us alle amonge." 

The piece [which is printed in Dr. R. Morris's Old Englljb Beftiary, &c., Early 
Englifh Text Society, 1871] is entitled and begins thus : 

let commence la Puffyun Ihu Chrift en engleys. 
" Ihereth eu one lutele tale that ich eu wille telle 
As we vyndeth hit iwrite in the godfpelle : 
Nis hit nouht of Karlemeyne ne of the Duzpere, 
Ac of Criftes thruwynge," &c. 

It feems to be of equal antiquity with that mentioned in the text. The whole 
manufcript, confifting of many detached pieces both in verfe and profe, was per- 
haps written in the [thirteenth century. It is attributed to Nicholas de Guilford, 
who was poffibly related to John de. Guilford]. 



s. i. Early Englijh Love- Songs. 39 

voice and fmging. It is not later than [Edward] I. 1 The rhymes 
are multiplied, and remarkably interchanged : 

Ich was in one fumere dale : 

In one fwithe di3ele hale, 

Iherde ich holde grete tale, 

An ule 2 and one nihtegale. 

That plaid was ftif & ftarc and ftrong, 

Sum hwile fofte and lud among. 

And either a5en other fwal 

And let that uvele mod ut al. 

And either feide of othres cufte, 

That alre worfte that hi wufte ; 

And hure and hure of othres fonge 

Hi heolde plaiding fwithe ftronge. 3 

[ Stratmann, p. i.] 

The earlieft love-fong which I can difcover in our language, is [in 
Harl. MS. 2253]. I would place it before or about the year 1200. 
It is full of alliteration, and has a burthen or chorus : 4 

Blow northerne wynd, 
Sent thou me my fuetyng j 
Blow northerne wynd, 

Blou, blou, blou. 
Ichot a burde in boure bryht 
That fully femly is on fyht, 
Menfkful maiden of mynt, 

Feir ant fre to fonde. 
In al this wurhliche won, 
A burde of blod & of bon, 
Never 3ete y nufte 6 non 

Luflbmore in londe. Blou, &c, 

From the fame collection I have extracted a part of another ama- 
torial ditty, of equal antiquity, which exhibits a ftanza of no inele- 
gant or unpleafing ftru<Sture, and approaching to the o6tave rhyme. 
It is, like the laft, formed on alliteration : 

In a fryht as y con fare fremede 

Y founde a wel feyr fenge to fere, 

Heo glyftnede afe gold when hit glemede, 

Nes ner gome fo gladly on gere, 

Y wolde wyte in world who hire kenede, 

This burde bryht, 3ef hire wil were ; 

Heo me bed go my gates, left hire gremede, 

Ne kepte heo non hevyng here. 6 

In the following lines a lover compliments his miftrefs named 
Alyfoun : 

1 [Sir F. Madden feems inclined to identify Nicholas de Guilford with the vicar' 
of Portefhom, near Abbotflbury.] 

2 owl. 3 MSS. Coll. Jes. Oxon. 86, membr. 

4 [Printed in Ritfon's Ancient Songs, 1792, p. 26; 2nd ed. i. 58; and in T. 
Wright's Specimens of Lyric Poetry (Percy Soc. 1842), which contains all the fongs 
quoted from the MS. (about 1 307 A. D.) by Warton. It was not thought defirable, 
therefore, to retain Warton's very lengthy extract, and only the commencement has 
been given.] 

5 knew not. 

6 MSS. ibid. f. 66. [Hevyng is hoving, flopping. Sir F. Madden, judging from 
internal evidence, fuppofes that this piece was written fhortly after 1307, to which 
date he afligns the execution of the MS.] 



40 Early Englifli Love- Songs. s. i. 

Bytuene Merfhe ant Aueril 
When fpray biginneth to fpringe, 
The lutel foul hath hire wyl 
On hyre lud to fynge, 
Ich libbe in louelonginge 
For femlokeft of alle thynge. 
He may me blyffe bringe ; 
Icham in hire baundoun; 
An hendy hap ichabbe yhent 
Ichot from heuene it is me fent. 
From alle wymmen mi love is lent 
And lyht on Alifoun. 

On heu hire her is fayre ynoj, 
Hire browe broune, hire eye blake, 
With loflum chere he on me loh : 
With middel fmal and wel ymake, 
Bote he me wolle to hire take, &C. 1 

The following fong, containing a defcription of the fpring, dif- 
plays glimmerings of imagination, and exhibits fome faint ideas of 
poetical exprefiion. It is extracted from the fame inexhauftible re- 
pofitory. I have tranfcribed the whole : 2 

Lenten ys come with love to toune, 
With blofmen ant with briddes roune, 

That al this blifle bryngeth ; 
Dayes ejes in this dales, 
Notes fuete of nyjtegales, 

Uch foul fong iingeth. 
The threftelcoc 3 him threteth oo, 
Away is huere wynter wo, 

When woderoue fpringeth ; 
This foules fmgeth ferly fele, 
Ant wlyteth on huere wynter wele, 

That al the wode ryngeth. 
The rofe rayleth hir rode, 
The leves on the lyjte wode 

Waxen al with wille : 
The mone mandeth hire bleo 
The lilie is loflum to feo j 

The fenyl and the fille. 
Wowes this wilde drakes, 
Miles murgeth huere makes. 

As ftreme that ftriketh ftille 
Mody meneth, fo doh mo. 
Ichot ycham on of tho, 

For love that likes ille. 



1 Harl. MSS. fol. az 5 } 63, b. 

2 [The following ftanza formed the opening of this fong as printed by Warton. 
It appears to have been inadvertently copied from a poem in the parallel column 
of the manufcript, Harl. 2253. (See Wright's Lyric Poetry , p. 45.) 

" In May hit muryeth when hit dawes, 1 
In dounes with this dueres plawes, 2 

Ant lef is lyjt on lynde ; 
Blofmes bredeth on the bowes, 
Al this wylde wyjtes wowes, 

So wel ych under-fynde." Price.~\ 

3 throftie, thrufli. _ _ _ _ 

1 " it is mery at dawn." * plays. 



s. i. Early Englijh Songs. 41 

The mone mandeth hire lyjt, 
[So doth the femly fonne bryjt,] 

When briddes fyngeth breme, 
Deawes donketh the dounes 
Deores with huere derne rounes, 

Domes forte deme. 

Wormes woweth under cloude, 
Wymmen waxith wounder proude, 

So wel hyt wol hem feme : 
Jef me fhal wonte wille of on 
This wunne weole y wol forgon 

Ant wyht in wode be fleme. 1 

This fpecimen will not be improperly fucceeded by the following 
elegant lines, which a contemporary poet appears to have made in a 
morning walk from Peterborough, on the blefled Virgin ; but whofe 
genius teems better adapted to defcriptive than religious fubjecls : 

Now flcruketh rofe ant lylie flour, 
That whilen ber that fuete favour 

In fomer, that fuete tyde j 
Ne is no quene fo ftark ne ftour, 
Ne no leuedy fo bryht in bour 

That ded ne fhal by-glyde : 
Whofo wol fleyfh-luft for-gon 

And hevene-bliffe abyde, 

1 MSS. ibid, ut fupr. f. 71, b. In the fame ftyle, as it is manifeftly of the fame 
antiquity, the following little defcriptive fong, on the Approach of Summer, de- 
fervts notice. MSS. Harl. 978, f. 5 : 

" Sumer is i-comen in, 
Lhude iing cuccu : 
Groweth fed, and bloweth med, 
And fpringeth the wde nu. 
Sing cuccu. 

Awe bleteth after lomb, 
Lhouth after calve cu ; 
Bulluc fterteth, bucke verteth : 
Murie fing, cuccu, 

Cuccu, cuccu : 
Wel finges thu cuccu ; 
Ne fwik thou nauer nu. 
Sing cuccu nu, 
Sing cuccu. 

That is, " Summer is coming : Loudly fing, Cuckow ! Groweth feed, and bloweth 
mead, and fpringeth the wood now. Ewe bleateth after lamb, loweth cow after 
calf; bullock ftarteth, buck verteth :' merrily fing, Cuckow! Well fmgeft thou, 
Cuckow, Nor ceafe to fing now." This is the moft ancient Englifh fong that ap- 
pears in our manufcripts, with the mufical notes annexed. The mufic is of that 
fpecies of compofition which is called Canon in the Unifon, and is fuppofed to be of 
the fifteenth century. [See Chappell's Popular Mujic of the Olden Time, 23-5, and 
references there given to other fongs of the fame character; alfo Mr. Alexander 
J. Ellis's careful edition of this fong and the Prifoner's Prayer in the Philological 
Society's Tranfaflions , 1868. Mr. Richard Taylor has drawn attention to the 
fimilarity of this fong to fome of the lays of the Minnefengers, colle&ed by Mr. 
Edgar Taylor, 1825.] 

1 goes to harbour among the fern. 



42 Specimens of various early s. i. 

On Jhefu be is thoht anon, 
That therled was ys fide. 1 

To which we may add a fong, probably written by the fame 
author, on the five joys of the bleffed Virgin, [a common topic, 
treated by Shoreham and other poets :] 

Afe y me rod this ender day, 
By grene wode, to feche play ; 
Mid herte y thohte al on a May. 

Sueteft of alle thinge ; 
Lythe, and ich ou telle may 

Al of that iuete thinge. 8 

In the fame paftoral vein, a lover, perhaps of the reign of King 
John, thus addrefles his miftrefs, whom he fuppofes to be the molt 
beautiful girl, " bituene Lyncolne and Lyndefeye, Northampton and 
Lounde" : 3 

When the ny3tegale fmges, the wodes waxen grene j 
Lef and gras and blofme fpringes in Averyl, y wene. 
Ant love is to myn herte gon with one fpere fo kene 
Ny3t and day my blod hit drynkes, myn herte deth me tene. 4 

Ich have loved al this 3er that y may love na more, 
Ich have fiked moni fyk, lemmon, for thin ore, 
Me nis love never the ner, ant that me reweth fore ; 
Suete lemmon, thench on me, ich have loved the 3ore, 

Suete lemmon, y preye the of love one fpeche, 
While y lyve in worlde fo wyde other nulle y feche.* 
[With thy love, my fuete leof, mi blis thou mijtes eche, 
A fuete cos of thy mouth mi3te be my leche.] 

Nor are thefe verfes, in fomewhat the fame meafure, unpleafing : 

My deth y love, my lyf ich hate, for a levedy fhene, 
Heo is brith fo daies Ii5t, that is on me wel fene. 
Al y falewe, fo doth the lef in fomer when hit is grene ; 
^ef mi thoht helpeth me no 5t, to wham fhal I me mene ? 

Another, in the following little poem, enigmatically compares his 
miftrefs, whofe name feems to be Joan, to various gems and flowers. 
The writer is happy in his alliteration, and his verfes are tolerably 
harmonious : 

Ichot a burde in a bour, afe beryl fo bry3t, 

Afe faphyr in felver femly on fy3t, 

Afe jafpe 6 the gentil that lemeth 7 with Iy3t, 

Afe gernet 8 in goide and ruby wel ry5t, 

Afe onycle 9 he ys on yholden on hy5t j 

Afe diamaund the dere in day when he is dy3t : 

He is coral y-cud with Cayfer ant kny3t, 

Afe emeraude a more wen this may haveth my3t. 

The my3t of the margarite haveth this mai mere, 

For charbocle iche hire chafe bi chyn ant bi chere. 

Hire rode ys as rofe that red ys on rys, 10 

1 Harl. MSS. 2253, f. 80; [Lyric Poetry, p. 87.] 

2 MS. ibid. f. 81, b; Lyric Poetry, p. 94. 3 London. 

4 MSS. ibid. f. 80, b. [The confufion, adverted to above, prevailed in the dif- 
polltion of this fong. The prefent copy follows the MS. Price, ,] Ritfon's Anc. 
Songs, p. 30. 6 MSS. ibid. f. 80, b. 

6 jafper. 7 ftreams, mines. s garnet. 9 onyx. 10 branch. 



s.i. Forms of Verification. 43 

With lilye white leves loflum he ys, 

The primrofe he pafleth, the parvenke of prys, 

With alifaundre thareto, ache ant anys : 

Coynte l as columbine fuch hire cande 2 ys, 

Glad under gore in gro ant in grys 

He is blofme opon bleo bri3teft under bis 

With celydone ant fauge afe thou thi felf fys, &c. 

From Weye he is wifift into Wyrhale, 

Hire nome is in a note of the ny3tegale j 

In an note is hire nome, nempneth hit non, 

Who fb ryzt redeth, ronne to Johon. 3 

The curious Harleian volume, to which we are fo largely in- 
debted, has preferved a moral tale, a comparifon between age and 
youth, where the ftanza is remarkably-; conftrucled. The various 
forts of verification which we have already feen, evidently prove that 
much poetry had been written, and that the art had been greatly 
cultivated before this period. 



Ofamodymon, ) p ., / , / 

TT-U m* S&n wit haute les. 

Hihte Maximion, S 

Clerc he was ful god, > xr , , , 

So moni mon undirftod. \ Nou herkne hm lt ' wes ' 

For the fame reafon, a fort of elegy on our Saviour's crucifixion 
(hould not be omitted. It begins thus (Lyric Poetry^ p. 85) : 

I fyke when y fmge, 

For fore we that y fe, 
When y with wypinge 

Bihold upon the tre, 
Ant fe Jhefu the fuete 
Is hert blod for-lete, 

For the love of me j 
Ys woundes waxen wete, 
Thei wepen ftill and mete, 

Marie, reweth the. 5 

Nor an alliterative ode on heaven, death, judgment, &c. (Lyric 
Poetry , p. 22.) : 

Middel-erd for mon wes mad, 
Un-mihti aren is mefte mede, 
This hedy hath on honde yhad, 
That hevene hem is heft to hede. 
Icherde a bliffe budel us bade, 
The dreri domefdai to drede, 
Of funful fauhting fone be fad, 
That derne doth this derne dede, 

Thah he ben derne done* 
This wrakefall werkes under wede, 
In foule foteleth fone. 6 

Many of thefe meafures were adopted from the French chanfons. 7 
I will add one or two more fpecimens. 

1 quaint. 2 [kind, nature. Sir F. Madden's corr.] 3 MSS. ibid. f. 63. 

4 MSS. ibid. f. 82, [printed in Reliquia Antique, i. 119-125. There is another 
copy in the Digby MS. 86, leaf 134 back, ab. 1320 A.D.] 
* Ibid. f. 80. 
" MS. Had. 2253, f. 62, b. 7 See MSS. Harl. utfupr. f. 4.9, 76. 



44 Specimens of various early s. i. 

On our Saviour's paffion and death : 

Jefu for thi muchele mi3t 

Thou 5ef us of thi grace, 
That we mowe dai ant nyht 

Thenken o thi face. 
In myn herte hit doth me god, 
When y thenke on Jefu blod, 

That ran doun bi ys fyde j 
From is herte doune to his fot, 
For ous he fpradde is herte blod 

His wondes were fo wyde. 1 

On the fame fubjeel: : 

Lutel wot hit any mon 

How love hym haveth y-bounde, 
That for us o the rode ron, 

Ant bohte us with is wounde ; 
The love of him us haveth ymaked founde, 
And y-caft the grimly goft to grounde : 
Ever ant oo, ny?t ant day, he haveth us in is tho3te, 
He nul nout leofe that he fo deore bo3te. 2 

The following are on love and gallantry. The poet, named 
Richard, profefles himfelf to have been a great writer of love-fongs : 

Weping haveth myn wonges 3 wet, 

For wikked werk ant wone of wyt, 
Unblithe y be til y ha bet, 

Bruches broken, afe bok byt : 
Of levedis love that y ha let, 

That lemeth al with luefly lyt, 
Ofte in fonge y have hem fet, 

That is unfemly ther hit fyt. 
Hit fyt and femeth noht, 

Ther hit ys feid in fong 
That y have of them wroht, 

Ywis hit is al wrong. 4 

It was cuftomary with the early fcribes, when ftanzas confided of 
fhort lines, to throw them together like profe. As thus : 

*' A wayle whyt as whalles bon j a grein in golde that godly mon | a tortle that 
min herte is on | in tounes trewe | Hire gladfhip nes never gon | whil y may 
glewe." 5 

Sometimes they wrote three or four verfes together as one line : 

With longyng y am lad j on molde y waxe mad | a maide marreth me, 
Y grede, y grone un-glad j for felden y am fad | that femly for te fe. 
Levedi, thou rewe me | to routhe thou haveft me rad | be bote out of that y bad 
| my lyf is long on the.' 

Again, 

1 MS. Harl. 2253, f. 79. Probably this fong has been fomewhat modernifed by 
tranfcribers. 

2 Ibid. f. ia8. Thefe lines afterwards occur, burlefqued and parodied, by a 
writer of the fame age. 

3 [cheeks, A. S. panj, Ital. guancia.] 

4 MSS. Ibid. f. 66 ; [Lyric Poetry, p. 30-33.] 

5 Ibid. f. 67. [Mr. R. Taylor refers us to Hoffmann's Fundgruben 1830; Danjke 
Kieempe Vifer , 1787 ; and Raynouard, Poefies des 'Troubadours, ii. Poeme furBoece, 



P. 6.1 

Ibid, f, 



63, b. 



s. i. Forms of Verification. 45 

Mofti ryden by Rybbes-dale | wilde wymmen for te wale j ant welde wuch ich 

wolde : 
Founde were the feyreft on j that everwes mad of blodant bon j in boure beftwith 

bolde. 1 

This mode of writing is not uncommon in ancient manufcripts of 
French poetry. And fome critics may be inclined to fufpe<5t, that 
the verfes which we call Alexandrine, accidentally aflumed their 
form merely from the practice of abfurd tranfcribers, who frugally 
chofe to fill their pages to the extremity, and violated the metrical 
ftru&ure for the fake of faving their vellum. It is certain, that the 
common ftanza of four fhort lines may be reduced into two Alex- 
andrines, and on the contrary. I have before obferved that the 
[old Englifh] poem cited by Hickes, confifting of one hundred and 
ninety-one ftanzas, is written in ftanzas in the Bodleian, and in 
Alexandrines in the Trinity manufcript at Cambridge. How it 
came originally from the poet I will not pretend to determine. 

Our early poetry often appears in fatirical pieces on the eftablimed 
and eminent profeflions ; and the writers, as we have already feen, 
fucceeded not amifs, when they cloathed their fatire in allegory. But 
nothing can be conceived more fcurrilous and illiberal 2 than their 
fatires when they defcend to mere invective. In the Britim Mufeum, 
among other examples which I could mention, we have a fatiri- 
cal ballad on the [Confiftory Courts, and the vexation which they 
caufed to the peafantry. The whole ballad is printed in Mr. T. 
Wright's Political Songs, for the Camden Society, 1839, PP- J 55~9> 
and we quote a few lines againft the Summoners, whom we know 
from Chaucer's fketch, eight years later : ] 

Hyrd-men hem hatieth, ant vch mones hyne, 

For everuch a parrofshe heo polketh in pyne, 

Ant claftreth with heore colle : 

Nou wol vch fol clerc that is fayly 

Wende to the byfshop ant bugge bayly, 

Nys no wyt in is nolle. 3 

The elder French poetry abounds in allegorical fatire ; and I 
doubt not that the author of the fatire on the [legal] profeflion, 
cited above, copied fome French fatire on the fubje6t. Satire was 
one fpecies of the poetry of the Provencal troubadours. Gau- 
celm Faidit, a troubadour of the eleventh century, who will again 
be mentioned, wrote a fort of fatirical drama called the Herefy of 
the Fathers, Heregla del Preyres^ a ridicule on the council which 
condemned the Albigenfes, The papal legates often fell under the 
lafh of thefe poets : whofe favour they were obliged to court, but in 
vain by the promife of ample gratuities. 4 [There is a very lively 
and fevere fatire (erroneoufly attributed to Hugues de Bercy,) belong- 
ing to the 1 2th or I3th century, which is called by the writer Bible 
Guiot de ProvinS)] as containing nothing but truth. 5 

1 Harl. MSS. 2253, f. 66. 

2 [I doubt whether they faid one word more than the oppreflions they fuffered 
juftified. F.] 

3 Harl. MS. 2253, f. 71. 

4 Fontenelle, Hi/I. Theatr. Fr. p. 18, edit. 1742. * See Fauchet, Rec. p. 151. 



46 Old French Poetry. s. 



In Harl. MS. 2253, * ^ an anc i ent French poem, yet refpe&ing 
England, which is a humorous panegyric on a new religious order 
called Le Ordre de bel Eyfe. This is the exordium : 

Qui vodra a moi entendre 
Oyr purra e aprendre 
I/eftoyre de un Ordre Novel 
Qe mout eft delitous e bel. l 

The poet ingenioufly feigns that his new monaftic order confifts of 
the moft eminent nobility and gentry of both fexes, who inhabit the 
monafteries affigned to it promifcuoufly ; and that no perfon is ex- 
cluded from this eftablimment who can fupport the rank of a gentle- 
man. They are bound by their ftatutes to live in perpetual idlenefs 
and luxury : and the fatirift refers them for a pattern or rule of prac- 
tice in thefe important articles, to the monafteries of Sempringham 
in Lincolnfhire [where Robert Manning of Brunne dwelt for a 
time 2 ], Beverley in Yorkfhire, the Knights Hofpitallers, and many 
other religious orders then flourifhing in England. 3 

When we confider the feudal manners and the magnificence of 
our Norman anceftors, their love of military glory, the enthufiafm 
with which they engaged in the Crufades, and the wonders to which 
they muft have been familiarized from thofe eaftern enterprifes, we 
naturally fuppofe, what will hereafter be more particularly proved, 
that their retinues abounded with minftrels and harpers, and that 
their chief entertainment was to liften to the recital of romantic and 
martial adventures. But I have been much difappointed in my 
fearches after the metrical tales which muft have prevailed in their 
times. Moft of thofe old heroic fongs have perifhed, together with 
the ftately caftles in whofe halls they were fung. Yet they were not fo 
totally loft as we may be apt to imagine. Many of them ftill partly 
exift in the old Englifh metrical romances, which will be mentioned 
in their proper places ; yet diverted of their original form, polimed 
in their ftyle, adorned with new incidents, fucceflively modernifed by 
repeated tranfcription and recitation, and retaining little more than 
the outlines of the original compofition. This has not been the cafe 
with the legendary and other religious poems written foon after the 
Conqueft, manufcripts of which abound in our libraries. From the 
nature of their fubjecl: they were lefs popular and common > and 
being lefs frequently recited, became lefs liable to perpetual innova- 
tion or alteration. 

In the reign of [Edward II.], a poem occurs, the date of which 
may be determined with fome degree of certainty. It is a fatirical 
fong or ballad, written by one of the adherents of Simon de Mont- 

1 [It will be found in the fecond volume of Barbazan's Fabliaux, p. 307. " La 
Bible au Seignor de Berze" is a more courtly compofition, and forms a part of 
the fame colleftion, p. 194. The earlier French antiquaries have frequently con- 
founded thefe two produftions. Price. JJOrdre de Eel Eyfe is printed alfo by 
Wright, Political Songs of England, 1839, P- I 37- Mr. Wright afTigns it to the 
reign of Edward II.] 



[Handlyng Synne, Prologue, edit. Furnivall.] 
3 MSS. ibid. f. 121. 



s. i. Poem of the Time of Edward II. 47 

fort earl of Leicefter, a powerful baron, foon after the battle of 
Lewes, which was fought in the year 1264, and proved very fatal to 
the interefts of the king. In this decifive a6tion, Richard king of 
the Romans, his brother Henry the Third, and Prince Edward, with 
many others of the royal party, were taken prifoners : l 

Sitteth alle ftille, ant herkneth to me : 
The kyn of Alemaigne, bi mi leaute, 
Thritti thoufent pound alkede he 2 
For te make the pees in the countre, 

And fo he dude more. 
Richard, thah thou be ever trichard, 

trichen mail thou never more. 
Richard of Alemaigne, whil that he was kyng, 
He fpende al is trefour opon fwyvyng : 
Haveth he nout of Walingford o ferlyng ; 
Let him habbe, afe he brew, bale to dryng, 

Maugre Wyndefore. 
Richard, thah thou, &c. 

Thefe popular rhymes had probably no fmall influence in en- 
couraging Leicefter's partifans, and diffufing his faction. There is 
fome humour in imagining that Richard fuppofed the windmill to 
which he retreated, to be a fortification ; and that he believed the 
fails of it to be military engines. In the manufcript, from which this 
fpecimen is tranfcribed, immediately follows a fong in French, 
feemingly written by the fame poet, on the battle of Evefham 
fought the following year ; in which Leicefter was killed, and his 
rebellious barons defeated. 3 Our poet looks upon his hero as a 
martyr, and particularly laments the lofs of Henry his fon, and 
Hugh le Defpenfer judiciary of England. He concludes with an 
En2;lim ftanza, much in the ftyle and fpirit of thofe juft quoted. 

[Daines Barrington, in his Obfervations on the Statutes, 1766,] has 
obferved, that this ballad on Richard of Alemaigne probably oc- 
cafioned a ftatute againft libels in the year 1275, under the title, 
" Againft flanderous reports, or tales to caufe difcord betwixt king 
and people." 4 That this fpirit was growing to an extravagance 

1 [Printed entire in Political Songs, ed. Wright, 1839, p. 6 9- The firft and fecond 
ftanzas have therefore been thought a fufficient fpecimen of the produ&ion.] 

2 The barons made this offer of thirty thoufand pounds to Richard. 

3 f. 59. It begins, 

** Chaunter meftoit | mon ever le volt | en un dure langage, 

Tut en pluraunt | fuft fet le chaunt j de noitre duz Baronage," &c. 

4 [Privately printed by Palgrave, 1818, with three other pieces from the fame 
fource. Sir F. Madden's information. It has alfo been included in Ritfon's 
Ancient Songs, ed. 1829. A verfion of it was made by Sir Walter Scott, at the re- 
queft of Ritfon, and has been reprinted in the [fecond edition] of his English Songs, 
vol. ii. Mr. Geo. Ellis made another metrical tranflation, which perimed with 
many of Ritfon's MS. treafures. Park. 

This Norman ballad has fmce been printed in the new edition of Ritfon's 
Ancient Songs. Political fongs feem to have been common about this period : both 
Englifh, Norman, and Latin, the three languages then ufed in England, feern to 
have been enlifted into the caufe of Simon de Montfort. I have fomewhere feen a 
Latin poem in his praife j and, in the following paffage from a MS. containing his 
miracles (for Simon, like Harold, and Waltheof, and moft of the popular heroes of 
thofe days, was looked upon as a faint), and written apparently no very long time 



48 Henri d'Avranches. s. i. 

which deferved to be checked, we (hall have occafion to bring further 
proofs. 

I muft not pafs over the reign of Henry III. who died in the 
year 1272, without obferving that this monarch entertained in 
his court a poet with a certain falary, whofe name was Henri 
d'Avranches. 1 And although this poet was a Frenchman, and moft 
probably wrote in French, yet this firft inftance of an officer who 
was afterwards, yet with fufficient impropriety, denominated a poet 
laureate in the Englifh court, defervedly claims particular notice in 
the courfe of thefe annals. He is called Mafter Henry the Verfifier : 2 
which appellation perhaps implies a different character from the royal 
Minftrel or Joculator. The king's treafurers are ordered to pay this 
Mafter Henry one hundred {hillings, which I fuppofe to have been 
a year's ftipend, in the year I25I. 3 And again the fame precept 
occurs under the year I24Q. 4 Our Mafter Henry, it feems, had in 
fome of his verfes refle&ed on the rufticity of the Cornifh men. 
This infult was refented in a Latin fatire now remaining, written by 
Michael Blaunpayne, a native of Cornwall, and recited by the 
author in the prefence of Hugh, abbot of Weftminfter, Hugh de 
Mortimer, official of the archbiihop of Canterbury, the bifhop elet 
of Winchefter, and the bifhop of Rochefter. 5 While we are fpeaking 

after his death, we have apparently the fragment of a hymn addrefTed to him when 
canonized by the popular voice. MS. Cotton. Vefp. A. VI. fol. 189. "Anno 
Domini m cc mo lx v to oclavo Symonis Montis Fortis fociorumque ejus pridie 
nonas Augufti. 

" Salve Symon Montis Fortis, 

tocius flos milicie, 
Duras penas paflus mortis, 

protector (?) gentis Anglic. 
Sunt de fanclis inaudita, 
Cunclis paflis in hac vita 

quemquam paflum talia : (Jic.) 
Manus, pedes amputari j 
Caput, corpus vulnerari ; 

abfcidi virilia. 
Sis pro nobis interceflbr 
Apud Deum, qui defenfor 

in terris exterritas. (Jic.) 

Ora pro nobis, beate Symon, ut digni efficiamur promiffionibus Chrifti." There 
are found many political fongs in Latin, which mows that the monks took much 
intereft in politics. W^\ 

1 See Carew's Surv. Corn^w. p. 58, edit. i6oa. 

2 Henry of Huntingdon fays, that Walo Verfificator wrote a panegyric on Henry 
the Firft : and that the fame Walo Verfificator wrote a poem on the park which 
that king made at Woodftock. Leland's Collefian. vol. ii. 303, i. 197, edit. 1770. 
Perhaps he was in the department of Henry mentioned in the text. One Gualo, 
a Latin poet, who flourifhed about this time, is mentioned by Bale, iii. 5, and 
Pits, p. 233. He is recommended in the Policraticon. A copy of his Latin hexa- 
metrical fatire on the monks is printed by Mathias Flacius, among mifcellaneous 
Latin poems De corrupto Ecclefite ftatu, 1557, p. 489. 

3 "Magiftro Henrico Verfificatori." See Madox, Hi/}. E\cheq. p. 268. 

4 Ibid. p. 674. In MSS. Digb. Bibl. Bodl. I find, in John of Hoveden's Sa- 
lutationes quinquaginta Maria, " Mag. Henricus, Verfificator magnus, de B. Vir- 
gine," &c. 

5 MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Arch. Bodl. 29, viz : " Verfus magiftri Michaelis Cornu- 



s. i. Ancient Metrical Romance of King Horn. 49 

of the Verfifier of Henry III., it will not be foreign to add, that in 
the thirty-fixth year of the fame king, forty {hillings and one pipe of 
wine were given to Richard the king's harper, and one pipe of wine 
to Beatrice his wife. 1 But why this gratuity of a pipe of wine 
fhould alfo be made to the wife, as well as to the hufband who from 
his profeffion was a genial character, appears problematical according 
to our prefent ideas. 2 

The moft ancient Englifh metrical romance which I can difcover, 
is entitled the G eft e of King Horn? It was evidently written after 
the Crufades had begun, is mentioned by Chaucer, 4 and probably ftill 
remains in [fomething near] its original ftate. I will firft give the 
fubftance of the ftory, and afterwards add fome fpecimens of the 
compofition. But I muft premife, that this ftory occurs in very 
old French metre in the manufcripts of the Britifh mufeum ; 5 [but 

bienfis contra Mag. Henricum Abricenfem coram dom. Hugone abbate Weftmon. 
et aliis." fol. 81, b. Princ. " Archipoeta vide quod non fit cura tibi de." See allb 
fol. 83, b. Again, fol. 85 : 

" Pendo poeta prius te diximus Archipoetam, 

Quam pro poftico nunc dicimus effe poetam, 

Imo poeticulum," &c. 

Archipoeta means here the king's chief poet. 

In another place our Cornifh fatirift thus attacks mafter Henry's perfon : 

" Eft tibi gamba capri, crus pafleris, et latus apri ; 
Os leporis, catuli nafus, dens et gena muli : 
Frons vetulae, tauri caput, et color undique mauri." 

In a blank page of the Bodleian MS., from which thefe extra&s are made, is writ- 
ten, " Ifte liber conftat Fratri Johanni de Wallis monacho Ramefeye." The name 
is elegantly enriched with a device. This MS. contains, amongft other things, 
Planflus de Excidio 'Trojte, by Hugo Prior de Montacino, in rhyming hexameters 
and pentameters, viz. fol. 89. Camden cites other Latin verfes of Michael Blaun- 
pain, whom he calls "Merry Michael the Cornifh poet." Rent. p. 10. See alfo 
p. 489, edit. 1674. He wrote many other Latin pieces, both in profe and verfe. 

Compare Tanner in Joannes Cornubienfis, for his other pieces. Bibl. p. 
432, notes, f, g. [The poems of Michael Cornubienfis (in Latin) are preferred, 
as Mr. Wright informs us, in MS. Cotton. Vefp. D. 5, 49. The fame gentleman 
flares that in the Britifh Mufeum there is more than one copy of the verfes quoted 
by Warton. In one (MS. Reg. 14 C. xiii. 269), they are faid to have been recited 
at Cambridge before the univerfity and matters.] 

1 Rot. Pip. an. 36 Henr. Hi. " Et in uno dolio vini empto et dato magiftro 
Ricardo Cithariftae regis, xl. fol. per Br. Reg. Et in uno dolio empto et dato 
Beatrici uxori ejufdem Ricardi." 

2 [Beatrice may pombly have been a juglerefs, whofe pantomimic exhibitions 
were accompanied by her hufband's harp, or who filled up the intervals between his 
performances. This union of profeffional talents in hufband and wife was not un- 
common. In a copy of the ordonnances for regulating the minftrels, &c. refiding 
at Paris, a document drawn up by themfelves in the year 1321, and figned by 
thirty-feven perfons on behalf of all the meneflreux jongleurs et jouglere/es of that 
city, we find among others the names of lehanot Langlois et Adeline, fame de 
Langlois Jaucons, fils le moine et Marguerite, la fame au moine. See Raynouard, 
De la Poejfie' Franfoife dans les xii. et xiii. Siecles, p. 288. Price.] 

[ 3 See Matzner and Goldbeck's text in their Sprachproben. F.] 

4 Rim. Thop. 3402, Urr. 

5 MSS. Harl. 527, b. f. 59, Cod. membr. [King Horn has been edited for the 
Early Englifh Text Society ; it was included (from Harl. 2253) in Ritfon's col- 

II. E 



50 Extracts from the s. i. 

it is probably not] a tranflation : a circumftance which will [affe&] 
an argument purfued hereafter, proving that moft of our metrical 
romances are tranflated from the French. 

[The] king of the Saracens lands in the kingdom of Suddene, 
where he kills the king named Allof [or Mury]. The queen, 
Godylt, efcapes ; but [the king] feizes on her fon Home, a beautiful 
youth aged fifteen years, and puts him into a galley, with two of his 
play-fellows, Athulph and P'ykenyld : the veflel being driven on the 
coaft of the kingdom of Weftnefle, the young prince is found by 
Aylmer king of that country, brought to court, and delivered to 
Athelbrus his fteward, to be educated in hawking, harping, tilting, 
and other courtly accomplimments. Here the princefs Rymenild 
falls in love with him, declares her paflion, and is betrothed. Horn, 
in confequence of this engagement, leaves the princefs for feven years ; 
to demonftrate, according to the ritual of chivalry, that by feeking 
and accomplifhing dangerous enterprifes he deferved her affe&ion. 
He proves a moft valorous and invincible knight : and at the end of 
feven years having killed King Mury, recovered his father's kingdom, 
and achieved many fignal exploits, recovers the Princefs Rymenild 
from the hands of his treacherous knight and companion Fykenyld, 
carries her in triumph to his own country, and there reigns with her 
in great fplendour and profperity. The poem itfelf begins and pro- 
ceeds thus r 1 

Alle beon he blithe 
That to my fong lythe : 
A fang ich fchal Jou finge 
Of Murry the kinge. 
King he was btwefte 
So long fo hit lafte. 
Godhild het his quen, 
Faire ne mijte nou ben. 
He hadde a fone that het horn. 
Ne no rein upon birine, 
Ne fun[n]e upon bifchine. 
Faifer nis no[n] thane he was, 
He was bri'jt fo the glas, 
He was whit fo the fiur : 
Rofe red was his colur. 
In none kinge-riche 
Nas no[n] his iliche. 
Twelf feren he had 
That alle with him ladde. 
Alle riche manes fon[n]es, 
Alle hi were faire gomes, 
With him for to pleie, 



le&ion. It is fubftantially the fame ftory as Ponthus of Galicia, printed in 1511, 
4to. In 1845, M. Francifque Michel completed for the Bannatyne club his long- 
promifed volume on this fubjea. It is entitled, " Horn et Rimenhild. Recueil 
de tout ce qui refte des poemes, relatifs a leurs Aventures, compofes en Francois, 
en Anglais, et en Ecoflais, dans le xiii. xiv. xv. et xvi. Siecle."] 

[ The following extraas have now been collated with the Early Eno-Hfh Text 
Society's edit, of Horn, 1866, from the Cambridge Univerfity MS.] 



s. i. Ancient Romance of King Horn. 51 

Meft he lu[u]ede tweie j 

That on him het hathulf child, 

That oth[er] Fikenild. 

Athulf was the befte, 

Fikenylde the werfte. 

Hit was upon a fomeres day, 

Alfo ich 3ou telle may, 

Murri the gode king 

Rod on his pleing 

Bi the fe fide, 

Afe he was woned ride, 

He fonde by the ftronde, 

Ariued on his londe, 

Schipes fiftene 

With farazins kene : 

He axede what ifo3te 

Other to londe bro3te. 

But I haften to that part of the ftory where Prince Home appears 
at the court of the king of WeftnefTe : 

The kyng com in to halle, 
Among his kni^tes alle j 
Forth he clupede Athelbrus, 
That was ftiward of his hus, 
Stiwarde, tak nu here 
My fundlyng for to lere, 
Or thine meftere 
Of wude [and] of riuere, 1 
Ant tech him to harpe 
With his nayles fcharpe, 2 
Thou tech him of alle the lifte 
That thee cure of wifte, 
Biuore me to kerue, 



1 So Robert de Brunne, of King Marian. Hearne's Rob. Glouc. p. 6^^. 

" Marian faire in chere 

He couthe of wod and ryvere 

In alle maner of venrie," &c. 

[Sir F. Madden points out that the phrafe is from the French, and inftances the 
following : 

" Tant feit apris qu'il life un bref 

Car ces ne li eft pas trop gref, 

D'efchas, de rivere, et de chace, 

Voil que del tot apreuze e face." 

Roman du Rou (MS. Harl. 1717, fol. 79).] 

2 In another part of the poem he is introduced playing on his harp : 

" Horn fette him abenche, 

Is harpe he gan clenche, 

He made Rymenild a lay, 

Ant hue feide weylaway," &c. 

In the chamber of a bifhop of Winchefter at Merdon caftle, now ruined, we find 
mention made of benches only. Comp. MS. J. Gerveys, Epifcop. Winton, 1266. 
" lidem red. comp. de ii. menfis in aula ad magnum defcum. Et de iii. menfis, 
et una parte, et ii. menfis ex altera parte cum treflellis in aula. Et de i. 
menfa cum treflellis in camera dom. epifcopi. Et v. formis in eadem camera." 
Defcus, in old Englifh dees, is properly a canopy over the high table. See a curious 
account of the goods in the palace of the bifhop of Nivernois in France, in the 
year 1287, in Montf. Cat. MSS. ii. p. 984, col. 2. 



52 Extract from the Romance of King Horn. s. 



And of the cupe ferue, 1 

In his feiren thou wife 

Into other feruife ; 

Horn thu underuonge, 

Tech him of harpe and fonge 

Ailbrus gan lere 

Horn [and] his yfere : 

Horn in herte Ia3te 

Al that he him ta3te, 

In the curt and ute, 

And elles al abute, 

Luuede men horn child, 

And meft him louede Rymenhild 

The kynges o3ene dofter, 

He was meft in tho5te, 

Heo louede fo horn child, 

That ne3 heo gan wexe wild : 

For heo ne mi3te at horde 

With him fpeke no worde, 

Ne no3t in the halle 

Among the kni3tes alle, 

Ne nowhar in non othere ftede : 

Of folk heo hadde drede : 

Bi daie ne bi ni3te 

With him fpeke ne mijte, 

Hire fore3e ne hire pine, 

Ne mi3te neure fine. 

In heorte heo hadde wo, 

And thus hire bitho3te tho : 

Heo fende hire fonde 

Athelbrus to honde, 

That he come hire to, 

And alfo fcholde horn do, 

Al in to bure, 

For heo gan to lure, 

And the fonde feide, 

That fik lai that maide, 

And bad him come fwythe 

For heo nas nothing blithe. 

The ftuard was in herte wo, 

For he nufte what to do, 

Wat Rymenhyld byfu3te 

Gret wunder him thu3te j 

Abute horn the 3onge 

To bure for to bringe, 

He tho3te upon his mode 

Hit nas for none gode ; 

He tok him another, 

Athulf, homes brother. 

Athulf, he fede, ri3t anon 

Thu fchalt with me to bure gon, 

To fpeke with Rymenhild ftille, 

To wyte hure wille, 



1 According to the rules of chivalry, every knight before his creation pafled 
through two offices. He was firft a page : and at fourteen years of age he was 
formally admitted an efquire. The efquires were divided into feveral departments ; 
that of the body, of the chamber, of the ftable, and the carving eiquire. The 
latter flood in the hall at dinner, where he carved the different difh.es with proper 
fkill and addrefs, and direfted the diftribution of them among the guefts. The 
inferior offices had alfo their refpeHve efquires. Mem. Anc. Che<vaL i. i6,feq. 



s. i. Analyjis of the Romance of King Horn. 53 

In homes ilike, 
Thu fchalt hure bifwike : 
Sore ihc me ofdrede 
He wolde horn mis-rede 
Athelbrus gan Athulf lede 
And into bure with him 5ede : 
Anon upon Athulf child 
Rymenhild gan wexe wild : 
He[o] wende that Horn hit were, 
That heo hauede there. 

At length the princefs finds fhe has been deceived ; the fteward is 
feverely reprimanded, and Prince Horn is brought to her chamber ; 
when, fays the poet : 

Of his feire fi 5te 

Al the bur gan Inte. 1 

It is the force of the ftory in thefe pieces that chiefly engages our 
attention. The minftrels had no idea of conducting and defcribing 
a delicate fituation. The general manners were grofs, and the arts 
of writing unknown. Yet this fimplicity fometimes pleafes more 
than the moft artificial touches. In the mean time, the pictures of 
ancient manners prefented by thefe early writers ftrongly intereft 

1 There is a copy, much altered and modernized, in the Advocates' library at 
Edinburgh, W. 4, i. Numb, xxxiv. [and another in MS. Harl. 2253, temp. Edw. 
II. printed in Ritfon's Romances, vol. 3.] The title Horn-childe and Maiden Rim- 
nild. The beginning : 

" Mi leve frende dere, 
Herken and ye mall here." 

[The bifhop of Dromore confidered this production " of genuine Englifh 
growth j" and though his lordfhip may have been miftaken in afcribing it, in its 
prefent form, to fo early an aera as " within a century after the Conqueft ;" yet the 
editor has no hefitation in expreffing his belief, that it owes its origin to a period 
long anterior to that event. The reafons for fuch an opinion cannot be entered 
upon here. They are too detailed to fall within the compafsof a note, and though 
fome of them will be introduced elfewhere, yet many perhaps are the relult of con- 
victions more eaiily felt than exprefled, and whofe fhades of evidence are too flight 
to be generally received, except in the rear of more obvious authority. However, 
to thofe who with Mr. Ritfon periift in believing the French fragment of this 
romance to be an earlier compofition than The Gefte of Kyng Horn, the following 
paflage is fubmitted, for the purpofe of contrafting its highly wrought imagery with 
the fimple narrative, and natural allufion, obferved throughout the Englifh poem : 

" Lors print la harpe a fei fi commence a temprer 
Deu ki dune lefgardaft, cum il la fot manier! 
Cum les cordes tuchot, cum les fefeit trembler, 
A quantesfaire les chanz, a cuantes organer, 
Del armonie del del lie pureit remembrer 
Sur tuz ceus ke i funt fait cift a merveiller 
Kuant celes notes ot fait prent fen amunter 
E par tut autre tuns fait les cordes foner." Price* 

Both Mr. Wright and Sir F. Madden believe the French romance of Horn to 
be a tranflation from the Englifh Geft, and the former points out, as one ground for 
his opinion, that the French MSS. (of which there are three, all imperfect) exhibit 
traces of additions and embellifhments, and that many new names are interpolated. 
Sir F. Madden adds that the French romance of Atla declares that Horn (there 
called Aelof) was tranflated from Englifh into French.] 



54 *The Land of Cokaygne. s. i. 

the imagination ; efpecially as having the fame uncommon merit 
with the pidtures of manners in Homer, that of being founded in 
.truth and reality, and actually painted from the life. To talk of the 
grofsnefs and abfurdity of fuch manners is little to the purpofe ; the 
poet is only concerned in the juftnefs and faithfulnefs of the 
reprefentation. 

Hickes has printed a fatire on the monaftic profeffion ; the MS. of 
which was written [a little before the year 1300, according to Sir F. 
Madden, but early in the following century, Mr. Wright inclines to 
believe. It is printed (the fpelling modernifed) by Eliis, 1 and from 
the Harl. MS. 913, leaf 3, &c., by Mr. Furnivall. 2 ] The poet begins 
with defcribing the land of indolence or luxury : 

Fur in fee, bi weft Spaynge, 

Is a lond ihote Cokaygne j 

Ther nis lond under hevenriche, 8 

Of wel of godnis hit iliche. 

Tho3 paradis be miri 4 and bri3t 

Cockaygn is of fairir int. 

What is ther in paradis 

Bot grafle, and flure, and grene ris ? 

Tho3 ther be joy, 5 and grete dute, 

Ther nis mete bote frute. 

Ther nis halle, bure, 7 no benche, 

Bot watir, manis thurs[t] to quenche, &c. 

In the following lines there is a vein of fatirical imagination and 
fome talent at defcription. The luxury of the monks is reprefented 
under the idea of a monaftery conftru6red of various kinds of 
delicious and coftly viands : 

Ther is a wel fair abbei, 

Of white monkes and of grei, 

Ther beth bowris and halles : 

All of pafteiis beth the walles, 

Of fleis, of fifle, and rich[e] met, 

The likfullift that man mai et. 

Fluren cakes beth the fcingles 8 alle, 

Of cherche, cloifter, boure, and halle. 

The pinnes 9 beth fat podinges 

Rich met to princez and [to] kinges .... 

Ther is a cloifter fair and Ii5t, 

Brod and lang, of fembli fi3t. 

The pilers of that cloiftre alle 

Beth iturned of criftale, 

With harlas and capitale 

1 Specimens, vol. i. 

a [In Poems and Lives of Saints. Phil. Soc. Trans. 1858, part n. p. 156. 
The MS. was lent to Hickes by Tanner, but in 1698 it was the property of Bifhop 
More. How it came into the Harleian Colleaion, Sir F. Madden profeffes himfelf 
unable even to guefs.J 
Heaven. Sax. 

Merry, cheerful. "Although Paradife is chearful and bright, Cokayne is a 
much more beautiful place." 

' ioi, Orig. e Pleafure. ' [A chamber.] 

Shingles. " The tiles, or covering of the houfe, are of rich cakes." 
The pinnacles. 



s. i. A Satire on the Monaftic ProfeJJion. 55 

Of grene jafpe and rede corale 
In the praer is a tre 
S withe likful for to fe, 
The rote is gingeuir and galingale, 
The fiouns beth al fedwale. 
Trie maces beth the flure, 
The rind, canel of fwet odur : 
The frute gilofre of gode fmakke, 

Of cucubes ther nis no lakke 

There beth iiii. willis 1 in the abbei 

Of triacle and halwei, 

Of baum and ek piement, 2 

Ever ernend 3 to ri^t rent j 4 

Of thai ftremis al the molde, 

Stonis preciufe 5 and golde, 

Ther is faphir, and uniune, 

Carbuncle and aftiune, 

Smaragde, lugre, and praffiune, 

Beril, onix, topofiune, 

Ametift and crifolite. 

Calcedun and epetite. 6 

Ther beth birddes mani and fale 

Throftil, thruifle, and ni^tingale, 

Chalandre, and wood[e]wale, 

And other briddes without tale, 

That ftinteth never bi her mi3t 

Miri to fmg[e] dai and ni^t. .... 

Yi[t]e I do 5ow mo to witte, 

The gees iroftid on the fpitte, 

Flee? to that abbai, God hit wot, 

And gredith, 7 " gees al hote, al note," &c. 

Our author then makes a pertinent tranfition to a convent of 
nuns, which he fuppofes to be very commodioufly fituated at no 
great diftance, and in the fame fortunate region of indolence, eafe, 
and affluence : 

An other abbai is therbi 
For foth a gret fair nunnerie 5 8 
Up a river of fwet milke 
Whar is plente grete of filk. 
When the fomeris dai is hote, 
The "ung[e] nunnes takith a bote 
And doth ham forth in that river 
Both with oris and with ftere : 
Whan hi beth fur from the abbei, 
Hi makith ham nakid for to plei, 



1 Fountains. 

3 This word will be explained at laro-e hereafter. 3 Running, Sax. 

4 Courfe, Sax. 

5 The Arabian philofophy imported into Europe was full of the doftrine of 
precious ftones. 

6 Our old poets are never fo happy as when they can get into a catalogue of 
things or names. See Obfervat. on the Fairy Queen, i. p. 140. 

7 Cryeth. [Anglo-Sax.] [See Conybeare's Illujir. of A.-S. Poetry, 1826, 3-8, 
and Thorpe's Cadmon, 1832, Pref. Madden.'] 

8 [La grange eft pres des bateurs ; ("Said of a Nunnerie thats neere vnto a 
Fryerie :) the Barne ftands neere the Threfher's." Cotgrave, under Bateur. F.] 



56 T/ie Land of C okay gne, a Satire. 



And lepith dune in to the brimme 
And doth ham fleilich for to fwimme : 
The zung[e] monkes that hi feeth, 
Hi doth ham up, and forth hi fleeth, 
And comith to the nunnes anon, 
And euch monke him takith on, 
And fnellich 1 berith forth har prei 
To the mochil grei abbei, 2 
And techith the nunnes an oreifun 
With jambleue 3 up and dun. 4 



1 Quickly, quickly. [Anglo-Saxon.] 

2 " To the great abbey of Grey Monks." 

3 Lafcivious motions, gambols. Fr. gamblller. 

4 Hickes, Thes. i. Par. i. p. 231 feq. [A French fabliau, bearing a near refem- 
blance to this poem, and poffibly the production upon which the Englifh minftrel 
founded his fong, has been publifhed in Barbazan, Fabliaux et Contes, 1808, iv. 
175. Price. But Mr. Wright has pointed out that Price errs in defcribing the 
fabliau as fimilar to the Englifh poem, and fpecifies, on the other hand, an old 
Dutch poem which, from the fpecimen he affords, certainly exhibits a linking 
refemblance.] 

The fecular indulgences, particularly the luxury, of a female convent, are in- 
tended to be reprefented in the following paflage of an ancient poem, called A Dif- 
putation bytnvene a Cryftene man and a Jew, [from a MS.] written [near the end of 
the i4th century.] MS. Vernon, fol. 301 : 

" Till a Nonneri thei came, 
But I knowe not the name j 
Ther was mony a derworthe 1 dame 

In dyapre dere : 2 
Squi^eres 3 in vche fyde, 
In the wones 4 fo wyde : 
Hur fchul we lenge 5 and abyde, 

Auntres 6 to heare. 
Thene fwithe 7 fpekethe he, 
Til a ladi fo fre, 
And biddeth that he welcum be, 

'Sire Water my feere.' 8 
Ther was bords 9 i-clothed clene 
With fchire I0 clothes and fchene, 
Sejjfje" a waflchen, 12 i wene, 

And wente to the fete ; 
Riche metes was forth brouht, 
To all men that gode thouht : 
The criften mon wolde nouht 

Drynke nor ete. 
Ther was a wyn ful clere 
In mony a feir mafere, 13 
And other drynkes that weore dere, 

In coupes 14 ful gret : 



Dear-worthy. 2 Diaper fine. 3 Squires, attendants. 

Rooms, apartments. 5 Shall we tarry. c Adventures. 

Swiftly, immediately. 

My companion, my love. He is called afterwards, " [Sir] Walter of Berwick." 
Tables. '<> Sheer, clean. 

11 Or fithe, \. e. [afterwards : but perhaps we mould read feththe thei. " after- 
wards they." /V/V*.] 

2 Warned. " Mazer, great cup. l4 Cups. 



s. i. Lives of the Saints. 57 

This poem was defigned to be fung at public feftivals :' a practice, 
of which many instances occur in this work ; and concerning which 
it may be fufficient to remark at prefent, that a Joculator or bard 
was an officer belonging to the court of William the Conqueror. 2 

Another [Early Englifh] poem cited by the fame induftrious an- 
tiquary [and fince printed by Mr. Cockayne], is entitled The Life of 
Saint Margaret. The frructure of its verification confiderably 
differs from that in the laft-mentioned piece, and is like the French 
Alexandrines. But I am of opinion that a paufe, or divifion, was 
intended in the middle of every verfe : and in this refpecl: its verfi- 
fication refembles alfo that of [Warner's] Albion'' s England^ or Dray- 
ton's Polyolbion, which was a fpecies very common about the reign 
of Oueen Elizabeth. 3 The rhymes are alfo continued to every 
fourth line. It appears to have been written about the time of 
[Henry III.]. It begins thus : 4 

Seinte Margarete was : holi maide 't god 

Ibore heo was in Antioche : icome of cunde blod 

Terdofe hire fader het : while bi olde dawe 

Patriarch he was wel he3 : 't maifter of the lawe 

He ne bileouede on ihefu crift no^t : for he hethene was 

Margarete his ^unge doubter : ipaid therwith no5t has 

For hire hurte bar anon : criftene to beo 

The falfe godes heo het deuelen : that heo raijte aldai ifeo . 

In the fequel, Olibrius, lord of Antioch, who is called a Saracen, 
falls in love with Margaret : but fhe being a Chriftian and a candidate 
for canonization, rejects his felicitations, and is thrown into prifon. 5 

Meidan Maregrete one nitt in prifun lai 

Ho com biforn Olibrius on that other dai. 

Sihthe was fchewed him bi 
Murththe and munftralfy, 1 
And preyed hem do gladly, 

With ryal rechet. 2 
Bi the bordes up thei ftode," &c. 

1 As appears from this line : 

" Lordinges gode and hende," &c. 

2 His lands are cited in Doomfday Book (Ghucefterjhire.) " Berdic, Joculator 
Regis, habet iii. villas et ibi v. car. nil redd. See Anftis, Ord. Gart. ii. 304. 

3 It is worthy of remark, that we find in the collection of ancient Northern 
monuments publifhed by M. Biorner, a poem of fome length, faid by that author 
to have been compofed in the twelfth or thirteenth century. This poem is pro- 
fefledly in rhyme, and the meafure like that of the heroic Alexandrine of the 
French poetry. See Mallet's Introd. Dannem, &c., ch. xiii. 

4 I direft, Fr. "I advife you, your," &c. [The writer of this Life in the 
Bodleian MS., who is quite as likely to have underftood the author's meaning, 
reads, " I preye you :" words bearing no doubt the fame fignification then as 
they do at prefent." Price. This extraft has now been taken from edit. Cock- 
ayne, i ft text, 1866.] 

5 [Edit. Cockayne (and text), p. 37]. 

1 Afterwards there was fport and minftrelfy. 

2 /. e. recept, reception. But fee Chaucer's Rom. R. v. 6509 : 

" Him woulde I comfort and rechete" 
[Cheer, from Fr. rekaitier. Sir F. Madden's inform.] And Tr, Crefs. iii. 350. 



58 Early Englijh Poetry. s. i. 

Meidan Maregrete, lef up on my lay, 

And Ihefu that thou leveft on, thou do him al awey. 

Lef on me, ant be my wife, ful wel the mai fpede. 

Auntioge and Afie fcaltou han to mede : 

Ciclatoun 1 ant purpel pal fcaltou haue to wede : 

Wid all the metes of my lond ful wel I fcal the fede. 8 

This piece was printed by Hickes from a MS. in Trinity College 
library at Cambridge, [and has been lately re-edited]. It feems to 
belong to the manufcript metrical Lives of the Saints? which form a 
very confiderable volume, and were probably tranflated or para- 
phrafed from Latin or French profe into Englifh rhyme before the 
year i[3]oo. 4 We are fure that they were written after the year 

1 Checklaton. See Obs. Fair. ^. i. 194. 

2 The legend of Saint Julian in the Bodleian, is [in profe, with verfes at the end, 
which Sir F. Madden notes, are not in MS. Reg. 17 A. xxvii. Both texts are 
now in type for the Early Englifh Text Society, ed. Cockayne.] MSS. Bibl. 
Bodl. NE. 3 xi. membran. 8vo. iii. fol. 86. This MS. I believe to be of the age 
of Henry III. or King John : the compofition much earlier. It was tranflated 
from the Latin. Thefe are the lail five lines : 

" Hpen bnhtm o bomep t>ei pinbj?e<5 hip hpeate, 

3Tnb pejipeS p/aet bupti chep to hellene heate, 

He more beon a conn i sober julbene ebene, 

De tupibe <5ip op Latin to En^lipche lebenne 

3*nb he J?aet her leapt onprat ppa ap he cup,e. XQDEN." 

That is, " When the judge at doomfday winnows his wheat, and drives the 
dufty chaff into the heat of hell ; may he be a corn in God's golden Eden, who 
turned this book [from] Latin," &c. [Sir F. Madden points out that 
thefe lines are taken from an inedited profe life of St. Hugh (MS. Digby, 165, fol. 
114.) See Hume's monograph on St. Hugh, 1849, f r f me curious particulars 
relpefting that fmgular tradition.] 

3 The fame that are mentioned by Hearne, from a MS. of Ralph Sheldon. See 
Hearne's Petr. Langt. pp. 542, 607, 608, 609, 611, 628, 670. Saint Winifred's 
Life is printed from the fame colle&ion by Bifhop Fleetwood, in his Life and 
Miracles of S. Winifred, p. 125, ed. 1713. 

4 It is in fa6l a metrical hiftory of the feftivals of the whole year. The life of 
the refpeHve faint is defcribed under every faint's day, and the inftitutions of fome 
Sundays, and feafts not taking their rife from faints, are explained on the plan of 
the Legenda Aurea written by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbifhop of Genoa, about 
the year 1290, from which Caxton, through the medium of a French verfion entitled 
Legend Doree, tranflated his Golden Legend. The Fejlival or Fejliall by Myrk (fee 
preface to Myrk's Duties of P. Priefts, Early Eng. Text Society), is a book of the fame 
fort, yet with homilies intermixed. See MSS. Harl. 2247 and 237 r, and 2391, and 
2402 and 2800 feq. Manufcript lives of faints, detached and not belonging to 
this collection, are frequent in libraries. The Vita Patrum were originally drawn 
trom S. Jerome and Johannes Caflianus. In Grefham College library are metrical 
lives of ten faints, chiefly from the Golden Legend, by Ofberne Bokenham, an 
Auguftine canon in the abbey of Stoke-clare in Suffolk, tranfcribed by Thomas 
Burgh, at Cambridge, 1477. The Life of St. Katharine appears to have been com- 
pofed in 1445. MSS. Coll. Grefh. 315, [but now MS. Arundel Br. Mus. 327: 
Printed for the Roxb. Club, 1835, 4to. Some other Lives of Saints have been 
printed by the Philological Society, ed. Furnivall ( Tranfafiions , 1 8 5 8, Pt. ii.) 5 the Life 
f St. Quiriacus, with the Legends on the Crofs, from a Saint's Lives' MS., is in the 
prefs for the Early Englifh Text Society, under the editorfhip of Dr. Morris. The 
Life of St. Katharine is alfo in MS. Publ. Lib. Camb. Ff. ii. 38, and has been 
printed by Halliwell (Contrib. to Early Engl. Lit., 1849).] The French tranflation of 
the Legenda Aurea was made by Jehan de Vignay, a monk, foon after 1 300. 



s. i. Lives of the Saints. 59 

1169, as they contain the Life of Saint Thomas Becket. 1 In the 
Bodleian library are three manufcript copies of thefe Lives of the 
Saints , 2 in which the Life of Saint Margaret conftantly occurs ; 

1 Afhmole cites this Life, Inflit. Ord. Gart., p. 21. And he cites S. Brandon's 
Life, p. 507. Afhmole's MS. was in the hands of Silas Taylor. It is now in [the 
Bodleian]. MSS. Afhm. 50. [7001.] 

2 MSS. Bodl. 779, Land, L 70. And they make a confiderable part of a pro- 
digious folio volume, beautifully written on vellum [about 1400], and elegantly 
illuminated [of which the firlt foliated text has the title] : " Here begynnen the tytles 
of the book that is cold in Latyn tongue Salus Anime, and in EnglyJJi tonge Sowlehele.'* 
It was given to the Bodleian library by Edward Vernon, Efq., foon after the civil 
war. I mall cite it under the title of MS. Vernon. Although pieces not abfo- 
lutely religious are fometimes introduced, the fcheme of the compiler or tranfcriber 
feems to have been, to form a complete body of legendary and fcriptural hiftory in 
verfe, or rather to collect into one view all the religious poetry he could find. Ac- 
cordingly the Lives of the Saints a diftinft and large work of itfelf properly con- 
ftituted a part of his plan. There is another copy of the Lives of the Saints in the 
Britifh Mufeum, MSS. Harl. 2277; and in [the Bodleian] MSS. Afhm. utfupr. 
This MS. is alfoin Bennet College library [and elfewhere : MS. Laud. 108 ; MS. 
Afhmole, No. 43 [6924] ; Cotton MS. Julius, D ix. and Add. MS. 10, 301, &c.] 
The Lives feem to be placed according to their refpeclive feftivals in the courfe of 
the year. The Bodleian copy (marked 779) is a thick folio, containing 310 leaves. 
The variations in thefe manufcripts feem chiefly owing to the tranfcribers. The 
Life of Saint Margaret in MS. Bodl. 779, begins much like that of Trinity Library 
at Cambridge. 

" Old and yonge I preye you your folyis for to lete," &c. 

I muft add here, that in the Harleian library, a few Lives, from the fame collection 
of Lives of the Saints, occur, MSS. 2250, 23 f. 72, b.feq. chart, fol. See alfo Ib. 
19, f. 48- 

The Lives of the Saints in verfe, in Bennet library, contain the martyrdom and 
tranflation of Becket, Num. clxv. This MS. is fuppofed to be of the fourteenth 
century. Archbifhop Parker, in a remark prefixed, has afllgned the compofition 
to the reign of Henry II. But in that cafe, Becket's tranflation, which did not 
happen till the reign of King John, muft have been added. See a fpecimen in 
Nalmith's Catalogue of the Bennet MSS. 1777, p. 217. There is a MS. of thefe 
Lives in Trinity College library at Oxford, but it has not the Life of Becket, MSS. 
Num. Ivii. In pergamine, fol. The writing is about the fourteenth century. I 
will tranfcribe a few lines from the Life of St. Cuthbert, f. 2, b : 
" Seint Cuthberd was ybore here in Engelonde, 
God dude for him meraccle, as 3e fcholleth vnderftonde. 
And wel 3ong child he was, in his eigtethe 3ere, 
Wit children he pleyde atte balle, that his felawes were : 
That com go a lite childe, it tho5t thre 3er old, 
A fwete creature and a fayr, yt was myld and bold : 
To the 3ong Cuthberd he 3ede ' fene brother,' he fede, 

* Ne 3ench than no3t fuch ydell game for it ne o3te no^t be thy dede :' 
Seint Cuthberd ne tok no ^eme to the childis rede 

And pleyde forth with his felawes, al fo they him bede. 

Tho this 3onge child y fe3 that he is red forfok, 

A doun he fel to grounde, and gret del to him tok, 

It by gan to wepe fore, and his honden wrynge, 

This children hadde alle del of him, and bylevede hare pleyinge. 

As that they couthe hy gladede him, fore he gan to fiche, 

At even this 3onge child made del y liche, 

* A welaway/ qd feint Cuthbert, ' why wepes thou fo fore 

* Sif we the haveth o3t myfdo, we ne fcholleth na more.' 
Thanne fpake this 3onge child, fore hy wothe beye, 

' Cuthberd, it falleth no3t to the with 3onge children to pleye, 



60 Early Englijh Poetry. s. u 

but it is not always exa&ly the fame with this printed by Hickes ; 
and, on the whole, the Bodleian Lives feem inferior in point of an- 
tiquity. I will here give fome extra&s : 
From the Life of Saint Swithin r 1 

Seint Swithin the confeflbur : was her of Engelande, 

Bifide wyncheftre he was ibore : as ic vndirftonde : 

By the kinges day Egberd : this gode man was ibore, 

That tho was king of Engelond : and fomwhat ek bifore ; 

The eijteothe king he was that com : after Kenewold the kynge, 

That feint Berin dude to Criftendom : in Engelond furft bringe : 

Ac feynt Auftin hadde bifore : to criftendom ibrojt 

Athelbri5t the gode king : ac al the londe no^t. 

Ac fitthe hit was that feint berin : her bi wefte wende, 

And turnde the king Kenewold : as our louerd him grace fende : 

So that feint Egberd was kyng : tho feint fwithin was ibore 

The ei"teteothe he was : after kenewold that fo longe was bifore, &c. 

Seint Swithin his bifchopriche : to alle gode drou"5 (line 51) 

The toun alfo of Wyncheftre he amended^enou?, 

For he let the ftronge brugge : withoute the eft ^ate arere 

And fond therto lym and fton : to worcmen that ther were. 

From the Life of Saint Wolflan : 

Seynt Wolfton byffcop of Wirceter was then in Ingelonde, 
Swithe holyman was all his lyf, as ich onderftonde : 
The -while he was a yonge childe, good lyf hi ladde ynow, 
Whenne other children orne play, toward cherche hi drow. 

* For no iuche idell games it ne cometh the to worche, 

* Whanne god hath y-proveyd the an heved of holy cherche.* 
With this word, me nyfte whidder, this 5ong child wente, 
An angel it was of heven that our lord thuder fent." 

I will exhibit the next twelve lines as they appear in that mode of writing : 
together with the punctuation. 

" po by-gan feint Cuthberd. for to wepe fore 
[And by-leuede al J?is ydel game, nolde he pleye no more. 1 ] 
He made his fader and frendis. fette him to lore 
So f>at he fervede boj?e nyjt and day. to plefe god J?e more 
And in his joughede nyjt and day. of fervede godis ore 
po he in grettere elde was, as J?e bok us hap yfed 
It byfel j?at feint Aydan. J?e biflchop was ded 
Cuthberd was a felde with fchep. angeles of heven he fe 5 
pe biflchopis foule feint Aydan. to heven bere on he"5 
Alias fede feint Cuthberd. fole ech am to longe 
I nell J?is fchep no longer kepe. afonge hem who fo afonge 2 
He wente to J>e abbeye of Germans, a grey monk he er bycom 
Gret joye made alle f?e covent. J>o he that abbyt nom," &c. 
The reader will obferve the conftant return of the hemiftichal point, which I 
have been careful to preferve, and to reprefent with exa6tnefs j as I fufpecl: that it 
mows how thefe poems were lung to the harp by the minftrels. Every line was 
perhaps, uniformly recited to the lame monotonous modulation, with a paufe in the 
midft j juft as we chant the pfalms in our choral fervice. In the pfalms of our 
liturgy, this paufe is exprefled by a colon : and often, in thofe of the Roman miflal, 
by an afterifk. The fame mark occurs in every line of this manufcript, which is 
a folio volume of confiderable fize, with upwards of fifty verfes in every page. 

[ l Early Englijh Poems and Lives of 'Saints, edit. Furnivall, pp. 43-7 ; St. S*withun, 
ed. Earle, 1861, pp. 78-81.] 

[' Inferted from Add. MS. 10,301. Sir F. Madden's inform.] 
[ 2 "Take them who will. 1 ' Price.] 



s. i. Lives of the Saints. 61 

Seint Edward was tho vr kyng, that now in hevene is, 

And the biflcoppe of Wircefter Brytthege is hette I wis, &c. 

BifTcop hym made the holi man feynt Edward vre kynge 

And undirfonge his dignite, and tok hym cros and ringe. 

His bufhopreke he wuft wel, and eke his priorie, 

And forcede him to ferve wel God and Seinte Marie. 

Four 5er he hedde bifTcop ibeo and not folliche fyve 

Tho feynt Edward the holi kyng went out of this lyve. 

To gret reuge to al Engelonde, fo welaway the ftounde, 

For ftrong men that come fithen and broughte Engelonde to grounde. 

Harald was fithen kynge with trefun, alias ! 

The crowne he bare of England which while hit was. 

As William Baftard that was tho duyk of Normaundye l 

Thouhte to winne Englonde thoru 1 ? ftrength and felonye : 

He lette hym greith foulke inou3 and gret power with him nom, 

With gret ftrengthe in the fee he him dude and to Engelonde com : 

He lette ordayne his oft wel and his baner up arerede, 

And deftruyed all that he fond and that londe fore aferde. 

Harald hereof tell kynge of Engelonde 

He let garke faft his ofte agen hym for to ftonde : 

His baronage of Engelonde redi was ful fone 

The kyng to helpe and eke himfelf as rnt was to done. 

The warre was then in Engelonde dolefull and ftronge inou? 

And heore either of othures men al to grounde flou3 : 

The Normans and this Englifch men day of batayle nom 

There as the abbeye is of the batayle a day togedre com, 

To grounde thei fmiit and flowe alfo j as God yaf the cas, 

William Baftard was above, and Harald bi-neothe was. a 

From the Life of Saint Cbriflopher : 

'Seint Criftofre was fara?in : in the lond of Canaan, 
In no ftede bi him daye : ne fond me fo ftrong a man : 
Four & tuentie fet he was long : & thicke & brod inou5, 
Such mon bote he were ftrong me thin3th hit were wou3 : 
Al a contrai where he were : for him wolde fleo, 
Therfore him thou^te that no man : a3en him fcholde beo. 
With no man he feide he nolde beo : bote with on that were 
Hexift louerd of alle men : & vnder non, other uere. 

Afterwards he is taken into the fervice of a king : 

Criftofre him feruede longe ; (1. 17) 
The kyng louede melodic : of harpe & of fbnge ; 
So that his iugelour adai : to-fore him pleide fafte, 
& anemnede in his rym : the deuel atte lafte : 
Tho the kyng ihurde that : he blefcede him anon, &c. 4 

From the Life of Saint Patrick : 

Seyn Pateryk com thoru Godes grace to preche in Irelonde 

To teche men ther ryt believe Jhefu Cryfte to underftonde : 

So ful of wormes that londe he founde that no man ni myghte gon, 

In fom ftede for worms that he nas wenemyd anon ; 

Seynt Pateryk bade our lorde Cryft that the londe delyvered were, 

Of thilke foul wormis that none ne com there. 

1 [See Small's Metrical Homilies, p. xvi.l 2 MS. Vernon. fol. 76, b. 

3 MSS. Harl. utfupr. fol. 101, b. 

" Seint Criftofre was Sarazin in $e lond of Canaan 
In no ftede bi his daye ne fond me fo ftrong a man 
Four and tuenti fet he was long and Jnche and brod y-nouj, &c." 

4 [Early Englijb Poems and Lives of Saints, edit. Furnivall, 1862, pp. 59-60.] 



62 Early Englijh Poetry. s. i. 

From the Life of Saint Thomas Eecket : J 

Gilbert was Thomas fader name : that the true was and gode 
And lovede God and holi churche : fiththe he wit underftod. 
The croice to the holie lond : in his ^unghede he nom, 
And mid on Richard that was his man : to Jerufalem com, 
There hi dude here pelrynage : in holi ftedes fafte 
So that among the Sarazyns : ynome hi were atte lafte, &c. 

[One authority 2 attributes thefe Lives to the clofe, and another 3 
to the middle, of the thirteenth century. 4 The former remarks : 
" The ftyle and language of thefe Lives of Saints would lead us at 
once, from their fimilarity to the Chronicle afcribed to Robert of 
Gloucefter, to attribute them to the clofe of the thirteenth century, 
and perhaps to the fame writer. Had Warton 5 looked into thefe 
Lives a little more attentively, he would have found the Legend of 
St. Dominic , who died in 1221, and that of St. Edmund of Pountney^ 
who was canonized in 1248. But in the latter legend we have de- 
cifive proof that thefe lives were written in the reign of Edward I."] 

Thefe metrical narratives of Chriftian faith and perfeverance feem 
to have been chiefly compofed for the pious amufement, and perhaps 
edification, of the monks in their cloifters. The fumptuous volume 
of religious poems which I have mentioned above 6 was undoubtedly 
chained in the cloifter or church of fome capital monaftery. It is 
not improbable that the novices were exercifed in reciting portions 
from thefe pieces. In the Britifh Mufeum 7 there is a fet of legendary 
tales in rhyme, which appear to have been folemnly pronounced by the 
prieft to the people on Sundays and holidays. This fort of poetry 8 

1 [Life and Martyrdom of 'Thomas Becket, edit. Black (Percy Soc.), p. i.] 

2 [Madden's note in H. E. P. ed. 1840, i. 17. Guernes, an ecclefiaftic of Pont 
St. Maxence in Picardy, wrote a metrical life of Thomas a Becket, and from his 
anxiety to procure the moft authentic information on the fubjeft, came over to 
Canterbury in 1172, and finally projected his work in 1177. It is written in 
ftanzas of five Alexandrines, all ending with the fame rhymes, a mode of com- 
pofition fuppofed to have been adopted for the purpofe of being eafily chanted. 
A copy is preferved in MS. Harl. 270, and another in MS. Cotton, Domit. A. xi. 
See Archxol. vol. xiii. and Ellis's HiJL Sketch, &c. p. 57." Park.\ 

. 3 [Life and Martyrdom of St. Thomas A Becket, ed. Black, Introd.] 

4 [Warton fuppofed them written in the reign of Richard I.] 

5 In the Cotton library I find the lives of Saint Jofaphas and the Seven Sleepers : 
fcompofed in the French of the thirteenth century, and in a hand of the time. 
Sir F. M.'s corr.] Brit. Mus. MSS. Cott. Calig. A ix. Cod. membran. 4to. ii. 
fol. 192 : 

Id commence la 'vie be pemt lopapha". 
Ki voutt a nul bien sentendre 
Per effample poet: mult aprentore, 
iii. fol. 213, b. let commence la 'vie de Set Dormant. 
La verru fceu ke tut mr bure 
E tut iur"5 epc cerene e pure. 

Many legends and religious pieces in Norman rhyme were written about [the 
time of Edward I.I See MSS. Harl. 2253, f. i, membr. fol.fupra citat. p. 15. 
8 Viz. MS. Vernon. 

7 MSS. Harl. 2391. 70. The dialeft is perfedly Northern. 
* That legends of Saints were fung to the harp at feafts, appears from The Life 
of Saint Marine, MSS. Harl. 2253, fol. memb. f. 64, b. 



s. i. Lives of the Saints. 63 

was alfo fung to the harp by the minftrels on Sundays, inftead of the 
romantic fubje&s ufual at public entertainments. 1 

" Herketh hideward and beoth ftille, 
Y praie on }if hit be or wille, 
And 3e fhule here of one virgin 
That was ycleped faint Maryne." 

And from various other inftances. [But Sir F. Madden very properly doubts 
whether this expreffion means, in many cafes, any thing further than an invitation 
to the lifteners to attend to the recital.] 

Some of thefe religious poems contain the ufual addrefs of the minftrel to the 
company. As in a poem of our Saviour's defcent into hell, and his difcourfe there 
with Sathanas the porter, Adam, Eve, Abraham, &c. MSS. ibid. f. 57. 

" Alle herkeneth to me now, 
A ftrif wolle y tellen ou : 
Of Jhefu and of Sathan, 
Tho Jhefu wes to hell y-gan." 

Other proofs will occur occafionally. [The lives of St. Jofaphat and of the Seven 
Sleepers are attributed by the Abbe de la Rue to Chardry, an Anglo-Norman 
poet, who alfo wrote le petit plebs, a difpute between an old and a young man on 
human life. Stephen Langton, archbiftiop of Canterbury in 1207, wrote a canticle 
on the paffion of Jefus Chrift in 123 ftanzas, with a theological drama, in the Duke 
of Norfolk's library, and Denis Pyrannus, who lived in the reign of Henry III., 
wrote in verfe the life and martyrdom of King St. Edmund in 3286 lines, with the 
miracles of the fame faint in 600 lines : a manufcript in the Cott. Library, Dom. 
A. xi. See Archteologia^ vol. xiii. Park^\ 

1 As I colle6l from the following poem, MS. Vernon, fol. 229 : 

" 'The Viflons of Seynt Paul 'won he <voas rapt into Paradys. 
" Lufteneth lordynges leof and dere, 
^e that wolen of the Sonday herej 
The Sonday a day hit is 
That angels and archangels joyn iwis, 
More in that ilke day 
Then any odur," &c. 

[It was enjoined by the ritual of the Gallican church, that the Lives of the 
Saints mould be read during mafs, on the days confecrated to their memory. On 
the introduftion of the Roman liturgy, which forbad the admixture of any ex- 
traneous matter with the fervice of the mafs, this praftice appears to have been 
fufpended, and the Lives of the Saints were read only at evening prayer. But 
even in this the inveteracy of cuftom feems fpeedily to have re-eftablifhed its rights ; 
and there is reafon to believe that the lives of fuch as are mentioned in the New 
Teftament were regularly delivered from the chancel. Of this a curious example, 
the " Planch de Sant Efteve," has been publifhed by M. Raynouard in his '* Choix 
des Poefies originales des Troubadours [Paris, 1817] ;" where the paffages from the 
A6ls of the Apoftles referring to St. Stephen are introduced between the metrical 
tranflations of them. From France it is probable this rite found its way into 
England ; and the following extraft from the piece alluded to above will mow the 
uniformity of ftyle adopted in the exordiums to fuch produ&ions on both fides of 
the Channel : 

" Sezets, fenhors, e aiats pas j 

Se que direm ben efcoutas ; 

Car la lifibn es de vertat, 

Non hy a mot de falfetat." 

" Be feated, lordings, and hold your peace (et ayez paix) ; liften attentively to 
what we fliall fay ; for it is a leflbn of truth without a word of falfehood." It has 
been recently maintained, that the term "lording," of fuch frequent occurrence in 
the preludes to our old romances and legends, is a manifeft proof of their being 



64 Extract from " Soulehele" s. i. 

In that part of Vernon's manufcript entitled " Soulehele," 1 we 
have a tranflation of the Old and New Teftament into verfe, which 
I believe to have been made before the year 1300 [though the MS. 
is fome feventy-five years later]. The reader will obferve the fond- 
nefs of our anceftors for the Alexandrine : at leaft, I find the lines 
arranged in that meafure : 

Oure ladi and hire fuftur ftoden vndur the Roode, 

And feint jon.and marie magdaleyn with wel fori moode : 

Vr ladi biheold hire fwete fone ; heo gon to wepe fore, 

That thre teres heo let of red blod, tho heo nedde watur no more. 

Vr lord feide: " Wommon, to her thi fone ibrouht in gret pyne 

For monnes gultes nouthe her, and nothing for myne.' 1 

Marie weop wel fore, and bitter teres leet j 

The teres fullen uppon the fton doun at hire feet. 

tl Alias, my fone, for ferwe wel ofte " feide heo, 

" Nabbe ich bote the one, that honguft on the treo j 

So ful icham of ferwe, as any wommon may beo, 

That i fchal my deore child in al this pyne ifeo : 

How fchal I, fone deore, hou haft i thou^t liuen with outen the, 

Nufti neuere of ferwe nou5t, fone, what feyft thou me ?" 

Thenne fpak Ihefus wordus goode tho to his modur dere, 

Ther he heng vppon the roode : " here I the take a fere, 

That treweliche fchal feme the, thin owne cofin Jon, 

The while that thou alyue beo among alle thi fon:" 

" Ich the hote, jon," he feide, "thou wite hire bothe day and niht, 

That the Gywes, hire fon, ne don hire non vnriht." 

Seint Jon in the ftude vr ladi in to the temple nom ; 

God to feruen he hire dude, fone fo he thider com ; 

Hole and feeke heo duden good that heo founden thore, 

Heo hire ferueden to hond and foot, the laffe and eke the more. 

The Pore folk feire heo fedde there, heo fe5e that hit was neode, 

And the feke heo brou^te to bedde, and mete and drinke gon heom beode. 

With al heore mihte "ong and olde hire loueden, bothe fyke and fer, 

As hit was ri5t, for alle and fume to hire feruife hedden mefter. 

Jon hire was a trewe feere, and nolde nou^t fro hire go, 

He loked hire as his ladi deore 5 and what heo wolde, hit was ido. 3 

" compofed for the gratification of knights and nobles." There are many valid 
objections to fuch a conclufion ; but one perhaps more cogent than the reft. The 
term is a diminutive, and could never have been applied to the nobility as an 
order, however general its ufe as an expreflion of courtefy. By way of illuftration, 
let it alfo be remembered, that the " Difours" of the prefent day, who ply upon 
the Mole at Naples, addrefs every ragged auditor by the title of " Eccellenza." 
Price.] 

1 [The firft foliated part of the MS. A profe tranflation of Ailred's Regula 
Tndufarum, or Rule of Nuns, is on the preceding unfoliated leaves. Both treatifes 
are in the hands of editors for the Early Englifh Text Society. F.l 

3 MS. Vernon, fol. 8. 



S. 2. 



Account of Robert of Gloucefter s Chronicle. 65 




SECTION II. 

ITHERTO we have been engaged in examining the 
ftate of our poetry from the Conqueft to the year 
i[3]oo, or rather afterwards. It will appear to have 
made no very rapid improvement from that period. 
Yet, as we proceed, we fhall find the language lofmg 
much of its ancient obfcurity, and approaching more nearly to the 
dialect of modern times. 

The firft poet whofe name occurs in the reign of Edward I., 
and indeed in thefe annals, is Robert of Gloucefter, a monk of the 
abbey of Gloucefter. He has left a poem of confiderable length, 
which is a hiftory of England in verfe, from Brutus to the reign of 
Edward I. It was evidently written after the year 1278, as the poet 
mentions King Arthur's fumptuous tomb, erected in that year before 
the high altar of Glaftonbury church * : and he declares himfelf a 
living witnefs of the remarkably difmal weather which diftinguifhed 
the day on which the battle of Evefham above mentioned was fought, 
in the year 1265* From thefe and other circumftances this piece 
appears to have been compofed [after] the year [i2o,7]. 3 It is ex- 
hibited in the manufcripts, is cited by many antiquaries, and printed 
by Hearne, in the Alexandrine meafure ; but with equal probability 
might have been written in four-lined ftanzas. This rhyming 
chronicle is totally deftitute of art or imagination. The author has 
clothed in rhyme the fables of Geofrry of Monmouth, which have 
often a more poetical air in Geoffry's profe. The language is not 
much more eafy or intelligible than that of many of the [Early 
Englim] poems quoted in the preceding fe&ion : it is full of Saxonifms, 
which indeed abound, more or lefs, in every writer before Gower 
and Chaucer. But this obfcurity is perhaps owing to the weftern 
dialect, in which our monk of Gloucefter was educated. Provincial 
barbarifms are naturally the growth of extreme counties, and of fuch 
as are fituated at a diftance from the metropolis ; and it is probable 
that the Saxon heptarchy, which confifted of a clufter of feven inde- 
pendent ftates, contributed to produce as many different provincial 
dialecls. In the mean time it is to be confidered, that writers of all 
ages and languages have their affectations and fingularities, which 
occafion in each a peculiar phrafeology. 

1 Pag. 224., edit. Hearne. 2 Pag. 560. 

3 [Sir F. Madden's corr., founded on the mention in the piece of the canonization 
of St. Louis in 1297. Sir F. M. refers to the Cotton MS. Calig. A. xi. (from 
which Dr. R. Morris has printed an extract in his Specimens') as nearly coeval with 
the author, and as the proper bafis of a new edition. He tells us that Waterland's 
annotated copy of ed. Hearne (erroneoufly taken from Harl. MS. 201 in chief mea- 
fure), is in the Bodleian. Mr. Furnivall notes that there is a MS., one of a clafs, 
with great differences, in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Mr. W. Aldis 
Wright is preparing a new edition of Robert of Gloucefter for the Rolls Series.] 
II. F 



66 Two Verjions of Robert of Gloncefter s Chron Icle. 8.2. 

[The MSS. of Robert of Gloucefter divide themfelves naturally 
into two clafles. Taking the Cotton MS. as the type of what we may 
call the earlier recenfion, and the MS. in Trinity College Library, 
Cambridge, as the type of the later, the two clafles may be readily 
diftinguifhed by a reference to the beginning of the reign of King 
Stephen. Up to this point the MSS. of the two recenfions agree 
roughly in their contents, thofe of the later having infertions in 
various places and of various lengths, amounting altogether to between 
eight and nine hundred lines. From this point they differ entirely ; 
the reigns from Stephen to Edward I. occupying in the earlier re- 
cenfion about three thoufand lines, while in the later they are 
comprefled into about fix hundred of an entirely different character. 
In the Cotton MS. King Stephen's reign begins thus : 

Steuene e bleis f?at god kni^t . & ftalwarde was alfo 
J>o J?e king was ded is vncle . an oj?er he J?o5te do. 

In the Trinity MS. it begins : 

J?o com ftephene >e bleys ' mid rtreg^e & quaintife 
& feide he wolde be king' in alle kiines wyfe. 

This diftinclion furnifhes a ready teft of the clafs to which any MS. 
belongs. Tried by it, we find that the known MSS. of the earlier 
recenfion are Cotton Calig. A. xi., Harl. 201, Add. MSS. 18631 
and 19677 in the Britifh Mufeum, and MS. S. 3. 41 in the Hun- 
terian Mufeum, Glafgow. The MSS. of the later recenfion are 
Sloane 2027 in the Britifh Mufeum; Ee. 4. 31 in the Univerfity 
Library, Cambridge ; R. 4. 26 in the Library of Trinity College, 
Cambridge; Bodleian, Digby 205 ; Lord Moftyn's MS. ; and MS. 
2014 in the Pepyfian Library. The MS. in the Herald's College, 
of which the readings are quoted in the notes to Hearne's edition, 
contains a mixture of profe and verfe, and cannot be affigned to 
either recenfion. Befides thefe there formerly exifted two others, 
of which one belonged to the famous Thomas Allen of Gloucefter 
Hall ; the other, quoted by Camden in his Remaines^ was in the 
pofleffion of John Stow the antiquary ; but of thefe no trace has 
yet been found. The paffages from the former, given in Hearne's 
Appendix^ mew that it probably belonged to the later recenfion.] J 

Robert of Gloucefter thus defcribes the fports and folemnities 
which followed King Arthur's coronation : 

The kyng was to ys paleys, tho the fervyfe was ydo, 2 
Ylad wyth his menye, and the quene to hire al fo. 
Vor hii hulde the olde vfages, that men wyth men were 
By them fulue, and wymmen by hem fulue al fo there. 3 
Tho hii were echone yfet, as yt to her flat bycom, 
Kay, king of Aungeo, a thoufend kyn^tes nome 



1 [Mr. W. Aldis Wright's addition.] 

a " { when the f er vice in the church was finished." 

They kept the antient cuftom at feftivals, of placing the men and women 
feparate. Kay, king of Anjou, brought a thoufand noble knights clothed in 
ermine of one fuit, orfefla" 



s. 2. Specimens of Robert of Gloucefters Chronicle. 67 

Of noble men, yclothed in ermyne echone 

Of on fywete, and feruede at thys noble feft a non. 

Bedwer the botyler, kyng of Normandye, 

Nom al fo in ys half a uayr companye 

Of on fywyte ! vorto feruy of the botelerye. 

By uore the quene yt was alfo of al fiiche corteyfye, 

Vorto telle al the noblye thet ther was ydo, 

They my tonge were of ftel, me flblde no 5t dure therto. 

Wymmen ne kepte of no kyn^t as in druery, 2 

Bote he were in armys wel yprowed, & atte lefte thrye. 3 

That made, lo, the wymmen the chaftore lyf lede, 

And the kynStes the ftalwordore, 4 & the betere in her dede. 

Sone after thys noble mete, 5 as ry^t was of fuch tyde, 

The kynzts atyled hem aboute in eche fyde, 

In feldes and in medys to preue her bachelerye. 6 

Somme wyth lance, fome wyth fuerd, wyth oute vylenye, 

Wyth pleyynge at tables, other atte chekere, 

Wyth caftynge, 7 other wyth flettinge, 8 other in fom o3yrt manere. 

And wuch fo of eny game adde the mayftrye, 

The kyng hem of ys 5yfteth dude large corteyfye. 

Vpe the alurs of the caftles the laydes thanne ftode, 

And byhulde thys noble game, & wyche kyn^ts were god. 

All the thre hexte dawes 9 ylafte thys nobleye 

In halles and in veldes, of mete and eke of pleye. 

Thys men come the verthe 10 day byuore the kynge there, 

And he 5ef hem large "Syftys, euere as hii wurthe were. 

Byflbpryches and cherches, clerkes he 5ef fomme, 

And caftles and tounes, kyn5tes that were ycome. 11 

Many of thefe lines are literally tranflated from Geoffry of Mon- 
mouth, [and more from Wace.] In King Arthur's battle with the 
giant at Barbesfleet, there are no marks of Gothic painting. But 
there is an effort at poetry in the defcription of the giant's fall : 

Tho gryflych ?al the flrewe tho, that griflych was ys bere : 
He vel doun 1 ^ as a gret ok, that bynethe ycorue were, 
That yt thoite that al hul myd the vallynge flbk. 12 

That is, " Then horribly yelled the fhrew, that fearful was his 
braying : he fell down "like an oak cut through at the bottom, and 
[it feemed that] 13 all the hill fhook with his fall." But this ftroke is 
copied from Geoffry of Monmouth, who tells the fame miraculous 
ftory, and in all the pomp with which it was perhaps drefled up by 
his favourite fablers. tc Exclamavit vero invifus ille j et velut quer- 
cus ventorum viribus eradicata, cum maximo fonitu corruit." It is 
difficult to determine which is moft blameable, the poetical hiftorian 
or the profaic poet. 

It was a tradition invented by the old fablers, that giants brought 



1 " brought alfo, on his part, a fair company cloathed uniformly." 

2 [gallantry.] 3 thrice. 4 [fuite.] 

5 " Soon after this noble feaft, which was proper at fuch an occafion, the knights 
accoutred themfelves." 

6 [The ftate preparatory to knighthood.] 7 [Cafting the ftone. M.] 

8 [Aiming with fpears or javelins.] 

9 " All the three higheft or chief days. In halls and fields, of feafting, and tur- 
neying,&c." 10 fourth. u Pag. 191, 192 [edit. 1810.] 12 Pag. 208 [ibid.] 

13 [Mr. Garnett's correftion.] 



68 Specimens of the Chronicle of s. 2. 

the ftones of Stonehenge from the moft fequeftered deferts of Africa, 
and placed them in Ireland ; that every ftone was wafhed with juices 
of herbs, and contained a medical power ; and that Merlin the magi- 
cian, at the requeft of King Arthur, tranfported them from Ireland, 
and creeled them in circles, on the plain of Amefbury, as a fepulchral 
monument for the Britons treacheroufly flain by Hengift. This 
fable is thus delivered, without decoration, by Robert of Gloucefter : 

" Sire kyng," quoth Merlin tho, " fuche thinges y wis 

Ne beth for to fchewe no?t, but wen gret nede ys, 

For 3ef ich feide in bifmare, other bute yt ned were, 

Sone from me he wold wende the Goft, that doth me lere :"' 

The kyng, tho non other nas, bod hym fom quoyntyfe 

Bi thenke aboute thilke cors, that fo noble were and wyfe, 2 

"Sire kyng," quoth Merlyn tho, ' 3ef thou wolt here cafte 

In the honour of hem, a werk that euer fchal y lafte, 3 

To the hul of Kylar 4 fend in to Yrlond 

Aftur the noble ftones that ther habbet 5 lenge y ftonde ; 

That was the treche of geandes, 6 for a quoynte werk ther ys 

Of ftones al wyth art y mad, in the world fuch non ys. 

Ne ther nys nothing that me fcholde myd ftrengthe a doun cafte. 

Stode heo here, as heo doth there, euer a wolde lafte." 7 

The kyng fomdel to ly 5he, 8 tho he herde this tale, 

" How my5te," he feyde, " fuche ftones fo grete & fo fale 9 

Be y brort of fo fer lond ? & 3et meft of were, 

Me wolde wene, that in this lond no fton to worche nere." 

"Syre kyng," quoth Merlyn, "ne make no^t an ydel fuch ly^hyng. 

For yt nys an ydel no5t that ich telle this tything. 10 

For in the farrefte ftude of Affric geandes while fette 11 

Thike ftones for medycine & in Yrlond hem fette, 

While heo woneden in Yrlond, to make here bathes there, 

Ther vnder for to bathi, wen thei fyk were. 

For heo wuld the ftones wafch, and ther inne bathe y wis. 

For ys no fton ther among, that of gret vertu nys." 12 

The kyng and ys confeil radde 13 tho ftones forto fette, 

And with gret power of batail, icf any mon hem lette. 

Uter the kynges brother, that Ambrofe hette al fo 

In another maner name, y chofe was ther to, 



1 If I mould fay any thing out of wantonnefs or vanity, the fpirit, or demon, 
which teaches me, would immediately leave me. " Nam fi ea in derifionem, five 
vanitatem, proferrem, taceret Spiritus qui me docet, et, cum opus fuperveniret, 
recederet." Galfrid. Mon. viii. 10. 

3 " bade him ufe his cunning, for the fake of the bodies of thofe noble and wife 
Britons." 

3 " if you would build, to their honour, a lafting monument." 

4 " To the hill of Kildare." * have. 

8 "the dance of giants." The name of this wonderful aflembly of immenfe ftones. 

7 " Grandes funt lapides, nee eft aliquis cujus virtuti cedant. Quod fi eo modo, 
quo ibi pofiti funt, circa plateam locabuntur, ftabunt in aeternum." Galfrid. Mon. 
viii. x. ii. 

K fomewhat laughed. 9 fo great and fo many. 10 tyding. 

1 " Giants once brought them from the fartheft part of Africa," &c. 

"Lavabantnamque lapides et infra balnea diffundebant,unde aegroti curabantur. 
Mifcebant etiarn cum herbarum confeftionibus, unde vulnerati fanabantur. Non 
eft ibi lapis qui medicamento careat." Galfrid. Mon. ibid. 

13 [advifed or counfelled]. 



s. 2. Robert of Gloucejler. 69 

And fiftene thoufant men this dede for to do 
And Merlyn for his quoyntife thider wente al fo. 1 

If anything engages our attention in this paflage, it is the wildnefs. 
of the fi6Hon ; in which, however, the poet had no (hare. 
I will here add Uther's intrigue with Ygerne : 

At the feft of Eftre tho kyng fende ys fonde, 

That heo comen alle to London the hey men of this londe, 

And the leuedys al fo god, to his noble feft wyde, 

For he fchulde crowne here, for the hye tyde. 

Alle the noble men of this lond to the noble feft come, 

And heore wyues & heore do^tren with hem mony nome, 

This feft was noble ynow, and nobliche y do ; 

For mony was the faire ledy, that y come was therto. 

Ygerne, Gorloys wyf, was faireft of echon, 

That was contafle of Cornewail, for fo fair nas ther non. 

The kyng by huld hire fafte y now, & ys herte on hire cafte, 

And tho5te, thay heo were wyf, to do folye atte lafte. 

He made hire femblant fair y now, to non other fo gret. 

The erl nas not ther with y payed, tho he yt vnder 3et. 

Aftur mete he nom ys wyfe myd ftordy med y now, 

And, with oute leue of the kyng, to ys contrei drow. 

The kyng fende to hym tho, to by leue al ny5t, 

For he mofte of gret confel habbe fom infy5t. 

That was for no3t. Nolde he no^t the kyng fende 3et ys fonde. 

That he by leuede at ys parlemente, for nede of the londe. 

Tho kyng was, tho he nolde no^t, anguyflbus & wroth. 

For defpyte he wolde a wreke be, he fwor ys oth, 

Bute he come to amendement. Ys power atte lafte 

He "arkede, and wende forth to Cornewail fafte. 

Gorloys ys cafteles a ftore al a boute. 

In a ftrong caftel he dude ys wyf, for of hire was al ys doute. 

1 Pag. 145, 146, 147. That Stonehenge is a Britifh monument, erefted in 
memory of Hengift's mafTacre, refts, I believe, on the fole evidence of Geoffry of 
Monmouth, who had it from the Britifh bards. But why mould not the teftimony 
of the Britifh bards be allowed on this occafion ? For they did not invent fa6ls, fo 
much as fables. In the prefent cafe, Hengift's rnafiacre is an allowed event. Re- 
move all the apparent fiftion, and the bards only fay, that an immenfe pile of ftones 
was raifed on the plain of Ambrefbury in memory of that event. They lived too 
near the time to forge this origin of Stonehenge. The whole ftory was recent, and, 
from the immenfity of the work itfelf, muft have been ftill more notorious. There- 
fore their forgery would have been too glaring. It may be objefted, that they 
were fond of referring every thing ftupendous to their favourite hero Arthur. This 
I grant : but not when known authenticated facts ftood in their way, and while 
the real caufe was remembered. Even to this day, the rnaflacre of Hengift, as I 
have partly hinted, is an undifputed piece of hiftory. Why mould not the other 
part of the ftory be equally true ? Befides the filence of Nennius, I am aware that 
this hypothefis is ftill attended with many difficulties and improbabilities. And fo 
are all the fyftems and conjectures ever yet framed about this amazing monument. 
It appears to me to be the work of a rude people who had fome ideas of art : fuch 
as we may fuppofe the Romans left behind them among the Britons. In the mean 
time I do not remember, that in the very controverted etymology of the word 
Stonehenge, the name of Hengift has been properly or fufficiently confidered. [The 
etymology referred to by Mr. Ritfon is evidently the moft plaufible that has been 
fuggefted : Stan-henge hanging ftone : Obfervations, &c. In addition to this it 
is fupported by an authority of high antiquity : 

11 Stanheng ont non en Anglois, 

Pierres pendues en Frangois." Wace's Brut. Price.] 



jo Robert of Gloucejiers Chronicle. 

In another hym felf he was, for he nolde no^t, 

?ef cas come, that heo were bothe to dethe y birnt 

The cartel, that the erl inne was, the kyng by fegede fafte, 

For he my5te hys gynnes for fchame to the other cafte. 

The he was ther fene ny?t, and he fpedde no^t, 

Igerne the conteffe fo muche was in ys tho^t, 

That he nufte non other wyt, ne he ne my.te for fchame 

Telle yt bute a pryve kny5t, Ulfyn was ys name, 

That he trufte meft to. And tho the kny3t herde this, 

" Syre," he feide, "y ne can wyte, wat red here of ys, 

For the cartel ys fo ftrong, that the lady ys inne, 

For ich wene al the lond ne fchulde yt myd ftrengthe wynne. 

For the fe geth al aboute, bute entre on ther nys. 

And that ys vp on harde roches, & fo narw wei it ys, 

That ther may go bote on & on, that thre men with inne 

My 5te fie al the lond, er heo come ther inne. 

And no^t for than, ?ef Merlyn at thi confeil were, 

f ef any mygte, he couthe the beft red the lere." 

Merlyn was fone of fend, y-feid yt was hym fone, 

That he fchulde the befte red fegge, wat were to done. 

Merlyn was fory ynow for the kynges folye, 

And natheles, " Sire kyng," he feide, " here mot to maiftrie, 

The erl hath twey men hym next, Bry"thoel & Jordan. 

Ich wol make thi felf, 5ef thou wolt, thoru art that y can, 

Habbe al tho fourme of the erl, as thou were rySt he, 

And Olfyn as Jordan, and as Brithoel me." 

This art was al clene y do, that al changet he were, 

Heo thre in the otheres forme, the felve at yt were. 

A3eyn euen he wende forth, nufte no mon that cas, 

To the cartel heo come ry^t as yt euene was. 

The porter y fe ys lord come, & ys mefte priuey twei, 

With god herte he lette ys lord yn, & ys men beye. 

The contas was glad y now, tho hire lord to hire com 

And eyther other in here armes myd gret joye nom. 

Tho heo to bedde com, that fo longe a two were, 

With hem was fo gret delyt, that bitwene hem there 

Bi gete was the befte body, that euer was in this londe, 

Kyng Arthure the noble mon, that euer worthe vnderftonde. 

Tho the kynges men nufte amorwe, wer he was bi come, 

Heo ferde as wodemen, and wende he were ynome. 

Heo a faileden the cartel, as yt fchulde adoun a non, 

Heo that with inne were, Sarkede hem echon, 

And fmyte out in a fole wille, and fo3te myd here fon : 

So that the erl was y flawe, and of ys men mony on, 

And the cartel was y nome, and the folk to fprad there, 

^et, tho thei hadde al ydo, heo ne fonde not the kyng there. 

The tything to the contas fone was ycome, 

That hire lord was y flawe, and the cartel ynome. 

Ac tho the meflinger hym fey the erl, as hym tho^te, 

That he hadde fo foule y-low, ful fore hym of tho?te, 

The contaffe made fom del deol, for no fothnefle heo nufte. 

The kyn/g', for to glade here, bi clupte hire and cufte. 

"Dam" he feide, " no fixt thou wel, that les yt ys al this ? 

Ne woft thou wel ich am olyue ? Ich wole the fegge how it ys. 

Out of the caftel ftilleliche ych wende al in priuete, 

That none of myne men yt nufte, for to fpeke with the. 

And tho heo mifte me to day, and nufte wer ich was, 

Heo ferden ri^t as gydie men, myd warn no red nas, 

And fo^te with the folk with oute, & habbeth in this manere. 

Y lore the caftel and hem felue, ac wel thou woft y am here. 



S. 2 



s. 2. Ballad on a Battle /# 1301. 71 

Ac for my caftel, that is ylore, fory ich am y now, 

And for myn men, that the kyng and ys power flox 

Ac my power is now to lute, ther fore y drede lore, 

Lefte the kyng vs nyme here, & forwe that we were more. 

Ther fore ich wole, how fo yt be, wende a^en the kynge, 

And make my pays with hym, ar he to fchame vs brynge." 

Forth he wende, net ys men that ^ef the kyng come, 

That hei fchulde hym the caftel 3elde, ar he with ftrengthe it nome. 

Tho he come toward ys men, ys own forme he nom, 

And leuede the erles fourme, & the kyng Uter by com. 

Sore hym of tho^te the erles deth, ac in other half he fonde 

Joye in hys herte, for the contafle of fpoufhed was vnbonde, 

Tho he hadde that he wolde, and payfed with ys fon, 

To the contafTe he wende a^en, me let hym in a non. 

Wat halt it to telle longe ? bute heo were fethth at on, 

In gret loue longe y now, wan yt nolde other gon ; 

And hadde to gedere this noble fone, that in tho world ys pere nas, 

The kyng Arture, and a dourer, Anne hire name was. 1 

In the latter end of the reign of Edward I. many officers of the 
French king, having extorted large fums of money from the citizens 
of Bruges in Flanders, were murdered : and an engagement fuc- 
ceeding, the French army, commanded by the Count of Saint Pol, 
was defeated ; upon which the King of France, who was Philip the 
Fair, fent a ftrong body of troops, under the conduct of the Count 
of Artois, againft the Flemings ; he was killed, and the French 
were almoft all cut to pieces. On this occaiion the following ballad 
was made in the year i3Oi. 2 

Luftneth, lordinges, bothe "onge ant olde, 

Of the Freynfshe-men that were fo proude ant bolde, 

Hou the Flemmyfshe-men bohten hem ant folde, 

Upon a Wednefday, 

Betere hem were at home in huere londe, 
Then for te feche Flemmyfshe by the fee ftronde 
Wharethourh moni Frenme wyf wryngeth hire honde, 

Ant fyngeth, weylaway. 
The Kyng of Fraunce made ftatu" newe, 
In the lond of Flaundres among falfe ant trewe, 
That the commun of Bruges ful fore can a- re we, 

And feiden amonges hem, 
Gedere we us togedere hardilyche at ene, 
Take we the bailifs by tuenty ant by tene, 
Clappe we of the hevedes an oven o the grene, 

Ant caft we y the fen. 

The webbes ant the fullaris arTembleden hem alle, 
And makeden huere confail in huere commune halle, 
Token Peter Conyng huere kyng to calle 

Ant beo huere cheventeyn, &c. 

Thefe verfes mow the familiarity with which the affairs of France 
were known in England, and difplay the difpofition of the Englifh 
towards the French at this period. It appears from this and pre- 
vious inftances, that political ballads, I mean fuch as were the 

1 Chron. p. i56[-6o, utfupr.~] 

2 The laft battle was fought that year, July 7. [The ballad is in Harl. MS. 
2253, fol. 73, and is printed entire in Wright's Political Songs, 1839, P- I ^7- A 
fpecimen only has therefore been retained, from the text of 1839.] 



J2 Political Satires and Ballads about 1300. s. 2. 

vehicles of political fatire, prevailed much among our early anceftors. 
About the prefent era we meet with a ballad complaining of the 
exorbitant fees extorted, and the numerous taxes levied, by the 
king's officers. 1 There is a libel remaining, written indeed in 
French Alexandrines, on the commiffion of trayl-bafton, 2 or the 
juftices fo denominated by Edward I. during his abfence in the 
French and Scotifh wars about the year 1306. The author names 
fome of the juftices or commiffioners, now not eafily difcoverable : 
and fays, that he ferved the king both in peace and war in Flanders, 
Gafcony, and Scotland. 3 There is likewife a ballad [written in 
the reign of Edward II.] againft the Scots, traitors to Edward I., 
and taken prifoners at the battles of Dunbar and Kykenclef, in 
1305 and I3o6. 4 The licentioufnefs of their rude manners was 
perpetually breaking out in thefe popular pafquins, although this 
fpecies of petulance ufually belongs to more polimed times. 

Nor were they lefs dexterous than daring in publifhing their 
fatires to advantage, although they did not enjoy the many con- 
veniencies which modern improvements have afforded for the circu- 
lation of public abufe. In the reign of Henry VI., to purfue the 
topic a little lower, we find a [fatire] ftuck on the gates of the royal 
palace, feverely refle&ing on the king and his counfellors then fitting 
in parliament. 5 But the ancient ballad was often applied to better 
purpofes : and it appears from a valuable collection of thefe little 
pieces, lately published by my ingenuous friend and fellow-labourer 
Dr. Percy, in how much more ingenuous a ftrain they have tranf- 
mitted to pofterity the praifes of knightly heroifm, the marvels of 
romantic fiction, and the complaints of love. 

[In] the reign[s] of [the three Edwards], 6 a poet occurs named 



1 MSS. Harl. 2258, f. 64. There is a fong half Latin and half French, much 
on the fame fubjeft. Ibid. f. 137, b. 

2 See Spelman and Dufrefne in c v. and Rob. Brunne's Chron ., ed. Hearne, 
p. 328. 

3 MSS. Harl. ibid. f. 113, b. 

4 Ibid. f. 59. [This will be found in Wright's Political Songs, 1839. The 
ballad againft the French is in Ritfon's Anc. Songs, 1792. Price.] 

5 This piece is preferved in the Afhmolean Mufeum, with the following Latin 
title prefixed : " Copia fcedulte wato'is domini regis exiflentis in parliament fuo tento 
apud Weftmonafterium menfe marcii anno regni Henrici fexti vice/into oflavo." [See 
Hearne's Hemingi Chartularium. Ritfon. 

6 " In the third Edwards time was I, 
When I wrote all this ftory j 
In the houfe of Sixille I was a throwe } 
Dan Robert of Malton that ye know, 
Did it write for felaws fake." 

" By this paffage he feems to mean that he was born at a place called Malton ; 
that he had refided fome time in a houfe in the neighbourhood called Sixhill ; and 
that there he, Robert de Brunne, had compofed at lead a part of his poem durino- 
the reign of Edward ///.Ellis.] MSS. Bibl. Bodl. 415. Cont. 80, pag. Pr. 
" Fadyr and fone and holy gofte." And MSS. Harl. 1701. [The Harleian MS., 
like the Bodleian, if Warton followed the Bodleian manufcript, profeffes to be a 
translation from the French of GrofTetefte. But this may be a mere diftum of the 



s. 2. Robert Mannyng of Brunne s "Handlyng Synne" 73 

Robert Mannyng, but more commonly called Robert de Brunne. 
He was [born at Brunne in Lincoln mi re, and became] a Gilbertine 
canon in the [priory of Sempringham, where he remained fifteen 
years. He afterwards removed to] Sixhille, a houfe of the fame 
order, and in the fame county. He was [not] merely a tranflator. 
He [turned] into Englifh metre, or rather paraphrafed [with large 
omiiTions and additions] a French book, written by [William of 
Wadington, and falfely attributed to Bifhop Grofletefte], entitled 
Manuel Peche, or Manuel de Peche, that is, the Manual of Sins. 
This tranflation was [not printed till of late years]. 1 It is a long 
work, and treats of the decalogue and the Seven Deadly Sins, which 
are illuftrated by many legendary ftories. This is the title of the 
[copies of the MS.] : Here bygynneth the boke that men clepyn In 
Frenfhe Manuel Peche^ the which boke made yn Frenjhe Robert Groof- 
tefte by/hop of Lyncoln. From the Prologue, among other circum- 
ftances, it appears that Robert de Brunne defigned this performance 

tranfcriber. All we gather from the work itfelf is an acknowledgment of a French 
original called Manuel Peche, whofe author was clearly unknown to De Brunne. 
Had it been written by a man of Grofletefte's eminence, it would hardly have been 
publifhed anonymoufly ; nor can we fuppofe this circumftance ; if really true, would 
have been parTed over in filence by his tranflator. Be this as it may, the French 
produ&ion upon which De Brunne unqueftionably founded his poem, is claimed 
by a writer calling himfelf William ot" Wadington, and that in language too 
peculiar and felf-condemning to leave a doubt as to the juftice of his title : 

" De le frangeis vile ne del rimer, 

Ne me deit nuls horn blamer, 

Kar en Engletere fu ne, 

E norri, e ordine, e aleve. 

De une vile fui nome, 

Ou ne eft burg ne cite, &c. 

De Deu feit beneit chefcun horn, 

Ke prie por Wilhelm de Wadigton." 

Manuel Peche, Harl. MSS. 4657. 

De Brunne, however, is not a mere tranflator. He generally amplifies the moral 
precepts of his original j introduces occafional illustrations of his own (as in the cafe 
of Grofletefte cited in the text), p. 74, and fometimes avails himfelf of Wadington's 
Latin authorities, where thefe are more copious or circumftantial than their French 
copyift. Wadington's work, according to M. de la Rue (Archaeologia^ vol. xiv.), 
is a free tranflation of a Latin poem called Floretus ; by fome afcribed to St. Bernard, 
and by others to Pope Clement. But Floretus is fo fhort that it cannot fairly be 
taken as Wadington's original, any more than the Bible and Church Services can. 
The following lines in one of Manning's ftories 

" Equitabat Bevo per filvam frondofam, 
Ducebat fecum Merfwyndam formofam, 
Quid ftamus ? cur non imus ? 

By the leved wode rode Bevolyne, 
Wyth hym he ledde feyre Merfwyne, 
Why ftond we ? why go we noght ? 

have been identified by Sir F. Madden as part of the unique Latin legend of 
St. Edith, by Gofcelin (MS. Rawl. Bodl. 1027). They are not in Wadington's 
French, and are only part of De Brunne's many additions to the latter.] 

1 [Edit. Furnivall, 1862 (Roxb. Club), with William of Wadington's French 
original, in parallel columns.] 



74 The "Handlyng Synne" of s. 2. 

to be fung to the harp at public entertainments, and that it was 
written or begun in the year 1303 :' 

For lewde 2 men y undyrtoke, 

On Englyfsh tunge to make thys boke : 

For many ben of i'wyche manere 

That talys and rymys wyl blethly 3 here, 

Yn gamys and feftys, and at the ale 4 

Love men to leftene trotevale 5 : (1. 43-8) &c. 

To alle Cryftyn men undir funne, 

And to gode men of Brunne j 

And fpeciali, alle be name 

The felaufhepe of Symprynghame, 6 

Roberd of Brunne greteth yow, 

In al godenefle that may to prow. 7 

Of Brymwake yn Keftevene 8 

Syxe myle befyde Sympringham evene, 

Y dwelled yn the pryorye 

Fyftene yere yn conpanye, 

In the tyme of gode Dane Jone 

Of Camelton, that now ys gone j 

In hys tyme was Y there ten yeres, 

And knewe and herde of hys maneres j 

Sythyn wyth Dane Jone of Clyntone 

Fyve wyntyr wyth hym gan Y wone. 

Dane Felyp was mayfter that tyme 

That y began thys Englyfsh ryme, 

The yeres of grace fyl 9 than to be 

A thoufand and thre hundred and thre. 

In that tyme turned y thys 

On Englyfshe tunge out of Frankys (1. 57-78). 

From the work itfelf I am chiefly induced to give the following 
fpecimen ; as it contains an anecdote relating to bifhop Grofletefte, 
who will again be mentioned : 

Y fhall yow telle as y have herd 
Of the bysfhope Seynt Roberd, 
Hys toname 10 ys Grofteft 
Of Lynkolne, fo feyth the geft. 

1 fol. i, a. 2 laymen, illiterate. 3 gladly. 

4 So in Pierce Ploughman, fol. xxvi. b. edit. 1550. 

" I am occupied every day, holy day and other, 
With idle tales at the Ale, &c." 

Again, fol. i, b 

" Foughten at the Ale 
In glotony, godwote, &c." 

And in the Plowman's Tak, p. 185, v. 2110 

" And the chief chantours at the nale" 

5 truth and all. 

6 The name of his order. 7 Profit. 
8 A part of Lincolnfhire. Chron. Br. p. 311. 

" At Lincoln the parlement was in 
Lyndefay and Keftevene." 

See a frory of three monks of Lyndefay, ibid. p. 80. [The county of Lincoln is 
divided into the hundreds of Lindfay and Kifteven. Park.'] 9 Fell. 

10 Surname. See Rob. Br. Chron. p. 168. " Thei cald hi this toname," &c. 
Fr. " Eft furnomez," &c. On St. Robert of Lincoln, fee p. 82 note. 



s. 2. Robert Manny ng of Brunne. 75 

He lovede moche to here the harpe, 

For mannys wytte hyt makyth fharpe. 

Next hys chaumbre, befyde hys ftody, 

Hys harpers chaumbre was faft therby. 

Many tymes, be nyghtys and dayys, 

He had iblace of notes and layys, 

One afked hym onys, re fun why 

He hadde delyte in mynftralfy? 

He anfwered hym on thys manere, 

Why he helde the harper fo dere : 

" The vertu of the harpe, thurghe fkylle and ryght, 

Wyl deftroye the fendes 1 myght j 

And to the croys, by gode fkylle, 

Ys the harpe lykened weyle. (p. 150, 1. 4742-59). 

Tharefor, gode men, ye fhul lere, 

Whan ye any glemen 2 here, 

To wurfchep God at youre powere, 

As Davyd feyth yn the fautere : 3 

Yn harpe, yn thabour, and fymphan gle 4 

Wurfchepe God ; yn trounpes and fautre ; 

In cordys, an organes, and bellys ryngyng ; 

Yn all thefe, wurfhepe ye hevene kyng," &c. 5 (1. 4768-75). 

But Robert de Brunne's largeft work is a metrical chronicle of 
England. 6 The former part, from JEneas to the death of Cadwal- 
lader, is tranflated from an old French poet called Mafter Wace or 
Gaffe, who manifeftly copied Geoffry of Monmouth, 7 in a poem 

1 the Debit's. 2 harpers j minftrels. 3 pfalter. 

4 Chaucer, R. Sir Thop. v. 3.321 : 

Here wonnith the queene of Fairie, 
With harpe, and pipe, and Simphonle. 

5 Fol. 30, b. There is an old Latin fong in Burton which I find in this MS. 
poem. Burton's Mel., part iii. a. Memb. iii. p. 423. 

6 The fecond part [tranflated from the French of Peter Langtoft,] was printed 
by Hearne in 1725. Of the firft part Hearne has given us the Prologue, Pref. p. 
96 ; an extract, ibid. p. 188 ; and a few other paflages in his Gloflary to Robert 
of Gloucefter. [The whole of it will be iffued in the Rolls Series in 1871.] It appears 
from Chron. p. 337, that our author was educated and graduated at Cambridge. 

[How long Mannyng was employed upon his tranflation of Langtoft does not 
appear ; but that he had not finifhed it in 1337 is clear from a paflage on p. 243 of 
the printed copy (of 1725) of the Second Part ; and indeed he, elfewhere, exprefsly 
tells us : 

" Idus that is of May left I to wryte this ryme, 
B letter & Friday bi ix. that Sere 3ede prime." 

The dominical letter, as Hearne obferves, mould be D : fo that the poet finifhed 
his work, upon which he had probably been engaged for fome years, upon Friday, 
the i5th May, 1339." Ritfon. The only perfeft MS. of the Chronicle known is 
a vellum one in the Inner Temple library ; a more modern and abridged copy of 
Part II. is in Lambeth, MS. 131. (Sir F. Madden's inform.) But the Lambeth 
copy of Part I., on the old clofe-ribbed paper of the i4th century, was judged by 
the experts of the Britifh Mufeum to be at leaft as early as the Temple vellum copy, 
while Dr. Richard Morris, our chief authority on Early Englifh diale&s, judges 
the dialeft of the Lambeth MS. to be much nearer the Eaft-Midland of Manning 
than the decidedly northernized Temple MS. From the Lambeth MS., therefore, 
Mr. Furnivall has printed his edition of Part I. for the National Series of the 
Mafter of the Rolls, 1871. F.] 

[ 7 Whether written Euftace, Euftache, Wiftace, Huiftace, Vace, GafTe, or Gace, 
the name through all its difguifes is intended for one and the fame perfon, Wace 
of Jerfey. Mr. Tyrwhitt was the firft to refcue this ingenious writer from the 



j6 The Brut <? Angle ferre. s. 2. 

commonly entitled Roman des Rois d 1 Jlngleterre. It is efteemed one 
of the oldeft of the French romances ; and was commenced under 
the title of Brut d? Angleterre^ in the year 1155. Hence Robert de 
Brunne calls it (imply the Brut. 1 This romance was foon afterwards 

errors which had gathered round his name ; and M. de la Rue has fully eftablifhed 
his rights, by fupplying us with an authentic catalogue of his works, and exhibiting 
their "importance both to the hiftorian and antiquary. [Wace's Brut was printed 
by ie Roux de Lincj at Rouen in 1836.] De Brunne was induced to follow the 
Brut d' 'Angleterre in the firft part of his Chronicle, from the copioufnefs of its de- 
tails upon Britifh hiftory. But the continuation noticed in the text was the pro- 
duftion of Geoffri Gaimar, a poet rather anterior to Wace ; and is fuppofed to 
have formed a part of a larger work on Englifh and Norman hiftory. Le Roman du 
Rou, or the Hiftory of Rollo, firft duke of Normandy, is another of Wace's works ; 
and Les Vies des Dues de Normandie, which is brought down to the fixth year of 
Henry I., a third. But the reader who is defirous of further information on this 
fubje6t, is referred to the i2th, i3th, and i4th volumes of the Archtxologia, where 
he will find a brief but able outline of the hiftory of Anglo-Norman poetry, by M. 
de la Rue. PRICE. See alib M. Joly's comparifon of Wace with his rival 
chronicler of Normandy, in his Benoit de St. More et le Roman de Troie, Caen, 1870, 
and M. Edeleftand du Meril's treatife on Wace etfes Outrages. F.] 

In the Britifh Mufeum there is a fragment of a poem in very old French verfe, a 
romantic hiftory of England, drawn from Geoffry of Monmouth, perhaps before the 
year 1200. MSS. HarL 1605, i, f. i. In the library of Dr. Johnfton of Ponte- 
fracl:, there was a MS. on vellum, containing a hiftory in old Englifh verfe from 
Brute to the eighteenth year of Edward II. ; and in that of Lord Denbigh, a me- 
trical hiftory in Englifh from the fame period to Henry III. Wanley fuppofed it 
to have been of the handwriting of the time of Edward IV. 

1 The Brut of England, a prole chronicle of England, fometimes continued as low 
as Henry VI., is a common MS. It was at firft tranflated from a French chronicle 
[MSS. HarL 200], written in the beginning of the reign of Edward III. The 
French have a famous ancient profe romance called Brut, which includes the hiftory 
of the Sangreal. I know not whether it is exaftly the fame. In an old metrical 
romance, the ftory of Rollo, there is this paflage (MS. Vernon, f. 123) : 

"Lordus 5if ye wil leften to me, 

Of Croteye the nobile citee 

As wrytten -i fynde in his ftory 

Of Bruit the chronicle," &c. 

In the Britifh Mufeum we have Le petit Bruit, compiled by Meiftre Raufe de Bonn, 
and ending with the death of Edward I. MSS. Harl. 902, f. i. It is [a feparate 
compilation, made in 1310, as mown by Sir F. Madden, in his Preface to Have- 
lock the Dane\. In the fame library I find Liber de Bruto et de geflis Anglorum me- 
trifcatus; (that is, turned into rude Latin hexameters). It is continued to the 
death of Richard II. Many profe annotations are intermixed. MSS. ibid. 1808, 
24, f. 31. In another copy of this piece, [there is at the end qd Peck-ward, 
which may merely mean that Peckward was the copyift]. MSS. ib. 2386, 23, f. 35. 
In another MS. the grand Brut [that is, as Sir F. Madden notes, Caxtorfs Chronicle] 
is faid to be tranflated from the French by " John Maundeuile parfon of Brunham 
Thorpe." MSS. ibid. 2279, 3. 

[It was firft printed by Caxton, in 14.80, under the title of The Chronydes of 
England, and under the fame title was twice republimed. In 1483 it appeared, 
with a few alterations and confiderable additions, under the title of Fruclus Tem- 
porum, and thefe are later impreflions.] 

[In the Chroniques Anglo-Normandes, 1836, will be found part of Geoffrey 
Gaimar, of the continuation of the Brut, of the Chronicle of Benoit de Sainte 
More, &c. The Roman du Rou was printed in 1827, and a tranflation of part of 
it, by Mr. E. Taylor, with notes, in 1837. La3amon''s Brut was publifhed from the 
Cotton MS., as elfewhere mentioned, in 1847.] 



s. 2. Gaimars Continuation. Wace. 77 

continued to William Rufus, by Geoffri Gaitnar, in the year H46. 1 
Thus both parts were blended, and became one work. Among the 
royal MSS. in the Britim Mufeum it is thus entitled : Le Brut, ke 
maiflre Wace tranjlata de Latin en Franceis de tutt les Rels deErittaigne." 
That is, from the Latin profe hiftory of Geoffry of Monmouth. 
And that Matter Wace aimed only at the merit of a translator, 
appears from his exordial verfes : 

Maiftre Gaffe 1'a tranflate 
Que en conte le verite. 

Otherwife we might have fufpe&ed that the authors drew their ma- 
terials from the old fabulous Armoric MS., which is faid to have 
been Geoftry's original. 

An ingenious French antiquary fuppofes, that Wace took many 
of his defcriptions from that invaluable and fingular monument, 
the Tapeftry of the Norman Conqueft, preferved in the trea- 
fury of the cathedral of Bayeux, 3 and engraved and explained in 
Ducarel's Anglo-Norman Antiquities. Lord Lyttelton has quoted 
this romance, and fhewn that important fa&s and curious illuftra- 
tions of hiftory may be drawn from fuch obfolete but authentic 
refources. 4 

The meafure ufed by Robert de Brunne, in his tranflation 5 of the 
former part of our French chronicle or romance, is exactly like 



1 [Anglo-Norman Metrical Chronicle with Notes and Appendix, &c., edited by T. 
Wright, 1850, 8vo.] See Lenglet, Biblioth. des Romans, ii. pp. 226-7, and Lacombe, 
Difiion. de la <veille Lang. Fr. pref. p. xviii. And compare Montfauc. Catal. Manufer. 
ii. p. 1669. See alfo M. Galland, Mem. Lit. iii. p. 426, 8vo. 

2 3 A xxi. 3. [Sir F. Madden obferves, that this is only in part the Brut of Wace.] 
It occurs again, 4 C xi. Hiftoire d^ Angle t err e en <vers, par Maiftre Wace. In the 
Cotton library [an early Englifh MS.] occurs twice, which feems to be a tranflation 
of Geoffry's Hiftory, or very like it. Calig. A ix. and Otho. C 13. [Since 
printed under the care of Sir F. Madden, 1847, 3 vols. 8vo.] The tranflator is one 
La^amon, a prieft, born at Ernly on Severn. He fays, that he had his original 
from the book of a French clergyman, named Wate [Walter Calenius, archdeacon 
of Oxford,] which book Wate the author had prefented to Eleanor, queen of 
Henry II. So La"amon in the preface, " Bot he nom the thridde, leide ther 
amidden : tha makede a frenchis clerc : Wate (Wate) wes ihoten," &c. 

3 Rec. p. 82, edit. 1581. Mons. Lancelot, Mem. Lit. viii. 602. And fee Hi/}. 
Acad. Infcript. xiii. 41, 4to. [M. de la Rue has advanced fome very fatisfaftory 
reafons for luppofing this tapeftry to have been made by, or wrought under the 
dire&ion of, the Emprefs Matilda, who died in the year 1167. (See Archxologia, 
vol. xviii.) It was evidently fent to Bayeux at a period fubfequent to the death 
of its projector, at whofe demife it was left in an unfinifhed ftate. Wace probably 
never faw it. At all events, could it be proved that he did, he difdained to ufe it 
in his Hiftory of the Irruption of the Normans into England, his only work where it 
could have affifted him j fince his narrative is at variance with the reprefentations 
this monument contains. Price. But Mr. Bolton Corney has fought to contro- 
vert the opinion that the tapeftry was prefented by the Emprefs Matilda, and 
maintains that it was executed for the chapter of Bayeux at their own coft.] 

4 Hi/i. Hen. II. vol. iii. p. 180. 

* [The work here cited is in courfe of editing for the Mafter of the Rolls' Series 
by Mr. Furnivall. See notes, p. 75.] 



7 8 



Robert de Brunnis Chronicle. 



s. 2, 



that of his original. Thus the Prologue, [from the northernized 
Temple MS.] : 

Lordynges that be now here ! 

If ye wille, liftene and lere 

Aft the ftory of Inglande, 

Als Robert Mannyng wryten it fand, 

And on Inglyfch has it fchewed, 

Not for the lerid, bot for the lewed ; 

For tho that in this land[e] wone 

That the Latyn no Frankys cone, 

For to half folace and gamen 

In felawfchip when thai fitt famen. 

And it is wifdom forto wytten 

The ftate of the land, and haf it wryten, 

What manere of folk firft it wan, 

And of what kynde it firft began. 

And gude it is for many thynges, 

For to here the dedis of kynges, 

Whilk were foles, and whilk were wyfe, 

And whilk of tham couthe moft quantyfe ; 

And whylk did wrong, and whilk [did] ryghr, 

And whilk maynren[ejd pes and fyght. 

Of thare dedes faft be mi fawe, 

And what tyme, and of what law, 

I fall you fchewe fro gre to gre, 

Sen the tyme of Sir Noe : 

Fro Noe unto Eneas, 

And what [thynges] betwixt tham was, 

And fro Eneas till Brutus tyme, 

[That kynd he telles in this ryme.] 

Fro Brutus tift Cadwaladres, 

The laft Bryton that this lande lees. 

Alle that kynd, and alle the frute 

That come of Brutus that is the Brute ; 

And the ryght Brute is told no more 

Than the Brytons tyme wore. 

After the Bretons the Inglis camen, 

The lordfchip of this lande thai namen j 

South, and north, weft, and eaft, 

That calle men now the Inglis geft. 

When thai firft [came] amang the Bretons, 

That now ere Inglis than were Saxons : 

' Saxons 1 Inglis hight all oliche. 

Thai aryved up at Sandwyche, 

In the kynges tyme Vortogerne 

That the lande walde tham not werne, &c. (1. 1-44). 

One, mayfter Wace, the Frankes telles j 

The Brute, all that the Latyn fpelles, 

Fro Eneas till Cadwaladre, &c. 

And ryght as mayfter Wace fays, 

I telle myn Inglis the fame ways, (1. 57-62) &C. 1 

The fecond part of Robert de Brunne's Chronicle, beginning from 
Cadwallader, and ending with Edward I., is tranflated in great mea- 
fure from the fecond part of a French metrical chronicle, written in five 
books by Peter Langtoft, an Auguftine canon of the monaftery of 

1 [Furnivall's edit. pp. 1-2.] 



s. 2. Peter Langtoft, R. of Brunne' s Chronicle. 79 

Bridlington in Yorkfhire, who wrote not many years before his 
translator. This is mentioned in the prologue preceding the fecond 
part : 

Frankyfche fpeche ys cald Romaunce, 1 

So fey this clerkes and men of Fraunce. 

Peres of Langtoft, a chanoun 

Schaven y[n] the hous of Brydlyngtoun, 

On Romaunce al thys ftory he wrot 

Of Englifhe kynges, &c. 2 

As Langtoft had written his French poem in Alexandrines, 3 the 
tranflator, Robert de Brunne, has followed him, the prologue ex- 
cepted, in ufmg the double diftich for one line, after the manner of 
Robert of Gloucefter, as in the firft part he copied the metre of 
his author Wace. But I will exhibit a fpecimen from both parts. In 
the firft, he gives us this dialogue between Merlin's mother and King 
Vortigern, from Matter Wace : 

" Dame," feyde the kyng, " welcom be thou : 

Nedlike at the y mot wyte how 4 

Who than gat 5 thy fone Merlyne, 

And on what manere was he thyne." 

His moder ftod a throwe 6 and thought 

Er fche to the kyng onfwered ought : 

When fcheo had ftande a litel wyght, 7 

Sche feyde "by Marye bright, 

That I ne fey ne nevere knew 

Hym that this child on me few. 8 

Ne wifte neuere, ne y ne herd, 

What maner wyght wyth me fo ferde ; 9 

Bot this thyng am y wel of graunt, 10 

That I was of elde avenaunt : u 

On com to my bed, y wyft, 

And with force me clipte and kyft : 

Als 12 a man y hym felt, 



1 The Latin tongue ceafed to be fpoken in France about the ninth century, 
and was fucceeded by what was called the Romance tongue, a mixture of Frankifh 
and bad Latin. Hence the firft poems in that language are called Romans or Ro- 
mants. EJJay on Pope, p. 281. In the following paflage of this chronicle, where 
Robert de Brunne mentions Romance, he fometimes means Langtoft's French 
book, from which he tranflated : viz. Chron. p. 205 : 

" This that I have faid it is Pers fawe ; 

Als he in Romance laid, thereafter gan I drawe." 

See Chauc. Rom. R. v. 2170. Alfo Balades, p. 554, v. 508. And Crefcembin, 
Iftor. della Volg. Poes. vol. i. L. v. p. 316, feq. 

2 [FurnivalTs edit., 579,!. 16709-14.] 

3 Some are printed by Hollinm. Hift. iii. 469. Others by Hearne, Chron. Langt. 
Pref. p. 58, and in the margin of the pages of the Chronicle. [A portion appears 
in the Chroniques Anglo -N or mandes, already referred to : it extends from William 
the Conqueror to Henry I.] 

4 " I muft by all means know of you." 5 begot. 

6 awhile. 7 'white, while. ' 8 begot. 9 [fared. Ritfon.] 

10 affured. " [of a fit age. Ritfon.] la as. I3 wielded, moved. 



80 Robert of Brunne's Chronicle. s. 2. 

And als a man he fpak to me. 

Bot what he was, myght y nought fe. 1 

The following, extracted from the fame part, is the fpeech of the 
Romans to the Britons, after the former had built a wall againft the 
Pi&s, and were leaving Britain : 

We haue yow doled ther moft nede was $ 

And ?yf ye defende wel that pas 

Wyth archers a and wyth mangeneles, 3 

And wel kepe the carneles ; 

Theron ye may bothe fcheote and kafte : 

Wexeth bold, and fendej? yow fafte! 

Thenk, your fadres wonne fraunchife, 

Be ye na more in otheres fervife, 

Bot frely lyves to your lyves ende : 

We taken now leve fro you to wende (p. 239, 1. 6797-6800). 



1 [Ed. Furnivall, pp. 282-3, 1. 8039-58.] 

2 Not bowmen, but apertures in the wall for mooting arrows, viz., in the repairs 
of Taunton Caftle, 1266, Comp. J. Gerneys, Epifc. Wint. "Tantonia. Expenfe 
domorum. In mercede Cementarii pro muro erigendo juxta turrim ex parte orien- 
tali cum Kernellis et Archeriis faciendis, xvi. s. vi. d." Archie. Wolves. apudWint. 
Kernells mentioned here and in the next verfe were much the fame thing : or per- 
haps Battlements. In repairs of the great hall at Wolvefey Palace, I find, " In 
kyrnillis emptis ad idem, xii. d." Ibid. There is a patent granted to the monks of 
Abingdon, in Berkfhire, in the reign of Edward III. " Pro kernellatione monaf- 
terii."" Pat. an. 4, par. i. 

3 Cotgrave has interpreted this word, an old-fafhioned fling. V. Mangoneau. See 
Rot. Pip. An. 4 Hen. iii.(A. D. 1219). "Nordhant. Et in expenfis regis in obfidione 
caftri de Rockingham, ioo/. per Br. Reg. Et cuftodibus ingeniorum (engines) 
regis ad ea carianda ulque Bifham, ad caftrum illud obfidendum, 13^. iod. per id. 
Br. Reg. Et pro duobus coriis, emptis apud Northampton ad fundas petrariarum et 
mangonellorum regis faciendas, 5*. 6d. per id. Br. Reg." Rot. Pip. 9 Hen. III. 
(A. D. 1225). " SUIT. Comp. de Cnareburc. Et pro vii. cablis emptis ad petrarias 
et mangonellos in eodem caftro, js. u^." Rot. Pip. 5 Hen. III. (A. D. 1220)'. 
" Devons. Et in cufto pofito in i. petraria et u, mangonellis cariatis a Nottingham 
ufque Bifham, et it eifdem redu&is a Bifliam ufque Notingham, jl. 4^." See infr. 
Mangonel alfo fignified what was thrown from the machine fo called. Thus Froif- 
fart : " Et avoient les Brabangons de tres grans engins devant la ville, qui gettoient 
pierres de faix et mangoneaux j ufque s en la ville." Liv. iii. c. 118. And in the 
old French Oinde cited by Borel, Irefor. in v. : 

" Onques pour une tor abatre, 

Ne oit on Mangoniaux defcendre 

Plus briement ne du ciel deftendre 

Foudre pour abatre un clocher." 

Chaucer mentions both Mangonels and Kyrnils, in a caftle in the Romaunt of the 
Rofe, v. 4195, 6279. Alfo archers, i. e. archerix, v. 4191. So in the Roman de la 
Rofe, v. 3945 : 

" Vous puifBez bien les Mangonneaulx, 

Veoir la par-deflus les Creneaulx. 

Et aux archieres de la Tour 

Sont arbaleftres tout entour.'" 

Archieres occur often in this poem. Chaucer, in tranflating the above paflage [if 
we have his tranflation,] has introduced guns, which were not known when the 
original was written, v. 4191. The ufe of artillery, however, is proved by a curious 
paflage in Petrarch to be older than the period to which it has been commonly re- 
ferred. The paflage is in Petrarch's book de Remediis utriufque fortune, undoubt- 
edly written before the year 1334. " G. Habeo machinas et baliftas. R. Mirum, 



s. 2. Robert of Brunnes verjion of W ace. 81 

Vortigern, King of the Britons, is thus defcribed meeting the 
beautiful Princefs Rouwen, daughter of Hengift, the Rofamond of 
the Saxon ages, at a feaft of wafTail. It is a curious picture of 
the gallantry of the times, [or, at leaft, Wace's conception of that 
gallantry.] 

Hengift that day dide his myght, 

That all was glad, kyng and knyght, 

And als thei were beft in gladyng, 

And wel cuppe-fchoten 1 knyght and kyng, 

Fro chaumbre cam Ronewenne fo gent, 

Byfore the kyng in halle fcheo went. 

A coupe wyth wyn fche hadde in hande 

And hure atyr' 2 was wel farande. 3 

Byfore the kyng o knes fche hir fette 

In hure langage ful faire him grette. 

" Waflayl, my lord ! Waflail !" feyd fche. 

Then, afked the kyng, what that myght be. 

On that langage the kyng ne couthe. 4 

Bot a knyght that fpeche had lereds in youthe. 

Breyth highte 6 that knyght, y-born Bretoun, 

That wel fpak langage of Saxoun. 

Thys Breth was the kynges latynier. 7 

And what fcheo feyde teldyt Fortyger. 

nifi et glandes aeneas, quae flammis injeftis horrifono fonitu jaciuntur. Erat haec 
peftis nuper rara, ut cum ingenti miraculo cerneretur : mine, ut rerum peflimarum 
dociles funt animi, ita communis eft, ut quodlibet genus armorum." Lib. i. Dial. 99. 
See Muratori, Antiquitat. Med. J*u. torn. ii. col. 514. Cannons are fuppofed to 
have been firft ufed by the Englifti at the battle of Crefly, in the year 1346. It is 
extraordinary that FroifTart, who minutely defcribes that battle, and is fond of de- 
corating his narrative with wonders, mould have wholly omitted this circumftance. 
Mufquets are recited as a weapon of the infantry fo early as the year 1475. '* Qui- 
libet peditum habeat baliftam vel bombardam." Lit. Cafimiri III. an. 1475. Leg. 
Polon. torn. i. p. 228. Thefe are generally amgned to the year 1520. I am of 
opinion that fome of the great military battering engines, fo frequently mentioned 
in the hiftories and other writings of the dark ages, were fetched from the Crufades. 
See a fpecies of the catapult, ufed by the Syrian army in the fiege of Mecca, about 
the year 680. Mod. Uni<v. Hift. b. i. c. 2, torn. ii. p. 117. Thefe expeditions into 
the Eaft undoubtedly much improved the European art of war. Taflb's warlike 
machines, which feem to be the poet's invention, are formed on defcriptions of 
fuch wonderful machines as he had read of in the Crufade hiftorians, particularly 
William of Tyre. 
1 [Drunk: eni<vre.Wace. See Cotgrave under yvre.~\ 2 attire. 

3 [well facing, fitting, very becoming. Ellis.'] 

4 was not (killed. 5 learned. 6 was called. 

7 Interpreter. [Formerly printed Latimer. Mr. Wright is quite correft in his 
furmife, that Latimer is a mere ignorant mifreading of the MSS. for Latiner.] 
Thus, in the romance of King Richard, Saladin's Latimer at the fiege of Babylon 
proclaims a truce to the Chriftian army from the walls of the city. Signat. M. i. 
" The Latemere tho tourned his eye 
To that other fyde of the toune, 
And cryed trues with gret foune." 

In which fenfe the French word occurs in the Roman de Garin, MSS. Bibl. Reg. 
Paris, Num. 7542. [Printed in 1833-5, 2 vols. by M. Paulin Paris, and again by 
Du Meril, in 1845 : J 

" Latimer fu fi fot parler Roman, 
Englois, Gallois, et Breton, et Norman." 
[See Selden's Table-Talk, edit. 1860, p. 179.] 
II. G 



82 Robert of Brunnes Chronicle, s. 2, 

11 Sire," Breth feyde, " Ronewenne yow gretes, 

And kyng calles, and lord yow letes. 1 

Thys ys ther cuftume and ther geft, 

Whan they arn at ther [ale or] feft. 

Ilk man that loues, ther hym beft thynk, 

Schal fey < Waffail,' and to him drynk. 

He that haldes fchal fey, Waffayl,' 

That other fchal feve ageyn, ' Drynk hayl.' 

That feys [ WaffeylJ drynkes of the coppe, 

KifTmg his felawe he gyveth hit uppe. 

' Drynk hail/ he feyth, and drinketh ther-of, 

KyfTyng hym in bourde and fcof/ 2 

The kyng feide as the knight gan kenne, 3 

" Drynk hayle," fmylynge on Rouewenne. 

Ronewenne drank right as hure lyft, 

And gaf the kyng, and fyn 4 hym kift. 

That was the firfte waffail in dede, 

That now and evere the fame yede. 5 

Of that * waffail ' men tolde grete tale, 

And ufed ' waffail' when they were at th' ale. 

And 'drynkhail' to them that drank, 

Thus was waffail take to thank. 

Ful often thus thys mayden 3yng a 
Waffailed and kyfte ther the kyng. 
Of body fche was ful avenaunt, 7 
Of fair colour, wyth fwet femblaunt. 8 
Hure atir 9 ful wel hit byfemed, 
Merveillyke 10 the kyng fcheo quemed, 11 
Out of mefure was he glad, 
Opon that mayden he wax al mad. 
The fend and dronkeneffe hit wrought, 
Of that Payen 12 was al his thought. 
As mefchaunce that tyme hym fpedde ; 
He afked that Payen for to wedde 5 
And Hengift wernde hym bot lyte, 13 
Bot graunted hure hym al fo tyt. 

And again : 

" Un Latinier vieil ferant et henu 
Molt fot de plet, et molt entrefnie fu." 

And in the Roman du Rou, which will again be mentioned : 
" L'archevefque Tranches a Jumeges ala, 
A Rou, et a fa gent par Latinier parla." 

We find it in Froiffart, torn. iv. c. 87, and in other ancient French writers. In 
the old Norman poem on the fubjeft of King Dei-mod's expulfion from his king- 
dom of Ireland, in the Lambeth library [and printed by M. Michel in 1837,] it 
feems more properly to fignify, in a limited fenfe, the king's domeftic fecretary. 
11 Parfon demeine Latinier 
Que moi conta de luy 1'hiftore," &c. 

See Lyttelton's Hift. Hen. II. vol. iv. App. p. 270. We might here render it 
literally his Latinift, an officer retained by the king to draw up the public inftru- 
ments in Latin. As in Domefdai-Book : " Godwinus accipitrarius, Hugo Lati- 
narius, milo portarius." MS. Excerpt, -penes me. But in both the laft inftances the 
word may bear its more general and extenfive fignification. Camden explains 
Latimer by Interpreter. Rem. p. 158. See alfo p. 151, edit. 1674. 
1 efteems. a {port, joke. 3 to [mew.] 

4 fince, afterwards. 5 went. c young. 

7 handfome, gracefully fhaped, &c. 8 [appearance. Ellis.} 

9 attire. )0 marvelloufly. n pleafed. 

a pagan, heathen. u [refufed him but little.] 



s. 2. Robert of Brunne's Chronicle. 83 

And Hors his brother confented fone. 
Hire frendes feyd alle, hit was to done. 
They afkede the kyng to gyve hure Kent, 
In dowarye, to take of rent. 
Upon that mayde his herte fo kaft, 
What-fo they afked, the kyng mad faft. 
I wene the kyng tok hure that day, 
And wedded hure on Payens lay. 1 
Of preft was ther no benifoun, 2 
No mefle fongen, ne oryfoun. 
In fefyn the kyng had hure that nyght. 
Of Kent he gaf Hengift the ryght. 
The Erl that tyme that Kent held, 
Sir Gorogon, that bar the fcheld, 
Of that gyft no thyng he ne wyfte, 3 
Til he was dryuen out wyth* Hengift. 5 

In the fecond part, [from Langtoft] the attack of Richard I. on 
a caftle held by the Saracens is thus defcribed : 

The dikes were fulle wide that clofed the caftelle about, 

& depe on ilk a fide, with bankis hie without. 

Was ther non entre that to the caftelle gan ligge, 6 

Bot a ftreite kauce, 7 at the end a drauht brigge. 

With grete duble cheynes drauhen ouer the gate, 

And fyfti armed fueynes, 8 porters at that Sate. 

With flenges & magneles 9 thei kaft 10 to kyng Richard ; 

Our Criften by parcelles kafted ageynward. 11 

Ten fergeanz of the beft his targe gan him bere, 

That egre wer & preft to couere him & to were.' 2 

Himfelf as a Geant the cheynes in tuo hew, 

The targe was his warant, 13 that non tille him threw. 

Right unto the 3ate with the targe thei 3ede, 

Fightand on a Sate, vndir him the flou his ftede. 

Ther for ne wild he fefle, 14 alone in to the caftele 

Thorgh tham alle wild prefle, on fote fau^ht he fulle wele. 

& whan he was withinne, fau3t as a wilde Icon, 

He fondred the Sarazins otuynne, & fauht as a dragon. 

Without the Criften gan crie, alias ; R[ichard] is taken, 

Tho Normans were forie, of contenance gan blaken, 

To flo doun & to ftroye neuer wild thei flint, 

Thei ne left for dede no noye, 15 ne for no wound no dynt, 

That in went alle ther pres, maugre the Sarazins alle, 

And fond R[ichard] on des fightand, & wonne the halle. 16 

From thefe paflages it appears that Robert of Brunne has fcarcely 
more poetry than Robert of Gloucefter. He has, however, taken 
care to acquaint his readers that he avoided high defcription, and 

1 in pagans' law j according to the heathenifh cuftom. 

2 benediction, bleffing. 3 knew not. 4 by. 

5 fed. Furnivall, pp. 265-268. See the Temple MS. verfion in] Hearne's Robert 
ofGlo. p. 695. 

lying. 7 caufey. 8 fwains, young men, fodiers. 

9 mangonels. 1 caft. 

11 In Langtoft's French: 

" Dis feriauntz des plus feres e de melz vanez, 
Devaunt le cors le Reis fa targe ount portez." 

12 ward, defend. 13 guard, defence. 

H " he could not ceafe." 15 annoyance. 1<s Chron. ed. Hearne, pp. 182, 183. 



84 Robert of Brunne s motive for Writing. s. 2. 

that fort of phrafeology which was then ufed by the minftrels and 
harpers ; that he rather aimed to give information than pleafure, and 
that he was more ftudious of truth than ornament. As he intended 
his chronicle to be fung, at leaft by parts, at public feftivals, he 
found it expedient to apologife for thefe deficiencies in the prologue ; 
as he had partly done before in his prologue to [his Handlyng Synne, 
[or the Manual of Sins : 

I mad noght for no difours, 1 

Ne for feggers, no harpours, 

Bot for the luf of fymple men, 

That ftrange Inglis can not ken : 2 

For many it ere* that ftrange Inglis 

In ryme wate 4 never what it is (1. 75-80). 

I made it not for to be pray fed, 

Bot at 5 the lewed men were ay fed (1. 83~4). 6 

He next mentions feveral forts of verfe or profody, which were 
then fafhionable among the minftrels, and have become long fmce 
unknown : 

If it were made in ryme cou-ivee, 

Or mjlrangere or enterlace, (1. 85-6), &c. 7 

1 tale-tellers, Narratores, Lat. : Conteours, Fr. Segger in the next line perhaps 
means the fame thing, /'. e. Sayers. The writers either of metrical or of profe 
romances. See Antholog. Fran. p. 17, 1765, 8vo. Or Difours may fignify Dif- 
courfe, i.e. adventures in profe. We have the " Devils difours," in P. Plowman, 
fol. xxxi. b. edit. 1550. Difour precifely fignifies a tale-teller at a feaft in Gower. 
Conf. Amant. lib. vii. fol. 155, a, edit. 1554. He is fpeaking of the coronation 
feftival of a Roman emperor : 

" When he was gladeft at his mete, 
And every minftrell had plaide 
And every di/our had faide 
Which moft was pleafaunt to his ere." 
Du Cange fays, that Difeurs were judges of the turney. Difs. Joinv. p. 179. 

2 know. 3 // ere, there are. 4 knew. 5 that. 6 eafed. 

7 The rhymes here called by Robert de Brunne Counvee [verfus caudati, final 
rhymes, equivalent to the coda in mufic] and Enterlacee, were undoubtedly derived 
from the Latin rhymers of that age, who ufed verfus caudati et interlaqueati. 
Brunne here profefles to avoid thefe elegancies of compofition, yet he has inter- 
mixed many paffages in Rime Counvee. See his Chronicle, pp. 266, 273, &c. &c. 
[and Gueft's Hiflory of Engli/h Rhythms.] Almoft all the latter part of his work from 
the Conqueft is written in rhyme interlacee, each couplet rhyming in the middle as 
well as the end. As thus, MSS. Harl. 1002 : 

" Plaufus Graecorum | lux csecis et via claudis 

Incola caelorum | virgo digniflima laudis." 

The rhyme Bafton had its appellation from Robert Bafton, a celebrated Latin 
rhymer about the year i 315. The rhyme jlr 'anger 'e means uncommon. See Canter- 
bury Tales, vol. iv. p. jz,feq. ut infra. The reader, curious on this fubjeft, may 
receive further information from a MS. in the Bodleian library, in which are fpeci- 
mens of Metra Leonina, criftata, cornuta, reciproca, Sec. MSS. Laud. K 3. 410. 
In the fame library there is a very ancient MS. of Aldheim's Latin poem De Vir- 
ginitate et Laude SanElorum, written about the year 700, and given by Thomas 
Allen, with Saxon glofles, and the text almoft in femi-faxon charafters. Thefe are 
the firft two verfes : 

" Metrica tyrones nunc promant carmina cafti, 

Et laudem capiat quadrate carmine Virgo." 
[But fee Wright's Biog. Brit. Literaria, A-S. period, 217.] Langbaine, in reciting 



s. 2. Robert of Brunne on " Sir Triftram" 85 

He adds that the old ftories of chivalry had been fo difguifed by 
foreign terms, by additions and alterations, that they were now 
become unintelligible to a common audience : and particularly that 
the tale of Sir Triftram^ the nobleft of all, was much changed from 
the original compofition of its firft author : 

I fee in fong in fedgeyng tale 2 
Of Erceldoun, and of Kendale, 
Non tham fays as thai tham wroght, 3 
And in ther fay[i]ng 4 it femes noght : 
That may them here in Sir Triftram j 5 
Over geftes* it has the fteem,' 

this MS. thus explains the quadratum carmen. " Scil. prima cujufque verfus litera, 
per Acroftichidem, conficit verfum ilium Metrica tyrones. Ultima cujufque verfus 
litera, ab ultimo carmine ordine retrogrado numerando, hunc verfum facit : 

" Metrica tyrones nunc promant carmina cafti." 

(Langb. MSS. v. p. 126.) MSS. Digb. 146. There is a very ancient traft, by one 
Mico, I believe called alfo Levita, on Profody, De Quantitate Syllabarum, with 
examples from the Latin poets, perhaps the firft work of the kind. Bib. Bodl. 
MSS. Bod. A 7. 9. See Hocker's Catal. MSS. Bibl. Heidelb. p. 24, who recites a 
part of Mico's Preface, in which he appears to have been a grammatical teacher of 
youth. See alfo Dacheri Spicileg. torn. ii. p. 300, b, edit. ult. [Mr. Wright has 
obferved that the ryme cou^wee occurs both in heroic and elegiac verfe.] 

1 [Sir W. Scott and others have endeavoured to prove that the Englifh romance 
of Triftram was written by Thomas of Erceldoune ; but the tranflator merely 
alludes to him at the commencement in a fanciful manner ; and I think it, with 
Mr. Wright, moft probable, that finding the name Thomas in the French original, 
and not underftanding it, he was induced to take a charafter, then fb famous, to 
add fome popularity to the fubjecl:. HalKwell. See On the Legend of Triftan : 
its origin in myth, and its development in romance. By E. T. Leith. Bombay, 1868, 
gvo. F. In all the former editions of Warton, eighteen pages were occupied by 
a vain difcuffion of the clearly erroneous opinion of Scott, that the romance, as he 
has (not very corre&ly) printed it, is the original caft of the ftory from the pen of 
Thomas of Erceldoune. In the edition of Warton, which appeared in 1840, 
Mr. Garnett thus fums up the evidence: "Upon the whole, then, it appears: 
i. That the prefent Sir Triftram is a modernized copy of an old Northumbrian 
romance, which was probably written between A.D. 1260-13005 2. That it is not, 
in the proper fenfe of the word, an original compofition, but derived more or lefs 
direftly from a Norman or Anglo-Norman fource j 3. That there is no direft tefti- 
mony in favour of Thomas of Erceldoune's claim to the author/hip of it, while the 
internal evidence is, as far as it goes, greatly adverfe to that fuppofition. It is, 
however, by no means improbable that the author availed himfelf of the previous 
labours of Erceldoune on the fame theme."] 

2 " among the romances that are fung," &c. 

3 " none recite them as they were firft written." 

4 " as they tell them." 5 " this you may fee," &c. a efteem. 

* Hearne fays that Gefts were oppofed to Romance. Chron. Langt. Pref. p. 37. 
But this is a miftake. Thus we have the Gefte of kyng Home, a very old metrical 
romance. MSS. Harl. 2253, p. 70. Alfo in the Prologue of Rychard Cuerde Lyon : 

" King Richard is the beft 
That is found in any jefte." 

And the paflage in the text is a proof againft his aflertion. Chaucer, in the fol- 
lowing paflage, by Jeftours, does not mean jefters in modern fignification, but 
writers of adventures. Houje of Fame, v. 108 : 

" And Jeftours that tellen tales 

Both of wepyng and of game." 



86 Robert of Brunnes Account of his Ryme. s. 2. 

Over alle that is or was, 

If men it fayd, as made Thomas (1. 93-100). 

Thai fayd in fo quante Inglis 

That many one 1 wate not what it is (1. 109-110). 

And forfoth I couth fe] noght 

So ftrange Inglis as thai wroght (1. 115-116). 

On this account, he fays, he was perfuaded by his friends to write 
his Chronicle in a more popular and eafy ftyle, that would be better 
underftood : 

And men befoght me many a tyme 

To turne in hot in Hght[e] ryme. 

Thai fayd if I in ftrange it turne 

To here it manyon fuld fkurne 2 

For it ere names fulle felcouthe 3 

That ere not ufed now in mouth (1. 117-122). 

In the hous of Sixille I was a throwe 4 

Danz Robert of Meltone, 5 that ye knowe, 

Did it wryte for felawes fake, 

When thai wild folace make 6 (1. 141-4.). 

[Thomas of 7 ] Erceldoune and [Thomas of 8 ] Kendal are men- 
tioned, in fome of thefe lines of Brunne, as [writers of] old romances 

In the Houfe of Fame he alfo places thofe who wrote " olde geftes," v. 4.25. It is 
however obvious to obferve from whence the prefent termjefl arofe. See Fauchet, 
Rec. p. 73. In P. Plowman, we have Job's Jeftes, fol. xlv. b : 

" Job the gentyl in his jeftes greatly wytnefleth." 
That is, " Job in the account of his Life." In the fame page we have : 

" And japers and judgelers, and jangelers of jeftes." 

That is, minftrels, reciters of tales. Other illuftrations of this word will occur in 
the courfeof the work. Chanfons de geftes were common in France in the thirteenth 
century among the [trouveres]. See Mem. concernant les principaux monument de 
miftoire de France : Mem. Lit. xv. p. 582 ; by M. de Sainte Palaye. I add the two 
firft lines of a MS. entitled, Art de Kalender par Rauf, who lived 1256. Bibl. 
Bodl. J. b. 2. Th. (Langb. MSS. 5. 439): 

" De gefte ne voil pas chanter, 

Ne <veilles eftoires el canter." 

There is even Gefta PaJ/ionis et Refurreflionis Chrifti, in many MSS. libraries. 
[The chanfons de gefte, as Mr. Wright has mown, do not fupport Warton here, as 
they were poems founded on the real or fuppofed exploits of the earlier kings of 
France.] 

1 many a one. 2 fcorn. 3 ftrange. 4 a little while. 

5 " Sir Robert of Malton." It appears [hence that he caufed the work to be 
written. Madden.] 

6 Pref. Rob. Glouc. pp. 57, 58. 

7 [Compare "as made Thomas," 1. 100 of Manning's Chronicle, with line 94, 
" tale of Erceldoun and of Kendale," and with " I was at [Erceldoune :] with 
Tomas fpak y there," Sir Triftram, 1. i, &c. : 

B u when Engle hadde J?e lond al J?orow, 
He gaf to Scardyng Scardeburgh<? j 
Toward >e norths, by e fee fide, 
An hauene hit is, fchipes in to ryde. 
fflayn highte his broker, als feyj? J?e tale 
$at Thomas made of Kendale ; 
Of Scarth* & fftayn, Thomas feys, 
What J?ey werc, how f?ey dide, what weys." 

Manning's Chronicle, part 5. p. 514.] 



s. 2. Thomas of Erceldoun. 87 

or popular tales. Of the latter I can difcover no traces in our 
ancient literature. As to the former, Thomas of Erceldoun or 
Afhelington is faid to have written Prophecies^ like thofe of Merlin. 
Leland, from the Scales CkroniconJ fays that " William Banaftre, 2 and 
Thomas Erceldoune, fpoke words " yn figure as were the prophecies 
of Merlin." In the library of Lincoln cathedral there is a [poem, 
which is almoft entitled to the name of a romance,] entitled, Thomas 
of Erfeldown, [flightly imperfect,] which begins with an addrefs [not 
found in the other MSS. of this piece] : 

" Lordynges both great and fmall " 

[But feveral other MSS. copies of it are extant. 3 The Lincoln MS. 
has been printed. 4 ] In the Bodleian library, among the theological 
works of John Lawern, monk of Worcefter, and ftudent in theology 
at Oxford about the year 1448, written with his own hand, a frag- 
ment of an Englifli poem occurs, which begins thus : 

Joly chepert of Afkeldowne. 5 

[but is wholly unconnected, except in name, with Erceldoun.] In 
the Britifh Mufeum a MS. Englifh poem occurs, with this French 
title prefixed : La Counteffe de Dunbar^ demanda a Thomas Effedoune 
quant la guere dEfcoce prendret fyn. 6 This was probably our pro- 

1 An ancient French hiftory or chronicle of England never printed, which 
Leland fays was tranflated out of French rhyme into French profe. Coll. vol. i. 
p. ii. pag. 59, edit. 1770. It was probably written or reduced by Thomas Gray 
into profe. Londinens. Antiquitat. Cant. lib. i. p. 38. Others affirm it to have been 
the work of John Gray, an eminent churchman, about the year 1212. It begins, 
in the ufual form, with the creation of the world, pafles on to Brutus, and clofes 
with Edward III. 

2 One Gilbert Baneftre was a poet and mufician. The Prophefies of Banifter of 
England are not uncommon among MSS. In the Scotch Prophefies, printed at 
Edinburgh, [1603,] Banafter is mentioned as the author of fome of them. "As 
Berlington's books and Banefter tell us," p. 2. Again, " Beid hath brieved in his 
book and Banefter alfo," p. 1 8. He feems to be confounded with William Banifter, 
a writer of the reign of Edward III. Berlington is probably John Bridlington, an 
Auguftine canon of Bridlington, who wrote three books of Carmina Vaticinalia, in 
which he pretends to foretell many accidents that mould happen to England. MSS. 
Digb. Bibl. Bodl. 89 and 186. There are alfo Verfus Vaticinates under his name, 
MSS. Bodl. NE. E. ii. 17, f. 21. He died, aged fixty, in 1379. He was canonifed. 
There are many other Prophetiae, which feem to have been fafliionable at this time, 
bound up with thofe of the canon of Bridlington in MSS. Digb. 186. 

3 [MSS. Publ. Lib. Camb. Ff. v. 48 (printed by Halliwell in 1845) > Ms - Cotton. 
Vitell. E, x; MS. Lanfd. 7625 MS. Sloane 2578. Of thefe the firft is damaged, 
the fecond is a copy of no great importance or antiquity, and the third and fourth 
are imperfect. A later tranfcript is in MS. Rawl. c. 258.] 

4 [Laing's Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of Scotland, 1822.] 

5 MSS. Bodl. 692, tol. 

[" Joly chepte of Afchell downe 

Can more on love than al the town." Price. 

Ritfon could, of courfe, make out no more, becaufe there is no more to make out, 

the leaf being torn off here." Madden.~\ 

6 MSS. Harl. 2253, f. 127. It begins thus : 

" When man as mad a kingge of a capped man 

When mon is lever other monnes thynge then ys owen." 



88 Robert de Brunne s other Work. s. 2. 

phefier Thomas of Erceldown. One of his predi&ions is mentioned 
in a Scotifh poem entitled [ane new ^eir gift'} written in the year 
1562 by Alexander Scot. 1 One Thomas [of] Leirmouth, or [the] 
Rhymer, was alfo a prophetic bard, and lived at Erflingtoun, fome- 
times perhaps pronounced Erfeldoun. This is therefore probably 
the fame perfon. One who perfonates him, fays : 

In Erflingtoun I dwell at hame, 
Thomas Rymer men call me. 

He has left vaticinal rhymes, in which he predicted the union of 
Scotland with England, about the year I27Q. 2 Fordun mentions 
feveral of his prophecies concerning the future ftate of Scotland. 3 

Robert de Brunne [perhaps] tranflated into Englifh rhymes the trea- 
tife of Cardinal Bonaventura, his cotemporary, 4 De coena et pajjione 
domim et paenis S. Maries Virginis, with the following title : Medy- 
taciuns of the Soper of our Lorde Jbefu, and alfo ofbys Pajfyun, and 
eke of the Peynes of hys fwete Modyr may den Marye, the whiche made 
yn Latyn Bonaventure Cardynall. b But I forbear to give further 
extracts from this writer, who appears to have poflefled much more 
induftry than genius, 6 and cannot at prefent be read with much 



1 [Alex. Scot's Poems, ed. 1821, p. 5.] 

3 See Scotch Prophecies, [ed. 1680], pp. n, 13, 18, 19, 36, viz. The Prophefy of 
Thomas Rymer. Pr. " Stille on my wayes as I went." 

3 Lib. x. cap. 43, 44. I think he is alfo mentioned by Spottifwood. See 
Dempft. xi. 810. 

4 He died 1272. Many of Bonaventure's trafts were at this time tranflated into 
Englifh. We have, " The Treatis that is kallid Prickynge of Love, made bi a 
Frere menour Bonaventure, that was Cardinall of the courte of Rome." Harl. 
MS. 2254, i. f. i. This book belonged to Dame Alys Braintwat " the worchyp- 
full prioras of Dartforde." This is not an uncommon MS. [Bonaventura] 
flourifhed in Italy, about the year 1270. The enormous magnificence of his 
funeral deferves notice more than any anecdote of his life ; as it paints the high 
devotion of the times, and the attention formerly paid to theological literature. 
There were prefent Pope Gregory X., the emperor of Greece by feveral Greek 
noblemen his proxies, Baldwin II., the Latin eaftern emperor, James, king of 
Arragon, the patriarchs of Conftantinople and Antioch, all the cardinals, five 
hundred bifhops and archbifhops, fixty abbots, more than a thoufand prelates and 
priefls of lower rank, the ambafladors of many kings and potentates, the deputies 
of the Tartars and other nations, and an innumerable concourfe of people of all 
orders and degrees. The fepulchral ceremonies were celebrated with the moft con- 
fummate pomp, and the funeral oration was pronounced by a future pope. Mirsei 
Auftar. Script. Eccles. p. 72, edit. Fabric. 

5 MSS. Harl. 1701, f. 84. The firft line is, 

" Almighti god in trinite." 

[In the two beft MSS. known to us of Manning's complete Handlyng fynne, 
the Medytaciuns follow it, after a break. Mr. Bowes, of Streatham caftle, Durham, 
has a later MS. of the Handlyng fynne, not yet examined. F. Caxton printed a com- 
pilation from the Latin of Bonaventura under the title of Speculum <vite Crifti. 
See Blades, ii. 194-7.] 

6 [Sir F. Madden and Mr. Furnivall are of opinion that Warton has done fcanty 
juftice to De Brunne. They confider him the beft poet before Chaucer, anterior to 
1330, and very fuperior to the later Hampole and NafTyngton, though not to the 
writer of The Pearl in the Early Englifh Alliterative Poems, edited by Mr. R. 
Morris for the Early Englifh Text Society in 1864, or the compofer of the allitera- 



s. 2. Robert Groffetefte. 89 

pleafure. Yet it fhould be remembered, that even fuch a writer as 
Robert de Brunne, uncouth and unpleafmg as he naturally feems, 
and [partly] employed in turning the theology of his age into rhyme, 
contributed to form a ftyle, to teach expreffion, and to poliih his 
native tongue. In the infancy of language and compofition, nothing 
is wanted but writers : at that period even the moft artlefs have 
their ufe. 

Robert [GrolTetefte,] bifhop of Lincoln, 1 who died in 1253, * s 
faid in fome verfes of Robert de Brunne, quoted above, to have 
been fond of the metre and mufic of the minftrels. He was moft 
attached to the French minftrels, in whofe language he [is faid to 
have] left a poem of fome length. This was tranflated into Englifh 
rhyme probably about the reign of Edward [II. or III.] It is called 
by Leland Chateau d> Amour* But in one of the Bodleian MSS. of 
this book we have the following title : Romance par Me/ire Robert 
Grojfetefte? In another it is called, Ce eft la me de D. Jhu de fa 

tive Morte Arthurs in the Thornton MS., affuming that that fpirited poem was 
written fome feventy or eighty years before the date of the MS. it is in (1440 A.D.).] 

1 See Difs. ii. The author and tranflator are often thus confounded in manu- 
fcripts. To an old Englifh religious poem on the holy Virgin, we find the fol- 
lowing title : Incipit quidam cantus quern compofuit frater Thomas de Hales de ordine 
fratrum minorum, &c. MSS. Coll. Jes. Oxon. [29,] fupr. citat. [It is hard to tell 

whether this de Hales is the fame as Tanner affigns (by miftake) to the fourteenth 
century, or a different perfon.] But this is the title of our friar's original, a Latin 
hymn de B. Maria Virgine, improperly adopted in the tranflation. Thomas de 
Hales was a Francifcan friar, a do<5lor of the Sorbonne, and flourifhed about the 
year 1340. We fhall fee other proofs of this. 

2 Script. Brit. p. 285. [The Englifh verfion was printed for the Philological 
Society.] 

3 MSS. Bodl. NE. D. 69. [It has been fhown in a former note, that Groffetefte's 
claim to the authodhip of the French Manuel Peches at leaft to the work at prefent 
known by that name cannot be made good]. The following extraft from the 
Chateau d 1 Amour , afcribed to him by Leland and others, [fhows that the poem was 
alfo afcribed to him in early times 5 for in it he is called " Saint Robert de Nichole " 
(the French name for Lincoln), juft as he is called "Seynt Robert," whofe furname 
is " Grofteft of Lynkolne,' y by Robert of Brunne in the Handlyng Synne, 1. 4743-5, 
p. 64 above. Price, feemingly ignorant of Nic/iole meaning Lincoln, thought that 
St. Robert de Nichole could not be Groffetefte.] 

" Ici comence un efcrit, 

Ke Seint Robert de Nichole fift. 

Romanze de romanze eft apele, 

Tel num a dreit li eft afligne ; 

Kar de ceo livre la materie, 

Eft eftret de haut cleregie, 

E pur ceo ke il pafco (furpaffe) altre romanz 

Apele eft romanz de romanz. 

Les chapitres ben conuz ferunt 

Par les titres ke fiverunt 

Les titles ne <voil pas rimer 

Kar leur matiere ne volt fuffrer, 

Primis fera le prologe mis 

E puz les titles tuz aflis." 

MSS. Reg. 20 B. xiv. 

[It is juft poffible that both the prefent poem and the Manuel Peche are founded 
on fimilar works of Groffetefte written in the Latin language ; and that the tran- 



90 The Chateau d y Amour. s. 2. 

humanlte fet a ordlne de Saint Robert Groffetefte ke fut eveque de 
Nichole ; 1 and in this copy a very curious apology to the clergy is 
prefixed to the poem for the language in which it is written. 2 " Et 
quamvis lingua romana [romance] coram clericis faporem fuavitatis 
non habeat, tamen pro laicis qui minus intelligunt opufculum illud 
aptum eft." 3 This piece profefTes to treat of the creation, the 
redemption, the day of judgment, the joys of heaven, and the 
torments of hell : but the whole is a religious allegory, and under 
the ideas of chivalry the fundamental articles of Chriftian belief are 
reprefented. It has the air of a fyftem of divinity written by a 
troubadour. The poet, in defcribing the advent of Chrift, fuppofes 
that he entered into a magnificent caftle, which is the body of the 
immaculate virgin. The ftru&ure of this caftle is conceived with 
fome imagination, and drawn with the pencil of romance. The 
poem begins with thefe lines : 

Ki penfe ben, ben peut dire : 

Sanz penfer ne poet iuffife : 

De mil bon oure commencer 

Den nos dont de li penfer 

De ki par ki, en ki, font 

Tos les biens ki font en el mond. 

But I haften to the tranflation, which is more immediately con- 
nected with our prefent fubjecl:, and has this title : 

Her bygenet a tretys that ys yclept Caflel of Love 

that bifcop Groftey^t made ywis for lewde mennes by-hove. 4 

Then follows the prologue or introduction, [from which an extract 
may fuffice, as the work has been printed three times:] 



fcribers, either from ignorance, or a deiire of giving a fiftitious value to their own 
labours, have infcribed his name upon the copies. His Templum Domini, a copious 
fyftem of myftical divinity, abounding in pious raptures and fcholaftic fubtleties, 
may have afforded the materials for the former poem ; and his treatife, De feptem 
<vitiis et remedm if we except the Contes devots, which Wadington may have 
gleaned from another fource poflibly fupplied the doftrines of the latter. The 
title adopted by Leland and the Engliih tranflator has been taken from the fol- 
lowing paflage of the French work : 

" En un chattel bel e grant, 

Bien fourme et avenant, 

Ceo eft le chaftel d "amour , 

E de folaz e de focour." 

Harl. MSS. No. 1121. Price.'] 

1 F 1 6, Laud. The word Nicole is perfectly French for Lincoln. See Kkewife 
MSS. Bodl. E. 4, 14.. [A parliament was held at Nicole in 1300-1. Riley's 
Chronicles of Old London, p. 245, ed. 1863. F.] 

2 In the hand-writing of the poem itfelf, which is very ancient. 

3 f. i. So alfo in MSS. C. C. C. Oxon. 232. In MSS. Harl. nai, 5. " [Ici 
demouftre] Roberd Grofletefte evefque de Nichole un tretis en Franceis, del com- 
mencement du monde," &c. f. 156. Cod. membran. 

4 Bibl. Bodl. MS. Vernon, f. 292. This tranflation [has been printed from a 
later copy in a MS. of the i4th century, differing greatly from the Vernon in its 
language and dialeft, in private hands, by Mr. Halliwell, 1849, 4 to - The 
Vernon MSS. and Add. MS. Brit. Mus. 22283, were edited for the Philological 
Society in 1864 by Mr. Weymouth.] 



s. 2. The Caftle of Love. 91 

On Englifch l I chul mi refun fchowen 
For him that con not i-knowen 
Nouther French ne Latyn : 
On Englifch I chulle tullen him 
Wherfore the world was i-wrouht, 
And aftur how he was bi-tauht, 
Adam vre fader to ben his, 
With al the merthe of paradys, 
To wonen and welden to fuch ende 
Til that he fcholde to heuene wende j 
And hou fone he hit for-les 
And feththen hou hit for-bouht wes 
Thorw the hei3e kynges fone, 
That here on eorthe wolde come, 
For his fuftren that were to-boren, 
And for a prifon that was forloren j 
And hou he made as 3e fchul heeren 
That heo i-cufte and fauht weren j 
And to w3uche a Caftel he alihte, &c. 

The moft poetical paflages of this poem [are thofe which defcribe 
the caftle. Of thefe we quote a few lines :] 

This Caftel is fiker and feir abouten, 2 
And is al depeynted withouten 
With threo heowes that wel beth fene, 3 
So is the foundement al grene, 
That to the roche fafte lith. 
Wel is that ther murthe i-fihth, 
For the grenefchipe lafteth euere, 
And his heuh ne leofeth neuere, 
Seththen abouten that other heu3 
So is inde and eke bleu. 4 
That the midel heu3 we clepeth ariht, 
And fchyneth fo feire and fo bri3t. 

The thridde heu3 an ouemaft 
Ouer-wri3eth al and fo is i-caft 
That withinnen and withouten 
The cartel lihteth al abouten, 
And is raddore then euere eny rofe fchal 
That thuncheth as hit barnde 5 al. 6 
Withinne the Caftel is whit fchinynge 
So 7 the fnow3 that is fneuwynge, 
And cafteth that Ii3t fo wyde 
After-long the tour and be-fyde, 
That never cometh ther wo ne wou3, 
Ac fwetnefle ther is euer i-nou3. 



1 \Caftel off Loue, edit. Weymouth, p. 3.] 

3 [Edit. Weymouth, p. 31.] 

3 [" Li chafteaus eft bel e bon 
De hors depeint enuiron, 
De iii. colurs diuerfement." Fr. Orig.~\ 

4 " Si refte ynde fi blui." Fr. Orig. * burned, on fire. 

8 " Plus eft vermaille qui neft rofe 

E piert vne ardante chofe." Fr. Orig. 
7 as. 



92 'The Caftle of Love. s. 2, 

Amidde 1 the hei3e tour is fpringynge 
A welle that euere is eornynge 2 
With foure ftremes that ftriketh wel, 
And erneth vppon the grauel, 
And fulleth the diches a-boute the wal $ 
Muche blifle ther is ouer-al, 
Ne dar he feche non other leche 
That mai riht of this water cleche. 

In 3 thulke derworth feire tour 

Ther ftont a trone with muche honour, 

Of whit iuori, and feirore of liht 

Then the fomeres day whon hee is briht, 

With cumpas i-throwen, and with gin al i-do. 

Seuene fteppes ther beoth ther-to, &c. 

The 4 foure fmale toures abouten, 

That [witeth] the hei^e tour with-outen, 

Foure hed thewes that aboute hire i-feoth, 

Foure vertues cardinals [that] beoth, &c. 

And 5 whyche beoth the threo bayles ?et, 

That with the camels beth fo wel i-fet, 

And i-caft with cumpas and walled abouten, 

That witeth the heiSe tour with-outen ? 

Bote the inemafte bayle, I wot, 

Bi-tokeneth hire holy maidenhod, &c. 

The 6 middel bayle, that wite "Se, 

Bi-tokeneth hire holy chaftite 

And feththen the [outemafte] bayle 

Bi-tokeneth hire holy fpofayle, &c. 

The feue [berbicans] abouten, 

That with gret gin beon i-wrou^t withouten, 

And witeth this Caftel fo wel, 

With arwe and with qwarel, 7 

That beth the feuen vertues with winne 

To ouercome the feuen dedly finne, &c. 8 



1 " In mi la tur plus hauteine 
Eft furdant une funtayne 
Dunt iffent quater ruiflell. 
Ki bruinet par le gravel," &c. Fr. Orig. 
2 running. 

* " En cele bel tur a bone 
A de yvoire un trone 
Ke plufa eifli blanchor 
Ci en mi efte la beau jur 
Par engin eft compaflez/ 1 &c. Fr. Orig. 

4 [Edit. Weymouth, p. 37.] 5 [Ibid. p. 38.] 

" Les treis bailies du chaftel 
Ki funt overt au kernel 
Qui a compas funt en virun 
E defendent le dungun." Fr. Orig. 
[Ibid.} 

1 " Les barbicanes feet 

Kis hors de bailies funt fait, 

Ki bien gardent le chaftel, 

E de feete e de quarrel." Fr. Orig. 

8 [Ibid. 38-9.] Afterwards the fountain is explained to be God's grace: Charity 
is conftable of the caftle, &c. &c. 



s. 2. French written by Englijhmen. 93 

It was undoubtedly a great impediment to the cultivation and pro- 
greffive improvement of the Englifh language at thefe early periods, 
that the beft authors chofe to write in French. Many of Robert 
[GrofTetefte's] pieces are indeed in Latin ; yet where the fubje6t was 
popular, and not immediately addrefled to learned readers, he adopted 
the Romance or French language, in preference to his native Englifh. 
Of this, as we have already feen, his Chateau d* Amour is fufficient 
proof; and his example and authority muft have had confiderable in- 
fluence in encouraging the practice. Peter Langtoft not only com- 
piled the large chronicle of England, above recited, in French, but 
even tranflated Herbert Bofcam's Latin Life of Thomas Eecket into 
French rhymes. 1 John [de] Hoveden, a native of London, doctor 
of divinity, and chaplain to Queen Eleanor, mother of Edward I. 
wrote in French rhymes a book entitled, Rofarium de Nativitate, 
PaJJione, Afcenfione^ jhefu Chrijii^ Various other proofs have before 
occurred. [There is in] the Lambeth library [an imperfect] poem 
in [Anglo-] Norman verfe on the fubjefc of King Dermod's ex- 
pulfion from Ireland and the recovery of his kingdom. 3 I could 
mention many others. Anonymous French pieces, both in profe and 
verfe, and written about this time, are innumerable in our manufcript 
repofitories. 4 Yet this faihion proceeded rather from neceflity and 

1 Pits, p. 890. Append. He with great probability fuppofes him to have been 
an Englifhman. 

2 MSS. Bibl. C. C. C. Cant. G. 16. where it is alfo called The Nightingale. Pr. 
" Alme fefle lit de perefle." 

In this MS. the whole title is this : Le Rqffignol, ou la penfee Jehan de Ho<ve- 
dene clerc la rolne d^Engleterre mere le rot Edward, de la naiffance et de la mart et du 
relievement et de lafcenfion Jefu Crift et de lajjumption notre dame. This MS. was 
written in the i4th century. 

Our author, John [de] Hovenden, was alfo (killed in facred mufic, and a great 
writer of Latin hymns. He died, and was buried, at Hoveden, 1275. Pits, p. 356, 
Bale, v. 79. 

There is an old French metrical life of Tobiah, which the author, moft probably 
an Englifhman, fays he undertook at the requeft of William, Prior of Kenilworth 
in Warwickfhire. MSS. Jes. Coll. Oxon. %S,fupr. citat. 

" Le prior Gwilleyme me prie 

De Teglyfe feynte Marie 

De Kenelworth an Ardenne, 

Ki porte le plus haute peyne 

De charite, ke nul eglyfe 

Del reaume a devyfe 

Ke jeo liz en romaunz le vie 

De kelui ki ont nun Tobie,"" &c. 

3 [MS. Lamb. 96. See Todd's Cat. 1812, p. 94.. The poem, which wants be- 
ginning and end, has been printed by Michel, 1837, izmo. An incorrect analyfis 
of it, made by Sir George Carew, to whom it once belonged, is in Harris's Hibernica, 
1757.] It was probably written about 1190. See Ware, p. 56, and compare 
Walpole's Anecd. faint, i. 28, Notes. [The original Latin of this has been already 
noticed as a production of the reign of Edward I., to whofe queen John de Hoveden 
was chaplain. In the Obfervations on the Lai de Lauftic, the error of identifying 
an Englifh tranflation of de Hoveden's tract with the lay is pointed out.] 

4 Among the learned Engliftimen who now wrote in French, Tyrwhitt mentions 
Helis de Guinceftre, or Winchefter, a tranflator of Cato into French. (See vol. ii. 



94 Reafonsfor the Employment of s. 2. 

a principle of convenience, than from affectation. The vernacular 
Englifti, as I have before remarked, was rough and unpolimed : and 
although thefe writers poflefled but few ideas of tafte and elegance, 
they embraced a foreign tongue almoft equally familiar, and in which 
they could convey their fentiments with greater eafe, grace, and pro- 
priety. It fhould alfo be confidered, that our moft eminent fcholars 
received a part of their education at the univerfity of Paris. Another 
and a very material circumftance concurred to countenance this 
fafhionable practice of compofing in French. It procured them 
readers of rank and diftin6Uon. The Englifh court, for more than 
two hundred years after the Conqueft, was totally French : and our 
kings, either from birth, kindred, or marriage, and from a perpetual 
intercourfe, feem to have been more clofely connected with France 
than with England. 1 It was however fortunate that thefe French 
pieces were written, as fome of them met with their tranflators who, 
perhaps, unable to afpire to the praife of original writers, at leaft by 
this means contributed to adorn their native tongue : and who very 



feel, xxvii.) And Hue de Roteland [or rather, according to Sir F. Madden, Wal- 
ter de Biblefworth] author of the Romance, in French verfe, called Jpomidon. MSS. 
Cott. Vefp. A. vii. [Hugh] is fuppofed to have written a French Dialogue in 
metre, MSS. Bodl. 3904. La pleinte par entre mis Sire Henry de Lacy Counte de 
Nichole, et Sire Wauter de Byblefworth pur la croiferie en la terre feinte. And a 
French romantic poem on a knight called Capanee t perhaps Statius's Capaneus. 
MSS. Cott. Vefp. A vii. utfupr. It begins : 

" Que bons countes viel entendre." 

I have before hinted that it was fometimes cuftomary to intermix Latin with 
French. As thus, MSS. Had. 2253, f. 137, b. : 

" Dieu roy de Magefte, 

Ob perfonas trinas, 
Noftre roy efa meyne 

Ne perire Jinas ," &c. 

Again, ibid. f. 76, where a lover, an Engliftiman, addrefles his miftrefs who was 
of Paris : 

" Dum ludis floribm <velut lacinia, 
Le dieu d'amour moi tient en tiel Anguftia" &c. 

Sometimes their poetry was half French and half Englifh. As in a fong to the 
holy virgin on our Saviour's paffion. Ibid. f. 83. 

** Mayden moder milde, oyez eel oreyfoun, 
From {home thou me fhilde, e de ly mal feloun : 
For love of thine childe me menez de trefoun, 
Ich wes wod and wilde, ore fu en prifoun," &c. 

In the fame MS. I find a French poem probably written by an Englifhman, and in 
the year 1300, containing the adventures of Gilote and Johanne, two ladies of 
gallantry, in various parts of England and Ireland ; particularly at Winchefter and 
PontefracT:, f. 66, b. The curious reader is alfo referred to a French poem, in which 
the poet iiippofes that a minftrelj^'w^/owr, travelling from London, clothed in a rich 
tabard, met the king and his retinue. The king aflcs him many queftions, parti- 
cularly his lord's name and the price of his horfe. The minftrel evades all the 
king's queftions by impertinent anfwers ; and at laft prefumes to give his majefty 
advice. Ibid. f. 107, b. 

1 [It is very certain that many French poems were written during this period by 
Englishmen ; but it is probable that feveral were alfo compofed by Normans. 
Douce.] 



s. 2. French by Early Englifli Writers. 95 

probably would not have written at all, had not original writers, I 
mean their cotemporaries who wrote in French, furnifhed them with 
models and materials. 

Hearne, to whofe diligence even the poetical antiquarian is much 
obliged, but whofe conjectures are generally wrong, imagines that 
the old Englifli metrical romance, called Rycbard cuer de Lyon, was 
written by Robert de Brunne. It is at leaft probable, that the 
leifure of monaftic life produced many rhymers. From proofs here 
given we may fairly conclude, that the monks often wrote for the 
minftrels : and although our Gilbertine brother of Brunne chofe to 
relate true ftories in plain language, yet it is reafonable to fuppofe, 
that many of our ancient tales in verfe containing fictitious adven- 
tures were written, although not invented, in the religious houfes. 
The romantic hiftory of Guy Earl of Warwick is expreflly faid, on 
good authority, to have been written by Walter of Exeter, a 
Francifcan friar of Carocus in Cornwall, about the year 1292.* The 
libraries of the monafteries were full of romances. Bevis of 
Southampton^ in French, was in the library of the abbey of Leicefter. 2 
In that of the abbey of Glaftonbury, we find Liber de Excidlo Trojts^ 
Gefta Ricardi Regis, and Gefta Alexandri Regis, in the year 1 247^ 
Thefe were fome of the moft favourite fubje&s of romance, as I 
(hall fliew hereafter. In a catalogue of the library of the abbey of 
Peterborough are recited Amys and Amelonf Sir Triftram^ Guy de 

1 Carew's Sur<v. Cornw. p. 59, edit, ut fupr. I fuppofe Carew means the metrical 
Romance of Guy. But Bale fays that Walterw rote Vita Guidonis, which feems 
to imply a profe hiftory. x. 78. [Gerard of Cornwall, a very obfcure writer, in 
the eleventh chapter of his loft work, De Gejlis regum Weft-Saxonium t introduced] 
Guy's hiftory. Hearne has printed -ax^Hiftoria Guidonis de War^wik: Append, ad 
Annal. Dunftaple, num. xi. It was extracted from Girald. Cambrens. Hift. Reg. 
Weft-Sax.^ capit. xi. by Girardus Cornubienfis. Lydgate's Life of Guy, never 
printed, is tranflated from this Girardus, as Lydgate himfelf informs us at the end. 
MSS . Bibl. Bodl. Laud. D 3 1 , f. 64, Tit. Here gynneth the liff of Guy of Warwyk: 

" Out of the Latyn made by the Chronycler 
Called of old Girard Cornubyence : 
Which wrote the dedis, with grete diligence, 
Of them that were in Weftfex crowned kynges," &c. 
See Wharton, Angl. Sacr. i. p. 89. 

2 See Regiftrum Librorum omnium et Jocalium in monafterio S. Maria de Pratis 
prope Leyceftriam. f. 132, b. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Laud. I 75. This catalogue was 
written by Will. Charite, one of the monks, A.D. 1517, f. 139. 

3 Hearne's Joann. Glafton. Catal. Bibl. Glafton. p. 4.35. One of the books of 
Troy is called bonus et magnus. There is alfo Liber de Captione Antiochia Gallice. 
legibilis, ibid. 

4 The fame Romance is in MSS. Harl. 

[The Harl. MS. is a bad copy of about one half of the poem. This Romance 
was tranflated into German verfe by Conrad of Wiirzburg, who flouriflied about 
the year 1 300. He chofe to name the heroes Engelhard and Engeldrud. Weber. 
See Du Cang. Glojf. Lat. i. Ind. Aufior, p. 193. There is an old French Mo- 
rality on this fubjeir. " Comment Amille tue fes deux enfans pour guerir Ami s fan 
compagnon," &c. Beauchamps, Rech. Theatr. Fr. p. 109. There is a French me- 
trical romance, Hiftoire d'Amys et Amilion, MSS. Reg. 12, C xii. 9, and at Bennet 
College, Num. L. i. It begins, 

" Ki veut oir chaunqoun daniur." 



96 



Romances in the Libraries s. 2. 



Burgoyne, and Gefta Ofuells [Otuelis], 1 all in French : together with 
Merlin's Prophecies* Turptn's Charlemagne, and the Deftruftion of 
Troy? Among the books given to Winchester college by the 
founder William of Wykeham, a prelate of high rank, about the 
year 1387, we have Chromcon Troj<z? In the library of Windfor 
college, in the reign of Henry VIII., were difcovered, in the midft 
of miflals, pfalters and homilies, Duo Ubr'i Gallici de Romances, de 
quibus unus liber de Rofe, et alms difficilis material.* This is the 
language of the king's commiffioners, who fearched the archives of 
the college : the firft of thefe two French romances is perhaps 
[Guillaume de LorrisJ's Roman de la Rofe. A friar, in Pierce Phw- 
man, is faid to be much better acquainted with the Rimes of Robin 
Hood and Randal Erie of Cbefter than with his Pater-nofter. 5 The 
monks, who very naturally fought all opportunities of amufement in 
their retired and confined fituations, were fond of admitting the 
minftrels to their feftivals, and were hence familiarifed to romantic 
ftories. Seventy fhillings were expended on minftrels, who ac- 
companied their fongs with the harp, at the feaft of the inftallation 
of Ralph abbot of Saint Auguftin's at Canterbury, in the year 1309. 
At this magnificent folemnity, fix thoufand guefts were prefent in 
and about the hall of the abbey. 6 It was not deemed an occurrence 
unworthy to be recorded, that when Adam de Orleton, bifhop of 
Wincheiter, vifited his cathedral priory of Saint Swithin in that 
city, a minftrel named Herbert was introduced, who fang the Song 



[In the Pipe-roll, 34 and 36 Hen. III. is mentioned, "liber magnus, Galileo 
ydiomiate fcriptus, in quo continentur Gefta Antiochie et regum et etiam aliorum." 
Mr. Wright's inform. Sir F. Madden conjeftures this to have been a verfion of 
the Antiocheis of Jofeph of Exeter. Mr. Wright alfo refers us to a very curious lift 
of romances given by Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, to the abbey of 
Bardefley, printed from the original deed in M. Michel's 'Triftan. 

1 There is a romance called Otuel, MSS. Bibl. Adv. Edinb. W 4, 1. xxviii. I 
think he is mentioned in Charlemagne's ftory. He is converted to Chriftianity, 
and marries Charlemagne's daughter. [Analyfed by Mr. Ellis: vol. ii. p. 324. 
It has been printed entire for the Abbotsford Club, with the romance of Row- 
land and Vernagu, 1836. 

But as to the iignification of the word romance in early documents, it is ex- 
tremely difficult, after all, to come to any conclufion. In a Clofe-roll of 6 John 
(1205), Romancium de hiftoria Anglia evidently means merely a narrative of Englifh 
hiftory.] 

2 Gunton's Peterb. p. io$,Jeq. I will give fome of the titles as they ftand in 
the catalogue. Dares Phrygius de Excidio Tro/W, bis, p. 180. Prophetiae Merlini 
<verfijice, p. 182. Gefta Car oil fecundum Turpinum, p. 187. Gefta jExea pojl de- 

Jlruftionem Tro/W, p. 198. Bellum contra Runcwallum, p. 202. There are allb the 
two following articles, viz., Certamen inter regent Johannem et Barones, <verji/ice t 
per H. de Davench, p. 188. This I have never feen, nor know anything of the 
author. Verfus de ludo fcaccorum, p. 195. 

3 Ex archivis Coll. Wint. 

4 Dugd. Man. iii. Eccles. Collegiat. p. 80. 

5 Fol. xxvi. b, edit. 1550. [See the Erles of Cheftre in the Percy Folio, Ballads 
and Romances.] 

6 Dec. Script, p. 2011. 



s. 2. of the old Englijfi Abbeys and Colleges. 97 

of Colbrond) a Danifh giant, and the tale of Queen Emma delivered from 
the phughjhares, in the hall of the prior Alexander de Herriard, in 
the year 1338. I will give this very curious article, as it appears in 
an ancient regifter of the priory : " Et cantabat Joculator quidam 
nomine Herebertus canticum Colbrondi, necnon Geftum Emme 
regine a judicio ignis liberate, in aula prioris." 1 In an annual ac- 
compt-roll of the Auguftine priory of Bicefter in Oxfordshire, for 
the year 1431, the following entries relating to this fubjecl: occur, 
which I choofe to exhibit in the words of the original : c4 Dona 
Prioris. Etin datis cuidam citharizatori in die fan6H Jeronimi, viii. d. 
Et in datis alteri citharizatori in Fefto Apoftolorum Simonis et 
Jude cognomine Hendy, xii. d. Et in datis cuidam minftrallo 
domini le Talbot infra natale domini, xii. d. Et in datis miniftrallis 
domini le Straunge in die Epiphanie, xx. d. Et in datis duobus 
miniftrallis domini Lovell in craftino S. Marci evangelifte, xvi. d. 
Et in datis miniftrallis ducis Gloceftrie in Fefto nativitatis beate 
Marie, iii. s. iv. d." I muft add, as it likewife paints the manners 
of the monks, " Et in datis cuidam Urfario, iiii. d." 2 In the Prior's 
accounts of the Auguftine canons of Maxtoke in Warwickfhire, of 
various years in the reign of Henry VI., one of the ftyles or general 
heads is De Joculatoribus et Mimis. I wui without apology produce 
fome of the particular articles, not diitmguiming between Mimi, 
yoculatoreS) Jocatores, Luferes, and Citharifl^s^ who all feem alter- 
nately, and at different times, to have exercifed the fame arts of 
popular entertainment: "Joculatori in feptimana S. Michaelis, 
iv. d. Citharifte tempore natalis domini et aliis jocatoribus, iv. d. 
Mimis de Solihull, vi. d. Mimis de Coventry, xx. d. Mimo domini 
Ferrers, vi. d. Luforibus de Eton, viii. d. Luforibus de Coventry, 
viii. d. Luforibus de Daventry, xii. d. Mimis de Coventry, xii. d. 
Mimis domini de Afteley, xii. d. Item iiii. mimis domini de 
Warewyck, x. d. Mimo ceco, ii. d. Sex mimis domini de Clynton. 
Duobus Mimis de Rugeby, x. d. Cuidam citharifte, vi. d. 
Mimis domini de Afteley, xx. d. Cuidam citharifte, vi. d. Citha- 

1 Regiftr. Priorat. S. Swithini Winton. MSS. Archiv. de Wolvefey Wint. Thefe 
were local ftories. Guy fought and conquered Colbrond, a Danifh champion, juft 
without the northern walls of the city of" Winchefter, in a meadow to this day called 
Danemarch : and Colbrond's battle-axe was kept in the treafury of St. Swithin's 
priory till the DifTolution. Th. Rudb. apud Wharton, Angl. Sacr. i. 211. This 
hiftory remained in rude painting againft the walls of the north tranfept of the ca- 
thedral till within my memory. Queen Emma was a patronefs of this church, in 
which me underwent the trial of walking blindfold over nine red-hot ploughshares. 
Colbrond is mentioned in the Squyr of Lowe Degre. [Hazlitt's Pop. Poetry, ii. 26 :] 

" Or els fo doughty of my hande 
As was the gyaunte fyr Colbrande." 
[See TurnbulPs edit, of Guy of Warwick , 1840, Introd.] 

2 Compotus dni Ricardi Parentyn Prioris, et fratris Ric. Albon canonici, burfarii 
ibidem, de omnibus bonis per eofdem receptis et liber atis a craftino Michaelis anno Hen- 
rid Sexti poft Conqueftum octavo ufque in idem craftinum anno R. Henrici pr<zdiii 
nono. In Thefaurar. Coll. SS. Trin. Oxon. Bifhop Kennet has printed a Com- 
putus of the fame monaftery under the fame reign, in which three or four entries 
of the fame fort occur. Paroch. Antiq. p. 578. 

II. H 



98 Feftive Inclination of Religious Orders. s. 2. 

rifte de Coventry, vi. d. Duobus cithariftis de Coventry, viii. d. 
Mimis de Rugeby, viii. d. Mimis domini de Buckeridge, xx. d. 
Mimis domini de Stafford, ii. s. Luforibus de Colefhille, viii. d." 1 
Here we may obferve, that the minftrels of the nobility, in whofe 
families they were conftantly retained, travelled about the county to 
the neighbouring monafteries ; and that they generally received 
better gratuities for thefe occafional performances than the others. 
Solihul), Rugby, Colefhill, Eton or Nun-Eton, and Coventry, are 
all towns fituated at no great diftance from the priory. 2 Nor muft 
I omit that two minftrels from Coventry made part of the feftivity 
at the confecration of John, prior of this convent, in the year 1432, 
viz. "Dat. duobus mimis de Coventry in die confecrationis prioris^ xii. d." 3 
Nor is it improbable, that fome of our great monafteries kept 
minftrels of their own in regular pay. So early as the year 1 180, in 
the reign of Henry II., Jeffrey the harper received a corrody or 



1 Ex orig. penes me. 

2 In the ancient annual rolls of accompt of Winchefter College, there are many 
articles of this fort. The few following, extra6ted from a great number, may ferve 
as a fpecimen. They are chiefly in the reign of Edward IV. viz. in the year 1481 : 
" Et in fol. miniftrallis dom. Regis venientibus ad collegium xv. die Aprilis, cum 
d. folut. miniftralis dom. Epifcopi Wynton. venientibus ad collegium primo die 
junii, iiiij. \\\\d. Et in dat. miniftralis dom. Arundell ven. ad Coll. cum viii d. dat. 
miniftrallis dom. de Lawarr, ii s. iii^." In the year 1483 : " Sol. miniftrallis dom. 
Regis ven. ad Coll. iii s. unit/."- -In the year 1472 : " Et in dat. miniftrallis dom. 
Regis cum v\\\d. dat. duobus Berewardis ducis Clarentie, xx d. Et in dat. Johanni 
Stulto quondam dom. de Warewyco, cum iiii d. dat. Thome Nevyle taborario. Et 
in datis duobus miniftrallis ducis Gloceftrie, cum iiii d. dat. uni miniftrallo ducis de 
North umberlond, viii^. Et in datis duobus citharatoribus ad vices venient. ad col- 
legium viii d" In the year 1479: " Et in datis fatrapis Wynton venientibus ad 
coll. fefto Epiphanie, cum xnd. dat. miniftrallis dom. epifcopi venient. ad coll. infra 
oftavas epiphanie, iii/." In the year 1477: " Et in dat. miniftrallis dom. Prin- 
cipis venient. ad coll. fefto Afcenfionis Domini, cum \xd. dat miniftrallis dom. 
Regis, v.f." In the year 1464: " Et in dat. miniftrallis comitis Kancie venient. ad 
Coll. in menfe julii, iiiij. iiii*/." In the year 1467 : " Et in datis quatuor mimis 
dom. de Arundell venient. ad Coll. xiii. die Febr. ex curialitate dom. Cuftodis, ii j." 
In the year 1466 : " Et in dat. fatrapis, \ut fupr.~\ cum ii /. dat. iiii. interludenti- 
bus et J. Meke cithariftae eodem ffefto, iiii s." In the year 1484: " Et in dat. uni 
miniftrallo dom. principis, et in aliis miniftrallis ducis Gloceftrie v. die julii, xx</." 
The minftrels of the bifhop, of lord Arundel, and the Duke of Gloucefter, occur 
very frequently. In domo muniment, coll. praedift. in cifta ex orientali latere. 

In rolls of the reign of Henry VI. the countefs of Weftmoreland, fifter of cardi- 
nal Beaufort, is mentioned as being entertained in the college ; and in her retinue 
were the minftrels of her houfehold, who received gratuities. Ex Rot. Comp. orig. 

In thefe rolls there is an entry, which feems to prove that the Lufores were a ibrt 
of aftors in dumb mow or mafquerade. Rot. ann. 1467. "Dat. luforibus de civi- 
tate Winton. venientibus ad collegium in apparatu fuo mens. julii, vs. vlid.'" This 
is a large reward. I will add from the fame rolls, ann. 1479. " In dat. Joh. Pontif- 
bery and focio ludentibus in aula in die circumcifionis, ii j." 

3 Ibid. It appears that the Coventry-men were in high repute for their perform- 
ances of this fort. In the entertainment prefented to Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth 
caftle in 1575, the Coventry-men exhibited " their old ftoriall fheaw." Laneham's 
Narrative, &c. p. 3z. Minftrels were hired from Coventry to perform at Holy 
CrofTe feaft at Abingdon, Berks, 1422. Hearne's Lib. Nig. Scacc. ii. p. 598. See 
an account of their play on Corpus Chrifti day, in Dugdale's Monafticon, by Ste- 
vens, i. p. 138, and Hearne's Fordun, p. 1450, y ann, 14.92. 



s. 2. Bards attached to Monaft cries. 99 

annuity from the Benedictine abbey of Hide near Winchefter ; l un- 
doubtedly on condition that he fhould ferve the monks in the pro- 
feffion of a harper on public occafions. The abbeys of Conway and 
Stratflur in Wales refpe6Hvely maintained a bard : and the Welfh 
monafteries in general were the grand repofitories of the poetry of 
the Britim bards. 3 

In the ftatutes of New College at Oxford, given about the year 
1380, the founder, William of Wykeham, orders his fcholars, for 
their recreation on feftival days in the hall after dinner and fupper, 
to entertain themfelves with fongs and other diverfions confiftent 
with decency : and to recite poems, chronicles of kingdoms, the 
wonders of the world, together with the like compofitions, not mif- 
becoming the clerical character. 4 The latter part of this injunction 
feems to be an explication of the former : and on the whole it appears 
that the Cantilena, which the fcholars mould fmg on thefe occafions, 
were a fort of Poemata or poetical Chronicles, containing general 
hiftories of kingdoms. 5 It is natural to conclude that they preferred 
pieces of Englifh hiftory, [fuch as the Brut already defcribed, of a 
fomewhat amplified verfion of which (of the reign of Edward III.) 
fome fragments occur among Hearne's MSS.] 6 

Although we have taken our leave of Robert de Brunne, yet as 
the fubjeclt is remarkable, and affords a ftriking portraiture of ancient 
manners, I am tempted to tranfcribe that chronicler's defcription of 
the prefents received by King Athelftane from the king of France ; 
efpecially as it contains fome new circumftances, and fupplies the 

1 Madox, Hill. Exchequer, p. 251. Where he is ftyled, " Galfridus citharoedus." 

2 Towel's Cambria. To the Reader, pag. i, edit. 1584. 

3 Evans's Difs. de Bardis. Specimens of Welfh Poetry, p. 92. Wood relates a 
ftory of two itinerant priefts coming, towards night, to a cell of Benediftines near 
Oxford, where, on a iuppofition of their being mimes or minftrels, they gained 
admittance. But the cellarer, facrift, and others of the brethren, hoping to have 
been entertained with their gejliculatoriis ludicrifque artibus, and rinding them to be 
nothing more than two indigent ecclefiaftics who could only adminifter fpiritual con- 
folation, and being confequently difappointed of their mirth, beat them and turned 
them out of the monaftery. Hift. Antiq. Uni<v. Oxon. 5. 67. Under the year 1224. 

4 I will tranfcribe his words : " Quando ob dei reverentiam aut fue matris, vel 
alterius fanfti cujufcunque, tempore yemali, ignis in aula fociis miniftratur ; tune 
fcolaribus et fociis poft tempus prandii aut cene liceat gracia recreationis in aula, 
in Cantilenis et aliis folaciis honeftis, moram facere condecentem ; et Poemata, 
regnorum Chronica, et mundi hujus Mirabilia, ac cetera que ftatum clericalem 
condecorant, feriofms perrraftare." Rubric, xviii. The fame thing is enjoined in 
the ftatutes of Winchefter College, Ruhr. xv. I do not remember any fuch paflage 
in the ftatutes of preceding colleges in either univerfity. But this injun&ion is 
afterwards adopted in the ftatutes of Magdalene College, and thence, if I recollect 
right, was copied into thofe of Corpus Chrifti, Oxford. 

5 Hearne thus underftoodthe paflage : " The wife founder of New College per- 
mitted them [metrical chronicles] to be fung by the fellows and fcholars upon ex- 
traordinary days." Herning. Cartul. ii. Append. Numb. ix. vi. p. 662. 

6 Given to him by Mr. Murray. See Heming, Chartul. ii. p. 654. And Rob. 
Glouc. ii. p. 731. Nunc MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Oxon. Rawlins, Cod. 4to. (E. Pr. 87.) 
[Ritfon has printed thefe fragments entire in his Metrical Romances, 1802 ; and the 
editor could not perceive the advantage of quoting them to the extent that Warton, 
not knowing what they were, has done.] 



ioo Further Specimens of s. 2. 

defects of [the Brut]. It is from his verfion of Peter Langtoft's 
chronicle above mentioned : 

At the fefte of oure lady the AfTumpcion, 

Went the kyng fro London toward Abindon. 

Thider out of France, fro Charles kyng of fame, 

Com the duke of Boloyn, Adulphus was his name, 

& the duke of Burgoyn, Edmonde fonne Reynere. 

The brouht kynge Athelfton prefent withouten pere : 

Fro Charles kyng fanz faile thei brouht a gonfaynoun 

That Saynt Morice bare in batayle befor the legioun $ 

& the fcharp lance that thrilled Ihefu fide ; 

& a fuerd of golde, in the hike did men hide 

Tuo of tho nayles that war thorh Jhefu fete 

Tached 1 on the croyce $ the blode thei out lete ; 

& fom of the thornes that don were on his heued, 

& a fair pece that of the croyce leued, 2 

That faynt Heleyn forme at the batayle wan 

Of the Soudan Afkalone, his name was Madan. 

Than blewe the trumpes fulle loud & fulle fchille, 

The kyng com in to the halle that hardy was of wille. 

Than fpak Reyner, Edmunde fonne, for he was merTengere : 
' Athelftan, my lord, the gretes, Charles that has no pere ; 

He fends the this prefent, and fais, he wille hym bynde 

To the thorh 3 Ilde thi fiftere, & tille alle thi kynde." 

Befor the meflengers was the maiden brouht, 

Of body fo gentill was non in erthe wrouht j 

No non fo faire of face, ne non of fpech fo lufty. 

Scho granted befor tham all to Charles hir body : 

& fo did the kyng, & alle the baronage, 

Mykelle was the richefle thei purveied [in] hir pafTage. 4 

[One of Hearne's fragments is added here, becaufe it defends and 
explains the derivation of the name Ynglond from maiden Ynge, of 
whom Robert Manning declares twice 5 that he had never heard. She 
is the later reprefentative of Ronwen or Rowenna. This fragment] 
begins with the martyrdom of Saint Alban, and pafles on to the in- 
troduction of Waflail, and to the names and divifion of England : 

And now he ys alle fo hole yfonde, 
As whan he was yleyde on grounde. 
And ^yf 3e wille not trow 6 me, 
Goth to Weftmyftere, and 3e mow fe. 
In that tyme Seynt Albon 
For Goddys loue tholed 7 martirdome, 
And xl. 3ere with fchame & fchonde 8 
Was drowen 9 oute of Englond. 

1 Tacked, fattened. a Remained. 3 " Thee through." 

4 Chron. pp. 29, 30, [edit. 1810, utfuprJ] Afterwards follows the combat of 
Guy with "a hogge (huge) geant, hight Colibrant." As in our fragment, p. 31. 
See Will. Malms. Geft. Angl. ii. 6. The lance of Charlemagne is to this day mown 
among the relics of St. Denis in France. Carpentier, SuppL Glofs. Lat. Ducange. 
torn. ii. p. 994, edit. 1766. 

5 [Chronicle, Part i. pp. 265, 515. 

" Bot this lewed men fey and fynge, 
And telle that hit was mayden Inge. 
Wryten of Inge, no clerk may kenne, 
Bot of Hengifte doughter, Ronewenne."] 

6 Believe. 7 Suffered. 8 Confufion. 9 Driven, drawn. 



S. 2. 



Robert de Brunne. 



101 



In that tyme wete 1 the welle, 
Cam ferft waffayle & drynkehayl 
In to this londe, with owte wene, 8 
Thurghe a mayde brygh 3 and fchene. 4 
Sche was cleput 5 mayde ynge. 
For hur many dothe rede & fynge, 
Lordyngys gent 6 & free. 
This lond hath hadde namys thre. 
Ferft hit was cleput Albyon 
And fyth, 7 for Brute, Bretayne anon, 
And now ynglond clepyd hit ys, 
Aftir mayde ynge ywyfle. 
Thilke ynge fro Saxone was come, 
And with here many a moder fonne, 
For gret hungure y underftonde 
ynge went oute of hure londe. 
And thorow leue of oure kyng 
In this lande fche hadde reftyng. 
As meche lande of the kyng fche bade, 9 
As with a hole hyde me my3th 9 fprede 
The kyng graunted [t]he bonne: 10 
A ftrong caftel fche made fone, 
And when the caftel was al made, 
The kyng to the mete fche bade. 11 
The kyng graunted here anone. 
He wyft not what thay wolde done. 
* * * * 

And fayde to ham " in this manere, 
" The kyng to morrow fchal ete here, 
He and alle hys men, 
Euer 13 one of vs and one of them, 
To geder fchal fitte at the mete. 
And when thay haue al moft yete, 
I wole fay waffayle to the kyng, 
And fle hym with oute any lefyng. 14 
And loke that 3e in this manere 
Eche of 5ow fle his fere." 15 
And fo fche dede thenne, 
Slowe the kyng and alle hys men. 
And thus, thorowgh here queyntyfe, 16 
This londe was wonne in this wyle. 
Syth l7 anon fone an fwythe 18 
Was Englond deled 19 on fyue, 
To fyue kynggys trewelyche, 
That were nobyl and fwythe ryche. 
That one hadde alle the londe of Kente, 
That ys free and fwythe gente. 
And in hys lond byfshopus tweye. 
Worthy men where 20 theye. 
The archebyfshop of Caunturbery, 
And of Rocheftere that ys mery. 
The kyng of EfTex of renon 21 



i know ye. 
fair. ' 
7 [afterwards.] 
10 granted her requeft. 
13 every. 
16 ftratagem. 
19 divided. 


2 doubt. 
5 called. 
8 requefted, defired. 
11 bid. 
14 lye. 
17 after. 
80 were. 


3 bright. 
6 gentle. 
* men might. 
12 them. 
15 companion. 
18 [quickly]. 
81 renown. 



102 . The Mirabilia Mundl. s, 2. 

He hadde to his portion 
Weftfchire, Barkfchire, 
Souflex, Southamptfhire. 
And ther-to Dorfetfhyre, 
All Cornewalle & Deuenfhire, 
All thys were of hys anpyre. 1 
The kyng hadde on his hond 
Fyue Byfshopes ftarke & ftrong, 
Of Salufbury was that on. 2 

As to the Mirabilia Mundi, mentioned in the ftatutes of New 
College at Oxford, in conjunction with thefe Poemata and Regnorum 
Chronica, the immigrations of the Arabians into Europe and the 
Crufades produced numberlefs accounts, partly true and partly fabu- 
lous, of the wonders feen in the eaftern countries ; which, falling 
into the hands of the monks, grew into various treatifes under the 
title of Mirabilia Mundi. There were alfo fome profefled travellers 
into the Eaft in the dark ages, who furprifed the weftern world with 
their marvellous narratives which, could they have been contradicted, 
would not have been believed. 3 At the court of the grand Khan, 
perfons of all nations and religions, if they difcovered any diftinguifhed 
degree of abilities, were kindly entertained and often preferred. 

In the Bodleian Library we have afuperb vellum MS. [of Marco Polo, 
in French,] decorated with ancient defcriptive paintings and illumina- 
tions, entitled, Hiftoirc de Graunt Kaan et des Merveilles du Monde.* 
The fame work is among the royal MSS. 5 A [fpurious] Latin 
epiftle, faid to be tranflated from the Greek by Cornelius Nepos, is an 
extremely common manufcript, entitled, Dejitu et Mirabilibus 



1 empire. 2 [Robert of Gloucefter, edit. 1810, 731-3.] 

3 The firft European traveller who went far Eaftward, is Benjamin, a Jew of 
Tudela in Navarre. He penetrated from Conftantinople through Alexandria in 
./Egypt and Perfia to the frontiers of Tzin, now China. His travels end in 1173. 
He mentions the immenfe wealth of Conftantinople, and fays that its port fwarmed 
with mips from all countries. He exaggerates in fpeaking of the prodigious num- 
ber of Jews in that city. He is full of marvellous and romantic ftories. William 
de Rubruquis, a monk, was fent into Perfic Tartary, and by the command of S. 
Louis, King of France, about the year 1245 j as was alfo Carpini, by Pope 
Innocent IV. Marco Polo, a Venetian nobleman, travelled eaftward into Syria 
and Perfia to the country conftantly called in the dark ages Cathay, which proves 
to be the northern part of China. This was about the year [1280.] His book is 
[fometimes] entitled De Regionibus Orientis. He mentions the immenfe and opulent 
city of Cambalu, undoubtedly Pekin. Hakluyt cites a friar, named Oderick, who 
tarvelled to Cambalu in Cathay, and whofe defcription of that city correfponds 
exa&ly with Pekin. Friar Bacon, about 1280, from thefe travels formed his 
geography of this part of the globe, as may be collected from what he relates of 
the Tartars. See Purchas, Pilgr. iii. 52, and Bac. Op. Maj. 228, 235. 

4 MSS. Bodl. F. 10 [264] ad calc. Cod. The handwriting is about the reign of 
Edward III. [1380-1400]. 

5 MSS. Bibl. Reg. 19, D i. 3. [The royal MS. is a magnificent copy of the 
French tranflation of Marco Polo's travels, which it affirms to have been made in 
the year 1298. Price.] 

6 [Maittaire cites an edition of the Latin tranflation as printed at Venice in 
1499, but fee Brunet, dern. edit. i. 163. The Greek has been often printed. S*ir 
F. Madden refers to a Saxon tranflation in Cotton, MS. Vitell. A. xv.J 



s. 2. Prejter John. 103 

It is from Alexander the Great to his preceptor Ariftotle; and the 
Greek original was moft probably drawn from fome of the fabulous 
authors of Alexander's ftory. 

There is a MS. containing La Cbartre qite Preftre Jehan maunda 
a Fredewik F Empereur de Mervallles de fa Terre. 1 This was Frederic 
BarbarofTa, emperor of Germany, or his fucceiTor, both of whom 
were celebrated for their many iuccefsful enterprifes in the Holy 
Land before the year 1230. Prefter John, a Chriftian, was em- 
peror of India. I find another tracl:, De Mirabilibus Terrce SanElce? 
A book of Sir John Mandeville, a famous traveller into the Eaft 
about the year 1340, is under the title of Mirabilia Mundi? His 
Itinerary might indeed have the fame title. 4 [A copy of his famous 
book] in the Cotton Library is, "The Voiage and Travaile of Sir 
John Maundevile knight, which treateth of the way to Hierufaleme 
and of the Marveyles oflnde with other ilands and countryes;" 5 [but 
in the edition by Wynkyn de Worde in 1499 tne ^^ e * s fomewhat 
more elaborate.] 6 In the Cotton Library there is a piece with the 
title, Sanfforum Loca^ Mirabilia Mundi) &c. 7 Afterwards the won- 
ders of other countries were added : and when this fort of reading 
began to grow fafhionable, Gyraldus Cambrenfis compofed his book 
De Mirabilibus Hiberniee? There is alfo another De Mirabilibus 
Angli& [a very common MS., of which a copy is attached to 
Hearne's edition of Robert of GloucefterJ] At length the fuperftitious 



1 MSS. Reg. 20, A xii. 3. And in Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Bodl. E 4. 3. "Liter* 
Joannis Prefbiteri ad Fredericum Imperatorem," &c. 
a MSS. Reg. 14, C xiii. 3. 

3 MSS. C. C. C. Cant. A iv. 69. We find De Mirabilibus Mundi Liber, MSS. 
Reg. 13, E ix. 5. And again, De Mirabilibus Mundi et Viris illuflribus Trafiatus 
14, C vi. 3. 

4 His book is fuppofed to have been interpolated by the monks. Leland ob- 
ferves that Afia and Africa were parts of the world at this time, " Anglis de fola 
fere nominis umbra cognitas."" Script. Br. p. 366. He wrote his Itinerary in 
French, Englifh, and Latin. It extends to Cathay or China before mentioned. 
Leland fays that he gave to Becket's fhrine in Canterbury cathedral a glafs globe 
enclofing an apple, which he probably brought from the Eaft. Leland faw this 
curiofity, in which the apple remained frefh and undecayed. Ubifupr. Mandeville, 
on returning from his travels, gave to the high altar of" St. Albans abbey church a 
fort of patera brought from ^Egypt, [formerly] in the hands of an ingenious anti- 
quary in London. He was a native of the town of St. Albans, and a phyfician. 
He fays that he left many Mervayles unwritten, and refers the curious reader to 
[the] Mappa Mundi, chap, cviii, cix. A hiftory of the Tartars became popular in 
Europe about the year 1310, written or dilated by Aiton, [kinfman to] a king of 
Armenia who, having traverfed the moft remarkable countries of the Eaft, turned 
monk at Cyprus, and publifhed his travels which, on account of the rank of the 
author, and his amazing adventures, gained great efteem. [A competent and 
critical edition of Sir John Mandeville's Travels is ftill a want. It has been long 
on the lift of intended re-editions by the Early Englifh Text Society.] 

5 [Printed in 1725, again in 1839, anc l thirdly in 1866.] 

6 [See Handb. of E. E. Lit. art. Mande<vile.~\ 7 Galb. A xxi. 3. 

8 It is printed among the Scriptores Hi/}. Angl. 1602, 692. Written about the 
year 1200. It was fo favourite a title that we have even De Mirabilibus Helens et 
Novi Tejiamenti. MSS. Coll. ^n. Nas. Oxon. Cod. 12, f. 190, a. 

3 Bibl. Bodl. MSS. C 6. 



104 Mirabilia Romce, Anglic, &c. s. 2. 

curiofity of the times was gratified with compilations under the 
comprehenfive title of Mirabilia Hibernia?^ Anglix, et Orientis. 1 
But enough has been faid of thefe infatuations. Yet the hiftory of 
human credulity is a neceflary fpeculation to thofe who trace the 
gradations of human knowledge. Let me add, that a fpirit of rational 
enquiry into the topographical ftate of foreign countries, the parent 
of commerce and of a thoufand improvements, took its rife from 
thefe vifions. 

[There is a French elegy on the death of Edward I. in 1307, 
written in the fucceeding reign, and alfo an Englifh verfion, which 
is fuppofed to be taken from it, as it is fubftantially identical. As 
the whole has been printed, 2 a fpecimen will probably be fufficient :] 

The meflager to the pope com 

And feyde that oure kynge was ded : 3 
Ys o'une hond the lettre he nom, 

Y-wis his herte 'wes ful gret : 
The Pope himfelf the lettre redde, 

And fpec a word of gret honour. 
Alas, he feide, is Edward ded ? 

Of Criftendome he ber the flour. 

The pope to is chaumbre wende 

For del ne mihte he fpeke na more ; 
Ant after cardinals he fende 

That muche couthen of Criftes lore. 
Both the lafle ant eke the more 

Bed hem both rede ant fynge : 
Gret deol me myhte fe thore, 

Many mon is honde wrynge. 

The pope of Pey ters ftod at is made 

With ful gret folempnete, 
Ther me con the foule blefle : 

Kyng Edward, honoured thou be : 
God leue thi fone come after the 

Bringe to ende that thou haft bygonne, 
The holy crois y-mad of tre 

So fain thou woldeft hit han y-wonne, &c. 4 

1 As in MSS. Reg. 13 D, i. u. I muft not forget that the PolyMJtor of Julius 
Solinus appears in many MSS. under the title of Solinus de Mirabilibus Mundi. 
This was fo favourite a book as to be tranflated into hexameters by fome monk 
in the twelfth century, according to Vofs. Hi/}. Lat. iii. p. yai. 

[Wright's Political Songs, 1839, 241-50.! 

3 He died in Scotland, July 7, 1307. The chronicles pretend that the Pope 
knew of his death the next day by a vifion or fome miraculous information. So 
Robert of Brunne, who recommends this tragical vent to thofe who " Singe and 
fay in romance and ryme." Chron. p. 340, edit, u ifupr. : 

" The Pope the tother day wift it in tne court of Rome. 
The Pope on the morn bifor the clergi cam 
And tolde tham biforn, the floure of Criftendam 
Was ded and lay on bere, Edward of Ingeland. 
He. faid with hevy chere, in fpirit he it fond." 

He adds, that the Pope granted five years of pardon to thofe who would pray for 
his foul. 



4 MSS. Harl. 2253, f. 73. In [Mrs. Cooper's] Mufes Library, 1737, 
i elegy on the death of Henry I., " wrote immediately after his death, th 



there is 
the author 



s. 2. Elegy on the Death of Edward I. 105 

That the Pope fhould here pronounce the funeral panegyric of 
Edward I. is by no means furprifing, if we confider the predominant 
ideas of the age. And in the true fpirit of thefe ideas, the poet 
makes this illuftrious monarch's achievements in the Holy Land his 
principal and leading topic. But there is a particular circumftance 
alluded to in thefe ftanzas, relating to the crufading character of 
Edward, 1 together with its confequences, which needs explanation. 
Edward, in the decline of life, had vowed a fecond expedition to 
Jerufalem ; but finding his end approach, in his laft moments he 
devoted the prodigious fum of thirty thoufand pounds to provide one 
hundred and forty knights, 2 who mould carry his heart into Paleftine. 
But this appointment of the dying king was never executed. Our 
elegift and the chroniclers impute the crime of withholding fo pious 
a legacy to the advice of the king of France, whofe daughter Ifabel 
was married to the fucceeding king. But it is more probable to 
fuppofe that Edward II. and his profligate minion Piers Gavefton 
diflipated the money in their luxurious and expenfive pleafures. 



SECTION III. 

E have feen, in the preceding fection, that the character 
of our poetical compofition began to be changed about 
the reign of the firft [or fecond] Edward : that either 
fictitious adventures were fubftituted by the minftrels in 
the place of hiftorical and traditionary facts, or reality 
difguifed by the mifreprefentations of invention ; and that a tafte for 
ornamental and even exotic expreflion gradually prevailed over the 
rude fimplicity of the native Englifh phrafeology. This change, which 
with our language affected our poetry, had been growing for fome 
time, and among other caufes was occafioned by the introduction 
and increafe of the tales of chivalry. 

The ideas of chivalry, in an imperfect degree, had been of old 
eftablifhed among the Gothic tribes. The fafhion of challenging to 
fingle combat, the pride of feeking dangerous adventures, and the 

unknown," p. 4. [It has been remarked by Ritfon, that the elegy printed by 
Mrs. Cooper was the compofition of Fabyan the chronicler, who died in 1511 : 
but then it is a tranflation from the original Latin, preferved by Knighton, of the 
twelfth century.- Park.} 

1 It appears that King Edward I. about the year 1271, took his harper with 
him to the Holy Land. This officer was a clofe and conftant attendant of his 
mafter : for when Edward was wounded with a poifoned knife at Ptolemais, the 
harper, citharedafuus, hearing the ftruggle, rufhed into the royal apartment, and 
killed the aflaflin. Chron. Hemingford, cap. xxxv. p. 591. (V. Hiftor. Anglic. 
Scriptor. vol. ii. 1687.) [After the king himfelf had {lain the aflaflin his harper 
had the fingular courage to brain a dead man with a trivet or tripod, for which aft 
of heroifm he was juftly reprimanded by Edward. Ritfon.} 

2 The poet fays eighty. 




106 Gothic Ideas of Chivalry. s. 3. 

fpirit of avenging and protecting the fair fex, feem to have been 
peculiar to the Northern nations in the molt uncultivated itate of 
Europe. All thefe cuftoms were afterwards encouraged and con- 
firmed by correfponding circumflances in the feudal constitution. 
At length the Crufades excited a new fpirit of enterprife, and intro- 
duced into the courts and ceremonies of European princes a higher 
degree of fpiendour and parade, caught from the riches and magnifi- 
cence of eaftern cities. 1 Thefe oriental expeditions eftablifhed 
a tafte for hyperbolical defcription, and propagated an infinity of 
marvellous tales, which men returning from diltant countries eafily 
impofed on credulous and ignorant minds. The unparalleled emu- 
lation with which the nations of Chriftendom univerfally embraced 
this holy caufe, the pride with which emperors, kings, barons, 
earls, bifhops, and knights, ftrove to excel each other on this in- 
terefting occafion, not only in prowefs and heroifm, but in fump- 
tuous equipages, gorgeous banners, armorial cognifances, fplendid 
pavilions, and other expenfive articles of a fimilar nature, diffufed a 
love of war and a fondnefs for military pomp. Hence their very 
diverfions became warlike, and the martial enthufiafm of the times 
appeared in tiits and tournaments. Thefe practices and opinions co- 
operated with the kindred fuperftitions of dragons, 2 dwarfs, fairies, 
giants, and enchanters, which the traditions of the Gothic fcalds had 
already planted ; and produced that extraordinary fpecies of compoli- 
tion which has been called Romance. 

Before thefe expeditions into the Eaft became fafhionable, the 
principal and leading fubje&s of the old fablers were the achieve- 
ments of King Arthur with his knights of the round table, and of 
Charlemagne with his twelve peers. But in the romances written 
after the holy war, a new fet of champions, of conquefts and of coun- 
tries were introduced. Trebizond took place of Roncevalles, and 
Godfrey of Bulloigne, Solyman, Nouraddin, the caliphs, the foldans, 
and the cities of Agypt and Syria, became the favourite topics. 3 The 

1 I cannot help tranfcribing here a curious paflage from old Fauchet. He is 
fpeaking of Louis the young king of France about the year 1 1 <;o. " Le quel fut 
le premier roy de fa maifon, qui monltra dehors fes richeffes allant en Jeruialem. 
Aufli la France commenc.a de fon temps a s'embellir de baftimens plus magnifiques : 
prendre plaifir a pierrieres et autres delicatefles gouftus en Levant par luy, ou les 
feigneurs qui avoient ja fait ce voyage. De forte qu'on peut dire qu'il a efte le 
premier tenant Cour de grand Roy : eitant (i magnifique, que fa femme, dedaignant 
la fimplicite de fes predecefleurs, luy fit clever une fepulture d'argent, au lieu de 
pierre." Recueil de la Lang, et Poes. Fr. ch. viii. p. 76. edit. 1581. He adds, that 
a great number of French romances were compofed about this period. 

2 See Kircher's Mund. Subterran. viii. 4. He mentions a knight of Rhodes 
made grand mafter of the order for killing a dragon, 1345. 

3 [Though this paffage has been the iubjecl of fevere animadverilon, and cha- 
rafterized as containing nothing but " random aflertion, falfehood and impofition," 
there are few of its poiitions which a more temperate fpirit of criticifm might not 
reconcile with the truth. The popularity of Arthur's ftory, anterior to the firft 
Crufade, is abundantly manifefted by the language of William of Malmefbury and 
Alanus de Infulis, who refer to it as a fable of common notoriety and general 
belief among the people. Had it arifen within their own days, we may be certain 



s. 3. The Troubadours. 107 

troubadours of Provence, an idle and unfettled race of men, took up 
arms, and followed their barons in prodigious multitudes to the con- 
queft of Jerufalem. They made a confiderable part of the houfehold 
of the nobility of France. Louis VII., king of France, not only 
entertained them at his court very liberally, but commanded a con- 
iiderable company of them into his retinue, when he took fhip for 
Paleftine, that they might folace him with their fongs during the 
dangers and inconveniences of fo long a voyage. 1 The ancient chro- 
nicles of France mention Legions de poetes as embarking in this won- 
derful enterprife. 2 Here a new and more copious fource of fabling 
was opened : in thefe expeditions they picked up numberlefs extra- 
vagant ftories, and at their return enriched romance with an infinite 
variety of oriental fcenes and fictions. Thus thefe later wonders in 
fome meafure fupplanted the former : they had the recommendation 
of novelty, and gained ftill more attention, as they came from a 
greater diftance. 3 

that Malmefbury, who rejected it as beneath the dignity of hiftory, would not have 
fuffered an objection fo well founded as the novelty of its appearance to have 
efcaped his cenfure j nor can the narrative of Alanus be reconciled with the general 
progrefs of traditionary faith a plant of tardy growth if we limit its firft publicity 
to the period thus prefcribed (1096-1142). With regard to Charlemagne and his 
peers, as their deeds were chaunted by Talliefer at the battle of Haftings (1066), it 
would be needlefs to offer further demonftrations of their early popularity ; nor in 
facl does the accuracy of this part of Warton's ftatement appear to be called in 
queftion by the writer alluded to. It would be more difficult to define the degree 
in which thefe romances were fuperfeded by fimilar poems on the achievements o*f 
the Crufaders 5 or, to ufe the more cautious language of the text, to ftate how far 
" Trebizond took place of Roncevalles." But it will be recollefted that in con- 
fequence of the Crufades, the aHon of feveral romances was transferred to the Holy 
Land, fuch as Sir Bevis, Sir Guy, Sir Ifumbras, the King of Tars, &c. : and that 
moft of thefe were " favorite topics" in high efteem, is clear from the declaration 
of Chaucer, who catalogued them among the " romances of Pris." In fhort, if 
we omit the names of the caliphs, and confine ourfelves to the Soldans a generic 
name ufed by our early writers for every luccefTive ruler of the Eaft and the cities of 
Egypt and Syria, this rhapfody, as it has been termed, will contain nothing which is 
not ftri&ly demonftrable byhiftorical evidence or the language of the old romancers. 
The Life of Godfrey of Boulogne was written in French verfe by Gregory Bechada, 
about the year 1130. It is ufually fuppofed to have per ifhed j unlei's, indeed, it 
exift in a poem upon the fame fubjecl by Wolfram Von Efchenbach, who generally 
founded his romances upon a French or Provencal original. Price.'} 

1 Velley, Hift. Fr. fub an. 1178. 

2 Maflieu, Hift. Poes. Fr. p. 105. Many of the troubadours, whofe works now 
exift, and whofe names are recorded, accompanied their lords to the holy war. 
Some of the French nobility of the firft rank were troubadours about the eleventh 
century : and the French critics with much triumph obferve, that it is the glory of 
the French poetry to number counts and dukes, that is fovereigns, among its pro- 
feflbrs, from its commencement. What a glory ! The worihipfull company of 
Merchant-taylors in London, if I recolleft right, boaft the names of many dukes, 
earls, and princes, enrolled in their community. [Herbert's Hift. of the 12 Livery- 
Companies, ii. 384.] This is indeed an honour to that otherwife refpeftable fociety. 
But poets can derive no luftre from counts and dukes, or even princes, who have 
been enrolled in their lifts ; only in proportion as they have adorned the art by the 
excellence of their compofitions. 

3 The old French hiftorian Mezeray goes fo far as to derive the origin of the 
French poetry and romances from the Crufades. Hift, pp. 416, 417. Geoffrey Vine- 



\ 



io8 Romances fang to Mujic. s. 3. 

In the mean time we fliould recoiled that the Saracens or Arabians, 
the fame people which were the object of the Crufades, had acquired 
an eftablifhment in Spain about the ninth century : and that by means 
of this earlier intercourfe many of their fictions and fables, together 
with their literature, muft have been known in Europe before the 
Chriftian armies invaded Afia. It is for this reafon the elder Spanifh 
romances have profefledly more Arabian allufions than any other. 
Cervantes makes the imagined writer of Don Quixote's hiftory an 
Arabian. Yet, exclufively of their domeftic and more immediate con- 
nection with this eaftern people, the Spaniards from temper and con- 
ftitution were extravagantly fond of chivalrous exercifes. Some 
critics have fuppofed that Spain, having learned the art or fafhion of 
romance-writing from their naturalifed guefts the Arabians, com- 
municated it, at an early period, to the reft of Europe. 1 

It has been imagined that the firft romances were compofed in 
metre, and fung to the harp by the poets of Provence at feftive 
folemnities : but an ingenious Frenchman, who has made deep re- 
fearches into this fort of literature, attempts to prove that this mode 
of reciting romantic adventures was in high reputation among the 
natives of Normandy above a century before the troubadours of 
Provence, who are generally fuppofed to have led the way to the 
poets of Italy, Spain and France, and that it commenced about the 
year u62. 2 If the critic means to infmuate, that the French trou- 
badours acquired their art of verifying from thefe Norman bards, 
this reafoning will favour the fyftem of thofe who contend that 
metrical romances lineally took their rife from the hiftorical odes of 
the Scandinavian fcalds ; for the Normans were a branch of the 
Scandinavian flock. But Fauchet, at the fame time that he allows 
the Normans to have been fond of chanting the praifes of their 
heroes in verfe, expreflly pronounces that they borrowed this prac- 
tice from the Franks or French. 3 



fauf fays, that when King Richard I. arrived at the Chriftian camp before Ptolemais, 
he was received with populares Cantiones, which recited Antiquorum Prxdara Gejla. 
It. Hierofol. cap. ii. p. 332, ibid. 

1 Huet in fome meafure adopts this opinion. But that learned man was a very 
incompetent judge of thefe matters. Under the common term Romance, he con- 
founds romances of chivalry, romances of gallantry, and all the fables of the Pro- 
ven^al poets. What can we think of a writer who, having touched upon the gothic 
romances, at whofe fi&ions and barbarifms he is much mocked, talks of the con- 
fummate degree of art and elegance to which the French are at prefent arrived in 
romances ? He adds, that the fuperior refinement and politefle of the French gal- 
lantry has happily given them an advantage of fhining in this fpecies of compofi- 
tion. Hift. Rom. p. 138. But the fophiftry and ignorance of Huet's Treatife has 
been already dete&ed and expofed by a critic of another caft in the Supplement to 
'Jar c vis > 5 Preface, prefixed to the Tranflation of Don Quixote. 

2 Mons. L'Eveque de la Ravaliere, in his Revolutions de la Langue Franfoife, a 
lafuite des Poefies du Roi de Navarre, [z vols. izmo., Paris, 1743.] 

3 " Ce que les Normans avoyent pris des Francois." Rec. liv. i. p. 70. edit. 
1581. [Mr. Wright very properly animadverts on the temerity of feeking the 
origin of romance in any one fource, or of tracing the progrefs of romance from 
one people to another, and illuftrates his pofition by pointing out that, while there 



s. 3. William, Bifhop of Ely. 109 

It is not my bufmefs, nor is it of much confequence, to difcufs 
this obfcure point, which properly belongs to the French antiquaries. 
I therefore proceed to obferve, that [William Bifhop of Ely, chan- 
cellor to] our Richard I., who [was] a diftinguimed hero of the 
Crufades, a moft magnificent patron of chivalry, and a Provencal 
poet, 1 invited to his [mafter's] court many minftrels or troubadours 
from France, whom he loaded with honours and rewards. 2 Thefe 



is no nation which has not probably borrowed fome of its romantic literature from 
other nations, there is alfo none which has not a certain mare of home-grown 
romance. He thinks that the Teutonic tribes poflefled many of the fabliaux, be- 
fore they were known to Weftern Europe.] 

1 See Obfervations on Spenfer, i. i. pp. 28, 29, And Mr. Walpole's Royal and 
Noble Authors, i. 5. See alfo Rymefs Short Flew of Tragedy, ch. vii. p. 73. 
[Guilhem le Breton,] one of the Provengal poets, faid of Richard: 

" Coblas a teira faire adroitement 
Pou voz oillez enten dompna gentiltz." 

" He could make ftanzas on the eyes of gentle ladies." Rymer, ibid. p. 74. There 
is a curious [but moft probably apocryphal] ftory recorded by the French chro- 
niclers concerning Richard's fkill in the minftrel art. [Here, in all the editions, 
follows the abfurd ftory of Blondel, which is not worth repeating, efpecially as it 
is to be found in fo many books. It may, however, be worth while to refer the 
reader to M. de la Rue, E/ais fur Us Jougleurs, ii. 325-9, where Guillaume 
Blondel, an Anglo-Norman, is faid to have been the real Blondel, and to have 
been rewarded with eftates, which were reftored to his defcendant by Henry III. 
Mi. Thorns* inform.] See alfo Fauchst, Rec. p. 93. Richard lived long in 
Provence, where he acquired a tafte for their poetry. 

[There is too much reafon to believe the ftory of Blondel and his illuftrious 
patron to be purely apocryphal. The poem publifhed by Walpole is written in 
the Provengal language, and a Norman verfion of it is given by M. Sifmondi, in 
his Literature du Midi, vol. i. p. 149. In which of thefe languages it was origi- 
nally compofed remains a matter of difpute among the French antiquaries. Price.} 

2 " De regno Francorum cantores et joculatores muneribus allexerat." Rog. 
Hoved. Ric. i. p. 340. Thefe gratuities were chiefly arms, clothes, horfes, and 
fometimes money. 

It appears to have been William bifhop of Ely, chancellor to Richard I. who 
thus invited minftrels from France, whom he loaded with favours and prefents to 
fmg his praifes in the ftreets. This paflage is in a letter of Hugh bifhop of 
Coventry, which fee alfo in Hearne's Eenediftus Abbas, vol. ii. p. 704, fub ann. 
1191. It appears from this letter, that he was totally ignorant of the Englifh 
language, ibid. p. 708. By his cotemporary Gyraldus Cambrenfis he is repre- 
fented as a monfter of injuftice, impiety, intemperance, and luft. Gyraldus has 
left thefe anecdotes of his character, .which mew the fcandalous groflhefs of the 
times. " Sed taceo quod ruminare folet, nunc clamitat Anglia tota, qualiter 
puella, matris induftria tarn coma quam cultu puerum profefla, fimulanfque virum 
verbis et vultu, ad cubiculum belluae iftius eft perducla. Sed ftatim ut exofi 
illius fexus eft inventa, quanquam in fe pulcherrima, thalamique thorique deliciis 
valde idonea, repudiata tamen eft et abje&a. Unde et in craftino, matri filia, 
tarn flagitiofi facinoris confcia, cum Petitionis effeftu, terrifque non modicis 
eandem jure haereditario contingentibus, virgo, ut venerat, eft reftituta. Tantae 
nimirum intemperantiae, et petulantiae fuerat tarn immoderatae, quod quotidie 
in prandio circa finem, pretiofis tarn potionibus quam cibariis ventre diftento, 
virga aliquantulum longa in capite aculeum praeferente pueros nobiles ad menfam 
miniftrantes, eique propter multimodam qua fungebatur poteflatem in omnibus 
ad nutum obfequentes, pungere viciflim confueverit : ut eo indicio, quafi figno 
quodam fecretiore, quern fortius, inter alios, atque frequentius fie quafi ludicro 
pungebat," &c. &c. De Vit. Galfrid. Archiepifcop. Ebor. apud Whart. Angl. 



i i o The earlieft Book of Chivalry. s. 3. 

poets imported into England a great multitude of their tales and fongs; 
which before or about the reign of Edward II. became familiar and 
popular among our ancestors, who were fufficiently acquainted with 
the French language. The moft early notice of a profefled book of 
chivalry in England, as it fhould feem, appears under the reign of 
Henry III., and is a curious and evident proof of the reputation and 
efteem in which this fort of compofition was held at that period. 
In the revenue roll of the twenty-firft year of that king, there is an 

Sacr. vol. ii. p. 406. But Wharton endeavours to prove, that the charafter 
of this great prelate and ftatefman in many particulars had been mifreprefented 
through prejudice and envy. Ibid. vol. i. p. 632. 

[Two metrical reliques by Richard I. were firft printed in La Tour tenebreufe, &c. 
1705. The firft of thefe, in mixed Romance and Provencal, profefles to be the 
veritable chanfon of Blondel ; the other is a love-fong in Norman French. The 
Ibnnet cited by Mr. Walpole was exhibited with an Englifli verfion in Dr. Burney's 
Hi/lory of Mujic, but has fmce received a more graceful illustration from the pen of 
Mr. George Ellis, in the laft edition of Royal and Noble Authors. Park. The 
whole has been publifhed by M. Raynouard, in the fourth volume of his Choix des 
Poejies originales des Troubadours, a volume which had not reached me when the 
note, to which this is a fupplement, was fent to the prefs. Another poem by 
Richard I. will be found in the ParnaJJe Occitanien, Touloufe, 1819, a publication 
from which the following remark has been thought worth extra&ing : " Crefcim- 
beni avait dit qu'il exiftait des poefies du roi Richard dans le manufcrit 3204.5 et 
la-deffus Horace Walpole le taxe d'inexaftitude. Cependant le firvente fe trouve 
au fol. 170, Ro. et 171 Ro. C'eft done 1'Anglois qui fe trompe en difant : there 
is no work of King Richard." Price. Mr. Thorns adds, that there may be 
fome foundation for the ftatement in the preface to La Tour Tenebreufe, that the 
bafis of the work was a MS. communicated by the then poflefTor, and called 
Chronique et Fabliaux de la compofition de Richard Roy d"Angleterre recueillis tot a 
nou'vel et conjoint 3 enfemblement y par le labour de Jean de Sorels I" an 1308. Thefe 
fabliaux are the two which Richard is alleged to have written during his imprifon- 
ment in La Tour Tenebreufe.] 

It feems the French minftrels, with whom the Song of Roland originated, were 
famous about this period. Muratori cites an old hiftory of Bologna, under the 
year 1288, by which it appears that they fwarmed in the ftreets of Italy. " Ut 
Cantatores Francigenarum in plateis comunis ad cantandurn morari non poflent." 
On which words he obferves, " Colle quale parole fembra verifimile, che fieno di- 
fegnati i cantatori del favole romanze, che fpezialmente della Franzia erano portate 
in Italia." Differt. Antichit. Ital. torn. ii. c. xxix. p. 16. He adds, that the min- 
ftrels were fo numerous in France as to become a peft to the community, and 
that an edift was iflued, about the year 1200, to fupprefs them in that kingdom. 
Muratori, in further proof of this point, quotes the above pafiage from Hoveden, 
which he [alfo] mifapplies to our Richard I. But, in either fenfe, it equally fuits 
his argument. In the year 1334., at a feaft on Eafter Sunday, celebrated at Rimini, 
on occafion of fome noble Italians receiving the honour of knighthood, more than 
one thoufand five hundred hiftriones are faid to have attended. " Triumphus 
quidem maximus fuit ibidem, &c. Fuit etiam multitude Hiftrionum circa mille 
quingentos et ultra." Annal. Cafenat. torn. xiv. Rer. Italic. Scriptor. col. 1141. 
But their countries are not fpecified. In the year 1227, at a feaft in the palace of 
the archbifhop of Genoa, a fumptuous banquet and veftments without number were 
given to the minftrels or Joculatores then prefent, who came from Lombardy, 
Provence, Tufcany, and other countries. Caffari Annal. Genuens. lib. vi. p. 449, 
D. apud torn. vi. utfupr. In the year 774, when Charlemagne entered Italy and 
found his paflage impeded, he was met by a minftrel of Lombardy, whofe fong 
promifed him fuccefs and vi6lory. " Contigit Joculatorem ex Longobardorum 
gente ad Carolum venire, et Cantiunculam a fe compofitam, rotando in confpe6hi 
fuorum, cantare." Tom. ii. p. 2, ut fupr. Chron. Monaft. Noval. lib. iii. cap. x. 
p. 717, D. 



s. 3. Walter Mapess Lancelot du Lac. 1 1 1 

entry of the expenfe of filver clafps and ftuds for the king's great 
book of romances. This was in the year 1237. But I will give the 
article in its original drefs : " Et in firmaculis hapfis et clavis argen- 
teis ad magnum librum Romancis regis." 1 That this fuperb volume 
was in French, may be partly colledted from the title which they 
gave it : and it is highly probable that it contained [fome of the 
Round Table romances or the Brut. An earlier inftance may be 
pointed out in the Clofe Rolls of King John, in 1205, where 
Reginald Cornhille is ordered to fend to the king Romancium de 
Hiftoria Angli<z. <r \ The vi&orious achievements of Richard I. 
were fo famous in the reign of Henry III. as to be made the 
fubjecl: of a picture in the royal palace of Clarendon near Salifbury. 
A circumftance which likewife appears from the fame ancient record, 
under the year 1246: " Et in camera regis fubtus capellam regis 
apud Clarendon lambrufcanda, et muro ex tranfverfo illius camene 
amovendo et hyftoria Antiochiae in eadem depingenda cum duello 
regis Ricardi." 3 To thefe anecdotes we may add that in the Royal 
library at Paris there is, Lancelot du Lac mis en Francois par \lValter 
Afapes 9 ] du commandement d* Henri roi de Angleterre avec figures ;* 
and the fame MS. occurs twice again in that library in three and in 
four volumes of the largeft folio. 5 Which of our Henries it was who 
thus commanded the romance of Lancelot au Lac to be tranflated 
[out of Latin, as is pretended,] into French, is indeed uncertain : 
but moft probably it was Henry [II.] 6 

1 Rot. Pip. an. 21, Hen. III. [Although Warton has himfelf ftated frequently 
enough that the word romance in early writers need mean nothing but French, 
yet he is continually arguing on the fuppofition that it muft mean romance in our 
prefent acceptation of the term. The above-mentioned book was not necefiarily 
a book of romances. However, the following entry in the Clofe Roll of the 34-th 
of the fame reign (March 17) may refer to the fame book, in which cafe it would 
feem to countenance Warren's fuppofition : " De quodam libro liberate ad opus 
regine. Mandatum eft fratri R. de Sanforde, magiftro milicie Templi in Anglia, 
quod faciat habere Henrico de Warderoba, latori prefencium, ad opus Regine, 
quendam librum magnum, qui eft in domo fua Londoniis, Gallico ydiomate 
icriptum, in quo continentur Gefta Antiochie et regum et etiam aliorum." Tefte 
ut fupra. Wright . ] 

a [Sir F. Madden's correction. It by no means follows that the contents of this 
book were romances of chivalry. Any collection of French pieces, efpecially in 
verfe, would at this time be called romances j and this from the language, not the 
fubjeft. Douce.} 

3 Rot. Pip. an. 36, Henr. III. Richard I. performed great feats at the fiege of 
Antioch in the Crufade. The Duellum was another of his exploits among the 
Saracens. Compare Walpole's Anecd. Paint, i. 10. Who mentions [the Gefta 
Antiochiae above referred to]. He adds, that there was a chamber in the old palace 
of Weftminfter painted with this hiftory in the reign of Henry III., and therefore 
called the Antioch Chamber: and another in the Tower. 

4 Cod. 6783, fol. max. See Montfauc. Cat. MSS. p. 785 a. 

8 The old Guiron le Courtois is faid to be tranflated by " Luce chevalier feigneur 
du chafteau du Gal, [perhaps Sal., an abbreviation for Sali(beri,] voifin prochain 
du Sablieres, par le commandement de tres noble et tres puiffant prince M. le roy 
Henry jadis roy d' Angleterre." Bibl. Reg. Paris. Cod. 7526. 

6 [With regard to the period when the profe romances of the Round Table were 
compiled, and whether by order of King Henry II. or III., has long been a fubjecl 
of difcuflion ; but the writers on it have generally been too little acquainted with 
the fubjeft to attempt to draw any certain or reafonable conclufions. A recent 



112 Origin of the SpanifJi Trovadores. s. 3. 

From an ingenious correfpondent, who has not given me the 
honour of his name, and who appears to be well acquainted with the 
manners and literature of Spain, I have received the following notices 
relating to the Spanim Trovadores, of which other particulars may 
be feen in the old French hiftory of Languedoc. "At the end of the 
fecond volume of Mayan's Origines de la Lingua Efpanola, 1737, is 
an extract from a MS. entitled, Libra de la Arte de Trovar^ o Gaya 
Sciencia^por Don Enrique de Villena, faid to exift in the library of the 
cathedral of Toledo, and perhaps to be found in other libraries of 
Spain. It has thefe particulars. The Trovadores had their origin 
at Touloufe, about the middle of the twelfth century. A Confif- 
torio de la Gaya Sciencia was there founded by Ramon Vidal de 
Befalin, containing more than one hundred and twenty celebrated 
poets, and among thefe, princes, kings, and emperors. Their art 
was extended throughout Europe, and gave rife to the Italian and 
Spanim poetry, fervio el Garona de Hippocrene. To Ramon Vidal 
de Befalin fucceeded Jofre de Foxa, Monge negro, who enlarged the 
plan, and wrote what he called Continuation de trovar. After him 
Belenguer de Troya came from Majorca, and compiled a treatife de 
Figuras y Color es Rhetor icos. And next Gul. Vedal of Majorca wrote 
La Suma Vitulma. To fupport the Gaya Sciencia at the poetical 
college of Touloufe, the King of France appropriated privileges 
and revenues : appointing feven Mantenedores, que liclejfen Leyes. 
Thefe conftituted the Laws of Love, which were afterwards abridged 
by Guill. Moluier under the title Tratado de las Flores. Next Fray 
Ramon framed a fyftem called Doctrinal, which was cenfured by 
Caftilnon. From thence nothing was written in Spanim on the 
fubje6t till the time of Don Enrique de Villena. So great was the 
credit of the Gay Science, that Don Juan, the firft king of Arragon, 
who died 1393, fent an embafly to the king of France requefting 
that fome Troubadours might be tranfmitted to teach this art in his 
kingdom. Accordingly two Mantenedores were difpatched from 
Touloufe, who founded a college for poetry in Barcelona, confift- 
ing of four Mantenedores, a cavalier, a mafter in theology, a mafter 
in laws, and an honourable citizen. Difputes about Don Juan's 
fucceflbr occafioned the removal of the college to Tortofa. But 
Don Ferdinand being elected king, Don Enrique de Villena was 
taken into his fervice ; who reftored the college, and was chofen 
principal. The fubje&s he propofed were fometimes the Praifes of 
the Holy Virgin, of Arms, of Love, y de buenas Coflumbres. An 
account of the ceremonies of their public a6h then follows, in which 

writer, however, M. Paulin Paris, in his account of the French MSS. preferved in 
the Bibliotheque du Roi, 8vo. Par. 1836, more critically confidered the hiftory of 
thefe remarkable compofitions, and has produced a paflage from the Chronicle of 
Helinand, (who brings down his work to the year 1204, and died in 1227,) which 
proves fatisfaftorily that the profe romance of the Saint Graal was compofed in the 
twelfth century, a fact confirmed by the lines quoted hy Warton from Fauchet. 
Now as Robert de Borron, who compofed the Saint Graal, wrote alfo the 
romance of Merlin and the firft part of Lancelot, we muft neceflarily refer the 
period of their compofition to the reign of Henry II. M.] 



s. 3. Colleges of the Rhetoricians. 113 

everycompofition was recited, being written 'en papeles Damafquinos 
dediverfos colores, con letras de oro y de platau, et illuminaduras for- 
mofas, lo major qua cada una podio.' The beft performance had a 
crown of gold placed upon it ; and the author, being prefented with a 
joya or prize, received a licence to cantar y dear in publico. He 
was afterwards conducted home in form, efcorted among others by 
two Mantenedores, and preceded by minftrels and trumpets, where 
he gave an entertainment of confe6ts and wine." 

There feems to have been a fimilar eftablifhment at Amfterdam, 
called Rhederiicker earner, or the Chamber of Rhetoricians, men- 
tioned by Ifaacus Pontanus, who adds, " Sunt autem hi rhetores 
viri amceni et poetici fpiritus, qui lingua vernacula, aut profa aut 
verfa oratione, comccdias, tragoedias, fubindeque et mutas perfonas, 
et fa&a maiorum notantes, magna fpedtantium voluptate exhibent." ' 
In the preceding chapter, he fays that this fraternity of rhetoricians 
erected a temporary theatre at the folemn entry of Prince Maurice 
into Amfterdam in 1594, where they exhibited in dumb mow the 
hiftory of David and Goliah. 2 Meteranus, in his Belgic hiftory, 
fpeaks largely of the annual prizes, aflemblies, and contefts of the 
guilds or colleges of the rhetoricians in Holland and the Low- 
Countries. They anfwered in rhyme queftions propofed by the 
Dukes of Burgundy and Brabant. At Ghent, in 1539, twenty of 
thefe colleges met with great pomp, to difcufs an ethical queftion, 
and each gave a folution in a moral comedy, magnificently prefented 
in the public theatre. In 1561, the rhetorical guild of Antwerp, 
called the Violet, challenged all the neighbouring cities to a decifion 
of the fame fort. On this occafion, three hundred and forty rheto- 
ricians of BrufTeis appeared on horfeback, richly but fantaftically 
habited, accompanied with an infinite variety of pageantries, fports 
and mows. Thefe had a garland, as a reward for the fuperior fplendour 
of their entry. Many days were fpent in determining the grand 
queftions : during which there were feaftings, bonfires, farces, tum- 
bling, and every popular diverfion. 3 

In Benet College Library at Cambridge, there is [part of] an Eng- 
lifh poem on the Sangreal and [Merlin], containing forty thoufand 
verfes.* The MS. is imperfect both at the beginning and at the end. 

1 Rer. et Urb. Amft. lib. ii. c. xvi. p. 118, ed. 1611, fol. 

a Ibid. c. xv. p. 117. 

3 Belg. Hiftor. VmwerfaL fol. 1597, lib. i. pp. 31, 32. 

[ 4 MS. Ixxx. Edited by F. J. Furnivall for the Roxburghe Club, 1862-6, 2 vols. 
The reader, who is defirous of forming more correft opinions upon the fubjeft, is 
referred to M. Raynouard's Poefies des Troubadours ( Lexique Roman, 1838, i.) a work 
which has done more towards forming a juft underftanding of the merits of Provencal 
poetry, and the extent and value of Provencal literature, than any publication which 
has hitherto appeared. The mafs of evidence there adduced in favour of the early 
efforts of the Provencal mufe muft effectually filence every theory attempting to 
confine fong and romantic fiftion to any particular age or country. Price. Mr. 
R.Taylor alfo refers us to M. Rochegude 1 * Parnaffe Occitanien, 1819, Mr. E. 
Taylor's Lays of the Minnejingers, 1825, and to De la Rue's ////?. of Northern 
French Poetry.'] 

II. I 



1 14 T'ke Saint Graal. Extract from s. 3. 

The title at the head of the firft page is Afla Arthurl Regis, written 
probably by Joceline, chaplain and fecretary to Archbimop Parker. 
The narrative, which appears to be on one continued fubjeft, is 
divided into books or fe&ions of unequal length. It is a tranflation 
made from Robert [de] Borron's French romance[s of the Saint Graal 
and Merlin} by Henry Lonelich, Skinner, a name which I never re- 
member to have feen among thofe of the Englifh poets. The diction 
is of the age of Henry VI. Borel, in his Trefor de Recherches et 
Antiquitez Gauloijes et Francoifes^ fays, "II y'a un Roman ancien in- 
titule le Conquefte de Sangreall," &c. [In the recent edition of 
the Saint Graal] Robert [de] Borron's French [profe] romance [is 
printed in parallel columns with Lonelich's tranflation]. The dili- 
gence and accuracy of Mr. Nafmith have furnifhed me with the 
following tranfcript from Lonelich's tranflation in Benet College 
Library : 

Thanne pafleth forth this ftorye with al, 
That is cleped of ibm men Seynt Graal ; 
Alfo the Sank Ryal iclepiol it is 
Of mochel peple with owten mys. 

Now of al this ftorie have I mad an ende 

That is fchwede of Celidoygne, and now forthere to wend, 

And of anothir brawnche moft we begynne, 

Of the ftorye that we clepen prophet Merlynne, 

Wiche that Maifter Robert of Borrown 

Owt of Latyn it tran (letted hoi and foun j 

Onlich into the langage of Frawnce 

This ftorie he drowgh be adventure and chaunce ; 

And doth Merlynne inften with Sank Ryal, 

For the ton ftorie the tothir medlyth withal, 

After the fatting of the forfeid Robert 

That fomtym is tranfletted in Middilerd. 

And I, as an unkonneng man trewely, 

Into Englifch have drawen this ftorye ; 

And thowgh that to 5ow not plefyng it be, 

^>it that ful excufed 3e wolde haven me 

Of my neclegence and unkonnenge, 

On me to taken fwich a thinge, 

Into owre modris tonge for to endite, 

The fwettere to fowne to more and lyte, 

And more cler to 5oure undirftondyng 

Thanne owthir Frenfh other Latyn to my fuppofing. 

And therfore atte the ende of this ftorye 

A pater nofter 3e wolden for me preye, 

For me that Kerry Lonelich hyhte ; 

And greteth owre lady ful of myhte. 

Hartelich with an ave that 5e hir bede, 

This procefle the bettere I myhte precede, 

And bringen this book to a good ende : 

Now thereto Jefu Crift grace me fende, 

And than an ende there offen myhte be, 

Now good Lord graunt me for charite. 

Thanne Merlyn to Blafye cam anon, 
And there to hym he feide thus fon : 
" Blafye, thou Ichalt fufFren gret peyne 



s. 3. the Copy in Be net College Library. \ 15 

This ftorye to an ende to bringen certeyne < 

And 3it ichall I fuffren mochel more." 

How fo, Merlyn, quod Blafye there. 

" I fhall be fowht," quod Merlyne tho, 

" Owt from the weft with meflengeris mo, 

And they that fcholen comen to Teken me, 

They have maad fewrawnce, I telle the, 

Me forto flen for any thing, 

This fewrawnce hav they mad to her kyng. 

But whanne they me fen, and with me fpeke, 

No power they ichol hav on me to ben awreke, 

For with hem hens mofte I gon, 

And thou into othir partyes fchalt wel fon, 

To hem that hav the holy veffel 

Which that is icleped the Seynt Graal j 

And wete thow wel and ek ibrfothe, 

That thow and ek this ftorye bothe 

Ful wel beherd now fchall it be, 

And alfo beloved in many centre ; 

And has that will knowen in fertaygne 

What kynges that weren in grete Bretaygne 

Sithan that Chriftendom thedyr was browht, 

They fcholen hem fynde has fo that it fawht 

In the ftorye of Brwttes book ; 

There fcholen 3e it fynde and 3e weten look, 

Which that Martyn de Bewre tranflated here 

From Latyn into Romaunce in his manere. 

But leve me now of Brwttes book, 

And aftyr this ftorye now lete us look. 

After this latter extra<5r, which is to be found nearly in the middle 
of the MS., [the romance of Merlin begins, and] the fcene and per- 
fonages of the poem are changed ; and King Evalach, King Mor- 
dreins, Sir Nafciens, Jofeph of Arimathea, and the other heroes of 
the former part, give place to King Arthur, King Brangors, King 
Loth, and the monarchs and champions of the Britifh line. In a 
paragraph, very fimilar to the fecond of thefe extracts, the following 
note is written in the hand of the text, " Henry Lonelich, Skynner, 
that tranflated this boke out of Frenfhe into Englyfhe, at the in- 
ftaunce of Harry Barton." 

The 0$ueft of the Sangreal^ as it is called, in which devotion and 
necromancy are equally concerned, makes a confiderable part of 
King Arthur's romantic hiftory, and was one grand object of the 
knights of the Round Table. He who achieved this hazardous 
adventure was to be placed there in the " fiege perillous," or feat of 
danger. u When Merlyn had ordayned the rounde table, he faid, by 
them that be fellowes of the rounde table the truthe of the Sangreall 
fhall be well knowne, &c. They which heard Merlyn fay foe, faid 
thus to Merlyn, Sithence there fhall be fuch a knight, thou fhouldeft 
ordayne by thy craft a fiege that no man fhould fitte therein, but he 
onlie which fhall pafle all other knights. Then Merlyn made the 
fiege perillous," &C. 1 Sir Lancelot, "who is come but of the eighth 
degree from our Lord Jefus Chrift," is reprefented as the chief ad- 
venturer in this honourable expedition. 2 At a celebration of the 

1 [Malory's] Mort f Arthur, B. xiv. c. ^. 2 Ibid. B. iii. c. 35. 



1 1 6 The Saint Graal. s. 3. 

feaft of Pentecoft at Camelot by King Arthur, the Sangreal fuddenly 
enters the hall, " but there was no man might fee it nor who bare 
it," and the knights, as by fome invifible power, are inftantly fup- 
plied with a feaft of the choiceft dimes. 1 Originally Le Brut, Lan- 
celot^ Triftan^ and the Saint Greal were feparate hiftories ; but they 
were [fubfequently brought into a certain degree of connedtion 
perhaps at a very early date, and fome confufion may alfo have 
arifen from the careleflhefs or ignorance of copyifts]. The book of 
the Sangreal, a feparate work, is referred to in Morte Arthur. "Now 
after that the queft of the Sancgreall was fulfilled, and that all the 
knyghtes that were lefte alive were come agayne to the Rounde 
Table, as the booke of the Sancgreall makethe mencion, than was 
there grete joye in the courte. And efpeciallie King Arthur and 
quene Guenever made grete joye of the remnaunt that were come 
home. And paflynge glad was the kinge and quene of fyr Launcelot 
and fyr Bors, for they had been paflynge longe awaye in the queft 
of the Sancgreall. Then, as the Frenfhe booke fayeth, fyr Lance- 
lot," &c. 2 And again, in the fame romance : " Whan fyr Bors had 
tolde him [Arthur] of the adventures of the Sancgreall, fuch as had 
befallen hym and his felawes, all this was made in grete bookes, 
and put in almeryes at Salifbury." 3 The former part of this 
paflage is almoft literally tranflated from one in the French romance 
of Triftan* " Quant Boort ot conte laventure del Saint Graal 
teles com eles eftoient avenues, eles furent mifes en efcrit, gardees 
en lamere de Salifbieres, dont Meftre Galtier Map Feftreft a faifl 
fen livre du Saint Graal par lamor du roy Herri fen fengor^ qui 
fijl leftoire tralater del Latin en romanz." 5 In the Royal Library at 
Paris there is Le Roman de Triftan et Ifeult^ traduit de Latin en 
FranfOts, par Lucas^ Chevalier du Gaft pres de Sarifberi, Anglois^ 
avec figures. And again, 7 Liveres de Triftan mis en Francois 
par Lucas chevalier fieur de chateau du Gat? Almeryes in the 
Englifh, and F Amere^ properly aumoire in the French, mean, I 
believe, Preffes, Chefts, or Archives. Ambry^ in this fenfe, is not an 
uncommon old Englifh word. From the fecond part of the firft 

1 [Malory's] Mort d"* Arthur, B. iii. c. 35. 2 B. xviii. cap. i. 

3 B. xvii. c. 23. The romance fays that King Arthur " made grete clerkes 
com before him that they mould cronicle the adventures of thefe goode knygtes." 
[See infra, SeUon xi.] 

* Bibl. Reg. MSS. 20 D. ii. fol. antep. 

5 See infra, feft. xxviii. note. [No doubt the "chaftel de Gaft pres de Salifberi " 
is referred to here as well as in the next paragraph; it appears to have been in the 
canton of St. Severe, in the department of Calvados. De la Rue, Effais fur les 
Bardes, &c., vol. ii. p. 231, quoted by Sir F. Madden. See efpecially M. Paulin 
Paris's introdu&ion to his Romans de la Table Ronde mis en nouveau Langage, 
Paris, 1868. F.] 

6 Montfauc. Catal. MSS. Cod. Reg. Paris, Cod. 6776, fol. max. 

7 Cod. 6956, fol. max. 

8 There is printed, Le Roman du noble et <vaillant Chevalier Triftan fits du noble 
roy Meliadus de Leonnoys, par Luce, chevalier, feigneur du chajleau de Gaft. Rouen, 
14.89, fol. [But fee Brunet, dern. edit. v. 955. All the poems relating to this hero 
were collefted by M. Michel, 3 vols. izmo.] 



s. 3. T'he Saint Graal. 117 

French quotation which I have diftinguifhed by italics, it appears 
that Walter Mapes, J a learned archdeacon in England, under the 
reign of Henry II., wrote a French Sangreal, which he tranflated 
from Latin, by the command of that monarch. Under the idea 
that Walter Mapes was a writer on this fubje6t, and in the fabulous 
way, fome critics may be induced to think, that the Walter, Arch- 
deacon of Oxford, from whom Geoffrey of Monmouth profeffes to 
have received the materials of his hiftory, was this Walter Mapes, 
and not Walter Calenius, who was alfo an eminent fcholar, and an 
archdeacon of Oxford. Geoffrey fays in his Dedication to Robert 
Earl of Gloucester, u Finding nothing faid in Bede or Gildas of 
King Arthur and his fucceffors, although their actions highly de- 
ferved to be recorded in writing, and are orally celebrated by the 
Britifh bards, I was much furprifed at fo ftrange an omiflion. At 
length Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, a man of great eloquence, 
and learned in foreign hiftories, offered me an ancient book in the 
Britim or Armorican tongue which, in one unbroken ftory and an 
elegant diclion, related the deeds of the Britim kings from Brutus 
to Cadwallader. At his requeft, although unufed to rhetorical 
flourifhes, and contented with the fimplicity of my own plain 
language, I undertook the tranflation of that book into Latin." 2 
Some writers fuppofe that Geoffrey pretended to have received his 
materials from Archdeacon Walter, by way of authenticating his 
romantic hiftory. Thefe notices feem to difprove that fufpicion. In 
the year 1488, a French romance was publifhed, in two magnificent 
folio volumes, entitled Hiftoire de Roy Artus et des Chevaliers de la 
Table Ronde. The firft volume was printed at Rouen, the fecond 
at Paris. It contains in four detached parts the Birth and Achieve- 
ments of King Arthur, the Life of Sir Launcelot, the Adventure of 
the Sangreal, and the Death of Arthur and his Knights. In the 
body of the work, this romance more than once is faid to be written 
by Walter Map or Mapes, and by the command of his mafter King 
Henry. For inftance : 3 u Cy fine Maiftre Gualtier Map fon traittie 
du Saint Graal." Again : 4 u Apres ce que Maiftre Gualtier Map 
cut tra&ie des avantures du Saint Graal affez foufifamment, ficomme 
il luy fembloit, il fut ad adviz au roy Henry fon feigneur, que ce 
quil avoit fait ne debuit foufrire fil ne racontoys la fin de ceulx dont 
il fait mention. Et commence Maiftre Gualtier en telle manier 
cefte derniere partie." This derniere partie treats of the death of 
King Arthur and his knights. At the end of the fecond tome there 
is this colophon : " Cy fine le dernier volume de La Table Ronde, 

1 [From a paflage in the French romance of Lancelot du Lac, M. Roquefort is 
of opinion that there were two perfons of this name. In that he is ftyled "meffire 
Gautier Map qui fut chevalier le roi." But fo much confufion prevails upon this 
fubjeft, that it is almoft importable to name the author of any profe romance. 
Price.] 

2 B. i. ch. i. See alfo B. xii. ch. xx. 

} Tom. ii. fign. Dd i. end of Partie du Saint Graal. 
4 Tom. ii. ch. i. fign. D d ii. (La derniere partie}. 



1 1 8 The Saint Graal. s. 3. 

faifant mencion des fais et proefles de monfeigneur Launcelot du 
Lac et dautres plufieurs nobles et vaillans hommes fes compagnons. 
Compile et extraicl: precifement et au jufte des vrayes hiftoires 
faifantes de ce mencion par trefnotable et trefexpert hiftorien Maiftre 
Gualtier Map," &c. The paflage quoted above from the royal MS. 
in the Britifh Mufeum, where King Arthur orders the adventures of 
the Sangreal to be chronicled, is thus reprefented in this romance : 
" Et quant Boort cut compte depuis le commencement jufques a la 
fin les avantures du Saint Graal telles comme il les avoit veues, &c. 
Si fift le roy Artus rediger et mettre par efcript aus di&z clers tout 
ci que Boort avoit compte," &C. 1 At the end of the royal MS. at 
Paris, 2 entitled Lancelot du Lac mis en Francois par Robert de 
Eorron par le commandement de Henri rol d* Angleterre, it is faid 
that Meffire Robert de Borron tranflated into French not only Lan- 
celot, but alfo the ftory of the Saint Graal : " Li tout du Latin du 
Gautler Mapped The French antiquaries in this fort of literature 
are of opinion that the word Latin here fignifies Italian, and that by 
this Latin of Gualtier Mapes we are to underftand Englifh verfions 
of thofe romances made from the Italian language; [but fuch a 
notion feems fcarcely deferving of ferious difcuffion.] The French 
hiftory of the Sangreal, printed at Paris in 1516, is faid in the title 
to be tranflated from Latin into French rhymes, and from thence 
into French profe by Robert [de] Borron. This romance was re- 
printed in 1523. 

[Malory's] Morte Arthur, finifhed in the year 1469, [is an abftra<$t of 
certain old French Arthur romances.] 3 But the matter of the whole 
is fo much of the fame fort, and the heroes and adventures of one ftory 
are fo mutually and perpetually blended with thofe of another, that 
no real unity or diftindlion is preferved. It confifts of twenty-one 
books. The firft feven books treat of King Arthur. The eighth, 
ninth, and tenth, of Sir Triftram. The eleventh and twelfth, of 
Sir Lancelot. 4 The thirteenth of the Saingral, which is alfo called 
Sir Lancelot's book. The fourteenth, of Sir Percival. The fifteenth, 
again, of Sir Launcelot. The fixteenth, of Sir Gawaine. The 
feventeenth, of Sir Galahad. [But all the four lad-mentioned books 
are alfo called the hlflorye of the holy Sancgreall.~] The eighteenth 
and nineteenth, of mifcellaneous adventures. The two laft, of 

1 Ibid. torn. ii. La Partie du Saint Graal, ch. ult. Juft before it is faid, " Le 
roy Artus fift venir les clercs qui les aventures aux chevallieres mettoient en efcript" 
as in Mart d 'Arthur. 

2 Cod. 6783. 

3 [The only MS. exhibiting in French the ftory of Balin and Balan, which 
Sir Thomas Malory has in his Englifh, (printed by Caxton in 1485,) is at pre- 
fent in the poffeffion of Mr. Henry Huth. It is a folio volume on vellum, with 
initial letters, but no miniatures. Three or four leaves, including the firft, are de- 
ficient. It exhibits in thofe parts where it covers the fame ground as the Englifh 
work, marked variations from the latter. This MS. is in preparation for the prefs 
by Mr. Furnivall.] 

4 But at the end, this twelfth book is called " the fecond booke of Syr Tryftram" 
And it is added, " But here is no reherfall of the thyrd booke [of Sir Triftram."] 



s. 3. Liberties taken with Romances. 1 19 

King Arthur and all the knights. Lwhyd mentions a Welfh San- 
greall which, he fays, contains various fables of King Arthur and 
his knights, &C. 1 Morte Arthur is often literally tranflated 2 from 
various and very ancient detached hiftories of the heroes of the 
round table, which I have examined ; and on the whole, it nearly 
refembles Walter Map's romance above mentioned, printed at Rouen 
and Paris, both in matter and difpofition. 

I take this opportunity of obferving, that a very valuable vellum 
fragment of Le Brut, of which the writing is uncommonly beautiful 
and of high antiquity, containing part of the ftory of Merlin and 
King Vortigern, covers a MS. of Chaucer's Aftrolabe, prefented, 
together with feveral Oriental MSS., to the Bodleian library by 
Thomas Hedges, of Alderton in Wiltfhire ; a gentleman poflefled 
of many curious MSS. and Greek and Roman coins, and moft 
liberal in his communications. 

But not only the pieces of the French minftrels, written in French, 
were circulated in England about this time, but tranflations of thefe 
pieces were made into Englifti which, containing much of the French 
idiom, together with a fort of poetical phrafeology before unknown, 
produced various innovations in our ftyle. Thefe tranflations, it is 
probable, were enlarged with additions, or improved with alterations 
of the ftory. Hence it was that Robert de Brunne, as we have al- 
ready feen, complained of ftrange and quaint Englifh, of the changes 
made in the ftory of Sir Triflram, and of the liberties afTumed by his 
cotemporary minftrels in altering facSts and coming new phrafes. Yet 
thefe circumftances enriched our tongue, and extended the circle of 
our poetry. And for what reafon thefe fables were fo much admired 
and encouraged, in preference to the languid poetical chronicles of 
Robert of Gloucefter and Robert of Brunne, it is obvious to conjec- 
ture. The gallantries of chivalry were exhibited with new fplendour, 
and the times were growing more refined. The Norman fafhions 
were adopted even in Wales. In the year 1176, a fplendid caroufal, 
after the manner of the Normans, was given by a Welfh prince. 
This was Rhees ap Gryffyth king of South Wales, who at Chrift- 
mas made a great feaft in the caftle of Cardigan, then called Aber- 
Teify, which he ordered to be proclaimed throughout all Britain ; and 
to " which came many ftrangers, who were honourably received and 
worthily entertained, fo that no man departed difcontented. And 
among deeds of arms and other fhewes, Rhees caufed all the poets of 
Wales 3 to come thither ; and provided chairs for them to be fet in 

1 Archxolog. Brit. Tit. vii. p. 265, col. 2. [It is only a tranflation of Map's 
French Quefte del Saint Graal.] 

2 [In Hoffmann's Hora Belgica:, 1830, according to Mr. R. Taylor, is an 
account of various Flemifh verfions of thefe romances.] 

3 In illuftration of the argument purfued in the text we may obferve, that about 
this time the Englifh minftrels flourimed with new honours and rewards. At the 
magnificent marriage of [Joan Plantagenet, grand-Jdaughter of Edward I., every 
king minftrel received xl. fhillings. See Anftis, Ord. Gart. ii. p. 303 ; and Dugd. 
Man. i. 355. In the fame reign a multitude of minftrels attended the ceremony of 
knighting Prince Edward on the Feaft of Pentecoft. They entered the hall, while 



120 Richard I.'s Minftrels. s. 3. 

his hall, where they fhould difpute together to try their cunning and 
gift in their feveral faculties, where great rewards and rich giftes 
were appointed for the overcomers. 1 ' Tilts and tournaments, 
after a long difufe, revived with fuperior luftre in the reign of 
Edward I. Roger [de] Mortimer, a magnificent baron of thatreign, 
erected in his (lately caftle of Kenilworth a Round Table, at which 
he reftored the rites of King Arthur. He entertained in this caftle 
the conftant retinue of one hundred knights and as many ladies, and 
invited thither adventurers in chivalry from every part of Chriften- 
dom. 2 Thefe fables were therefore an image of the manners, cuf- 
toms, mode of life, and favourite amufements, which now prevailed 
not only in France but in England, accompanied with all the decora- 
tions which fancy could invent, and recommended by the graces of 
romantic fi6tion, They complimented the ruling paflion of the times, 
and cherimed in a high degree the fafhionable fentiments of ideal 
honour and fantaftic fortitude. 

Among Richard's French minftrels, the names only of three are 
recorded. I have already mentioned Blondel de Nefle. Fouquet of 
Marfeilles 3 and [Gauc]elme Fayditt, 4 many of whofe compofitions 

the king was fitting at dinner furrovmded with the new knights. Nic. Trivet. An- 
nal, p. 342, edit. Oxon. The whole number knighted was two hundred and fixty- 
feven. Dugd. Bar. i. 80, b. Robert de Brunne fays this was the greateft royal 
feaft fince King Arthur's at Carleon, concerning which he adds, "thereof yit men 
rime" p. 332. In the wardrobe-roll of the fame prince, under the year 1306, we 
have this entry : " Will. Fox et Cradoco focio fuo cantatoribus cantantibus coram 
Principe etaliis magnatibus in comitiva fua exiftente apud London, &c. xx j." Again, 
" Willo Ffox et Cradoco focio fuo cantantibus in praefentia principis et al. Magna- 
tum apud London de dono ejufdem dni per manus Johis de Ringwode, &c. 8 die 
Jan. xx j." Afterwards, in the fame roll, four millings are given, " Miniftrallo co- 
mitiflae Marefchal. facienti meneftralciam fuam coram principe, &c. in comitiva fua 
exiftent. apud Penreth." Comp. Garderob. Ed e w. Princip. Wall. ann. 35 Edw .1. This 
I chiefly cite to mew the greatnefs of the gratuity. Minftrels were part of the ef- 
tablifhment of the houfeholds of our nobility before the year 1307 Thomas Earl 
of Lancafter allows at Chriftmas cloth, or *veftis liberata, to his houfehold min- 
ftrels at a great expence, in the year 1314. Stow's Sur<v. Lond. p. 134, edit. 1618. 
See fupr. Soon afterwards the minftrels claimed fuch privileges that it was 
thought neceflary to reform them by an edift in 1315. See Hearne's Append. Le- 
land. Colleftan. vi. 36. Yet, as I have formerly remarked in Obfervations on 
Spenfer's faerie Queene, we find a perfon in the charafter of a minftrel entering 
Weftminfter-hall on horfeback while Edward I. was folemnizing the feaft of Pente- 
coft as above, and prefenting a letter to the king. See Walfing. Htft. Angl. franc. 
p. 109. 

1 Powell's Wales, 237, edit. 1584. Who adds, that the bards of " Northwales 
won the prize, and amonge the muficians Rees's owne houfhold men were counted 
beft." Rhees was one of the Welfh princes who, the preceding year, attended the 
Parliament at Oxford, and were magnificently entertained in the caftle of that city 
by Henry II. Lord Lyttelton's Htft. Hen. II. edit. iii. p. 302. It may not be 
foreign to our prefent purpofe to mention here, that Henry II., in the year 1179, 
was entertained by Welfh bards at Pembroke caftle in Wales, in his paflage into 
Ireland. Powell, ut fupr. p. 238. The fubjecl of their fongs was the hiftory of 
King Arthur. See Selden on Polyolb. s. iii. p. 53. 

2 'Drayton's Heroic. Epift. Mort. Ifabel. v. 53. And Notes ibid, from Wal- 
fingham. 

[ J Mr. Thorns refers us to Diez (Leben und Werke der Troubadours, f. 234-51) for 



s. 3. Fayditt. Fouquet de Mar fellies. 121 

ftill remain, were alfo among the poets patronifed and entertained in 
England by Richard. They are both celebrated and fometimes imi- 
tated by Dante and Petrarch. Fayditt, a native of Avignon, united 
the profefiions of mufic and verfe j and the Proven9als ufed to call 
his poetry de bon mots e de bon fon. Petrarch is fuppofed to have co- 
pied, in his Triomfo d' Amore^ many ftrokes of high imagination from 
a poem written by Fayditt on a fimilar fubjecl: ; particularly in his 
defcription of the Palace of Love. But Petrarch has not left Fayditt 
without his due panegyric : he fays that Fayditt's tongue was fhield, 
helmet, fword, and fpear. 1 He is likewife in Dante's Paradlfo. Fay- 
ditt was extremely profufe and voluptuous. On the death of King 
Richard, he travelled on foot for nearly twenty years, feeking his 
fortune ; and during this long pilgrimage he married a nun of Aix in 
Provence, who was young and lively, and could accompany her huf- 
band's tales and fonnets with her voice. Fouquet de Marfeilles 
had a beautiful perfon, a ready wit, and a talent for fmging; thefe 
popular accomplifhments recommended him to the courts of King 
Richard, Raymond, count of Touloufe, and Beral de Baulx ; where, 
as the French would fay, II fit les delices de cour. He fell in love with 
Adelafia the wife of Beral, whom he celebrated in his fongs. One 
of his poems is entitled, Las complanchas de Beral. On the death of 
all his lords, he received abfolution for his fin of poetry, turned monk, 
and at length was made Archbifliop of Touloufe. 2 But among the 



an account of Fouquet. Twenty-five of his fongs are extant, of which two are 
printed in Raynouard's Lexique Romain, i. 34.1-5).] 

[ 4 See Raynouard, Lexique , ed. 1838, i. 368. Mr. Thorns remarks that the ob- 
je6l of Fayditt's admiration and poetical ardour was Maria de Ventadour, daughter 
of Bofo II. and wife of Ebles IV. Vicomte de Ventadour, " a lady of refined tafte 
in poetry, and celebrated by the troubadours and their hiftorians as the nobleft of 
her fex." A confiderable number of Fayditt's pieces is extant.] 

1 Triunf. Am. c. iv. 

2 See Beauchamps, Recherch. Theatr. Fr. 1735, pp. 7, 9. It was Jeffrey, Richard's 
brother, who patronifed Jeffrey Rudell, a famous troubadour of Provence, who is 
alfo celebrated by Petrarch. This poet had heard, from the adventurers in the Cru- 
fades, the beauty of a Countefs of Tripoli highly extolled. He became enamoured 
from imagination ; embarked for Tripoli, fell fick in the voyage through the fever 
of expectation, and was brought on more at Tripoly half expiring. The countefs, 
having received the news of the arrival of this gallant ftranger, haftened to the 
more and took him by the hand. He opened his eyes, and, at once overpowered 
by his difeafe and her kindnefs, had juft time to fay inarticulately that, having feen 
her, he died fatisfied. The countefs made him a moft fplendid funeral, and ere&ed 
to his memory a tomb of porphyry, infcribed with an epitaph in Arabian verfe. 
She commanded his fonnets to be richly copied and illuminated with letters of gold ; 
was feized with a profound melancholy, and turned nun. I will endeavour to tranf- 
late one of the fonnets which he made on his voyage. Trat et dolent nf en portray, 
&c. It has fome pathos and fentiment, " I mould depart penfive, but for this love 
of mine fo far away; for I know not what difficulties I have to encounter, my na- 
tive land being fo far away. Thou who haft made all things, and who formed this 
love of mine fo far away, give me ftrength of body, and then I may hope to fee 
this love of mine fo far away. Surely my love muft be founded on true merit, as I 
love one fo far away ! If I am eafy for a moment, yet I feel a thoufand pains for 
her who is fo far away. No other love ever touched my heart than this for 



122 Romance of Richard Cuer de Lyon. s. 3. 

many French minftrels invited into England by Richard, it is natural 
to fuppofe, that fome of them made their magnificent and heroic 
patron a principal fubjecl: of their compofitions. 1 And this fubjec^, 
by means of the conftant communication between both nations, pro- 
bably became no lefs famionable in France ; efpecially if we take 
into the account the general popularity of Richard's chara6rer, his 
love of chivalry, his gallantry in the Crufades, and the favours which 
he fo liberally conferred on the minftrels of that country. We have 
a romance now remaining in Englifh rhyme, which celebrates the 
achievements of this illuftrious monarch. It is entitled Richard Cuer 
de Lyon^ and was probably translated from the French about the 
[reign of Edward I.] That it was, at leaft, tranflated from the 
French, appears from the prologue : 

In Fraunce thefe rymes were wroht, 
Every Englyfhe ne knew it not. 

From which alfo we may gather the popularity of his ftory, in thefe 
lines : 

King Richard is the befte 

That is found in any gefte. 

[It was printed by W. de Worde in 1509 and 1528.]" That this ro- 
mance, either in French or Englifh, exifted before the year 1300, is 
evident from its being cited by Robert of Gloucefter, in his relation 
of Richard's reign : 

In Romance of him imade me it may finde iwrite. 3 

This tale is alfo mentioned as a romance of fome antiquity among 
other famous romances, in the prologue of a voluminous metrical 
tranflation of Guido de Colonna, [wrongly] attributed to Lidgate. 4 

far a<way. A fairer than (he never touched any heart, either near, or far away." 
Every fourth line ends with du luench. See Noftradamus, &c. 

[The original poem, of which the above is only a fragment, will be found in the 
third volume of M. Raynouard's Choix des Poejies Originates des Troubadours. 
[Lexique Roman, 1838, i. 341.] The feeming inaccuracies of Warton's tranflation 
may have arifen from the varied readings of his original text. The fragment pub- 
limed by M. Sifmondi differs effentially from the larger poem given by M. Ray- 
nouard. Price.'] 

1 Fayditt is faid to have written a Chant funebre on his death. Beauchamps, 
ibid. p. 10. 

[For fpecimens of the poetry of Fouquet de Marfeilles and Gaugelm Faidit the 
reader is referred to the firft volume of M. Raynouard's excellent work already 
noticed. The fecond volume of the old edition contains a profe tranflation of 
Faidit's Planh on the death of Richard I. Price."] 

2 There is a MS. copy of it in Caius College, Cambridge. 

3 Chron. p. 487. 

4 " Many fpeken of men that romaunces rede," &c. 

" Of Bevys, Gy, and Gawayne, 

Of Kyng Rychard, and Owayne, 

Of Triftram, and Percyvayle, 

Of Rowland ris, and Aglavaule, 

Of Archeroun, and of Oftavian, 

Of Charles, and of Caflibelan, 

Of K[H]eveloke, Home, and of Wade, 

In romances that of hem bi made 



s. 3. Romance of Richard Cuer de Lyon. 123 

It is likewife frequently quoted by Robert de Brunne, who wrote 
much about the fame time with Robert of Gloucefter : 

Whan Philip tille Acres cam, litelle was his dede, 
The Romance fais gret (ham who fo that pas 1 will rede. 
The Romancer it fais Richard did make a pele. 2 
The Romance of Richard fais he wan the toun. 3 

That geftours dos of him geftes 

At mangeres and at great feftes, 

Here dedis ben in remembraunce 

In many fair romaunce. 

But of the worthieft wyght in wede, 

That ever byftrod any ftede, 

Spekes no man, ne in romaunce redes, 

Off his battayle ne of his dedes ; 

Off that battayle fpekes no man, 

There all prowes of knyghtes began, 

Thet was forfothe of the batayle 

Thet at Troye was faunfayle, 

Of fwythe a fyght as ther was one, &c. 

For ther were in thet on fide, 

Sixti kynges and dukes of pride. 

And there was the beft bodi in dede 

That ever yit wered wede, 

Sithen the world was made fo ferre, 

That was Eftor in eche werre," &c. 

Laud. K 76 [595], f. T, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Cod. membr. [There is no authority, 
as Sir F. Madden has ftated, for attributing this to Lydgate.] Whether this poem 
was written by Lidgate, I mail not enquire at prefent. I mall only fay here, that 
it is totally different from either of Lidgate's two poems on the Theban and Trojan 
Wars j and that the manufcript, which is beautifully written, appears to be of the 
age of Henry VI. 

By the way, it appears from this quotation that there was an old romance called 
Wade. Wade's Bote is mentioned in Chaucer's Marchaunts Tale, v. 940 : 
" And eke thefe olde wivis, god it wote, 
They connin fo much crafte in Wadis bote.'* 
Again Trail. Crefs. iii. 615 : 

" He fonge, me plaide, he tolde a tale of Wade." 

Where, fays the gloffarift, "A romantick ftory, famous at that time, of one Wade, 
who performed many ftrange exploits, and met with many wonderful adventures 
in his boat Guigelot." Speght fays that Wade's hiftory was long and fabulous. 

[The ftory of Wade is alfo alluded to in the following paffage taken from the 
romance of Sir Bevis : 

" Swiche bataile ded neuer non 

Criftene man of flefch and bon 

Of a dragoun thar befide, 

That Beues (lough ther in that tide, 

Saue Sire Launcelot de Lake, 

He faught with a fur-drake, 

And Wade dede alfo, 

And neuer knightes boute thai to." Price. 

A perfonage of iimilar name occurs in the Vilkina Saga and in the Scop, or 
Gleemaris Tale, \. 46. The Englifh myth is referred to in the metrical Morte 
Arthure, edited by Halliwell, 1847, and again for the Early Englifh Text Society. 
M. Michel has published a brochure, entitled Wade : Lettre a M. Henri Ternaux- 
Compans, &c.fur une Tradition Angloife du Mojen Age. Paris, 1837. 8vo.] 

1 PafTus. Compare Percy's Reliques, ii. 66, 398, edit. 1767. 

2 Percy's Rel. ii. p. 157. 3 Ibid. 



124 Allujion by Robert de Brunne, &c. s. 3. 

He tellis in the Romance fen Acres wonnen was 

How God gaf him fair chance at the bataile of Caifas. 1 

Sithen at Japhet was flayn fauelle his ftede 

The Romans tellis gret pas of his douhty dede. 2 

Soudan fo curteys never drank no wyne, 

The fame the Romans fais that is of Richardyn. 3 

In prifoun was he bounden, as the Romance fais, 

In cheynes and lede wonden, that hevy was of peis. 4 

I am not indeed quite certain, whether or no in fome of thefe in- 
ftances, Robert de Brunne may not mean his French original Peter 
Langtoft. But in the following lines he manifeftly refers to our 
romance of Richard^ between which and Langtoft's chronicle he 
expreflly makes a diftin&ion. And in the conclufion of the reign : 

I knowe no more to ryme of dedes of kyng Richard: 

Who fo wille his dedes all the fothe fe, 

The romance that men reden, ther is propirte. 

This that I have faid it is Pers fawe. 5 

Als he in romance 6 lad, ther after gan I drawe. 7 

It is not improbable that both thefe rhyming chroniclers cite from 
the Englifh tranflation : if fo, we may fairly fuppofe that this romance 
was tranflated in the reign of Edward 1. This circumftance throws 
the French original to a ftill higher period. 

In the Royal Library at Paris there is Hiftoire de Richard Roi 
d* Anglcterre et de Maquemore d* Irlande en rime. Q Richard is the laft 
of our monarchs whofe achievements were adorned by fi&ion and 
fable. If not a fuperftitious belief of the times, it was an hyper- 
bolical invention ftarted by the rninftrels, which foon grew into a 
tradition, and is gravely recorded by the chroniclers, that Richard 
carried with him to the Crufades King Arthur's celebrated fword 
Caliburn, and that he prefented it as a gift or relic of ineftimable 
value, to Tancred King of Sicily, in the year 1191.9 Robert of 
Brunne calls this fword a jewel. 10 

And Richard at that time gaf him a fairejuelle, 

The gude fwerd Caliburne which Arthur luffed fo well. 11 

1 p. 175. [Warton's conjecture is perfectly correft in mod of thefe inftances. 
They contain allufions to circumftances which are unnoticed by Langtoft. 
Price.] 

2 Percy's Rel. ii. p. 175. 3 Ibid. p. 188. 4 p. 198. 
5 "The words of my original Peter Langtoft.'" 6 In French. 

7 p. 205. Du Cange recites an old French MS. profe romance, entitled Hiftoire 
de la Mart de Richard Roy d'Angleterre. Glofs. Lot. Ind. Aul. \. p. cxci. [But this 
is upon the depofition of Richard II.] There was one, perhaps the fame, among 
the MSS. of Martin of Palgrave. 

8 Num. 7532. [An account of this hiftorical poem will be found in Mr. 
Strutt's Regal Antiquities. It relates entirely to the Irifh wars of Richard II. and 
the latter part of the reign of that unfortunate monarch. Price. The poem is 
printed entire in Archaologia, xx.] 

9 In return for feveral veflels of gold and lilver, horfes, bales of filk, four great 
mips, and fifteen galleys, given by Tancred. Benedift. Abb. p. 642, edit. Hearne. 

' "Jocale. In the general and true fenfe of the word. Robert de Brunne, in 
another place, calls a rich pavilion zjo>-welle, p. 152. 

11 Chron. p. 153. [Sir F. Madden refers for an account of Caliburne to M. 
Michel's Triftan> Ixxxv.] 



s. 3. Extrads from. the Prologue. 125 

Indeed the Arabian writer of the life of the Sultan Saladin mentions 
fome exploits of Richard almoft incredible. But, as Lord Lyttelton 
juftly obferves, this hiftorian is highly valuable on account of the 
knowledge he had of the fa6h which he relates. It is from this 
writer we learn, in the moft authentic manner, the aclions and 
negotiations of Richard in the courfe of the enterprife for the re- 
covery of the Holy Land, and all the particulars of that memorable 
war. 1 

But before I produce a fpecimen of Richard's Englifh romance, 
I ftand ftill to give fome more extracts from its prologues, which 
contain matter much to our prefent purpofe : as they have very 
fortunately preferved the fubje&s of many romances, perhaps 
metrical, then fafhionable both in France and England. And on 
thefe therefore, and their origin, I fhall take this opportunity of 
offering fome remarks : 

Fele romanfes men make newe 

Of good knyghtes ftrong and trewe : 

Of hey dedys men rede romance, 

Bothe in England and in Fraunce ; 

Of Rowelond and of Olyver, 

And of everie Dofeper, 2 

Of Alyfander and Charlemain, 

Of Kyng Arthor and of Gawayn ; 

How they wer knyghtes good and curteys, 

Of Turpyn and of Ocier Daneys. 

Of Troye men rede in ryme, 

What werre ther was in olde tyme ; 

Of Eaor and of Achylles, 

What folk they flewe in that pres, &c. 3 

And again, in a fecond prologue, after a paufe has been made by 
the minftrel in the courfe of fmging the poem : 

Now hearkenes to my tale fothe, 
Though I fwere yow an othe 
I wole reden romaunces non 
Of Paris, 4 ne of Ypomydone, 
Of Alifaundre, ne Charlemagne, 
Of Arthour, ne of feie Gawain, 
Nor of fere Launcelot the Lake, 
Of Beffs, ne Guy, ne fere Sydrake, 
Ne of Ury, ne of Ofravian, 
Ne of Heftor the ftrong man, 
Ne of Jafon, neither of Hercules, 
Ne of Eneas, neither Achilles.* 



1 See Hi/I, of Hen. II. vol. iv. p. 361, App. 

2 Charlemagne's twelve peers. Douze Pairs. Fr. 

3 [The text has been corre&ed by Mr. Weber's edition of this romance, in his 
Metrical Romances, 1 8 1 o. Price.] 

4 [The old printed copy reads Pertonape,] perhaps Parthenope, or Parthenopeus. 

5 Line 6657. To fome of thefe romances the author of the MSS. Lives of the 
Saints, written about the year ifsjoo, and cited above at large, alludes in a iort of 
prologue. See feft. \.fupr. 

" Wei auht we loug Criftendom that is fo dere y bou3t, 
With oure lordes herte blode that the fpere hath y-fou?t. 



126 Allufion here to older Stories. s. 3. 

Here, among others, fome of the moft capital and favourite ftories 
of romance are mentioned, Arthur, Charlemagne, the Siege of 
Troy with its appendages, and Alexander the Great : and there are 
four authors of high efteem in the dark ages, Geoffry of Monmouth, 
Turpin, Guido di Colonna, and Callifthenes, whofe books were the 
grand repofitories of thefe fubje&s, and contained moft of the tradi- 
tionary fictions, whether of Arabian or claflical origin, which con- 
ftantly fupplied materials to the writers of romance. 



Men wilnethe more yhere of batayle of kyngis, 
And of kny3tis hardy, that mochel is lefyngis. 
Of Roulond and of Olyvere, and Gy of Warwyk, 
Of Wawayen and Triftram that ne foundde here y-iike. 
Who fo loveth to here tales of fuche thinge, 
Here he may y-here thyng that nys no leiynge, 
Of poftoles and marteres that hardi kny3ttes were, 
And ftedfaft were in bataile and fledde no3t for no fere,' 1 &c. 
The anonymous author of 'The boke of Stories called Cur for Mundi, tranflated 
from the French, feems to have been of the fame opinion. His work [is a hiftory 
of the two Teftaments] : but in the prologue he takes occafion to mention many 
tales of another kind, which were more agreeable to the generality of readers. 
MSS. Laud, K 53, f. 177, Bibl. Bodl. 

" Men lykyn Jeftis for to here 
And romans rede in divers manere : 
Of Alexandre the conquerour, 
Of Julius Cefar the emperour, 
Of Greece and Troy the ftrong ftryf, 
Ther many a man loft his lyf : 
Of Brut, that baron bold of hand, 
The firft conquerour of Englond ; 
Of kyng Artour that was fo ryche, 
Was non in hys tyme fo ilyche : 
Of wonders that among his knyghts felle, 
And auntyrs dedyn, as men her telle, 
As Gaweyn and othir full abylle, 
Which that kept the round tabyll. 
How kyng Charles and Rowland fawght 
With Sarazins, nold thei be cawght j 
Of Tryftram and YToude the fwete, 
How thei with love firft gan mete. 
Of kyng John and Ifenbras, 
Of Ydoyne and Amadas. 
Stories of divers thynges, 
Of princes, prelates and kynges : 
Many fongs of divers ryme, 
As Englifh, French, and Latyne, &c. 
This ylke boke is tranflate 
Into Englifh tong to rede 
For the love of Englifh lede, 
For comyn folk of England, &c. 
Syldyn yt ys for any chaunce 
Englifh tong preched is in Fraunce," &c. 

See Montf. Par. MSS. 7540, and p. iz^,fupr. [Sir F. Madden cites other MSS. 
of the Curfor Mundi in the Bodleian, Adv. Lib. Edinb., at Gottingen, et alibi. The 
work is to be printed from MSS. in the Br. Mus. and at Cambridge by the Early 
Englifh Text Society. Mr. Furnivall notes, that the MS. Cotton Vefp. A. iii. is 
the beft in the Northern dialeft : that at Trinity College, in a Midland one.] 



s. 3. The Romance of the Deftruttion of Troy. 127 

But I do not mean to repeat here what has been already obferved 1 
concerning the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Turpin. It 
will be fufficient to fay at prefent, that thefe two fabulous hiftorians 
recorded the achievements of Charlemagne and of Arthur : and that 
Turpin's hiftory was artfully forged under the name of. that arch- 
bifhop about the year mo, with a defign of giving countenance to 
the Crufades from the example of fo high an authority as Charle- 
magne, whofe pretended vifit to the holy fepulchre is defcribed in 
the twentieth chapter. 

As to the fiege of Troy, it appears that both Homer's poems 
were unknown, at leaft not underftood, in Europe from the aboli- 
tion of literature by the Goths in the fourth century to the four- 
teenth. Geoffrey of Monmouth indeed, who wrote about the year 
1 1 [28], a man of learning for that age, produces Homer in attefta- 
tion of a fa6t afferted in his hiftory : but in fuch a manner as mows 
that he knew little more than Homer's name, and was but imper- 
fectly acquainted with Homer's fubje6t. Geoffrey fays that Brutus, 
having ravaged the province of Aquitaine with fire and fword, came 
to a place where the city of Tours now ftands, as Homer teftifies. 2 
But the Trojan ftory was ftill kept alive in two Latin pieces, which 
paffed under the names of Dares Phrygius and Di6tys Cretenfis. 
Dares' hiftory of the deftrudlion of Troy, as it was called, which pur- 
ports to have been tranflated from the Greek of Dares Phrygius into 
Latin profe by Cornelius Nepos, is a wretched performance, and was 
forged under thofe fpecious names in the decline of Latin literature. 3 
Didtys Cretenfis is a profe Latin hiftory of the Trojan war, in fix 
books, paraphrafed about the reign of Dioclefian or Conftantine by 
one Septimius from fome Grecian hiftory on the fame fubjecl:, faid 
to be difcovered under a fepulchre by means of an earthquake in the 
city of Cnoffus about the time of Nero, and to have been compofed 
by Didtys, a Cretan and a foldier in the Trojan war. The fraud 
fo frequently pra6tifed, of difcovering copies of books in this extra- 
ordinary manner, in order to infer thence their high and indubitable 
antiquity, betrays itfelf. But that the prefent Latin Di&ys had a 
Greek original, now loft, appears from the numerous grecifms 
with which it abounds, and from the literal correfpondence of many 
paffages with the Greek fragments of one Diclys cited by ancient 
authors. The Greek original was very probably forged under the 



1 See Difs. i. 2 L. i. ch. 14. 

3 In the Epiftle prefixed, the pretended tranflator Nepos fays, that he found this 
work at Athens in the handwriting of Dares. He adds, fpeaking of the contro- 
verted authenticity of Homer, " De ea re Athenis judicium fuit, cum pro infano 
Homerus haberetur, quod deos cum hominibus belligerafle defcripflt." In which 
words he does not refer to any public decree of the Athenian judges, but to Plato's 
opinion in his Republic. Dares, with Diclys Cretenfis next mentioned in the text, 
was firft printed at Milan in 1477. Mabillon fays, that a manufcript of the Pfeudo- 
Dares occurs in the Laurentian library at Florence, upwards of eight hundred 
years old. Mus. Ital. i. p. 1 69. This work was abridged by Vincentius Bellova- 
cenfis, a friar of Burgundy, about the year 1244. See his Specul. Hiftor. lib. iii. 63. 



128 Guido di Colonna. s. 3. 

name of Diclys, a traditionary writer on the fubjecl:, in the reign of 
Nero, who is faid to have been fond of the Trojan ftory. 1 On the 
whole, the work appears to have been an arbitrary metaphrafe of 
Homer, with many fabulous interpolations. At length Guido di 
Colonna, a native of Meflina in Sicily, a learned civilian, and no 
contemptible Italian poet, about the year 1260, engrafting on Dares 
and Di6rys many new romantic inventions, which the tafte of his 
age dictated, and which the connection between Grecian and Gothic 
fiction eafily admitted, at the fame time comprehending in his plan 
the Theban and Argonautic ftories from Ovid, Statius, and Va- 
lerius Flaccus, 2 compiled a grand profe romance in Latin, con- 
taining fifteen books, and entitled in moft manufcripts Hiftoria de 
Bella Trojano? It was written at the requeft of Matteo di Porta, 
Archbifhop of Salerno. Dares Phrygius and Di6tys Cretenfis feem to 
have been in fome meafure fuperfeded by this improved and com- 
prehenfive hiftory of the Grecian heroes, [for, of courfe, Colonna 
cannot be regarded as the firft popularizer of the fubject ;] and from 
this period Achilles, Jafon and Hercules were adopted into romance, 
and celebrated in common with Lancelot, Rowland, Gawain, Oliver, 
and other Chriftian champions, whom they fo nearly refembled in the 
extravagance of their adventures. 4 This work abounds with Ori- 

1 See Perizon. Di/ertat. de Difi. Cretens. feft. xxix. Conftantinus Lafcaris, a 
learned monk of Conftantinople, one of the reftorersof Grecian literature in Europe 
near four hundred years ago, fays that Diclys Cretenfis in Greek was loft. This 
writer is not once mentioned by Euftathius, who lived about the year 1170, in his 
elaborate and extenfive commentary on Homer. 

2 The Argonautic s of Valerius Flaccus are cited in Chaucer's Hypfipik and Medea. 
" Let him reade the boke Argonauticon," v. 90. But Guido is afterwards cited 
as a writer on that fubjeft, ibid. 97. [Only two MSS. appear to be known : in 
Queen's Coll. Oxford, and at Holkham. It feems to be almoft open to queftion, 
whether Chaucer refers to Valerius Flaccus,] 

3 It was firft printed [at Cologne, 1477, and there are many later edits.] The 
work was finifhed, as appears by a note at the end, in 1287. It was tranflated into 
Italian by Philip or Chriftopher Ceffio, a Florentine, and this tranflation was firft 
printed at Venice in 1481,410. It has alfo been tranflated into German. See 
Lambec. ii. 948. The purity of our author's Italian ftyle has been much com- 
mended. For his Italian poetry, fee Mongitor, ubi. infra, p. 167, Compare alfo, 
Diar. Eruditor. Ital. xiii. 258. Montfaucon mentions, in the royal library at Paris, 
Le Roman de Thebes qui futracine de Troye la grande. Catal. MSS. ii. p. 923 
198. [This Roman de Thebes is in reality one of thofe works on the ftory of the 
fiege of Troy, engrafted either on that of Columna or on his materials. Douce '.] 

4 Bale fays, that Edward I. having met with our author in Sicily, in returning 
from Afia, invited him into England, xiii. 36. This prince was interefted in the 
Trojan ftory, as we mall fee below. Our hiftorians relate, that he wintered in Sicily 
in the year 1270. Chron. Rob. Brun. p. 227. A writer quoted by Hearne, fuppofed 
to be John Stow the chronicler, fays that " Guido de Columpna arriving in Eng- 
land at the commaundement of king Edward the Firfte, made fcholies and anno- 
"tations upon Di6lys Cretenfis and Dares Phrigius. Befides thefe, he writ at large 
the Battayle of Troye." Heming. Cartul. ii. 649. Among his works is recited 
Hiftoria de Regibus Rebufque Anglic. It is quoted by many writers under the title 
of Chronicum Britannorum. He is faid alfo to have written Chronicum Magnum 
libris xxxvi. See Mongitor. Bibl. Sic. i. 265. 

[Eichhorn has ftated thefe " Scholies" of Guido to have been publifhed in the 
year 1216; a manifeft miftake, fmce it leaves feventy-one years between this 



s. 3. Guido di Colonna. 1 29 

ental imagery, of which the fubje& was extremely fufceptible. It 
has alfo fome traits of Arabian literature. The Trojan horfe is a 
horfe of brafs ; and Hercules is taught aftronomy and the feven 
liberal fciences. But I forbear to enter at prefent into a more par- 
date and the period to which he affigns the firft appearance of the Hiftoria Trojana. 
But whatever may have been Guide's merit in thus affording a common text-book 
for fubfequent writers, his work could have contained little of novelty, either in 
matter or manner, for his contemporaries j and it may be reafonably doubted, 
whether his labours extended beyond the humble tafk of reducing into profe the 
metrical compilations of his predeceflbrs. It is true, this circumftance will not 
admit of abfolute proof, till the feveral poems upon the Trojan ftory extant in our 
own and various continental libraries (hall be given to trie world j but the follow- 
ing notices of fome of thefe produftions, though fcanty and imperfeft, will per- 
haps juftify the opinion which has been expreffed. The hiftory of the Anglo-Saxon 
kings by Geoffri Gaimar, a poet antecedent to Wace (1155), is but a fragment of 
a larger work, which the author affures us commenced with an account of Jafon 
and the Argonautic expedition. This was doubtlefs continued through the whole 
cycle of Grecian fabulous hiftory, till the fiege of Troy connefted Brutus, the 
founder of the Britifh dynafty, with the heroes of the ancient world. The volu- 
minous work of Benoit de Saint More (noticed by Warton below) is confeffedly 
taken from Dares Phrygius and Di6lys Cretenfis, and is adorned with all thofe 
fiftions of romance and chivalric coftume, which thefe writers are fuppofed to have 
received from the interpolations of Guido. Among the romances enumerated by 
Melis Stoke, as the produdions of earlier writers in Holland, and ftill (1300) held 
in general efteem, we find " The Conflift of Troy " (De Stryd van Troyen} j and 
we know upon the authority of Jakob van Maerlant (1270), the tranilator of Vin- 
cent de Beauvais' Speculum Hiftoriale, that this was a verfion of Benoit's poem. 
It is not fo certain whence Conrad of Wurzburg, a contemporary of Guido, de- 
rived his German Ilias; but he profeffes to have taken it from a French original, 
and his poem, like Gaimar's, commences with Jafon and the Argonautic expedi- 
tion. Upon the fame principle that Conrad conceived it neceffary to preface his 
Ilias with the ftory of the Golden Fleece, his countryman Henry von Veldeck 
embraced the whole of the Trojan war, its origin and confequences, in his verfion 
of the ^5neis. This, however, is ufually believed to be a tranuation from the 
Enlde of Chretien de Troyesj and, if the date (ante 1186) aflfumed for its appear- 
ance by Von der Hagen be correft, would place the French original in an 
earlier period than is given it by the French antiquaries. In the year 1210, Albrecht 
von Halberftadt publifhed a metrical verfion of Ovid's Metamorphofes. See Von 
der Hagen's Grundrifs zur Gefchichte der Deutfchen Poefie, Berlin, 1812; and Henrik 
van Wyn's Htftorifche A*v ondftonden, Amfterdam, 1800. Price.} 

[Sir F. Madden refers us to Hoffmann's Horae Belgicte, 1830, p. 30. Mr. 
Wright fpeaks of a hiftory of the fiege of Troy in Latin profe, attributed to the 
eleventh century, and executed in France (Arundel MSS. Br. Mus. No. 375).] 

[The popularity of the Hiftoria 'Trojana in Britain is well attefted by the number 
of verfions of it in Englifh that have come down to us. Befides Lydgate's Troy 
Book and the metrical verfion in the Bodleian Library, noticed by Warton, 
there is an Alliterative verfion in the Hunterian Mufeum, Univerfity of 
Glafgow, which the Early Englifh Text Society is now publifhingj and in a 
MS. copy of Lydgate in the Univerfity Library, Cambridge, there are two con- 
fiderable fragments of another verfion by Barbour, author of the Brus y difcovered by 
Mr. Bradfhaw in 1866. Thefe verfions are independent tranflations from Guido de 
Colonna, belong to the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth century, 
and muft have been made within a period of fifty years. Probably the earlieft was 
that by Barbour, then the Alliterative, then Lydgate's, and laft of all, the Bodleian. 
Yet there is abundant evidence that Lydgate had read the Alliterative verfion, for 
many of his interpolations and renderings are the fame as, or expanfions of thofe 
given in that verfion j the fame may be affirmed of the author of the Bodleian 
verfion. Indeed, it may be to the Alliterative verfion that the author refers as the 
II. K 



130 Gut Jo di Colonna. s. 3. 

ticular examination of this hiftory, as it muft often occafionally be 
cited hereafter. I fhall here only further obferve in general, that 
this work is the chief fource from which Chaucer derived his ideas 
about the Trojan ftory ; that it was profeffedly paraphrafed by Lyd- 
gate [between the years 1414 and 1420] into a prolix Englifh poem, 
called the Eoke of Troye, 1 at the command of Henry V. ; that it be- 
came the ground-work of a new compilation in French on the 
fame fubje6t ["out of dyuerce bookes of latyn"] by Raoul le Feure, 
chaplain to the Duke of Burgundy, in the year 1464 and partly 
tranflated into Englifh profe in the year 1471 by Caxton, under the 
title of the [recuyell of the hiftoryes of Troye,] at the requeft of 
Margaret, duchefs or Burgundy: and that from Caxton's book, 
afterwards modernifed, Shakefpeare [may have] borrowed his drama 
of Troilus and 



Romana that the " fothe telles," a phrafe that occurs very frequently in the Al- 
literative vrrfion. 

Befides thefe metrical renderings, the third book of Caxton's Recuyell of the 
Hiftoryes ofTroye^ is a profe tranflation of the greater portion of the Hifloria 'Trojana, 
omitting the ftory of Jafon and Medea. 

That the Bodleian MS. is probably a popular rendering of the Alliterative, 
compare the paflages given by Warton with thofe in the Early En glim Text 
Society, vol. i. pp. i2*-i5. All the paflages from the Bodleian MS. that I have 
compared, and they were many, (how the fame peculiarities : fome of them are even 
more ftriking. DonaldfonJ\ 

1 Who mentions it in a French as well as Latin romance : edit. 1555, fignat. 
B i. pag. 2 : 

" As in the latyn and the frenfhe yt is." 

It occurs in French, MSS. Bibl. Reg. Brit. Mus. 16 F. ix. This MS. was pro- 
bably written not long after the year 1300. In Lincoln's-inn Library there is a 
poem entitled Bellum 'Trojanum. Num. 150. Pr. 

" Sithen god hade this worlde wroght." 

2 The weftern nations, in early times, have been fond of deducing their origin 
from Troy. This tradition feems to be couched under Odin's original emigration 
from that part of Aiia which is connected with Phrygia. Afgard, or Afia's 
fortrefs, was the city from which Odin led his colony; and by fome it is called 
Troy. To this place alfo they fuppofed Odin to return after his death, where 
he was to receive thofe who died in battle, in a hall roofed with glittering 
fhields. See Bartholin. 1. ii. cap. 8, pp. 402, 403.^9. This hall, fays the Edda, 
is in the city of Afgard, which is called the Field of Ida. Bartholin. ibid. In the 
very fublime ode on the Diflblution of the World, cited by Bartholinus, it is faid, 
that after the twilight of the gods mould be ended, and the new world appear, 
" the Afae mail meet in the field of Ida, and tell of the deftroyed habitations." 
Barthol. 1. ii. cap. 14, p. 597. Compare Arngrim. Jon. Crymog. 1. i. c. 4, pp. 45, 
46. See allb Edda, fab. 5. In the proem to Refenius's Edda it is faid, " Odin 
appointed twelve judges or princes at Sigtune in Scandinavia, as at Troyj and 
eftablifhed there all the laws of Troy and the cuftoms of the Trojans/' See 
Hickes, Thefaur. i. Diflertat. Epift. p. 39. See alfo Mallet's Hiji. Dannem. ii. p. 
34. Bartholinus thinks that the compiler of the Eddie mythology, who lived A.D. 
1070, finding that the Britons and Franks drew their defcent from Troy, was 
ambitious of afligning the fame boafted origin to Odin. But this tradition appears 
to have been older than the Edda. And it is more probable that the Britons and 
Franks borrowed it from the Scandinavian Goths, and adapted it to themfelves j 
unlefs we fuppofe that thefe nations, I mean the former, were branches of the 
Gothic ftem, which gave them a ibrt of inherent right to the claim. This reafoning 



s. 3. Story of Alexander the Great. 131 

Proofs have been given in the two prologues juft cited of the 
general popularity of Alexander's ftory, another branch of Grecian 
hiftory famous in the dark ages. To thefe we may add the evidence 
of Chaucer : 

Alifaundres ftorie is fo commune, 

That everie wight that hath diicrecioune 

Hath herde fomewhat or al of his fortune. 1 

In the Houfe of Fame , Alexander is placed with Hercules. 2 I have 
already remarked that he was celebrated in a Latin poem by Gualtier 
de Chatillon, in the year I2I2. 3 Other proofs will occur in their 
proper places.* The truth is, Alexander was the moft eminent knight 
errant of Grecian antiquity. He could not therefore be long without 
his romance. Callifthenes, an Olynthian, educated under Ariftotle 
with Alexander, wrote an authentic life of Alexander. 5 This hiftory, 



may perhaps account for the early exiftence and extraordinary popularity of the 
Trojan ftory among nations ignorant and illiterate, who could only have received 
it by tradition. Geoffrey of Monmouth took this defcent of the Britons from 
Troy from the Welfh or Armoric bards, and they perhaps had it in common with 
the Scandinavian (balds. There is not a fyllable of it in the authentic hiftorians 
of England, who wrote before him 5 particularly thofe ancient ones, Bede, Gildas, 
and the uninterpolated Nennius. Henry of Huntingdon began his hiftory from 
Caefar ; and it was only on further information that he added Brute. But this in- 
formation was from a manufcript found by him in his way to Rome in the abbey 
of Bee in Normandy, [which, fays Sir F. Madden, is, however, merely a copy of 
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latin work.] H. Hunt. Epiftol. ad Warin. MSS. Cantabr. 
Bibl. publ. cod. 251. I have mentioned in another place, that Witlaf, a king of 
the Weft Saxons, grants in his charter, dated A.D. 833, among other things to 
Croyland-abbey his robe of tiflue, on which was embroidered " The deftruclion of 
Troy." Obs. on Spenfer^s Fairy Queen, i. feel. v. p. 176. This proves the ftory 
to have been in high veneration even long before that period : and it mould at the 
fame time be remembered, that the Saxons came from Scandinavia. 

This fable of the defcent of the Britons from the Trojans was folemnly alleged 
as an authentic and undeniable proof in a controverfy of great national importance, 
by Edward I. and his nobility, without the leaft objection from the oppofite party. 
It was in the famous difpute concerning the fubje&ion of the crown of England to 
that of Scotland, about the year 1301. The allegations are in a letter to Pope 
Boniface, figned and fealed by the king and his lords. Tpodigm. Neuftr. apud 
Camd. Angl. Norman, p. 492. Here is a curious inftance of the implicit faith 
with which this tradition continued to be believed even in a more enlightened age, 
and an evidence that it was equally credited in Scotland. 

1 V. 656. 2 V. 323. 3 See Second DifTertation. 

4 In the reign of Henry I. the fheriff of Nottinghamfhire is ordered to procure 
the queen's chamber at Nottingham to be painted with the Hiftory of Alexander. 
Madox, Hift. Excft. pp. 24.9-259. " Depingi facias hiftoriam Alexandri undi- 
quaque." In the Romance of Richard, the minftrel fays of an army affembled at 
a fiege in the Holy Land, fign. Qjii : 

" Covered is both mount and playne 
Kyng Alyfaunder and Charlemayne 
He never had halfe the route 
As is the city now aboute." 

By the way, this is much like a pafTage in Milton, Par. Reg. iii. 337 : 
" Such forces met not, nor fo wide a camp, 
When Agrican," &c. 

5 See Recherch.fur la Vie et les Outrages de Calliflhene. Par M. TAbbe Sevin. 



132 Life of Alexander s. 3. 

which is frequently referred to by ancient writers, has been long 
fince loft. But a Greek life of this hero, under the adopted name 
of Callifthenes, at prefent exifts, and is no uncommon manufcript in 
good libraries. 1 It is entitled, Eiog Ateav$wu rou Maxsdovos nai npai-i<;. 
That is, The Life and Attions of Alexander the Macedonian. z This 
piece was written in Greek, being a tranflation from the Perfic, by 
Simeon Seth, ftyled Magifter^ and protoveftiary or wardrobe keeper 
of the Palace of Antiochus at Conftantinople, 3 about the year 1070 
under the Emperor Michael Ducas. 4 It was moft probably very 

Mem.de Lit. viii. p. 126, 4to. But many very ancient Greek writers had corrupted 
Alexander's hiftory with fabulous narratives, fuch as Orthagoras, Oneficritus, &c. 

[Julian Africanus, who lived in the third century,records the fable of Neftanabus, 
king of Egypt, the prefumptive father of Alexander, who figures fo confpicuoufly 
in the later romances. It is alib prefumed, that fimilar fictions were introduced 
into the poems of Arrian, Hadrian, and Soterichus. See Gbrres Volkjbucher, p. 58, 
a tranflation of whofe obfervations upon this fubjeft will be found in the Retro- 
fpeflive Review, No. vi. For an account of Arabic, Turkifh, and Perfian verfions 
of this ftory, fee Herbelot, 5. 144, and Weber's Metrical Romances, vol. i. xx. 
Price.} 

1 Particularly Bibl. Bodl. Oxon. MSS. Barocc. Cod. xvii. And Bibl. Reg. 
Paris. Cod. 2064. See Montfauc. Catal. MSS. p. 733. See paflages cited from 
this manufcript, in Steph. Byzant. Abr. Berckel. V. BswtE^aXEia. Caefar Bulenger 
de Circo, c. xiii. 30, &c. and Fabric. Bibl. Gr. xiv. 148, 149, 150. It is adduced 
by Du Cange, GloJ/ar. Gr. ubi vid. torn. ii. Catal. Scriptor. p. 24. 

2 Undoubtedly many fmaller hiftories now in our libraries were formed from this 
greater work. 

3 npft>To#raptof, Proto<veftiarius. See Du Cange, Coiiftantinop. Chrift. lib. ii. 16. 
n. 5. Et ad Zonar. p. 46. 

4 Allat. de Simeonibus, p. 181. And Labb. Bibl. nov. MSS. p. 115. Simeon 
Seth tranflated many Perfic and Arabic books into Greek. Allat. ubi fupr. 
p. i$z,feq. Among them he tranflated from Arabic into Greek, about the year 
i too, for the ufe of or at the requeft of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus, the cele- 
brated Indian Fables now commonly called the Fables of Bidpay. This work he 
entitled, SrEfavm? xai l^roXamc, and divided it into fifteen books. It was printed 
at Berlin, A.D. 1697, under the title, Ivf^scav Mayurpa aai ^Xotroqa rov ZnQ Ki/XtXe xai 
A,uv. Thefe are the names of two African or Aiiatic animals, called in Latin 
Thoes, a fort of [jackall,] the principal interlocutors in the fables. Seel. i-ii. This 
curious monument of a fpecies of inftruftion peculiar to the Orientals is upwards 
of two thoufand years old. It has parted under a great variety of names. Khofru 
a king of Perfia, in whofe reign Mahomet was born, fent his phyfician named 
Burzvifch into India, on purpofe to obtain this book, which was carefully preferved 
among the treafures of the kings of India, and commanded it to be tranflated out 
of the Indian language into the ancient Perfic. Herbelot. DicJ. Oriental, p. 456. 
It was foon afterwards turned into Syriac, under the title Calaileg and Damnag. 
Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vi. p. 461. About the year of Chrift 750, one of the caliphs 
ordered it to be tranflated from the ancient Perfic into Arabic, under the name 
Kalila <ve Damna. Herbel. ubi fupr. In the year 920, the Sultan Ahmed, of 
the dynafty of the Samanides, procured a tranflation into more modern Perfic : 
which was foon afterwards put into verfe by a celebrated Perfian poet named Rou- 
deki. Herbel. ibid. Fabric, ibid. p. 462. About the year 1130, the Sultan 
Bahram, not fatisfied with this Perfian verfion, ordered another to be executed by 
Nafrallah, the moft eloquent man of his age, from the Arabic text of Mocanna : 
and this Perfian verfion is what is now extant under the title Kalila <ve Damna. 
Herbel. ibid. See alfo Herbel. p. 118. But as even this laft-menrioned verfion 
had too many Arabic idioms and obfolete phrafes, in the reign of Sultan Hofein 
Mirza, it was thrown into a more modern and intelligible ftyle, under the name of 
Anitar Soheli. Frafer's Hi/}. Nadir-Shah. Catal. MSS. pp. 19, 20. Nor muft it 



s, 3. in the Greek Tongue. 133 

foon afterwards tranflated from the Greek into Latin, and at length 
from thence into French, Italian, and German. 1 The Latin tranf- 



be forgotten, that about the year noo, the Emir Sohail, general of the armies of 
HufTain, Sultan of Khoraflan of the pofterity of Timur, caufed a new tranflation to 
be made by the Dr. Huflien Vaez, which exceeded all others in elegance and per- 
fpicuity. It was named Anvuair Sohaili, Splendor Canopi, from the Emir who was 
called after the name of that ftar. Herbel. pp. 1 1 8, 245. It would be tedious to 
mention every new title and improvement which it has parted through among the 
eaftern people. It has been tranflated into the Turkifli language both in prole and 
verfe: particularly for the ufe of Bajazet II. and Solyman II. Herbel. p. 118. 
It has been alfo tranflated into Hebrew by Rabbi Joel : and into Latin, under the 
title DirecJorium Vita humanee, by Johannes of Capua [about 1480.] From 
thence [in 1498] it got into Caftilian : and from the Spanifh was made an Italian 
verfion, printed at Ferrara, A.D. 1583, viz. Lelo Damno [for Calilah u Damnah\ del 
Governo de regni,fotto morali, &c. A lecond edition appeared at Ferrara in 1610, 
viz. Philofophia morale del doni, &c. But there was an Italian edition at Venice, 
under the fail-mentioned title, with old rude cuts, 1552. From the Latin verfion 
[alfo] it was tranflated into German, by the command of Ebelhard firft Duke of 
Wirtenberg : and this tranflation was printed at Ulm [1485. There are feveral later 
editions by David Sahid d'Ifpahan which appeared at Paris in 1644, of which 
Gilbert Gaulmin is believed to have been in great part the author.] But this is 
rather a paraphrafe, and was reprinted in Holland. See Starchius, ubifupr. praef. 
19, 20, 22. Fabric, ubi fupr. p. 463, feq. Another tranflation was printed at 
Paris, viz. Contes et Fables Indiennes de Bidpai et De Lokman tr adults d'Ali Tchelchi- 
Bengalek auteur Turc, par M. Galland [1724, and again, 1778.] Fabricius fays, 
that Mons. Galland had procured a Turkifti copy of this book four times larger 
than the printed copies, being a verfion from the original Perfic, and entitled Hu- 
magoun Nameh, that is, The royal or imperial book, fo called by the Orientals, who 
are of opinion that it contains the whole art of government. See Fabric, ubifupr. 
p. 465. Herbel. p. 456. A tranflation into Englifh from the French of the four 
firtt books was printed at London in 1747, under the title of Pilpay's fables; [but 
all the earlier Englifli verfions are fingularly indifferent. The beft tranflation is that 
by Eaftwick in 1854.] As to the name of the author of this book, Herbelot fays 
that Bidpai was an Indian philofopher, and that his name fignifies the merciful phy- 
fician. See Herbelot, pp. 206, 456, and Bibl. Lugdun. Catal. p. 301. [Sir Wm. 
Jones, who derives this name from a Sanfcrit word, interprets it the beloved or 
favourite phyfician. Price."] Others relate, that it was compofed by the Brahmins 
of India, under the title Kurtuk Dumnik. Frafer, ubifupr. p. 19. It is alfo faid to have 
been written by Ifame fifth king of the Indians, and tranflated into Arabic from the 
Indian tongue three hundred years before Alexander the Macedonian. Abraham 
Ecchelens, Not. ad Catal. Ebed Jefu y p. 87. The Indians reckon this book among 
the three things in which they furpafs all other nations, viz. " Liber Culila et 
Dimna, ludus Shatangri, et novem figurae numerarise." Saphad. Comment, ad 
Carm. Tograi. apud Hyde, prolegom. ad lib. de lud. Oriental, d. 3. Hyde intended 
an edition of the Arabic verfion. Prtefat. ad lib. de lud. Oriental, vol. ii. 1767, 
edit, ad calc. I cannot forfake this fubjeft without remarking, that the Perfians 
have another book, which they efteem older than any writings of Zoroafter, entitled 
Javidan Chrad, that is, aterna Sapientia. Hyde Praefat. Relig. Vet. Perfarum. 
This has been alfo one of the titles of Bidpai's Fables. 

See Wolfii Bibl. Hebr. i. 468, ii. 931, iii. 350, iv. 934. 

[The Indian origin of thefe fables is now placed beyond the poflibility of dif- 
pute. Mr. Colebrooke has publifhed a Sanfcrit verfion of them, under the title of 
Hitopadefa, and they have been tranflated, from the fame language, by Sir Wm. 
Jones and Dr. Wilkins. Price. Seefupra.] 

1 Cafaub. Epiji. ad Jos. Scaliger. 402,413. Scalig. Epifl. ad Cafaubon, 113, 
115; who mentions alto a tranflation of this work from the Latin into Hebrew, 
by one who adopted the name of Jos. Gorionides, called Pfeudo-Gorionides. This 
Latin hiftory was tranflated into German by John Hartlieb Moller, a German 



134 Fabulous Lives of Alexander. s. 3. 

lation was printed at Cologne in 1489.* [Among Rawlinfon's 
books at Oxford is a MS. copy of the Gefta Alexandri Metrice 
Compofita, which once belonged to Hearne.] It is faid to have been 
[written in Greek by /Efopus, and to have been thence turned into 
Latin] by Julius Valerius : ~ fuppofititious names, which feem to have 
been forged by the artifice, or introduced through the ignorance, of 
fcribes and librarians. This Latin tranflation, however, is of high 
antiquity in the middle age of learning: for it is quoted by Giraldus 
Cambrenfis, who flourifhed about the year iigo. 3 About the year 
1236, the fubftance of it was thrown into a long Latin poem, written 
in elegiac verfe 4 by Aretinus Quilichinus. 5 This fabulous narrative 
of Alexander's life and achievements is full of prodigies and extrava- 
gances. 6 But we fliould remember its origin. The Arabian books 



phyfician, at the command of Albert Duke of Bavaria, and publimed Auguft. 
Vindel. A.D. 1478, fol. [This edition was preceded by two others from the prefs 
of B'amler, dated 1472 and 1473. Thefe and the Strafburg edition of 1488 call 
the tranflator Dr. John Hartlieb of Munich. Price.] See Lambecc. lib. ii. de 
Bibl. Vindobon, p. 949. Labbe mentions a fabulous hiftory of Alexander, written, 
as he fays, in 1217, and tranfcribed in 1455. Undoubtedly this in the text. Lon- 
dinenfis quotes "pervetuftum quendam librum manufcriptum de a&ibus Alexandri." 
Hearne's T. Caius ut infr. p. 82. See alfo pp. 86, 258. 

1 Lenglet mentions Hiftoria fabulofa incerti authoris de Alexandri Magni praliis, 
1494. He adds, that it is printed in the latt edition of Caefar's Commentaries by 
Graevius in oftavo. Bibl. des Romans, ii. pp. 228, 229, edit. Amft. Compare 
Vogt's Catalogue librorum rarior, p. 24, edit. 1753. Montfaucon fays this hiftory 
of Callifthenes occurs often in the royal library at Paris, both in Greek and Latin : 
but that he never faw either of them printed. Cat. MSS. ii. p. 733, 2543. 
I think a life of Alexander is fubjoined to an edition of Quintus Curtius in 1584 
by Joannes Monachus. 

2 Du Cange Gloffar. Gr. v. E&xxwc. Jurat, ad Symmach. iv. 33. Earth. Ad- 
verfar. ii. 10, v. 14. [Sir F. Madden has mown that the work of Julius Valerius, 
which is faid to have been taken from the Greek of ^ibpus, is entirely different 
from the ordinary Latin profe narratives of the Life of Alexander. It was publimed 
by Mai, Frankf. 1818, 8vo., with a fecond piece called Itinerarium Alexandri, from 
MSS. in the Ambrofian library, at Milan, of the twelfth century.] 

3 Hearne, T. Caii V'wdic. Antiquit. Acad. Oxon. torn. ii. Not. p. 802, who 
thinks it a work of the monks. "Nee dubium quin monachus quifpiam Latine, 
ut potuit, fcripferit. Eo modo, quo et alios id genus foetus parturiebant fcriptores 
aliquot monaftici, e fabulis quas vulgo admodum placere fciebant." Ibid. 

4 A Greek poem on this fubjeft will be mentioned below, written in politic 
verfes, entitled AX^avfyst/c o MaxeW. 

5 Labb. Bibl. Nov. MSS. p. 68. Ol. Borrich. Di/ertat. de Poet. p. 89. 

6 The writer relates that Alexander, Lnclofed in a veflel of glafs, dived to the 
bottom of the ocean for the fake of getting a knowledge of fifties and fea monfters. 
He is alfo reprefented as foaring in the air by the help of gryphons. At the end, 
the opinions of different phiiofophers are recited concerning the fepulchre of 
Alexander. Neftabanos, a magician and aftrologer, king of Egypt, is a very 
fignificant character in this romance. He transforms himfelf into a dragon, &c. 
Compare Herbelot. Bibl. Oriental, p. 319, b. feq. In fome of the MSS. of this 
piece which I have feen, there is an account of Alexander's vifit to the trees of the 
fun and moon : but I do not recolledr. this in the printed copies. Undoubtedly the 
original has had both interpolations and omiflions. Pfeudo-Gorionides above 
mentioned feems to hint at the groundwork of this hiftory of Alexander in the 
following pafTage : " Caeteras autem res ab Alexandro geftas, et egregia ejus 
facinora ac quaecunque demum perpetravit, ea in libris Medorum et Perfarum, 



s. 3. Fabulous Lives of Alexander. 135 

abound with the moft incredible fi6Uons and traditions concerning 
Alexander the Great, which they probably borrowed and improved 
from the Perfians. They call him Efcander. If I recollect right, 
one of the miracles of this romance is our hero's horn. It is laid, 
that Alexander gave the fignal to his whole army by a wonderful 
horn of immenfe magnitude, which might be heard at the diftance 
of fixty miles, and that it was blown or founded by fixty men at 
once. 1 This is the horn which Orlando won from the giant Jat- 
mund, and which, as Turpin and the Iflandic bards report, was 
endued with magical power, and might be heard at the diftance of 
twenty miles. Cervantes fays, that it was bigger than a mafly 
beam. 2 Boiardo, Berni and Ariofto have all fuch a horn : and 
the fiction is here traced to its original fource. But in fpeaking 
of the books which furnifhed the ftory of Alexander, I muft not 
forget that Quintus Curtius was an admired hiftorian of the romantic 
ages. He is quoted in the P oiler aticon of John of Salifbury, who 
died in the year n8i. 3 Eneas Sylvius relates, that Alphonfus IX., 
king of Spain in the thirteenth century and a great aftronomer, en- 
deavoured to relieve himfelf from a tedious malady by reading the 
Bible over fourteen times, with all the glofles ; but not meeting with 
the expected fuccefs, he was cured by the confolation he received 
from once reading Quintus Curtius. 4 Peter Blefenfis, [or Peter of 
Blois,] Archdeacon of London, a ftudentat Paris about the year 1 150, 
mentioning the books moft common in the fchools, declares that he 
profited much by frequently looking into this author. 5 Vincentius 
Bellovacenfis, cited above, a writer of the thirteenth century, often 
quotes Curtius in his Speculum HiftorialeP He was alfo early tranf- 
lated into French. Among the royal MSS. in the Britim Mufeum, 
there is a fine copy of a French tranflation of this claffic, adorned 
with elegant old paintings and illuminations, entitled, ^ulnte Curfe 
Ruf) des falz d? Alexandra ^ ix. llv. tranjlate par Vajque de Lucene 
Portugalois. Efcrlpt par la mam de Jehan du Cbefne^ a Lille. 1 It 



atque apud Nicolaum, Titum, et Strabonem ; et in libris nativitatis Alexandri, 
rerumque ab iplb geftarum, quos Magi ac ^Egyptii eo anno quo Alexander deceflit, 
compofuerunt, fcripta reperies." Lib. ii. c. 12-22, [Lat. Vers.] p. 152, edit. Jo. 
Frid. Briethaupt. 

1 It is alfo in a MS. entitled Secreta Secretorum Ariftotelis, lib. 5. MSS. Bodl. 
D. i, 5. This treatife, afcribed to Ariftotle, was anciently in high repute. It is 
pretended to have been translated out of Greek into Arabic or Chaldee by one 
John, a Spaniard j thence into Latin by Philip, a Frenchman 5 at length into 
Englifh verfe by Lydgate : under whom more will be faid of it. [The Latin is 
dedicated to Guido Vere de Valentia, Bimop of Tripoli. Madden,] 

2 See Obfervat. Fair. ^u. i. v. p. 202. 

3 viii. 18. 4 Op. p. 476. 

5 Epift. 101. Frequenter infpicere hlftarlas Q. Cur til , &c. 

iv. 61, &c. Montfaucon, I think, mentions a MS. of Q. Curtius in the Col- 
bertine library at Paris 800 years old. See Barth. ad Claudian. p. 1165. Alex- 
ander Benedi&us, in his hiftory of Venice, tranfcribes whole pages from this 
hiftorian. I could give other proofs. 

17 F i. Brit. Mus. And again, 20 C. iii. and 150. iv. [Sir F. Madden 
to M. Paris's Cat. of the MSS. of the Bibl. Imper. 1836, Noes, 6727-9.] 




136 Romances written by Chreftien de Troyes. s. 3. 

was made in 1468. But I believe the Latin tranflations of Simeon 
Seth's romance on this fubjecl: were beft known and mod efteemed 
for fome centuries. 

The French, to refume the main tenor of our argument, had 
written metrical romances on moft of thefe fubjedls before or about 
the year 1200. Some of thefe feem to have been formed from profe 
hiftories, enlarged and improved with new adventures and embellim- 
ments from earlier and more fimple tales in verfe on the fame fub- 
je6t. Chreftien of Troyes wrote Le Romans du Graal, or the ad- 
ventures of the Sangraal, which included the deeds of King Arthur, 
Sir Triftram, Lancelot du Lac, and the reft of the knights of the 
round table, before 1191. There is a pafTage in a coeval romance, 
relating to Chreftien, which proves what I have juft advanced, that 
fome of thefe hiftories previoufly exifted in profe : 

Chriftlans qui entent et paine 
A rimoyer le meillor conte, 
Par le commandement le Conte, 
Qu'il foit contez in cort royal 
Ce eft li contes del Graal 
Dont li quens li bailla le livre. 1 

Chreftien alfo wrote the romance of Sir Percival, which belongs to 
the fame hiftory. 2 Godfrey de Ligny, a cotemporary, finifhed a 
romance begun by Chreftien, entitled La Cbarette [or Du Chevalier a 
la Charette], containing the adventures of Launcelot. [This has been 
printed of late years.] Fauchet affirms, that Chreftien abounds with 

1 Apud Fauchet, Rec. liv. ii. x. p. 99, who adds, " Je croy bien que Romans que 
nous avons ajourdhuy imprimez, tels que Lancelot du Lac, Triftan, et autres, font 
refondus fus les vielles profes et rymes et puis refraichis de language." 

[The Roman du Saint Graal is afcribed to an anonymous Trouvere by M. Roque- 
fort, who denies that it was written by Chretien de Troyes. On the authority 
of the Cat. de la Valliere, he alfo attributes the firft part of the profe verfion of this 
romance to Luces du Gaft, and the continuation only to Robert de Borron. Of de 
Borron's work entitled Enjierrement de Merlin ou Roman de St. Graal, there is a metri- 
cal verfion MS. no. 1987 fonds de Tabbaye St. Germain. See Poejie Franf aife dans 
les xii. et xiii. Siecles. Price.] 

The oldeft MSS. of romances on thefe fubjefts which I have feen are the follow- 
ing. They are in the royal MSS. of the Britifh Mufeum. Le Romanz de 'Triftran^ 
20 D. ii. This was probably tranfcribed not long after the year 1200. Hiftoire 
du Lancelot ou S. Graal, ibid. iii. Perhaps older than the year 1200. Again, 
Hiftoire du S. Graal, ou Lancelot, 20 C. vi. i. Tranfcribed foon after 1200. This 
is imperfecT: at the beginning. The fubjeft of Jofeph of Arimathea bringing a vef- 
fel of the Sangral, that is [the holy dilh or veflel] into England, is of high anti- 
quity. It is thus mentioned in Morte Arthur. " And then the old man had an 
harpe, and he fung an olde fonge how Jofeph of Arimathy came into this lande." 
B. iii. c. 5. 

2 Fauchet, p. 103. [Perceval le galloys, le qui acheua les aduetures du SalSl Graal, 
auec aulchunsfaiflz belliqueulz du noble cheualier Gauual, Gfr.], tranjlatees derimede 
r ancien auteur . [Chretien de Troyes. Printed at Paris, 1530, folio. This writer 
at his death left the ftory unfiniftied. It was refumed by Gautier de Denet, and 
concluded by MefTenier. See Roquefort ut fup. p. 194. Price.] 

In the royal library at Paris is Le Roman de Perfe<val le Galois, par Creftien de 
'Troyes. In verfe, fol. Mons. Galland thinks there is another romance under this 
title, Mem. de Lit. iii. p. 4.27, feq. 433, 8vo. The author of which he fuppofes may 
be Rauol de Biavais, mentioned by Fauchet, p. 142. Compare Lenglet, Bibl. Rom. 



s. 3. The Twelve Peers of France. 137 

beautiful inventions. 1 But no ftoryis fo common among the earlieft 
French poets as Charlemagne and his Twelve peers. In the Britifh 
Mufeum we have an old French MS. containing the hiftory of 
Charlemagne, tranflated into profe from Turpin's Latin. The 
writer declares, that he preferred a fober profe tranflation of this 
authentic hiftorian, as hiftories in rhyme, undoubtedly very numerous 
on this fubje&, looked fo much like lies. 2 His title is extremely 
curious : Ci comence F Eftoire que Turpin le Ercevefque de Reins 
ft del bon roy Gharlemayne, coment II conquift Efpaigne y e delivera 
des Pa ens. Et pur ceo qe Ejtoire rimee femble menfunge, eft cefte mis 
in prtjfe, folun le Latin qe Turpin mefmes fift, tut enfi cume il le vifl 
et vi 

feier the Dane makes a part of Charlemagne's hiftory, and, I 
eve, is mentioned by Archbimop Turpin. But his exploits have 
bepi recorded in verfe by Adenez, an old French poet, not men- 
tic/ned by Fauchet, author of the two metrical romances of 
Kerthe] and Cleomades^ under the name of Ogier le Danois^ in the 
year 1270. This author was mafter of the muficians, or, as others 
(ay, heralds at arms, to the Duke of Brabant. Among the royal 



p. 250. The author of this laft-mentioned Percevall, in the exordium, fays that he 
wrote, among others, the romances of Eneas, Roy Marc, and Ufelt le Blonde : and 
that he tranflated into French, Ovid's Art of Love. [The French romance of Per- 
ceval is preferred in a MS. in the College of Arms, No. 14. Madden. The 
Englifh tranflation is preferred in a MS. in Lincoln Cathedral Library, and is in- 
cluded in Mr. Halliwell's Thornton Romances, 1844.] 

1 P. 105, ibid. [Perhaps the fame, fays Ritfon, with Les romans de Chevalier 
a repee, ou L"Hiflolre de Lancelot du Lac. To the fame romance-writer are attri- 
buted, Du Chevalier a Lion, du prince Alexandre, d"Erec, with others that are now 
loft. Park. M. Roquefort's catalogue of Chretien's works ftill extant contains : 
Perceval, le Chevalier au Lion, Lancelot du Lac, Cliget (Cleges ?), Guillaume d'Angle- 
terre, and Erec et Enide. The latter probably gave rife to the opinion, that Chretien 
tranflated the JEneid, and which has been adopted from Von der Hagen. Price.} 

2 There is a curious paflage to this purpofe in an old French profe romance 
of Charlemagne, written before the year 1200. " Baudouin Comte de Hainau 
trouva a Sens en Bourgongne le vie de Charlemagne : et mourant la donna a fa 
four Yolond Comtefle de S. Pol, qui nTa prie que je la mette en Roman fans ryme. 
Parce que tel fe delitera el Roman qui del Latin n'ent cure ; et par le Roman fera 
mielx gardee. Maintes gens en ont ouy center et chanter, mais n'eft ce menfonge 
non ce qu'ils en difent et chantent cil conteour ne cil jugleor. Nuz contes rymes 
n'en eft vrais : tot menfonge ce qu'ils dient." Liv. quatr. [Sir F. Madden notes that 
this is the fame as that of Turpin, and refers to M. Paris's Cat. of the MSS. 
in the national library at Paris, pp. 211-20. There is certainly no conclufive 
teftimony in favour of the compofition of the tranflation between 1178 and 1205, 
though Sir F. M. pofitively declares, that it " muft be limited between thefe dates." 
He mentions that it was Yoland Countefs of St. Pol, who caufed the metrical ftory 
of Guillaume de Palerme to be tranflated into French. This is our William andthe 
Werwolf, edited by Sir F. M. 1832, and more recently by the Early Text Society.] 

3 MSS. Harl. 273, f. 86. There is a very old metrical romance on this fubjecl, 
ibid. MSS. Harl. 527, 1. f. i. [Ogier le Dannois due de Dannemarche was printed 
at Paris about 1498 ; and at Troyes in 1608, were printed, Hijloire de Morgant 
legeant, and Hiftoire des nobles Prove/es et Radiances de Gallien reflaure. Park. 
See alfo M. Michel's edit, of Charlemagne, 1836, from Royal MS. 16 E. viii. 7, 
written in the twelfth century.] 



138 Extreme Popularity of s. 3. 

MSS. in the Mufeum we have a poem, Le Livre de Ogeir de Danne- 
marcheS The French have like wife illuirrated this champion in 
Leonine rhyme. And I cannot help mentioning that they have in 
verfe Vifions of Oddegir the Dane In the kingdom of Fairy, " Vifions 
d' Ogeir le Danois au Royaume de Faerie en vers Francois," printed 
at Paris in J548. 2 

On the Trojan ftory the French have an ancient poem, at leaft 
not pofterior to the thirteenth century, entitled Roman de Troye, 
written by Benoit de SaincT: More. As this author appears not to 
have been known to the accurate Fauchet, nor la Croix du Maine, 
I will cite the exordium, efpecially as it records his name, and im- 
plies that the piece [was] tranflated from the Latin, and that the fub- 
jecT: was not then common in French : 

Cette eftoire rTeft pas ufee, 

N'en gaires livres rfeft trouvee : 

La retraite ne fut encore 

Mais Beneoit de fainte More, 

L'a tranflate, et fait et dit, 

Et a fa main les mots ecrit. 

He mentions his own name again in the body of the work, and at 
the end : 

Je n'en fait plus ne plus en dit j 
Beneoit qui c'eft Roman fit. 3 

Du Cange enumerates a metrical MS. romance on this fubjecl: by 
Jaques Millet, entitled De la Deftruftion de Troie* Montfaucon, 
whofe extenfive inquiries nothing could efcape, mentions Dares Phri- 
gius tranflated into French verfe, at Milan, about the twelfth cen- 
tury. 5 We find alfo, among the royal MSS. at Paris, Di&ys Creten- 
fis tranflated into French verfe. 6 To this fubje6t, although almoft 
equally belonging to that of Charlemagne, we may alfo refer a French 
romance in verfe, written by Philipes Moufques, canon and chancel- 
lor of the church of Tournay. It is, in fa6t, a chronicle of France : 
but the author, who does not choofe to begin quite fo high as Adam 
and Eve, nor yet later than the Trojan war, opens his hiftory with 
the rape of Helen, pafles on to an ample defcription of the fiege of 

1 15 E. vi. 4. 

[The title of Adenez' poem is Les Enfances d'Ogier-le-Danois, a copy of which 
is preferved among the Harl. MSS. No. 4404. His other poem, noticed in the text, 
is called Le Roman de Pepin et de Berthe. See Cat. Valliere, No. 2734. The life of 
Ogier contained in the royal MS. embraces the whole career of this illuftrious hero ; 
and is evidently a diftin6l work from that of Adenez. Whether it be the fame ver- 
fion alluded to in the French romance of Alexander, where the author is diftinguifhed 
from the " conteurs batards " of his day, is left to more competent judges. Price. 
For an account of the modern printed edition of thefe and other romances of the 
fame cycle, fee Bmnet, dern. edit. art. RojnanJ] 

2 There is alfo VHijloire du freux Meurvin fils d'Ogier le Danois, Paris, 1539 
and 1540. [Of this there is an Englifti verfion, Lond. 1612, 4to.] 

3 See Galland utfupr. p. 425. [For an account of Benoit de Saint More's poem, 
the reader is referred to the i2th vol. of the Arc hueologia, and to the modern edition 
or' the original.] 

4 Glois. Lot. Ind. Aut. p. cxiii. 5 Monum. Fr. i. 374. 
6 See Montf. Catal. MSS. ii. p. 1669. 



s. 3. the Trojan Story. 139 

Troy, and through an exaft detail of all the great events which 
fucceeded conduits his reader to the year 1240. This work com- 
prehends all the fictions of Turpin's Charlemagne, with a variety of 
other extravagant ftories difperfed in many prbfefled romances. But 
it preferves numberlefs curious particulars, which throw confiderable 
light on hiftorical fa&s. Du Cange has collected from it all that 
concerns the French emperors of Conftantinople, which he has 
printed at the end of his entertaining hiftory of that city. 

It was indeed the fafhion for the hiftorians of thefe times to form 
fuch a general plan as would admit all the abfurdities of popular 
tradition. Connection of parts and uniformity of fubjecl: were as 
little ftudied as truth. Ages of ignorance and fuperftition are more 
affefted by the marvellous than by plain facls, and believe what 
they find written without difcernment or examination. No man 
before the fixteenth century prefumed to doubt that the Francs 
derived their origin from Francus, a fon of He&or ; that the 
Spaniards were defcended from Japhet, the Britons from Brutus, 
and the Scots from Fergus. Vincent de Beauvais, who lived 
under Louis IX. of France, and who, on account of his extraordi- 
nary erudition, was appointed preceptor to that king's fons, very 
gravely clafles archbifhop Turpin's Charlemagne among the real 
hiftories, and places it on a level with Suetonius and Caefar. He 
was himfelf an hiftorian, and has left a large hiftory of the world, 
fraught with a variety of reading, and of high repute in the middle 
ages ; but edifying and entertaining as this work might have been 
to his cotemporaries, at prefent it ferves only to record their pre- 
judices, and to chara&erife their credulity. 1 

Hercules and Jafon, as I have before hinted, were involved in the 
Trojan ftory by Guido di Colonna, and hence became familiar to 
the romance writers. 2 The Hercules, the Thefeus, and the Amazons 
of Boccaccio, hereafter more particularly mentioned, came from this 
fource. I do not at prefent recolle6t any old French metrical 
romances on thefe fubje&s, but prefume that there are many. Jafon 
feems to have vied with Arthur and Charlemagne ; and fo popular 
was his expedition to Colchos, or rather fo firmly believed, that in 
honour of fo refpe&able an adventure a duke of Burgundy inftituted 
the order of the Golden Fleece in the year 1468. At the fame 
time his chaplain Raoul le Feure illuftrated the ftory which gave 
rife to this magnificent inftitution, in a prolix and elaborate hiftory, 
afterwards tranflated by Caxton. 3 But I muft not forget, that 

1 He flourifhed about 1260. 

2 The Trojomanna Saga, a Scandic manufcript at Stockholm, feems to be 
pofterior to Guido's publication. It begins with Jafon and Hercules, and their 
voyage to Coichos : proceeds to the rape of Helen, and ends with the fiege and 
deftru&ion of Troy. It celebrates all the Grecian and Afiatic heroes concerned 
in that war. Wanl. Antiquit. Septentr. p. 315, col. i. 

3 See Obfirvat. on Spenfer's Fairy %ueen,\. v. p. 176, feq.. Montfaucon mentions 
Medea et Jafonis Hiftoria a Guidone de Columna. Catal. MSS. Bibl. Coiflin. ii. 
p. 1 109. 818. 



140 Stories of Hercules, Jafon, &c. s. 3. 

among the royal manufcripts in the Mufeum, the French romance 
of Hercules occurs in two books, enriched with numerous ancient 
paintings. 1 [It was, at a later date, reduced into a chap-book. 
Parthenope is, of courfe, the hero of the romance of that name, 
inierted in Le Grand's collection, and of which the Englifh verfions 
have been lately printed. ] a Tpomedon has alfo chriftened a tale of 
chivalry, to be noticed hereafter. 

The conquefts of Alexander the Great were celebrated by one 
Simon, in old [French], about the twelfth century. This piece 
thus begins : 

Chanfon voil dis per ryme et per Leoin 

Del fil Filippe lo roy de Macedoin. 

An Italian poem on Alexander, called Tr'wnfo Magno, was prefented 
to Leo X. by Dominicho Falugi Ancifeno, in the year 1521. 
Crefcimbeni fays it was copied from a Provencal romance. 3 But 
one of the moft valuable pieces of the old French poetry is on the 
fubjecl: of this victorious monarch, entitled Roman d* Alexandre. It 
has been called the fecond poem now remaining in the French 
language, and was written about the year 1200. It was confefledly 
tranflated from the Latin ; but it bears a nearer refemblance to 
Simeon Seth's romance than to Quintus Curtius. It was the con- 
federated performance of four writers who, as Fauchet exprefles 
himfelf, were affociez en leur jouglerie. 4 Lambert li Cors, a learned 

1 17 E. ii. [This romance of Hercules commences with an account of Uranus 
or Caelum, and terminates with the death of Ulyfles by his fon Telegonus. The 
mythological fables with which the firft part abounds, are taken from Boccaccio's 
Genealogia Decrum; and the third part, embracing the deftruction of Troy by the 
Greeks under Agamemnon, profefles to be a tranflation from Dictys of Greece and 
Dares of Troy. The Pertonape of the text is evidently Partonepex de Blois (fee 
Le Grand, Fabliaux, torn. iv. p. 261, and Notices des Manufcrtts, torn, ix.), and 
Ypomedon the hero whom Warton dignifies with the epithet of Childe Ippome- 
done. Price.] 

2 [The Old Engli/Ii Verfions of Partenope of Blois. Edited by the Rev. W. E. 
Buckley. Roxburghe Club, 1862. There is a modern paraphafe in verfe by Mr. 
W. S. Rofe.] 

3 Iftor. Volg. Poes. \. iv. p. 332. In the royal manufcripts there is a French 
poem entitled La Vengeaunce du graunt Alexandre, 19 D. i. 2, Brit. Mus. I am 
not fure whether it is not a portion of the French Alexander, mentioned below, 
written by Jehan li Nivelois [Venelais]. 

4 Fauchet, Rec. p. 83. [The order in which Fauchet has claffecl Lambert li 
Cors and Alexander of Paris, and which has alfo been adopted by M. Le Grand, 
is founded on the following paflage of the original poem : 

" La verite d 1'iftoire ii com li roys la fift 

Un clers de Chaftiaudun Lambers li Cors li mift 

Qui du Latin la trait et en roman la fift 

Alexandre nous dit qui de Bernay fu nez 

Et de Paris refu fe furnoms appelles 

Qui or a les flens vers o les Lambert melles." 

MM. de la Ravalliere and Roquefort have confidered Alexander as the elder 
writer j apparently referring (Alexandre nous dit} to Lambert li Cors. But the 
laft line in this extraft clearly confirms M. Le Grand's arrangement. The date 
afiigned by M. Roquefort for its publication is 1184. Jehan li Venelais wrote 
Le Teftament < Alexandre ; and Perot de Saint Cloot, La Vengeaunce d* Alexandre. 
Mr. Douce has enumerated eleven French poets, who have written on the fubjeft 



s. 3- Variety of Poems on Alexander. 141 

civilian, began the poem; and it was continued and completed by 
Alexandre de Paris, Jean le [Venelais], and [Perot] de Saint [Cloot], 1 
The poem is clofed with Alexander's will. This is no imagination 
of any of our three poets, although one of them was a civil lawyer. 
Alexander's will, in which he nominates fucceflbrs to his provinces 
and kingdoms, was a tradition commonly received, and is mentioned 
by Diodorus Siculus and Ammianus Marcellinus. 2 [This work has 
never been edited.] 3 It is voluminous ; and in the Bodleian library 
at Oxford is a vaft folio MS. of it in vellum, which is of great 
antiquity, richly decorated, and in high prefer vation. 4 The margins 
and initials exhibit not only fantaftic ornaments and illuminations 
exquifitely finimed, but alfo pictures executed with fingular elegance, 
exprefling the incidents of the ftory, and difplaying the fafhion of 
buildings, armour, drefs, mufical inftruments, 5 and other particulars 
appropriated to the times. At the end we read this hexameter, 
which points out the name of the fcribe [of that portion, which 
contains a Scotifh metrical romance of Alexander, an addition of the 
fifteenth century] : 6 

Nomen fcriptoris eft Thomas plenus amoris. 

Then follows the date of the year in which the tranfcript was com- 
pleted, viz. 1338. Afterwards there is the name and date of the 
illuminator, in the following colophon, written in golden letters : 
Che llvre fu perfais de la enluminiere an xvill . jour davryl par Jeban 
de grife I' an de grace m.ccc.x/ini. 7 Hence it may be concluded, that 
the illuminations and paintings of this fuperb manufcript, which 
were mod probably begun as foon as the fcribe had finimed his part, 
took up fix years : no long time, if we confider the attention of 
an artift to ornaments fo numerous, fo various, fo minute, and fo 
laborioufly touched. It has been fuppofed that before the appearance 

of Alexander or his family : and Mr. Weber obferves, that feveral others might be 
added to the lift. See Weber's Metrical Romances (who notices various European 
verfions), Notices des Manufcrits du Roi, t. v.j Catalogue de la Valliere, t. ii. Price. 
Sir F. Madden refers us alfo to De la Rue, Effais^ &c. ii. 341-56, and fupplies us 
with the name of Thomas of Kent, an Anglo-Norman (not mentioned by Mr. 
Price or by Mr. Wright) as one of the continuators of the romance of Alexander.] 

1 Fauchet, ibid. Mons. Galland mentions a French romance in verfe, unknown 
to Fauchet, and entitled Roman d'Athys et de Propkylias, written by one Alexander, 
whom he fuppofes to be this Alexander of Paris. Mem. Lit. iii. p. 4.29, edit. 
Amft. [This conje6hire is confirmed by M. Roquefort, ubifupr. p. 118. Price.] 
It is often cited by Carpentier, Suppl. Gang. 

2 See Fabric. Bib/. Gr. c. iii. 1. viii. p. 205. 3 [Sir F. Madden's inform.] 

4 MSS. Bodl. B 264, fol. 

5 The moft frequent of thefe are organs, bagpipes, lutes, and trumpets. 

6 [Sir F. Madden's inform. He adds, that another portion of the Alexander 
is in MS. Afhmole, 44. The Rev. J. S. Stevenfon edited the Alliterative Romances 
of Alexander for the Roxburghe Club in 1849. ^ n lt: ne printed the alliterative 
fragments from Bodl. MS. 264, and Afhmole 44 (ab. 1450 A.D.) The far earlier 
alliterative fragment in MS. Greaves 60 was printed by Mr. Skeat in his edit, of 
William of Paler ne, Early Englifh Text Society, 1867.] 

7 [Bifhop Warburton had] a moft beautiful French manufcript on vellum or 
Mart Arthur, ornamented in the fame manner. It was a prefent from Vertue 
the engraver. 



142 Alexander Poems and Romances. s. 3. 

of this poem, the Romans, or thofe pieces which celebrated Gefts, 
were conftantly compofed in fhort verfes of fix or eight fyllables : 
and that in this Roman <T Alexandre verfes of twelve fyllables were 
rirft ufed. It has therefore been imagined, that the verfes called 
Alexandrines, the prefent French heroic meafure, took their rife from 
this poem ; Alexander being the hero, and Alexander the chief of 
the four poets concerned in the work. That the name, fome cen- 
turies afterwards, might take place in honour of this celebrated and 
early effort of French poetry, I think very probable ; but that 
verfes of twelve fyllables made their firft appearance in this poem, is 
a do6hine which, to fay no more, from examples already produced 
and examined is at leaft ambiguous. 1 In this poem Gadifer, here- 
after mentioned, of Arabian lineage, is a very confpicuous champion : 

Gadifer fu moult preus, cTun Arrabi lignage. 

A rubric or title of one of the chapters is, " Comment Alexander 
fuit mys en un vefal de vooire pour veoir le merveiles," &c. This 
is a paflage already quoted from Simeon Seth's romance^ relating 
Alexander's expedition to the bottom of the ocean, in a veflel of 
glafs, for the purpofe of infpec~Hng fifties and fea monfters. In 
another place from the fame romance, he turns aftronomer, and foars 
to the moon by the help of four gryphons. The caliph is frequently 
mentioned in this piece ; and Alexander, like Charlemagne, has his 
twelve peers. 

Thefe were the four reigning ftories of romance : on which 
perhaps Englifh pieces, tranflated from the French, exifted before 
or about the year 1300. But there are fome other Englifh romances 
mentioned in the prologue of Richard Cuer du Lyon, which we like- 
wife probably received from the French in that period, and on which 
I fhall here alfo enlarge. 

Beuves de Hanton y or Sir Bevis de Southampton, is a French 
romance of confiderable antiquity, although the hero is not older 
than the Norman conquefr. It is alluded to in our Englifh romance 
on this ftory, which will again be cited, and at large: 

Forth thei yode t fofaitti the boke? 
And again more exprefsly, 

Under the bridge wer fixty belles, 
Right as the Romans telles. 3 

The Romans is the French original. It is called the Romance of 
Beuves de Hanton, by Pere Labbe. 4 The very ingenious Monfieur 
de la Curne de fainte Palaye mentions an ancient French romance 
in profe, entitled Beufres de Hanton? Chaucer mentions Bevis, with 
other famous romances, but whether in French or Englifh is uncer- 



1 See Pref. Le Roman de la Rofe, par Mons. L'Abbe Lenglet, i. p. xxxvi. 

2 Signat. P ii. [Bevis of Hamton was edited from the Auchinleck MS. for the 
Maitland Club, 1838, 4-to.] 

3 Signat. E iv. * Nov. Eibl. p. 334, edit. 1652. 
5 Mem. Lit. xv. 582, 4-to. 



s. 3. Guy of Warwick. 143 

tain. 1 Beuves of Ha ntonne was printed at [Troyes as early as 1489]. " 
Afcapart was one of his giants, a character 3 in very old French 
romances. Bevis lived at Downton in Wiltfhire. Near Southampton 
is an artificial hill called Bevis Mount, on which was probably a 
fortrefs ; [and within the town there is a gate which frill retains his 
name]. 4 It is pretended that he was Earl of Southampton. His 
fword is fhown in Arundel caftle. This piece was evidently written 
after the Crufades ; as Bevis is knighted by the King of Armenia, 
and is one of the generals at the fiege of Damafcus. 

Guy Earl of Warwick is recited as a French romance by Labbe. 5 
In the Britifh Mufeum a metrical hiftory in very old French appears, 
in which Felicia, or Felice, is called the daughter of an earl of 
Warwick, and Guido, or Guy, of Warwick is the fon of Seguart 
the earl's fteward. The manufcript is at prefent imperfect. 6 Mont- 
faucon mentions among the royal manufcripts at Paris, Rotnan de 
Guy et Beuves de Hanton. The latter is the romance laft mentioned. 
Again, Le Livre de Guy de Warwick et de Harold $ ArdenneJ This 
Harold d'Arden is a diftinguifhed warrior of Guy's hiftory, and 
therefore his achievements fometimes form a feparate romance: as 
in the royal MSS. of the Britifh Mufeum, where we find Le Romant 
de Herolt Dardenne. In the Englifti romance of Guy, mentioned 

1 Rim. 'Thop. [Mr. Wright refers to a good MS. of Bevis, in Caius Coll. 
Camb.; but the editor does not obferve any fuch MS. in Smith's Cat. 1849.] 

2 [The earlieft printed copy of this romance that I have met with, is in Italian, 
and printed at Venice, 1489, 4-to. Other editions in the fame language are, 
Venice, 1562, 1580, lamo. ; Milan, 1584,410.5 Piacenza, 1599, lamo.j French 
editions, Paris, folio, no date, by Verardj Ibid. 4to., no date, by Bonfons. I have 
been informed from refpeftable authority, that this romance is to be found in Pro- 
ver^al poetry, among the MSS. of Chriftina, queen of Sweden, now in the Vatican 
library, and that it appears to have been written in 1380. See likewife Bibl. de du 
Verdier, torn. iii. p. 266. Douce. For an account of the Englim editions, lee 
Handb. of E. E. Lit., art. Bevis and Additions, ibid.] 

3 Selden's Drayton, Polyolb. s. iii. p. 37. 

4 [Bevis feems long to have retained its popularity, fmce Wither thus complained 
of the fale it had about the year 1627. "The ftationers have fo peftered their 
printing houfes and ftiopps with fruitlefle volumes, that the auncient and renowned 
authors are almoft buried among them as forgotten ; and at laft you mall fee nothing 
to be fould amongft us, but Currantos, Beavis of Hampton, or fuch trumpery." 
Scholler^s Purgatory, (circa 1625). Park. Sir F. Madden and fome other gentle- 
men, in the year 1833, opened the tumulus at the bottom of the vale of Pugh Dean, 
about a mile from Arundel caftle, but found no remains of the hero. The tradition 
is, that Bevis threw his fword, fix feet long, from the walls of the caftle into the 
valley, and there appointed to be buried.] 

5 Ubifupr. 

6 MSS. Harl. 3775, 2. [Other copies are in Corpus Chrifti Coll. Camb. and 
in the College of Arms. Madden.] 

1 Catal. MSS. p. 792. Among the Benet manufcripts there is Romanz. de Gui 
de Warwyk, Num. 1. It begins, 

" Puis eel terns ke deus fu nez." 

This book belonged to Saint Auguftin's abbey at Canterbury. With regard to 
the preceding romance of Bevis, the Italians had Buo-vo d*Antona^ undoubtedly 
from the French, before 1 348. And Lhuyd recites in Welfti, Yftori Boun o Hamtun. 
Archaol. p. 264. 

8 15 E. vi. 8. [This romance might be called with more propriety an epifode in 



144 Eocchus and Sydrac. s. 3. 

at large in its proper place, this champion is called, Syr Herau.de of 
drderne. 1 At length this favourite fubje6t formed a large profe 
romance, entitled Guy de Warwick, Chevalier d* Angleterre, et de la belle 
fille Felix f ami e, and printed at Paris [March 12, 1525-6]. Chaucer 
mentions Guy's ftory among the Romaunces of Pris : 2 and it is 
alluded to in the Spanifh romance of Tirant lo Blanch^ or Tirante the 
White , fuppofed to have been written not long after the year I43O. 3 
This romance was compofed, or perhaps enlarged, after the Crufades, 
as we find that Guy's redoubted encounters with Colbrond the 
Danifh giant, with the monfter of Dunfmore-heath, and the dragon 
of Northumberland, are by no means equal to fome of his achieve- 
ments in the Holy Land, and the trophies which he won from the 
Soldan under the command of the Emperor Frederick. 

The romance of Sidrac^ entitled in the French verfion \La fontaine 
de toutes fcieces du philofophe Sydrach], appears to have been very 
popular, from the prefent frequency of its MSS. [both in French and 
Englifli.] But it is rather a romance of Arabian philofophy than of 
chivalry. It is a fyftem of natural knowledge, and particularly treats 
of the virtues of plants. Sidrac, the philofopher of this fyftem, was 
aftronomer to an eaftern king. He lived eight hundred and forty- 
feven years after Noah, of whofe book of aftronomy he was poflefled. 

He converts Bocchus, an idolatrous king of India, to the Chriftian 
faith, by whom he is invited to build a mighty tower againft the in- 
vafions of a rival king of India. But the hiftory, no lefs than the 
fubje6t of this piece, difplays the ftate, nature and migrations of lite- 
rature in the dark ages. After the death of Bocchus, Sidrac's book 
fell into the hands of a Chaldean renowned for piety. It then fuc- 
cefiively becomes the property of King Madian, Naaman the Aflyrian, 
and Grypho, archbifhop of Samaria. The latter had a prieft named 
Demetrius, who brought it into Spain, and here it was tranflated 
from the Greek into Latin. This tranflation is faid to be made at 
Toledo by Roger of Palermo, a minorite friar, in the I3th century. 
A king of Spain then commanded it to be tranflated from Latin into 
Arabic, and fent it as a rnoft valuable prefent to Emir Elmomenim, 
lord of Tunis. It was next given to Frederick II., emperor of Ger- 
many, famous in the Crufades. This work, which is of confiderable 
length, was tranflated into Englifh verfe, and will be mentioned on 
that account again. Sidrac is recited as an eminent philofopher, with 
Seneca and King Solomon, in the Marchaunts Second tale, afcribed to 
Chaucer. 4 

It is natural to conclude that moft of thefe French romances were 



the life of Raynbrun, Guy's fon. It recounts the manner in which he releafed 
Herolt cT Ardenne from prifon, and the return of both to their native country. It 
has the merit of being exceedingly fhort, and ftates, among other matter, that 
Herolt was born at Walmforth in England. Price.} 

1 Sign. L ii. vers. 2 Rim. Thop. ' Percy's Ball. iii. 100. 

* v. 1932. There is an old tranflation of Sidrac into Dutch, MSS. Marfhall, 
Bibl. Bodl. 31, fol. [King Bocchus or Boccus feems to have been rather a popular 
charafter in our own early literature. See Handb. of E. E. Lit. p. 4.3.] 



s. 3. Englijh Romances derived from the French. 145 

current in England, either in the French originals, which were well 
underftood at leaft by the more polite readers, or elfe by tranflation 
or imitation, as I have before hinted, when the romance of Richard 
Cuer de Lyon, in whofe prologue they are recited, was tranflated into 
Englifh. That the latter was the cafe as to fome of them, at leaft, 
we fhall foon produce actual proofs. A writer, who has confidered 
thefe matters with much penetration and judgment, obferves, that 
probably from the reign of our Richard I. we are to date that re- 
markable intercommunication and mutual exchange of compofitions, 
which we difcover to have taken place at fome early period between 
the French and Englifh minftrels ; the fame fet of phrafes, the fame 
fpecies of charadters, incidents, and adventures, and often the identical 
ftories, being found in the metrical romances of both nations. 1 From 
clofe connection and conftant intercourfe, the traditions and the 
champions of one kingdom were equally known in the other : and 
although Bevis and Guy were Englifh heroes, yet on thefe principles 
this circumftance by no means deftroys the fuppofition, that their 
achievements, although perhaps already celebrated in rude Englifh 
fongs, might be firft wrought into romance by the French ; 2 and it 
feems probable, that we continued for fome time this practice of bor- 
rowing from our neighbours. Even the titles of our oldeft romances, 
fuch as \_Sir Pleyndamour, mentioned by Chaucer in the Rime of Sir 
Thopasy but not at prefent known under fuch a title], 3 Sir Triamourf 

1 Percy's Efs. on Anc. Eng. Minftr. p. 12, [attached to his edit, of the Reliques.] 

2 Dugdale relates, that in the reign of Henry IV., about the year 1410, a lord 
Beauchamp, travelling into the Eaft, was hofpitably received at Jerufalem by the 
Soldan's lieutenant : " Who hearing that he was defcended from the famous Guy 
of Warwick, whofeftory they had in books of their own language, invited him to his 
palace and, royally feafting him, prefented him with three precious ftones of great 
value, befides divers cloaths of filk and gold given to his fervants." Baron, i. p. 243, 
col. i. This ftory is delivered on the credit of John Roufe, the traveller's cotem- 
porary. Yet it is not fo very improbable that Guy's hiftory mould be a book 
among the Saracens, if we confider, that Conftantinople was not only a central and 
connefting point between the eaftern and weftern world, but that the French in the 
thirteenth century had acquired an eftablifliment there under Baldwin earl of 
Flanders: that the French language muft have been known in Sicily, Jerufalem, 
Cyprus, and Antioch, in confequence of the conquefts of Robert Guifcard, Hugo 
le Grand, and Godfrey of Bulloigne : and that pilgrimages into the Holy Land 
were exceffively frequent. It is hence eafy to fuppofe, that the French imported 
many of their ftories or books of this fort into the Eaft ; which being thus under- 
ftood there, and fuiting the genius of the Orientals, were at length tranflated into 
their language. It is remarkable, that the Greeks at Conftantinople, in the twelfth 
century and fmce, called all the Europeans by the name of Franks, as the Turks 
do to this day. See Seld. [Note on Drayton's] Polyolb. viii. p. 130. [Bufbec, in 
the third letter of his Embafly into Turkey, mentions that the Georgians in their 
fongs make frequent mention of Roland, whofe name he fuppofes to have pafled 
over with Godfrey of Bulloigne. Douce.'] 

3 [The editor merely throws out the fuggeftion that Pleyndamour is merely another 
form of Plenus Amoris, and that Thomas Plenus Amoris purports to have been the 
writer or tranfcriber of an early Scotifh romance on the fubjeft of Alexander, above 
mentioned. Sir Blandamour is one of the charafters in the Faerie QueeneJ] 

"* [Edited by Mr. Halliwell for the Percy Society, 1846.] 
II. L 



146 Englijh Romances derived from the French, s. 3. 

Sir Eglamour of ArtoisJ La Mori Arthur, with many more, betray 
their French extra&ion. It is likewife a prefumptive argument in 
favour of this aflertion, that we find no profe romances in our lan- 
guage before Caxton tranflated from the French the Hiftory of 
Troy, the Life of Charlemagne, the Hiftories of Jafon, Paris and 
Vyenne, 2 [Morte d'Arthur,] and other profe pieces of chivalry : by 
which, as the profeflion of minftrelfy decayed and gradually gave way 
to a change of manners and cuftoms, romances in metre were at 
length imperceptibly fuperfeded, or at leaft grew lefs in ufe as a mode 
of entertainment at public feftivities. 

Various caufes concurred, in the mean time, to multiply books of 



1 In our Englifh Syr Eglamour of Artoys, there is this reference to the French, 
from which it was tranflated. Sign. E. i. 

" His own mother there he wedde, 

In Romaunce as we rede." 
Again, fol. ult. 

" In Romaunce this cronycle ys." 

The authors of thefe pieces often refer to their original. Juft as Ariofto mentions 
Turpin for his voucher. [Halliwell's Thornton Romances, Camd. Soc. 1844.] 

2 [A fhort profe tale of chivalry, an Englifh verfion of which was printed by 
Caxton in 1485. See Roxburghe Library reprint, 1868, Pref. But to what is 
there faid may now be added that in the French language there are no fewer than 
three independent verfions of this ftory, all derived from an at prefent undifcovered 
Provencal original, i. The MS. No. 7534 in the Bibliotheque Imperiale, at Paris, 
printed in 1835. 2. A MS. in large 410. on paper, with the prologue of Pierre 
de la Sippade dated, not 1459, as m tne Paris copy, but 1432, a very important 
variation, fince in the Paris MS. Sippade is made (as it would feem falfely) to repre- 
fent that he did not tranflate the work out of the Provencal till 1459. 3- An 
abridged verfion, of which there were feveral early-printed editions in 4to., of which 
one, now before me, has thirty-two leaves, with woodcuts, and is in two columns. 
This laft was Caxton's original j and he has followed the French text very clofely. 
There muft have been impreffions of the fhorter ftory in type before 1485, there- 
fore j but the earlieft editions cited by Brunet are without note of the year. 
The copy, mentioned above as having the date 1432 to the Prologue, differs 
likewife materially in the arrangement of the text, and, to a certain extent, in the 
conduct of the ftory. In the old library of the Dukes of Burgundy, 1 according to 
an inventory taken about 1467, No. 2291 of the MSS. was Le Roman de Paris et 
de la belle Vienne traduit de proven fal en franfots, par Pierre de la Ceppede Mar- 
feilloisy fur papier, avec miniatures. 

Mr. Price obferves : Its early and extenfive popularity is manifefted by the 
prologue to the Swedifh verfion, made by order of Queen Euphemia, in the fecond 
month of the year 1308. This refers to a German original, executed at the com- 
mand of the Emperor Otho (1197-1208) $ but this again was taken from a foreign 
(Walfchc) fource.] 

But I muft not omit here that Du Cange recites a metrical French romance in 
MS., Le Roman de Girard de Vienne^ written by Bertrand le Clerc. Glofs. Lot. i. Ind. 
Aufl. p. cxciii. Madox has printed the names of feveral French romances found in 
the reign of Edward III., among which one on this fubje6l occurs. FormuL Anglic. 
p. 12. Compare Obfer<vations on Spenfer"s Fairy ^ueen t vol. ii. viii. p. 43. 
Among the royal MSS. in the Britifli Mufeum, there is in verfe Hiftoire de Gyrart 
de Vienne et de fes freres y 20 D. xi. 2. This MS. was perhaps written before the 
year 1300. [It is on vellum, in two columns. It appears to be the romance quoted 
by Du Cange.] 



[Blades, Life and Typogr. ofW. Caxton, i. 278.] 



s. 3. The Ear lie ft Writers of Romances. 147 

chivalry among the French, and to give them a fuperiority over the 
Englifh, not only in the number but in the excellence of thofe com- 
pofitions. Their barons lived in greater magnificence. Their 
feudal fyftem flourimed on a more fumptuous, extenfive, and lafting 
eftabliihment. Schools were inftituted in their caftles for initiating 
the young nobility in the rules and pra6Hce of chivalry. Their 
tilts and tournaments were celebrated with a higher degree of pomp; 
and their ideas of honour and gallantry were more exaggerated and 
refined. 

We may add, what indeed has been before incidentally remarked, 
that their troubadours were the firft writers of metrical romances. 
But by what has been here advanced, I do not mean to infinuate 
without any reftri&ions, that the French entirely led the way in 
thefe compofitions. Undoubtedly the Provencal bards contributed 
much to the progrefs of Italian literature. Raimond IV. of Arragon, 
count of Provence, a lover and a judge of letters, about the year 
1 220, invited to his court the moft celebrated of the fongfters who 
profefTed to polim and adorn the Provencal language by various forts 
of poetry. 1 Charles I., his fon-in-law, and the inheritor of his virtues 
and dignities, conquered Naples, and carried into Italy a tafte for 
the Provencal literature. This tafte prevailed at Florence efpecially, 
where Charles reigned many years with great fplendour,and where his 
fucceflbrs refided. Soon afterwards the Roman court was removed 
to Provence. 2 Hitherto the Latin language had only been in ufe. 
The Provencal writers eftablifhed a common dialed!: ; and their ex- 
ample convinced other nations that the modern languages were no 
lefs adapted to compofition than thofe of antiquity. 3 They introduced 
a love of reading, and diftufed a general and popular tafte for poetry, 
by writing in a language intelligible to the ladies and the people. 
Their verfes, being conveyed in a familiar tongue, became the chief 
amufement of princes and feudal lords, whofe courts had now begun 
to ailume an air of greater brilliancy ; a circumftance which necef- 
farily gave great encouragement to their profeflion, and by rendering 
thefe arts of ingenious entertainment univerfally fafhionable, imper- 



1 Giovan. Villani, I/for. 1. vi. c. 92. 

s Villani acquaints us, that Brunetti Latini, Dante's mafter, was the firft who 
attempted to polifh the Florentines by improving their tafte and ftyle. He died in 
1294. See Villan. ibid. 1. ix. c. 135. [That Brunetti did not write his Teforo in 
Provengal we have his own authority, and the evidence of the work itfelf: Et fe 
aucuns demandoit pourquoi chis livre eft efcrit en roumans felon la raifon de 
France, pour chou que nous fommes Ytalien je diroie que ch'eft pour chou que 
nous fommes en France ; Tautre pour chou que la parleure en eft plus delitable et 
plus commune a toutes gens. Notices des Manufcripts, t. v. p. 270.- -Price. ,] 

3 Dante defigned at firft that his Inferno mould appear in Latin. But finding 
that he could not fo effectually in that language imprefs his fatirical ftrokes and 
political maxims on the laity or illiterate, he altered his mind, and publifhed that 
piece in Italian. Had Petrarch written his Africa, his Eclogues, and his profe 
compofitions in Italian, the literature of his country would much fooner have 
arrived at perfeftion. [Mr. R. Taylor refers to Rofletti's Spirtto Antipapale, 
1832.] 



148 A Conjecture on the Origin of Romances. s. 3. 

ceptibly laid the foundation of polite literature. From thefe be- 
ginnings it were eafy to trace the progrefs of poetry to its perfection, 
through John de Meun in France, Dante in Italy, and Chaucer in 
England. 

This praife muft undoubtedly be granted to the Provencal poets. 
But in the mean time, to recur to our original argument, we fhould 
be cautious of aflerting, in general and undifcriminating terms, that 
the Provencal poets were the firft writers of metrical romance : at 
leaft we fhould afcertain, with rather more precifion than has been 
commonly ufed on this fubject, how far they may claim this merit. 
I am of opinion that there were two forts of French troubadours, who 
have not hitherto been fufficiently diftinguifhed. If we diligently 
examine their hiftory, we (hall find that the poetry of the firft trou- 
badours confifted in fatires, moral fables, allegories, and fentimental 
fonnets. So early as the year 1180, a tribunal, called the Court of 
Love, was instituted both in Provence and Picardy, at which quef- 
tions in gallantry were decided. This inftitution furnifhed eternal 
matter for the poets, who threw the claims and arguments of the 
different parties into verfe, in a ftyle that afterwards led the way to 
the fpiritual converfations of Cyrus and Clelia. 1 Fontenelle does not 
fcruple to acknowledge, that gallantry was the parent of French 
poetry. 2 But to fing romantic and chivalrous adventures was a very 
different tafk, and required very different talents. The troubadours, 
therefore, who compofed metrical romances, form a different fpecies, 
and ought always to be confidered feparately. And this latter clafs 
feems to have commenced at a later period, not till after the Crufades 
had effected a great change in the manners and ideas of the weftern 
world. In the meantime I hazard a conjecture. Giraldi Cinthio 
fuppofes that the art of the troubadours, commonly called the Gay 
Science, was firft communicated from France to the Italians, and 
afterwards to the Spaniards. 3 This, perhaps, may be true ; but at 
the fame time it is highly probable, as the Spaniards had their 
Juglares or convivial bards very early, as from long connection they 
were immediately and intimately acquainted with the fictions of the 
Arabians, and as they were naturally fond of chivalry, that the trou- 
badours of Provence in great meafure caught this turn of fabling 
from Spain. To mention no other obvious means of intercourfe in 
an affair of this nature, the communication was eafy through the 
ports of Toulon and Marfeilles, by which the two nations carried on 
from early times a conftant commerce. Even the French critics 
themfelves univerfally allow that the Spaniards, having learned 
rhyme from the Arabians, through this very channel conveyed it to 
Provence. Taflb preferred Amadh de Gaul^ a romance originally 
written in [Portugal] by Vafco Lobeyra before the year I3OO, 4 to 



1 This part of their character will be infifted upon more at large when we come 
to fpeak of Chaucer. 

Theatr. Fr. p. 13. 3 Apud Huet. Orig. Rom. p. 108. 

4 Nic. Antonius, Bibl. Hi/pan. Vet. torn. ii. 1. viii. c. 7, num. 291. 







s. 3. The Ancient Romances. 149 

the moft celebrated pieces of the Provencal poets. J But this fubjecl: 
[has received illuftration from feveral writers to whom we may refer, 
Sainte Palaye, 2 Millot, 3 Fauriel, 4 Paulin Paris, 5 Paul Meyer, Gafton 
Paris, &c.] 



SECTION IV. 

ARIOUS matters fuggefted by the Prologue of Richard 
cuer de Lyon, cited in the laft fe6Hon, have betrayed us 
into a long digreffion, and interrupted the regularity of 
our annals. But I could not negledt fo fair an oppor- 
tunity of preparing the reader for thofe metrical tales 
which, having acquired a new caft of fiction from the Crufades and 
a magnificence of manners from the iricreafe of chivalry, now began 
to be greatly multiplied, and as it were profefledly to form a feparate 
fpecies of poetry. I now therefore refume the feries, and proceed 
to give fome fpecimens of the Englifh metrical romances which 
appeared before or about the reign of Edward II. : and although 
moft of thefe pieces continued to be fung by the minftrels in the 
halls of our magnificent anceftors for fome [time] afterwards, yet, 
as their firft appearance may moft probably be dated at this period, 
they properly coincide in this place with the tenor of our hiftory. 
In the mean time, it is natural to fuppofe, that by frequent repetition 
and fucceffive changes of language during many generations, their 
original fimplicity muft have been in fome degree corrupted. Yet 
fome of the fpecimens are extracted from manufcripts written in the 
reign of Edward III. Others indeed from printed copies, where 
the editors took great liberties in accommodating the language to 
the times. However, in fuch as may be fuppofed to have fuftered 
moft from depravations of this fort, the fubftance of the ancient ftyle 
ftill remains, and at leaft the ftru6ture of the ftory. On the whole, 
we mean to give the reader an idea of thofe popular heroic tales in 
verfe, profefledly written for the harp, which began to be multiplied 
among us about the beginning of the fourteenth century. We will 
begin with the romance of Richard cuer de Lyon, already mentioned. 
The poem opens with the marriage of Richard's father, Henry 
II. with the daughter of Carbarryne, a king of Antioch. But this 
is only a lady of romance. Henry married Eleanor, the divorced 

1 Difc. del Poem, Eroic. 1. ii. pp. 45, 46. 

2 [Memoires fur Vancienne Che e valerie, 1781, 3 vols. izmo.] 

3 \Hifloire Litter air e des Troubadours, 1774, 3 vols. izmo. An abridged Englifh 
verfion appeared in 1807. See Brunet, dern. edit. v. 65.] 

4 [Hijloire de la Poefie Provenfale, 1847-8, 3 vols. 8vo.] 

3 Li Romans de Garin le Lokerain, public pour la premiere fois, et precede de Fexa- 
men du jyfleme de M. Fauriel fur les romans Carlovingiens, 1833-5, 2 v l s ' i*mo. It 
may be worth while to add Bifhop Hurd's Letters on Chivalry and Romance, 1762, 
8vo.] 



1 50 Extracts from the Romance of s. 4. 

queen of Louis of France. The minftrels could not conceive any 
thing lefs than an Eaftern princefs to be the mother of this magna- 
nimous hero : 

His barons hym fedde 1 

That he graunted a wyff to wedde. 

Haftely he fente hys fondes 

Into many dyuerfe lorides, 

The feyrefte wyman that wore on liff 

Men wolde 2 bringe hym to wyff. 3 

The meflengers or ambaftadors, in their voyage, meet a (hip adorned 
like Cleopatra's galley : 

Swylk on ne feygh they never non ; 

All it was whyt of huel-bon, 

And every nayl with gold begrave : 

Off pure gold was the ftave ; 4 

Her maft was [of] yvory j 

Off famyte the fayl wytterly. 

Her ropes wer off tuely fylk, 

Al fo whyt as ony mylk. 

That noble fchyp was al withoute 

With clothys of golde fprede aboute ; 

And her loof 5 and her wyndas 6 

Off afure forfothe it was. 

In that fchyp ther wes i-dyght 
Knyghts and ladyys of mekyll myght ; 
And a lady therinne was, 
Bryght as the funne thorugh the glas. 
Her men aborde gunne to ftonde, 
And fefyd that other with her honde, 
And prayde hem for to dwelle 
And her counfayl for to telle : 
And they graunted with all fkylle 
For to telle al at her wylle : 
" Swo wyde landes we have went 7 
For kyng Henry us has fent, 

1 [redde, advifed.] 2 [fholde.] 

[The prefent text has been taken from the edition of this romance by Mr. 
Weber, who followed a manufcript of no very early date in Cains College library, 
Cambridge. The variations between this and the early printed editions confift 
principally in the ufe of a more antiquated phrafeology, with fome trifling changes 
of the fenfe. The moft important of thefe are given in the notes below. Mr. 
Ellis, who has analyfed this romance (vol. ii. p. 186), conceives the fable in its 
prefent form to have originated with the reign of Edward I. ; and that the extra- 
vagant fi6Hons it contains were grafted by fome Norman minftrel upon an earlier 
narrative, more in unifon with Richard's real hiftory. Of the ftory in its uncor- 
rupted ftate, he confiders a fragment occurring in the Auchinlech MS. to be an 
Englifh tranflation ; and as this document was " tranfcribed in the minority of 
Edward III." the following declaration of Mr. Weber may not exceed the truth : 
"There is no doubt that our romance exifted before the year 1300, as it is 
referred to in the Chronicles of Robert of Gloucefter and Robert de Brunne; and 
as thefe rhymefters wrote for mere Englifh readers, it is not to be fuppofed that 
they would refer them to a French original." Price.] 

4 [fklave, rudder : clavus.] 

5 [loft, deck. Sir F. Madden refers for an explanation of this word to Michel's 
Trijlan, Gloff. under Lof. and to his own edit, of La3amon's Brut, 1847, i. 335, 
where the word is tranflated luff.] 

6 [wyndlace.] 7 ["To dyverfe londes do we wende."] 



s. 4. Richard Cuer de Lyon. 151 

For to feke hym a qwene 

The fayrefte that myghte fonde bene." 

Upros a kyng off a chayer 

With that word they fpoke ther. 

The chayer was [of] charboncle fton, 

Swylk on ne fawgh they never non : 

And tuo dukes hym befyde, 

Noble men and mekyl off pryde, 

And welcomed the meflangers yikone. 

Into that fchyp they gunne gone. . . . 

They fette trefteles and layde a borde j 

Cloth of lylk theron was fprad, 

And the kyng hymfelve bad, 

That his doughter were forth fette, 

And in a chayer before hym fette. 

Trumpes begonne for to blowe $ 

Sche was fette forth in a throwe ' 

With twenty knyghtes her aboute 

And moo off ladyes that wer ftoute. . . 

Whenne they had nygh i-eete, 

Adventures to fpeke they nought forgeete. 

The kyng ham tolde, in hys refoun 

It com hym thorugh a vyfyoun, 

In his land that he cam froo, 

Into Yngelond for to goo ; 

And his doughtyr that was fo dere 

For to wende bothe in fere, 2 

" In this manere we have us dyght 

Into that lande to wende ryght." 

Thenne aunfweryd a meflanger, 

Hys name was callyd Bernager, 

" Forther wole we feke nought 

To my lord me fchal be brought. 1 ' 

They foon arrive in England, and the lady is lodged in the Tower 
of London, one of the royal caftles : 

The meflangers the kyng have tolde 

Of that ladye fayr and bold, 

Ther he lay in the Tour 

Off that lady whyt fo flour. 

Kyng Henry gan hym fon dyght, 

With erls, barons, and manye a knyght, 

Agayn the lady for to wende : 

For he was curteys and hende. 

The damyfele on lond was led, 

And clothes of gold before her fpred, 

And her fadyr her beforn 

With a coron off gold icorn j 

The meflangers be ylk a fyde 

And menftralles with mekyl pryde 

Kyng Henry lyght in hyyng 

And grette fayr that uncouth kyng. . . 

1 immediately. [In an ancient Provencal poem, of which M. de Sainte Palaye 
has given fome account in his Me moires fur Vanc'ienne Che<valerie, torn ii. p. 160, 
a mafter gives the following inftru&ions to his pupil, " Ouvrez a votre cheval par 
des coupes redoubles, la route qu'il doit tenir, et que fon portrail foit garni de 
beaux grelots ou fonnettes bien rangees ; car ces fonnettes reveillent merveilleufe- 
ment le courage de celui qui le monte, et repandent devant lui la terreur." Douce.] 



i 52 Romance of s. 4. 

To Weftemenftre they wente in fere 
Lordyngs and ladys that ther were. 
Trumpes begonne for to blowe, 
To mete ' they wente in a throwe, c. 2 

The firft of our hero's achievements in chivalry is at a fplendid 
tournament held at Salifbury. Clarendon, near Salifbury, was one 
of the king's palaces : 3 

Kyng- Rychard gan hym dyfguyfe 

In a ful ftrange queyntyfe. 4 

He cam out of a valaye 

For to fe of theyr playe, 

As a knyght aventurous : 

Hys atyre was orgolous : 5 

Al togyder cole black 

Was hys horfe withoute lacke ; 

Upon hys creft a raven ftode. 

That yaned 6 as he wer wode. 

He bare a fchafte that was grete and ftrong, 

It was fourtene foot long $ 

And it was grete and ftout, 

One and twenty ynches about. 7 

The fyrft knyght that he there mette, 

Ful egyrly he hym grette 

With a dente amyd the fchelde ; 

His hors he bar doun in the felde, &c. 8 

A battle-axe which Richard carried with him from England into 
the Holy Land is thus defcribed : 

King Richard, I underftond, 
Or he went out of Englond, 

1 to dinner. 2 line 135. 

3 In the pipe-rolls of this king's reign I find the following articles relating to 
this ancient palace, which has been already mentioned incidentally. Rot. Pip. 
i Ric. I. lt Wiltes. Et in cariagio vini Regis a Clarendon ufque Woodeftoke, 
34-j. 4*/. per Br. Reg. Et pro ducendis 200 m. [marcis] a Sarefouria ufque Brif- 
tow, ~js. $d. per Br. Reg. Et pro ducendis 2500 libris a Sarefburia ufque Glocef- 
triam, z6s. lod. per Br. Reg. Et pro tonellis et clavis ad eofdem denarios. Et 
in cariagio de 4.000 marcis a Sarum ufque Suthanton, et pro tonellis et aliis 
neceflariis, 8j. et id. per Br. Reg." And again in Rot. Pip. 30 Hen. III. " Wilte- 
fcire. Et in una marcelfia ad opus regis et reginae apud Clarendon cum duobus 
intercluforiis et duabus cameris privatis, hoftio veteris aulae amovendo in porticu, 
et de eadem aula camera facienda cum camino et feneftris, et camera privata, et 
quadam magna coquina quadrata, et aliis operationibus, contentis in Brevi, inceptis 
per eundem Nicolaum et non perfeftis, 5267. i6/. $d. ob. per Br. Reg." Again, 
Rot. Pip. 39 Hen. III. "Sudhamt. Comp. Novaforefttf. Et in triginta miliaribus 
fcindularum [mingles] faciend. in eadem forefta et cariand. eafdem ufque Clarendon 
ad domum regis ibidem cooperiandam, 61. et i marc, per Br. Reg. Et in 30 mill, 
fcindularum faciend. in eadem, et cariand. ufque Clarendon, n/. IQJ." And 
again, in the fame reign, the canons of Ivy-church receive peniions for celebrating 
in the royal chapel there. Rot. Pip. j Hen. III. " Wiltes. Et canonicis de 
monafterio ederofo miniftrantibus in Capella de Clarendon. 357. jd. ob." 
Stukeley is miftaken in faying this palace was built by King John. 

4 See Du Cange, Gl. Lot. Cointife. 

5 proud, pompous. 6 yawned. 

7 It is "One and twenti inches aboute." So Dr. Farmer's MS., purchafed from 
Mr. Martin's library. See fupr. This is in Englifh. 

8 line 267. 



s. 4. Richard Cuer de Lyon, 153 

Let him make an axe 1 for the nones, 
To breke therwith the Sarafyns 2 bones. 
The head was wrought right wele ; 
Therm was twenty pounde of ftele 5 
And when he came into Cyprus lond, 
The ax he tok in his hond. 
All that he hit, he all to-frapped ; 
The griffons 3 away raft rapped ; 
Natheles many he cleaved, 
And their unthanks ther by-lived ; 
And the prifoun when he cam to, 
With his ax he fmot right tho, 
Dores, barres, and iron chains, &c. 4 

This formidable axe is again mentioned at the fiege of Aeon or 
Acre, the ancient Ptolemais : 

Kyng Rychard aftyr, anon ryght, 

Toward Acres gan hym dyght j 

And as he faylyd toward Surreye, 5 

He was warnyd off a fpye, 

Howe the folk off the hethene lawe 

A gret cheyne hadden i-drawe 

Over the havene of Acres fers, 

And was feftnyd to two pelers, 

That noo fchyp ne fcholde in-wynne, 6 

Ne they nought out that wer withynne. 

Therfore fevene yer and more 

Alle Cryftene kynges leyen thore, 

And with gret hongyr fuffryd payne, 

For lettyng off that ilke chayne. 

Kyng Richard herd that tydyng j 

For joye hys herte beganne to fprynge, 

And fwor and fayde in his thought, 

That ylke chayne fcholde helpe hem nought 

A fwythe ftrong galeye he took, 

And 7 Trenchemer, 8 fo fays the book, 

1 Richard's battle-axe is alfo mentioned by [de] Brunne, and on this occafion, 
Chron. p. 159. 

a The Crufades imported the phrafe Jeu Sarrazionois, for any (harp engagement, 
into the old French romances. Thus in the Roman d" Alexandre, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. 
utfupr. P. i. . 

" Tholomer le regrette et le plaint en Grijois, 
Et dift que s'il cuflent o culz telz vingt et trois, 
II nous euflent fet un Jeu Sarrazionois." 

3 The Byzantine Greeks are often called Griffones by the hiftorians of the middle 
ages. See Du Cange Glofe. Vitte-Hard. p. 363. See alfo Rob. [de] Brun. Chron. 
pp. 151, 157, 159, 160, 165, 171, 173. Wanley fuppofes that the Griffin in 
heraldry was intended to fignify a Greek or Saracen, whom they thus reprefented 
under the figure of an imaginary eaftern monfter, which never exifted but as an 
armorial badge. 

4 line 2196. 5 Syria. 

6 So Fabyan, of Rofamond's bower : " that no creature, man or woman, myght 
wynne to her," /'. e. go in, by contraction, Win. Chron. vol. i. p. 320, col. i. edit. 
1533. f Rinnan A.-S. to labour, ftrive at, and hence attain to by labour. Price.] 

7 Rob. [de] Brun. Chron. p. 170. 

" The kynge's owne galeie he cald it Trencthemere ." 
8 [** Trenchemere, fo faith the boke. 
The galey yede as fwift 
As ony fowle by the lyfte."] 



154 Romance of Richard Cuer de Lyon. 8.4. 

Steryd the galey ryght ful evene, 
Ryght in the myddes off the havene. 
Wer the maryners faughte or wrothe, 
He made hem fayle and rowe bothe 5 
And kynge Rychard, that was fo good, 
With hys axe in forefchyp flood. 
And whenne he com the cheyne too, 
With hys ax he fmot it in two, 1 
That all the barouns, verrayment, 
Sayde it was a noble dent ; 
And for joye off this dede 
The cuppes faft abouten yede, 2 
With good wyn, pyement and clarre ; 
And faylyd toward Acres cyte. 
Kyng Richard, oute of hys galye, 
Cafte wylde-fyr into the fkeye, 
And fyr Gregeys into the fee, 
And al on fyr wer the. 
Trumpes yede in hys galeye, 
Men mighte it here into the flcye, 
Taboures and homes Sarezyneys, 3 
The fee brent all off fyr Gregeys. 4 

This fyr Gregeys, or Grecian fire, feems to be a compofition be- 
longing to the Arabian chemiftry. It is frequently mentioned by the 
Byzantine hiftdrians, and was very much ufed in the wars of the 
middle ages, both by fea and land. It was a fort of wild- fire, faid to 
be inextinguifhable by water, [but innocuous againft vinegar prepared 
in a certain manner,] and chiefly ufed for burning fhips, againft which 
it was thrown in pots or phials by the hand. In land engagements 
it feems to have been difcharged by machines conftru&ed on purpofe. 
The oriental Greeks pretended that this artificial fire was invented 
by Callinicus, an architect of Heliopolis, under Conftantine ; and 
that Conftantine prohibited them from communicating the manner 
of making it to any foreign people. It was, however, in common ufe 
among the nations confederated with the Byzantines ; and Anna 
Comnena has given an account of its ingredients, 5 which were bitu- 
men, fulphur, and naphtha. It is called feu gregois in the French 
chronicles and romances. Our minftrel, I believe, is fingular in 
faying that Richard fcattered this fire on Saladin's fhips : many 
monkifh hiftorians of the lioly war, in defcribing the fiege of Aeon, 
relate that it was employed on that occafion and many others by the 
Saracens againft the Chriftians. 6 Procopius, in his hiftory of the 
Goths, calls it Medea* s Oil, as if it had been a preparation ufed in the 
forceries of that enchantrefs. 7 



1 Thus R. de Brunne fays, " he fondred the Sarazyns otuynne." p. 574. [But 
jondred feems to be a mif-reading fotjondred t parted or clove.] 

2 went. 3 [fhalmys,77//2'Xfw/.] 4 line 2593. 

5 See Du Cange, Not. ad. Joinvil. p. 71. And GL Lot., V. Ignis Gracus. 

6 See more particularly Chron. Rob. [de] Brun. p. 170. And Benedift. Abb. p. 
652. And Joinv. Hifl. L. pp. 39, 46, 52, 53, 62, 70. 



s. 4. Early nfe of Artillery in Europe. 1 55 

The quantity of huge battering rams and other military engines, 
now unknown, which Richard is faid to have tranfported into the 
Holy Land, was prodigious. The names of fome of them are 
given in another part of this romance. 1 It is an hiftorical fa6t, that 
Richard was killed by the French from the fhot of an arcubalift, a 
machine which he often worked fkilfully with his own hands : and 
Guillaume le Breton, a Frenchman, in his Latin poem called Philip- 
pels, introduces Atropos making a decree that Richard mould die by 
no other means than by a wound from this deftru6Uve inftrument, 
the ufe of which, after it had been interdicted by the Pope in the 
year 1139, he revived, and is fuppofed to have mown the French in 
the Crufades : 2 

[Ginnes ?] he hadde on wondyr wyfe ; 

Mang[o]neles 3 off gret queintyfe ; 4 

Arwblaft bowe, and* with gynne 

The Holy Lond[e] for to wynne. 

Ovyr al othyr wyttyrly, 

A melle 6 he hadde off gret mayftry ; 



1 " Twenty grete gynnes for the nones 
Kynge Richard fent for to caft ftones," &c. 

Among thefe were the Mategriffon and the Robynet. Sign. N. Hi. The former 
of thefe is thus defcribed. Sign. E. iiii. : 

" I have a caftell I underftonde 
Is made of tembre of Englonde 
With fyxe ftages full of tourelles 
Well flouryfhed with cornelles," &c. 

See Du Cange Not. Join<v. p. 68, Mategryffon is the Terror or plague of the Greeks. 
Du Cange, in his [Hiftoire de Conftantinople fous les empereurs Franfais,] mentions a 
caftle of this name in Peloponefus. Benedict fays that Richard ere&ed a ftrong 
caftle, which he called Mate-gryffon, on the brow of a fteep mountain without the 
walls of the city of Meflina in Sicily. Benedict. Abb. p. 621, ed. Hearn. fub. ann. 
1 190. Robert de Brunne mentions this engine from our romance. Chron. p. 157 : 

" The romancer it fais Richarde did make a pele, 
On kaftelle wife allwais wrought of tre ful wele. 

In fchip he ded it lede, &c 

His pele from that dai forward he cald it Mate-griffon." 

Pele is a houfe [a caftle, fortification]. Archbifhop Turpin mentions Charlemagne's 
wooden caftles at the fiege of a city in France, cap. ix. 

2 See Carpentier's Suppl. Du Cange, Lat. Gl. torn. i. p. 434. And Du Cange, 
ad Ann. Alex. p. 357. 

3 Seefupr. It is obfervable that Manganum, Mangonell, was not known among 
the Roman military machines, but exifted firft in the Byzantine Greek Mayj/ctvov, 
a circumftance which feems to point out its inventors, at leaft to fhew that it belonged 
to the oriental art of war. It occurs often in the Byzantine Ta6Hcs, although at 
the fame time it was perhaps derived from the Latin Machina ; yet the Romans do 
not appear to have ufed in their wars fo formidable and complicated an engine, as 
this is defcribed to have been in the writers of the dark ages. It was the capital 
machine of the wars of thofe ages. Du Cange, in his [Conftantinople fous les empe- 
reurs Franfais] mentions a vaft area at Conftantinople in which the machines of 
war were kept. p. 155. 

4 Seefupr. * [made.] 6 mill. 



156 The early ufe of Artillery. s. 4. 

In myddys a fchyp for to ftand 5 

Swylice on fawgh nevyr man in land : 

Four[e] fayles wer theretoo, 

Yelew and grene, red and bloo. 

With canevas layd wel al about, 

Ful fchyr withinne and eke without ; 

Al withinne ful off feer, 

Of torches maad with wex ful cleer ; 

Ovyrtwart and endelang, 

With ftrenges of wyr the ftones hang; 1 

Stones that deden never note, 

Grounde they never whete, no grote, 

But rubbyd as they wer wood. 

Out of the eye ran red blood. 2 

Beffore the trowgh there flood on ; 

Al in blood he was begon, 

And homes grete upon his hede $ 

Sarezynes theroff hadde gret drede. 3 

The laft circumftance recalls a fiend-like appearance drawn by 
Shakefpeare ; in which, exclufive of the application, he has con- 
verted ideas of deformity into the true fublime, and rendered an 
image terrible, which in other hands would have probably been 
ridiculous : 

Methought his eyes 

Were two full moons ; he had a thoufand nofes, 
Horns whelk'd and wavM like the enridged fea, 
It was fome fiend 4 



1 [With fpryngelles of fyre they dyde honde.] Efpringalles, Fr. Engines. See 
Du Cange, GL Lot. Spingarda, Quadrellus. And Not. Joinv. p. 78. Perhaps he 
means pellets of tow dipped in the Grecian fire, which fometimes were thrown 
from a fort of mortar. Joinville fays, that the Greek fire thrown from a mortal- 
looked like a huge dragon flying through the air, and that at midnight the flames 
of it illuminated the Chriftian camp, as if it had been broad day. When Louis's 
army was encamped on the banks of the Thanis in ^gypt, fays the fame curious 
hiftorian, about the year 1 249, they erefted two chats chateils, or covered galleries, 
to melter their workmen, and at the end of them two befrois, or vaft moveable 
wooden towers, full of crofsbow men, who kept a continual difcharge on the oppo- 
fite more. Befides eighteen other new-invented engines for throwing ftones and 
bolts. But in one night, the deluge of Greek fire eje6ted from the Saracen camp 
utterly deftroyed thele enormous machines. This was a common difafter ; but 
Joinville fays, that his pious monarch fometimes averted the danger, by proftrating 
himfelf on the ground, and invoking our Saviour with the appellation of Beau Sire, 

PP- 37 39- 

2 This device is thus related by Robert of Brunne, Chron. pp. 175-176 : 

" Richard als fuithe did raife his engyns 
The Inglis wer than blythe, Normans and Petevyns : 
In bargeis and galeis he fet mylnes to go, 
The failes, as men fais, fom were blak and bio, 
Som were rede and grene, the wynde about them blewe. 
The ftones were of Rynes, the noyfe dreadfull and grete j 
It affraied the Sarazins ; as leven the fyre out fchete. 
The noyfe was unride," &c. 

Rynes is the river Rhine, whofe mores or bottom fupplied the ftones mot from their 
military engines. The Normans, a barbarous people, appear to have ufed machines 
of immenfe and very artificial conftru&ion at the fiege of Paris in 885. See the laft 



note. And Vlt. Saladin. per Schultens, pp. 135, 141, 167, &c. 
3 Line 2631. 4 King Lear, iv. vi. [Dyce's edit. 



1868, vii. 324.] 



s. 4. Richard Cuer de Lyon. 157 

At the touch of this powerful magician, to fpeak in Milton's lan- 
guage, " The griefly terror grows tenfold more dreadful and de- 
form." 

The moving caftles defcribed by our minftrel, which feem to be 
fo many fabrics of romance, but are founded in real hiftory, afforded 
fuitable materials for poets who deal in the marvellous. Accordingly 
they could not efcape the fabling genius of Taflb, who has made 
them inftruments of enchantment, and accommodated them with 
great propriety to the operations of infernal fpirits. 

At the fiege of Babylon, the foldan Saladin fends King Richard a 
horfe. The meflenger fays : 

Thou fayeft thy God is ful of myght : 

Wylt thou graunt, with fpere and fcheeld, 

Deraye the ryghte in the feeld, 

With helm, hawberk and brondes bryght 

On ftrongje] ftedes, good and lyght, 

Whether is off more power 

Jefu or Jubyter ? 

And he fente the to lay this, 

Yiff thou wilt have an hors [of] hys ? 

In alle the landes ther thou haft gon, 

Swylk on fay thou nevyr non ! 

Favel off Cypre, ne Lyard off Prys, 1 

Are nought at nede as that he is ; 

And, yiff thou wylt, this felve day 

It mail be brought the to afay. 1 

Quoth kyng Richard : " Thou fayeft wel j 

Swylke an hors, by Seynt Mychel, 



1 Horfes belonging to Richard, " Favel of Cyprus and Lyard of Paris." Robert 
de Brunne mentions one of thefe horfes, which he calls [Fauuel]. Chron. p. 175 : 
" Sithen at Japhet was flayn [Fauuel] his ftede, 
The Romans telles gret pas ther of his douhty dede." 
This is our romance, viz. Sign. Q. iii. : 

" To hym gadered every chone 
And flewe Favell under hym, 
Tho was Richard wroth and grym." 

This was at the fiege of Jaffa, as it is here called. Favell of Cyprus is again men- 
tioned, Sign. O. ii. : 

" Favell of Cyprus is forth fet 
And in the fadell he hym fett." 

Robert of Brunne fays that Saladin's brother fent King Richard a horfe. Chron. 
p. 194: 

" He fent to King Richard a ftede for curteifie 
On of the beft reward that was in paemie." 

In the wardrobe-roll of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward II., under the year 
1272, the matters of the horfe render their accounts for horfes purchafed, fpecifying 
the colours and prices with the greateft accuracy. One of them is called " Unus 
equusfavellus cum ftella in fronte," &c. Hearne's Joann. de Trokelonjoe . Praef. p. 
xxvi. Here favellus is interpreted by Hearne to be honeycomb. I fuppofe he un- 
derftands a dappled or roan horfe. But favellus, evidently an adjeHve, is barba- 
rous Latin forfafous orfufous, a dun or light yellow, a word often ufed to exprefs 
the colour of horfes and hawks. See Carpentier, Suppl. Du Cange, Lat. Glos. V. 
Fa-vellus, torn. ii. p. 370. It is hence that King Richard's horfe is called Favel. 
From which word [Fauvel] in Robert de Brunne is a corruption. 



158 Extracts from the Romance of s. 4, 

I wolde have to ryde upon. 

Bydde hym fende that hors to me ; 

I fchal afaye, what that he be. 

Yiff he be trufty, withoute fayle 

I kepe non othir in batayle." 

The meffanger thenne home wente, 

And tolde the Sawdon in presente, 

Hou kyng Richard wolde hym mete. 

The rych[e] Sawdon, al fo fkete, 

A noble clerk he fente for thenne 

A maftyr negromacien, 1 

That conjuryd as [I] you telle, 

Thorwgh the feendes craft off helle, 

Twoo ftronge feendes off the eyr 

In lyknefle off twoo ftedes feyr, 

Lyke bothe of hewe and here j 

As they fayde that wer there, 

Never was ther feen non flyke. 

That on was a mere lyke, 

That other a colt, a noble ftede, 

Wher he wer in ony nede, 

Was nevyr kyng ne knyght 2 fo bolde, 

That, whenne the dame neyghe 3 wolde, 

Scholde hym holde agayn hys wylle, 

That he ne wolde renne her tylle, 4 

And knele adoun, and fouke 5 hys dame : 

That whyle, the Sawdon [thought] with ichame, 

Scholde Kyng Richard foone aquelle. 

All thus an aungyl gan hym telle, 

That cam to hym aftyr mydnyght ; 

And fayd " Awake, thou Goddes knyght ! 

My lord 6 dos the to undyrftande, 

The fchal com an hors to hande j 

Fayr he is off body pyght ; 

Betraye the yiff the Sawdon myght. 

On hym to ryde have thou no drede, 

He fchal the helpfen] at thy nede." 

The angel then gives King Richard feveral directions about ma- 
naging this infernal horfe, and a general engagement enfuing, be- 
tween the Chriftian and Saracen armies : 7 

To lepe to hors thenne was he dyght ; 

Into the fadyl or he leep, 

Off many thynge he took keep. 

Hys men him brought al that he badde. 

A quarry tree off fourty foote 

Before hys fadyl anon dyd hote 



1 necromancer. 2 his rider. 3 neigh. 

* go to her. 5 fuck. 6 God. 

7 In which the Saracen line extended twelve miles in length, and 
" The grounde myght unnethe be fene 
For bryght armure and fperes kene." 
Again 

'' Lyke as fnowe lyeth on the mountaynes 
So were fulfylled hylles and playnes 
With hauberkes bryght and harneys clere 
Of trompettes, and tabourere." 



s. 4. Richard Cuer de Lyon. 1 59 



Fafte that men fcholde it brace, &c. 
Hymfelf was rychely begoo 
From the creft unto the too. 1 
He was armyd wondyr weel, 
And al with plates off good fteel j 
And ther aboven, an hawberk j 
A fchafft wrought off trufty werk j 
On his fchuldre a fcheeld off fteel, 
With three lupardes 2 wrought ful weel. 
An helme he hadde off ryche entayle ; 
Trufty and trewe hys ventayle ; 
On hys creft a douve whyte 
Sygnyfycacioun off the Holy Spryte : 
Upon a croys the douve ftood, 
Off golde wrought ryche and good. 
God 3 hymfelf, Mary and Jhon, 
As he was naylyd the roode upon, 4 
In fygne off hym for whom he faughr, 
The fpere-hed forgatt he naught : 
Upon hys fpere he wolde it have, 
Goddes hygh name theron was grave. 
Now herkenes what oth they fwore, 
Ar they to the batayle wore : 
Yiff it were foo, that Richard myght 
Sloo the Sawdon in feeld with fyght, 
Hee and alle hys fcholde gon, 
At her wylle everilkon, 
Into the cyte off Babylone ; 
And the kyngdom of Maffidoyne 
He fcholde have undyr his hand : 
And yiff the Sawdon off that land 
Myghte (loo Richard in that feeld 
With fwerd or fpere undyr fcheeld, 
That Criftene men fcholde goo 
Out off that land for ever moo, 
And Sarezynes have her wylle in wolde. 
Quod kyng Richard : *' Thertoo I holde 
Thertoo my glove, as I am knyght !" 
They ben armyd and wel i-dyghr. 
Kyng Richard into the fadyl'leep; 
Who that wolde, theroff took keep. 
To fee, that fyght was ful fayr. 
The ftedefs] ran ryght with gret ayr, 5 
Al fo harde as they myght dure, 
Aftyr her feet fprong the fure, 
Tabours beten, and trumpes blowe ; 
Ther myghte men fee in a throwe, 
How kyng Richard, the noble man, 
Encounteryd with the Sawdan, 
That cheef was told off Damas. 6 
Hys truft upon hys mere was. 
Therfoore, as the booke 7 telles, 



1 from head to foot. 2 leopards. 3 Our Saviour. 

" As he died upon the cross." So in [the fragmentary verfion of the Brut.] 
cited by Hearne, Glofs. Rob. Br. p. 634. 

'* Pyned under Ponce Pilat, 
Don on the rod after that." 
5 ire. 6 See Du Cange, Join-v. p. 87. 7 The French romance. 



160 Romance of Richard 8.4, 

Hys crouper heeng al ful off belles, 1 
And his peytrel 2 and his arfoun 3 
Three myle myghte men here the ibun. 
The mere gan nygh, her belles to ryng 
For grete pryde, withoute lefyng, 
A brod fawchoun to hym he bar, 
For he thought that he wolde thai- 
Have flayn kyng Richard with trefoun, 
Whenne hys hors had knelyd doun, 
As a colt that fcholde fouke. 
And he was war off that pouke : 4 
Hys 5 eeres with wax wer ftoppyd faft, 
Therfore was he nought agalt. 
He ftrook the feend that undyr hym yede, 
And gaff the Sawdon a dynt offdede. 
In his blafoun, verrayment, 
Was i-paynted a ferpent. 
With the ipere, that Richard heeld, 
He beor him thorwgh and undyr the fcheeld, 
None off hys armes myghte lafte j 
Brydyl and peytrel al to-braft j 
Hys gerth and hys (teropes alfoo j 
The mere to the grounde gan goo. 
Mawgry him, he garte hym ftaupe 6 
Bakward ovyr hys meres croupe ; 
The feet toward the fyrmamenr. 
Behynd the Sawdon the fpere out went. 
He leet hym lye upon the grene j 7 
He prekyd the feend with fpores 8 kene j 
In the name off the Holy Goft, 
He dryves into the hethene hooft, 



1 Anciently no perfon feems to have been gallantly equipped on horfeback, 
unlefs the horfe's bridle or fome other part of the furniture was ftuck full of fmall 
bells. Vincent of Beauvais, who wrote about 1264, cenfures this piece of pride in 
the knights-templars. They have, he fays, bridles embroidered, or gilded, or 
adorned with filver, " Atque in pe&oralibus campanulas infixas magnum emittentes 
fonitum, ad gloriam eorum et decorem." Hift. lib. xxx. cap. 85. Wicliffe, in his 
Trialoge, inveighs againft the priefts for their "fair hors, and jolly and gay fadeles, 
and bridles ringing by the way," &c. Lewis's Wickliffe, p. 121. Hence Chaucer 
may be illuftrated, who thus describes the ftate of a monk on horfeback. Prol. Cant. 
Tales, v. 170 : 

" And when he rode, men might his bridell here 

Gingling in a whittling wind as clere, 

And eke as lowde, as doth the chapell bell." 

That is, becaufe his horfe's bridle or trappings were fining with bells. 

2 The breaft-plate, or breaft-band of a horfe. Poitral, Fr. Perforate, Lat. Thus 
Chaucer, of the Chanones Yemans horfe. Chan. Tern. Prol. v. 575 : 

" About the paytrell ftoode the fome ful hie." 

3 The faddle-bow. " Arcenarium extencellatum cum argento," occurs in the 
wardrobe rolls, ab an. 21 ad an. 23 Edw. III. Membr. xi. This word is not in 
Du Cange or his Supplement. 

4 [And he was ware of that fhame.] 5 The colt's ears. 

6 [Maugre her heed, he made her feche 
The grounde, withoute more fpeche.] 

7 [Ther he fell dede on the grene.] 8 fpurs. 



4- Cuer de Lyon. 161 

And al fo foone as he was come, 
He brak afunder the fcheltrome ; ' 
For al that ever before hym ftode 
Hors and man to erthe yode, 
Twenty foot on every fyde, &c. 
Whenne they of Fraunce wyfte, 
That the mayftry hadde the Chryfte, 
They wer bolde, her herte they tooke ; 
Stedes prekyd, fchaufftes fchooke. 9 

Richard arming himfelf is a curious Gothic picture. It is certainly 
a genuine pi&ure, and drawn with fome fpirit : as is the (hock of 
the two necromantic fteeds, and other parts of this defcription. 
The combat of Richard and the Soldan, on the event of which the 
Chriftian army got pofleflion of the city of Babylon, is probably the 
Duel of King Richard, painted on the walls of a chamber in the 
royal palace of Clarendon. The foldan is reprefented as meeting 
Richard with [" A faucon brode," or a broad falchion,] in his hand. 
Tabour, a drum, a common accompaniment of war, is mentioned 
as one of the inftruments of martial mufic in this battle with charac- 
teriftical propriety. It was imported into the European armies from 
the Saracens in the holy war. The word is conftantly written tabour, 
not tambour, in Joinville's Hiflory of Saint Louis, and all the elder 
French romances. Joinville defcribes a fuperb bark or galley be- 
longing to a Saracen chief, which he fays was filled with Tymbols, 
tabours, and Saracen horns. 3 . Jean d'Orronville, an old French 
chronicler of the life of Louis, duke of Bourbon, relates that the 
king of France, the king of Thrafimere, and the king of Bugie, 
landed in Africa according to their cuftom with cymbals, kettle- 
drums, tabours, 4 and whiftles. 5 Babylon, here faid to be befieged 
by King Richard, and fo frequently mentioned by the romance 
writers and the chroniclers of the Crufades, is Cairo or Bagdat. 
Cairo and Bagdat, cities of recent foundation, were perpetually con- 
founded with Babylon, which had been deftroyed many centuries 
before, and was fituated at a confiderable diftance from either. Not 
the leaft enquiry was made in the dark ages concerning the true 
fituation of places, or the difpofition of the country in Paleftine, 



1 Schiltron. I believe, foldiers drawn up in a circle. Rob. de Brunne ufes it in 
defcribing the battle of Fowkirke, Chron. p. 305 : 

" Ther Scheltron fone was (had with Inglis that wer gode." 

Shad is feparated. [Scheltron, turma clipeata, a troop armed with fhields. See 
Jamiefon's Etymol. Scott. Dift. Price.'] 

a Line 5642. 

3 Hiftoire de S. Loys t p. 30. The original has " Cors Sarazinois." See alfo 
PP- 5 2 > S^. And Du Cange's Notes, p. 61. 

* [Roquefort, who cites the fame paflage, calls Glais a mufical inftrument, with- 
out defining its peculiar nature. Price.] 

5 Cap. 76. Nacaires is here the word for kettle-drums. See Du Cange, ubi 
fupr. p. 59. Who alfo from an old roll "de la chambre des Comptes de Paris" 
recites, among the houfehold muficians of a French nobleman, " Meneftrel du 
Cor Sarazinois," ib. p. 60. This inftrument is not uncommon in the French 
romances. 

II. M 



162 Romances of Richard Cuer de Lyon s. 4. 

although the theatre of fo important a war ; and to this neglecl: 
were owing, in a great meafure, the fignal defeats and calamitous 
diftreffes of the Chriftian adventurers, whofe numerous armies, 
deftitute of information, and cut off from every refource, perifhed 
amidft unknown mountains and impracticable waftes. Geography 
at this time had been but little cultivated. It had been ftudied only 
from the ancients : as if the face of the earth and the political ftate 
of nations had not, fince the time of thofe writers, undergone any 
changes or revolutions. 

So formidable a champion was King Richard againft the infidels, 
and fo terrible the remembrance of his valour in the holy war, that 
the Saracens and Turks ufed to quiet their froward children only 
by repeating his name. Joinville is the only writer who records 
this anecdote. He adds another of the fame fort. When the Sara- 
cens were riding, and their horfes ftarted at any unufual object, " ils 
difoient a leurs chevaulx en les picquant de Tefperon : et cuides tu 
que ce foit le Roy Richart ? " l It is extraordinary that thefe circum- 
ftances fhould have efcaped Malmefbury, Matthew Paris, [Benedicts 
Abbas], Langtoft, and the reft of our old hiftorians, who have exag- 
gerated the character of this redoubted hero by relating many parti- 
culars more likely to be fabulous, and certainly lefs expreffive of his 
prowefs. 



SECTION V. 

HE romance of Sir Guy which [probably in one of its 
1 earlier cafts, as exhibited in the Auchinleck MS.] is 
enumerated by Chaucer among the " Romances of 
pris," affords a feries of fi6Hons cuftomary in pieces of 
this fort, concerning the [adventures of the hero both 
in England and abroad. 2 The following is the defcription of the 
firft meeting of Guy and Felice, his future wife : 3 

' Hifl. de S Loys, pp. 16, 104. Who had it from a French MS. chronicle of the 
holy war. See Du Gangers Notes, p. 45. 




, and Rembrun his Son. Now firft 

f i fr 7 tf U C A% C i MS - (by W ' B ' D ' D ' Tu bull). Edinburgh: Printed 
* 



t 

rco t iSr-cr CC , CXL - In the Preface the Editor 

at leT h a fr VaS SS> * nd F inted ed *ons of the romance, and ha? printed 



Verflon in the 
n a M T C Pnnted; l C Py of Sir Gu y is a confiderable volume 

W U " 



WviUam Co 7 H " i W ^ Ut " Im P r y nted * ^ndon in Lothbury by 

W , Iham Copland with rude wooden cuts. It runs to Sign LI iii [An im- 

< K ' 9 ' and a P erfe ^ one -sin L Hebe's 



Ca u' ' a P ere one -sn ees 

Cat pt. iv. 961. A fragment of this romance belonged to Dr Farmer 



s. 5. and Guy of Warwick. 163 



< It was opon a Pentecoft day y-teld 
Therl a gret fed held 
At Warwike in that cite 
That than was y-won to be 
Thider cam men of miche might 
Erls and barouns bothe aplight 
Leuedis and maidens of gret mounde 
That in the lond wer y-founde 
Eueriche maiden ches hir loue 
Of knightes that wer thider y-come 
And euerich knight his leman 
Of that gentil maiden wiman 
When thai were fro chirche y-come 
Ther alight mani a noble gome 
Therl to the mete was fett 
Gij ftode forn him in that flett 
That was the fteward fone 
Therl to ferue it was his wone 
To him he cleped Gij 
And him hete and comandi 
That he in to chaumber went 



mould feel inclined to afcribe to Pynfon. Ritfon mentions alfo an edition by John 
Cawood. Madden. 

It feems to be older than the Squyr of lowe degree, in which it is quoted. 
Sign. a. iii. : 

" Or els fo bolde in chivalrie 
As was fyr Gawayne or fyr Gie." 

The two beft MSS. are at Cambridge, MSS. Bibl. Publ. Mor. 690, 33, and 
MSS. Coll. Caii, A 8, from which text it has now been given. 

An analyfis of this romance will be found in the "Specimens" of Mr. Ellis, 
who is of opinion that " the tale in its prefent ftate has been compofed from the 
materials of at leaft two or three if not more romances. The firft is a moft tirefome 
love ftory which, it may be prefumed, originally ended with the marriage of the 
fond couple. To this it mould feem was afterwards tacked on a feries of frefh 
adventures, invented or compiled by fome pilgrim from the Holy Land j and the 
hero of this legend was then brought home for the defence of Athelftan and the 
deftruftion of Colbrand." Mr. Ritfon, in oppofition to Dugdale, who regarded 
Guy as an undeniably hiftorical perfonage, has laboured to prove that " no hero 
of this name is to be found in real hiftory," and that he was " no more an Englifti 
hero than Amadis de Gaul or Perceforeft." Mr. Ellis, on the other hand, con- 
ceives the tale " may poflibly be founded on fome Saxon tradition," and that 
though the name in its prefent form be undoubtedly French, yet as it bears fome 
refemblance to Egil, the name of an Icelandic warrior, who " contributed very 
materially to the important victory gained by Athelftan over the Danes and their 
allies at Brunanburgh," he thinks " it is not impoflible that this warlike foreigner 
may have been transformed by fome Norman monk into the pious and amorous 
Guy of Warwick." This at beft is but conjecture, nor can it be confidered a very 
happy one. Egil himfelf (or his namelefs biographer) makes no mention of a 
fmgle combat on the occafion in which he had been engaged; and the faft, had it 
occurred, would have been far too interefting, and too much in unifon with the 
fpirit of the times, to have been pafled over in filence. In addition to this, the 
fubftitution of Guy for Egil is againft all analogy, on the transformation of a 
Northern into a French appellation. The initial letters in Guy, Guyon, and 
Guido, are the reprefentatives of the Teutonic W, and clearly point to fome 
cognomen beginning with the Saxon Wig, bettum. Price.] 

3 [In the prefent edition extrads from the Auchinleck MS., as printed in 1840, 
have been fubftituted for Warton's quotations from Copland's modernized and 
altered text.] 



164 Extracts from the Romance s. 5- 

And grete wele that maiden gent 
And that he fchuld that ich day 
Serue wele that feir may 

Gij him anfwerd freliche 
Sir Ichil wel bletheliche 
In a kirtel of filk he gan him fchrede 
Into chaumber wel fone he zede 
The kirtel bicom him fwithe wel 
To amen den theron was neuer a del 
The maidens biheld him feir an wel 
For that he was fo gentil 
Gij on his knes fone him fett 
And on hir fader half he hir grett 
And feyd he was thider fent 
To ferue hir to hir talent 
Felice anfwerd than to Gij 
Bieus amis molt gramerci 
And feththe fche afked him in the plas 
Whennes he cam and what he was 
Mi fader he feyd hat Suward 
That is thi fader fteward 
That with him me hath y-held 
And forth y-brought God him foryeld 
Artow fche feyd Suward fone 
That of al godenes hath the wone 
Gij ftode ftille and feyd nought 
With that was the water forth brought 
Thai fett hem to mete anon 
Erl baroun fweyn and grom 1 

We (hall next give the account of the knighthood of our hero : 

It was at the holy Trinite 
Therl dubbed Sir Gij the fre 
And with him tventi god gomis 
Knightes and riche baroun fonis 
Of cloth of Tars and riche cendel 
Was he dobbeing euerich adel 
The pauis al of fow and griis 
The mantels weren of michel priis 
With riche armour and gode ftedes 
The beft that wer in lond at nedis 
Alder beft was Gij y-dight 
Thei he wer an emperour fone aplight 
So richeliche dubbed was he 

Nas no fwiche in this cuntre 

With riche ftedes wel erninde 

Palfreys courfours wele bereinde 

No was ther neither fweyn no knaue 

That ought failed that he fchuld haue 
How is Sir Gij dobbed to knight 

Feir he was and michel of might 

To Felice went Sir Gij 

And gret her wel curteyflie 

And feyd Ichaue don aftow feydeft me to 

For the Ichaue fuffred miche wo 

Arme for the Ichaue vnderfong 

The to fe me thought long 

1 [Ed. 1840, pp. 3-5.] 2 [Ibid. p. 22.] 



s. 5. of Guy of Warwick. 1 65 

Thou art me bothe leue and dere 
Ich am y-comen thi wille to here. 

A knight, who goes under the name of Amis of the Mountain, 
is introduced into this romance, and in the fequel, where the later 
adventures of Guy's fon, Rembrun, are related, the fame character is 
defcribed as fuffering a captivity in a myfterious and inacceflible 
caftle, from which, however, Rembrun fucceeds in delivering him. 
Here is a picture of Rembrun's journey in fearch of the caftle : 

Amorwe Rembroun arcs erly 
And armede him ful haftely 

For to winne pris 
A gode ftede he beftrod 
And forth a wente withoute abod 

To the foreft Y wis 

Heraud with him go wolde 
Ac he feide that he ne fcholde 

For non fkines nede 
And he dradde of him ftrangliche 
And betaughte him God in heuen riche 

And in is wey a yede 
Heraud blefte and he gan gon 
The merkes ftake a pafed anon 

That was wel vnrede 
Al the dai a tok the pas 
Til it noun apafed was 

Ridand vpon is ftede 

An hille he fegh before him there 
Gates theron maked were 

Forth right he rod in 
The gate agen anon was fpered 
Tho was Rembroun fore afered 

And fafte bleflede him 
Nought he ne fegh boute the fternefle 
Half a mile a rod Y wifTe 

The wai was therk and dim 
He rod afe fafte afe a mighte 
Thanne he fegh more lighte 

Be a water is brim 

To the water he com fone thas 
A riuer be a launde ther was 

Thar he gan to lighte 
Faire hit was y-growe with gras 
A fairer place neuer nas 

That he fegh with fighre 
On that place was a paleis on 
Swich ne fegh he neuer non 

Ne of fo meche mighte 
The walles were of criftal 
The heling was of fin ruwal 

That fchon fwithe brighte 

The reftes al cipres be 
That fwote fmal caften he 

Ouer al aboute 
The refins wer of fin coral 
Togedre iuned with metal 

Withinne and ek withoute 
On the front ftod a charbokel fton 



! 66 Guy of Warwick. s. 5. 

Ouer al the centre it ichon 

Withouten eni doute 
Poiles and laces that ther were 
Of iafpe gentil that was dere 

Al of one ibute 
The paleis was beloken al 
Aboute with a marbel wal 

Of noble entailc 
Upon eueriche kernal 
Was ful of fperes and of fpringal 

And ftoutliche enbataile 
Withoute the gate ftod a tre 
With foules of mani kines gle 

Singande withoute faile 
The water was ib fterae and grim 
Mighte no man come therin 

Boute he hadde fchip to iaile 

Rembroun dorfte nought pafy 
With is fpeie a gan it prouy 

How dep hit was befide 
He thoughte on is fader fot hot 
The ftede in the fide a finot 

And in he gan to ride 
Ouer is helm the water is gon 
He nolde haue be ther for eighte non 

Swich aunter him gan betide 
Er he vp of the water ferde 
A fond it was thretti mete yerde 

Se dep he gan doun glide 

Thanne he thoughte on Ihefu Crift 
His hors was wel fwithe trift 

And quikliche fwam to londe 
His fet faftnede on the grounde 
Rembroun was glad in that ftounde 

And thankede Gpde fonde 
In to the pales he him dede 
He helde the eftes of that ftede 

For no man a nolde wonde 
Ac wimman ne man fand he non there 
That with him fpeke or confort bere 

Naither fitte ne ftonde 

And tharof war a is 

Into a chaumber a goth Y wis 

A knight a fe alone 
A-grette him with wordes fre 
And feide fire God with the be 

That fit an hegh in trone 
Sire a fede tel thow me 
Gif this pales thin owen be 

Ich bidde the a bone 
And gif thow ert her in prifoun dight 
Tel hit me fo wel thow might 

To me now make the mone] 

Afterwards, the knight of the mountain directs Raynburne to find 
a wonderful fword which hung in the hall of the palace. With this 
weapon Raynburne attacks and conquers the Elvifli knight ; who 
buys his life, on condition of conducting his conqueror over the 



s. 5. The Squyr of Lowe Degre. 167 

perilous ford, or lake, above defcribed, and of delivering all the 
captives confined in his fecret and impregnable dungeon. 

[A] romance of the Squire of Low Degree 1 is alluded to by Chaucer 
in the Rime of Sir Topas ,- 2 [and it is probably the fame as that which 
was inferted by Ritfon in his indent Romancees^ and more recently 
in a new collection of a fomewhat fimilar character. What feems 
to be the original edition, and from the appearance of the types, was 
printed by W. de Worde, is entitled oddly enough : " Here begyn- 
neth Undo your Dore," which correfponds exactly with the reading 
in the colophon of a later impreflion by W. Copland : " Thus endeth 
vndo your doore ; otherwife called the fquyer of lowe degre." But 
only a fragment of the former has yet been found.] The princefs 
is thus reprefented, in her clofet adorned with painted glafs, liftening 
to the fquire's complaint. 3 

That lady herde his mournyng alle, 
Ryght vnder the chambre wall : 
In her oryall 4 there (he was, 
Clofed well with royall glas, 

1 [Printed twice, firft, as it is fuppofed, by W. de Worde, under a different 
title (fee Handb. of E. E. Lit. art. SQUYR OF LOWE DEGRE), and fecondly by 
W. Copland. Warton's extracts were, in all the preceding editions, moft inaccu- 
rate. See the romance in Remains of E. Pop. Poetr, of England, 1864-6, ii.] I have 
never feen it in MS. [Ritfon characterizes it as a " ftrange and whimfical but 
genuine Englifh performance." On Warton's opinion, " that it is alluded to by 
Chaucer in the Rime of Sir Topas,'"' he remarks : " as Lybeaus Difconus [Le Bel 
Inconnu] one of the romancees enumerateed by Chaucer, is alluded to in the 
Squyr of lowe degre, it is not probablely, allfo, of his age." But the Lybeaus 
Difconus, referred to in this romance, is evidently a different verfion of the ftory 
from that printed by Mr. Ritlbn [and from a different text by the Early Englifh 
Text Society] ; and the quotation, if it prove anything, would rather fpeak for the 
exiftence of a more ancient tranflation now unknown. Befides, Mr. Ritfon him- 
felf has fupplied us with an argument ftrongly favouring Warton's conje&ure. 
For if, as he obferves, the Squyr of lowe degre be the only inftance of a romance 
containing anyfuch impertinent digreffions or affecled enumerations of trees, birds, 
&c. as are manifeftly the objecl of Chaucer's fatire, the natural inference would 
be in the abfence of any evidence for its more recent compofition that this iden- 
tical romance was intended to be expofed and ridiculed by the poet. At all events, 
Copland's editions with their modern phrafeology are no ftandard for determining 
the age of any compofition ; and until fome better arguments can be adduced than 
thofe already noticed, the ingenious fuppofition of Dr. Percy for by him it was 
communicated to Warton may be permitted to remain in full force. Price.] 

2 See Obfervations on the Fairy }ueen, i. iv. p. 139. 

3 Sign. a. iii. 

4 An Oriel feems to have been a recefs in a chamberj or hall, formed by the pro- 
jection of a fpacious bow-window from top to bottom. Rot. Pip. an. 18. Hen. III. 
[A.D. 1234.] "Et in quadam capella pulchra et decenti facienda ad caput Orioli 
camera regis in caftro Herefordie, de longitudine xx. pedum." This Oriel was at 
the end of the king's chamber, from which the new chapel was to begin. Again, 
in the caftle of Kenilworth. Rot. Pip. an. 19. Hen. III. [A.D. 1235.] "Et in 
uno magno Oriollo pulchro et competenti, ante oftium magne camere regis in caftro 
de Kenilworth faciendo, vi/. xvis. \vd. per Brev. regis." 

The etymologifts have been puzzled to find the derivation of an oriel-window. 
A learned correipondent fuggefts, that Oriel is Hebrew for Lux mea, or Dominus 
illuminatio mea. [See a note to the Squyr of Low Degre (R. of the E. P. Poetry 
of England ii. 27, adfinem).~\ 



1 68 Ancient Manners Illuftrated in the s. 5- 

Fulfylled it was with ymagery, 

Euery wyndowe by and by 

On eche iyde had there a gynne, 

Sperde 1 with many a dyuers pynne. 

A none that lady fayre and fre 

Undyd a pynne of yuere, 

And wyd the windowes me open fet, 

The funne fhone in at her clofet. 

In that arber tayre and gaye 

She faw where that fqyre lay, &c. 

I am perfuaded to tranfcribe the following paflage, becaufe it de- 
lineates in lively colours the fafhionable diverfions and ufages of 
ancient times. The king of Hungary endeavours to comfort his 
daughter with thefe promifes, after fhe had fallen into a deep and 
incurable melancholy from the fuppofed lofs of her paramour : 

To morowe ye mall on hunting fare ; 

And ryde, my doughter, in a chare, 

It malbe couered with veluet reede 

And clothes of fyne golde al about your heid, 

With damfke, white and afure blewe 

Well dyapred 2 with lyllyes newe ; 



1 Clofed, (hut. In P. Plowman, of a blind man, " unfparryd his eine, i. e. 
opened his eyes. 

2 Embroidered, diverfified. So Chaucer, of a bow, Rom. R. v. 934. 

" And it was painted wel and thwitten 
And ore all diapred, and written," &c. 

Thwitten is twifted, wreathed. The following inftance from Chaucer is more to 
our purpofe. Knight's 'Tale, v. 2160: 

" Upon a ftede bay, trappid in ftele, 
Coverid with cloth of gold diaprid wele." 

This term, which is partly heraldic, occurs in the Provifor's rolls of the Great- 
wardrobe, containing deliveries for furnifhing rich habiliments at tilts and tourna- 
ments, and other ceremonies. " Et ad faciendum tria harnefia pro Rege, quorum 
duo de velvetto albo operato cum garteriis de blu et diafprez per totam campedinem 
cum wodehoufes." Ex comp. J. Coke Clerici, Provifor Magn. Garderob. ab ann. 
xxi. Edw. III. de 23 membranis. ad ann. xxiii. memb. x. I believe it properly 
(ignifies embroidering on a rich ground, as tiffue, cloth of gold, &c. This is con- 
firmed by Peacham. " Diapering is a term in drawing. It chiefly ferveth to 
counterfeit cloth of gold, filver, damafk, brancht velvet, camblet, &c." Compl. 
Gent. p. 345. Anderfon, in his Hiftory of Commerce, conjectures that Diaper, a 
fpecies of printed linen, took its name from the city of Ypres in Flanders, where 
it was firtt made, being originally called cTipre. But that city and others in 
Flanders were no lefs famous for rich manufactures of ftuff; and the word in 
queftion has better pretenfions to fuch a derivation. Thus, " rich cloth embroidered 
with raifed work" we called d'ipre, and from thence Diaper ; and to do this, or any 
work like it, was called to diaper, whence the participle. Satin of Bruges, 
another city of Flanders, often occurs in inventories of monaftic veftments, in the 
reign of Henry VIII : and the cities of Arras and Tours are celebrated for their 
tapeftry in Spenfer. All thefe cities, and others in their neighbourhood, became 
famous for this fort of workmanfhip before 1200. The Armator of Edward III., 
who finifhes all the coftly apparatus for the mows above mentioned, confifting, 
among other things, of a variety of the moft fumptuous and ornamented embroi- 
deries on velvet, fatin, tiffue, &c. is John of Cologn. Unlefs it be Colonia in Italy, 
Rotul. pradift. memb. viii. memb. xiii. " Quae omnia ordinata fuerunt per gar- 



s. 5. Squyr of Lowe Degree. 169 

Your pomelles fhalbe ended with gold, 
Your chaynes enameled many a folde ; 
Your mantel of ryche degre, 
Purpyl palle and armyne fre j 
Jennettes of fpayne that ben fo wyght 
Trapped to the ground with veluet bright j 
Ye mall have harp, fautry, and fonge, 
And other myrthes you amonge j 
Ye fhal haue rumney and malmefyne, 
Both ypocrafle and vernage wyne, 
Mountrofe and wyne of greke, 
Both algrade and refpice eke, 
Antioche and baftarde, 
Pyment f alfo and garnarde j 



derobarium competentem, de precepto ipfius Regis: et fafta et parata per manus 
Johis de Colonia, Armatoris ipfius domini noftri Regis." Johannes de Strawef- 
burgh [Strafburgh] is mentioned as broudator regis, i.e. of Richard II. in Anftis, 
Ord. Gart. i. 55. See alfo ii. 42. I will add a paflage from Chaucer's Wife of 
Bath, v. 450 : 

" Of cloth-making (he had fuch a haunt, 
She paflid them of Ipre and of Gaunt.'" 

" Cloth of Gaunt," i.e. Ghent, is mentioned in the Romaunt of the Rofe, v. 574. 
Bruges was the chief mart for Italian commodities, about the thirteenth century. 
In the year 1318, five Venetian galeafles, laden with Indian goods, arrived at this 
city in order to difpofe of their cargoes at the fair. L. Guic. Defer, di Paeji Bafs. 
p. 174. Silk manufactures were introduced from the Eaft into Italy, before 1130. 
Giannon. Hift. Napl. xi. 7. The crufades much improved the commerce of the 
Italian ftates with the Eaft in this article, and produced new artificers of their own. 
But to recur to the fubjeft of this note. Diaper occurs among the rich filks and 
fluffs in the French Roman de la Rofe, where it feems to fignify Damafk, v. 21867 : 

"Samites, dyapres, camelots." 

I find it likewife in the Roman d^Alexandre, written about 1200. MSS. Bodl. 
fol. i. b. col. 2 : 

" Dyapres d'Antioch, famis de Romanic." 

Here is alfo a proof that the Afiatic fluffs were at that time famous j and probably 
Romanic is Romania. The word often occurs in old accounts of rich ecclefiaftical 
veflments. Du Cange derives this word from the Italian diafyro> a jafper, a pre- 
cious flone which fhifts its colours. V. Diafprus. In Dugdale's Monafttcon we 
have diafperatus, diapered. " Sandalia cum caligis de rubeo fameto diafperato 
breudata cum imaginibus regum," torn. iii. 314 and 321. 

1 Sometimes written pimeate. In the romance of Syr BevySy a knight juft going 
to repofe takes the ufual draught of pimeate ; which mixed with fpices is what the 
French romances call win du coucher, and for which an officer, called Efpicier, was 
appointed in the old royal houfehold of France. Sig. m. iii. : 
" The knight and fhe to chamber went : 
With pimeate and with fpifery, 
When they had dronken the wyne." 

See Carpentier, Suppl. Glofs. Lot. du Cange, torn. iii. p. 842. So Chaucer, Leg. 
Dido. v. 185 : 

" The fpicis parted, and the wine agon, 
Unto his chamber he is lad anon." 

Froiflart fays, among the delights of his youth, that he was happy to tafte : 
" Au couchier, pour mieulx dormir, 
Efpeces, clairet, et rocelle." 

Mem. Lit. x. 665. Lidgate, of Tideus and Polimite in the palace of Adraftus at 
Thebes. Star. Theb. p. 634, edit. Chauc. 1687 : 



170 Extrafts from the Romance of s. 5, 

Wyne of Greke and mufcadell, 

Both clare, pyment, and rochell, 

The reed your ftomake to defye 

And pottes of ofey fett you by. 

You mall haue venifon ybake, 1 

The beft wylde foule y* may be take. 

A lefe of grehound 2 with you to ftreke, 

And hert and hynde and other lyke, 

Ye fhalbe fet at fuch a tryft 

That hert and hynde fhall come to your fyft. 

Your dyfeafe to dryue you fro, 

To here the bugles there yblow. 

Homward thus mail ye ryde, 

On haukyng by the ryuers fyde, 

With Gofhauke and with gentyll fawcon, 

With Egle home and merlyon. 

Whan you come home your men amonge, 

Ye mail haue reuell, daunces and fonge : 

Lytle chyldren, great and fmale, 

Shall fyng, as doth the nyghtyngale, 

Than (hal ye go to your euenfong 

With tenours and trebles a mong, 

Threfcore of copes of damafke bryght 

Full of perles th[e]y fhalbe pyght : 



To her lodging in a ful ftately toure $ 
Afligned to hem by the herbeiour. 
And aftir fpicis plenty and the wine 
In cuppis grete wrought of gold ful fyne, 
Without tarrying to bedde ftraightes they gone," &c. 
Chaucer has it again, Squ. T. v. 311, p. 62, and Mill. 1". v. 270, p. 26 : 

" He fent her piment, methe, and fpicid ale.'* 

Some orders of monks are enjoined to abftain from drinking pigmentum, or piment. 
Yet it was a common refeflion in the monafteries. It is a drink made of wine, 
honey, and fpices. " Thei ne could not medell the gefte of Bacchus to the clere 
honie j that is to fay, they could not make ne piment ne clare." Chaucer's Eoeth. 
p. 371, a. Urr. Clarre is clarified wine. In French Clarey, Perhaps the fame 
as piment, or hypocrafs. See Mem. Lit. viii. p. 674, 4*0. Compare Chauc. Sh. T. 
v. 2579. Du Cange, Glofs. Lat. v. Pigmentum. Species, and Suppl. Carp. 
and Mem. fur fane. Chevalerie, i. pp. 19, 48. I muft add, that Triy^vrctfio^ or 
Tn/uEvrapto?, fignified an Apothecary among the middle and lower Greeks. See Du 
Cange, Gl. Gr. in voc. i. 1167, and ii. Append. Etymolog. Vocab. Ling. Gall. p. 301, 
col. i. In the regifter of the Bifhop of Nivernois, under the year 1287, it is cove- 
nanted, that whenever the bifhop fhall celebrate mafs in St. Mary's abbey, the 
abbefs fhall prefent him with a peacock and a cup of piment. Carpentier, ubi 
fupr. vol. iii. p. 277. [Sir F. Madden refers us alfo to Weber's Met. Rom. note 
on Alifaunder, 1. 4178, and Roquefort, Hiftoire de la 'vie pr'wee des Franfois, iii. 
pp. 65-8.] 

1 Chaucer fays of the Frankelein, Prol. v. 345 : 

" Withoutin bake mete never was his houfe." 
And in this poem, fignat. B. iii : 

" With birds in bread ybake, 
The tele, the duck and drake." 

a In a MS. of Froiflart full of paintings and illuminations, there is a reprefen- 
tation of the grand entrance of Queen Ifabel of England into Paris, in the year 
1324. She is attended by a greyhound who has a flag, powdered with fleurs de 
lys, bound to his neck. Montf. Monum. Fr. ii, p. 234. 



s. 5. the Squyr of Lowe Degree. 171 

Your fenfours fhalbe of Golde, 

Endent with afure many a folde : 

Your quere nor organ fonge fhall wante 

With countre note and dyfcant. 

The other halfe on orgayns playeng, 

With yonge chyldren full fayre fyngyng. 

Then fhall ye go to your fuppere, 

And fytte in tentes in grene arbere, 

With clothes of aras pyght to the grounde, 

With faphyres fet and dyamonde. 

An hundreth knyghtes truly tolde 

Shall play with bowles in alayes colde, 

Your difeafe to driue awaie : 

To fe the fifshes in poles plaie j 

To a draw brydge than fhall ye, 

The one halfe of (tone, the other of tre, 

A barge fhall mete you full ryght, 

With xxiiii ores full bryght, 

With trompettes and with claryowne, 

The frefshe water to rowe vp and downe. 

Than fhal ye, doughter, afke the wyne, 

With fpices that be good and fyne : 

Gentyll pottes, with genger grene, 

With dates and deynties you betwene. 

Forty torches brenynge bryght 

At your brydges to brynge you lyght. 

Into your chambre they fhall you brynge 

With muche myrthe and more lykyng. 

Your blankettes fhall be of fuftyane, 

Your fhetes fhall be of clothe of rayne :' 

Your head fhete fhall be of pery pyght, 1 

With dyamondes fet and rubyes bryght. 

1 cloth, or linen, of Rennes, a city in Brittany. Chaucer, Dr. v. 255. 

" And many a pilowe, and every bere 
Of clothe of raynes to flepe on fofte, 
Him thare not nede to turnin ofte." 

Tela de Raynes is mentioned among habits delivered to knights of the garter, a 
Rich. ii. Anftis, Ord. Gart. \. 55. 

Cloth of Rennes feems to have been the fineft fort of linen. In [one of the 
Coventry Myfteries, edited by Mr. Halliwell, 1841, there is a paflage, fuppofed by Mr. 
Collier to have been interpolated towards the clofe of the i5th century, in which] 
a Galant, one of the retainers to the group of the Seven Deadly Sins, is introduced 
with the following fpeech : 

" Hof, Hof, Hof, a fryfch new galaunt ! 

Ware of thryft, ley that a doune : 

What mene ye, fyrrys, that I were a marchaunt, 

Becaufe that I am new com to toun ? 

With praty .... wold I fayne round, 

I have *Jhert of reyns with fleves peneaunt, 

A lafe of fylke for my lady Conftant 

I woll, or even, be fhaven for to feme yong," &c. 
So alfo in Skelton's Magnificence, a Morality written [about 1 500], f. xx. b : 

" Your fkynne, that was wrapped mjbertes ofraynes, 

Nowe muft be ftorm ybeten." 

2 " Inlaid with jewels." Chaucer, Kn. T. v. 1938 : 

" And then with cloth of gold and with perie" 
And in numberlefs other places. 



172 



Sir Degore. s. 5 



Whan you are layde in bedde fo fofte, 

A cage of Golde fhal hange a lofte 

With longe peper fayre burnning, 

And cloues that be fwete fmellyng, 

Frankenfence and.olibanum, 

That whan ye flepe the tafte may come, 

And yf ye no reft may take, 

All night minftrelles for you {hall wake. 1 

Syr Degore, [or UEgare, the Strayed One^] is a romance perhaps 
belonging to the fame period. 2 After his education under a hermit, 
Sir Degore 3 s firft adventure is againft a dragon. This horrible mon- 
fter is marked with the hand of a mafter :" 3 

Degore went furth his waye, 

Through a foreft halfe a daye : 

He herd no man, nor fawe none, 

Tyll yt paft the hygh none, 

Then herde he grete ftrokes falle, 

That yt made grete noyfe with alle, 

Full fone he thoght that to fe, 

To wete what the ftrokes myght be: 

There was an erle, both ftout and gaye, 

He was com ther that fame daye, 

For to hunt for a dere or a do, 

But hys houndes were gone hym fro. 

Then was ther a dragon grete and grymme, 

Full of fyre and alfo venymme, 

Wyth a wyde throte and tufkes grete, 

Uppon that knygte faft gan he bete. 

And as a lyon then was hys feete, 

Hys tayle was long, and full unmeete : 

Betwene hys head and hys tayle 

Was xxii fote withouten fayle ; 

Hys body was lyke a wyne tonne, 

He fhone ful bryght agaynft the funne : 

Hys eyen were bright as any glafle, 

1 Sign. D \\.feq. [In Warton's original text, fcarcely a line, which he quoted, 
was without feveral blunders in orthography and fenfe, and the obfervation applies 
equally to the editions of 1824 and 1840.] At the clofe of the romance it is faid 
that the king, in the midft of a great feaft which lafted forty days, created the fquire 
king in his room ; in the prefence of his twelve lords. See what I have obferved 
concerning the number twelve, Introd. Difs. i. 

2 [There are three old printed editions j See Handb. of E. E. Lit. Art. DEGORE. 
The Auchinleck copy, noticed below by Mr. Price, has been printed three times, 
once in 1817, by Mr. Utterfon ; for the Abbotsford Club, with the cuts from De 
Worde's ed. 18495 and in Mr. Laing's Antient Englijb Poetry^ 1857.] There is a 
manufcript of it among Bifhop More's at Cambridge, Bibl. Publ. 690, 36. 

[This romance is analyfed by Mr. Ellis in his " Specimens." From a fragment 
of it preferred in the Auchinleck MS. it is clear that the poem in its prefent form is 
an unfkilful rifacimento of an earlier verfion, fince the writer was even ignorant of 




" As was the yonge knyght Syr Degore, 

But none wyft what man was he." 

The name is intended to exprefs, as the author tells us (line 230), t( athing (or per- 
fon) almoft loft," Dtgare or Ltgare. PRICE.! 
3 Sign. B. ii. 



S. 5 



Analyfis of the Story. 



His fcales were hard as any brafle ; 
And therto he was necked lyke a horfe, 
He bare hys hed up wyth grete force : 
The breth of hys mouth that did out blow 
As yt had been a fyre on lowe. 
He was to loke on, as I you telle, 
As yt had bene a fiende of helle. 
Many a man he had ment, 
And many a horfe he had rente. 

As the minftrel profeffion became a fcience, and the audience 
grew more civilized, refinements began to be ftudied, and the roman- 
tic poet fought to gain new attention, and to recommend his ftory, 
by giving it the advantage of a plan. Moft of the old metrical 
romances are, from their nature, fuppofed to be incoherent rhapfo- 
dies. Yet many of them have a regular integrity, in which every 
part contributes to produce an intended end. Through various ob- 
ftacles and difficulties one point is kept in view, till the final and 
general cataftrophe is brought about by a pleafmg and unexpected 
furprife. As a fpecimen of the reft, and as it lies in a narrow 
compafs, I will develop the plan of the fable now before us, which 
preferves at leaft a coincidence of events, and an uniformity of 
defign. 

[A king of England has a beautiful daughter, who is wooed by 
many fuitors ; but none can win her, becaufe none can perform 
the neceflary condition by unhorfmg her father in a jouft. At laft, 
when fhe has accompanied her father to an abbey near a foreft to 
attend mafs, on the anniverfary of his wife's death, me feparates her- 
felf unintentionally from her companions, lofes her way in the foreft, 
and is met by a knight, who deflowers her. He leaves in her charge, 
as a token, his fword. The princefs has a fon, who is fecretly carried 
by one of her attendants to a hermit's cottage, and left at the door 
in a cradle with .30 under his head, a pair of gloves, 1 which muft 
fit the girl whom he marries, and a requeft that whoever finds him, 
will have him chriftened. The foundling is chriftened Sir Degore 
[L'Egare] by the hermit, and educated by him. When he is 
twenty years of age he is allowed to return to his mother, and takes 
the gloves, which were difcovered in his cradle. Having refcued an 
earl from a dragon, armed with nothing but an oak-fapling, he is in- 
vited to his deliverer's houfe. The earl offers him his daughter in 
marriage, but Degore, mindful of the gloves, a(ks to fee all the 
ladies. The gloves fit none of them. 

His next adventure is with a king, who has offered his daughter 
and half his lands to any knight who can unhorfe him at the tourna- 
ment. Degore fucceeds, and marries the princefs, without calling to 
mind the gloves, which ought to have been tried firft. His wife 



1 Gloves were anciently a coftly article of drefs, and richly decorated. They 
were fometimes adorned with precious ftones. Rot. Pip. an. 53. Henr. iii. [A. D. 
1267.] " Et de i. peftine auri cum lapidibus pretiofis ponderant. xliiij. et \\\d. ob. 
Et de ii. paribus chirothecarum cum lapidibus." This golden comb, fet with 



jewels, realiles the wonders of romance. 



1 74 Extracts from the Romance of 8.5. 

turns out to be his own mother ; but neither is aware of the facl un- 
til it is time to retire, when Degore mentions his cafe, and mliits on 
trying the gloves as a preliminary. 1 The princefs puts on the gloves, 
and then declares herfelf to be his mother. There is hereupon great 
rejoicing Degore is made known to the king as his daughter's Ton ; 
and when the knight demands who and where his father is, fhe can 
only give him the pointlefs fword (he had received as a token from 
her feducer. He fwears that he will not deep till he has found the per- 
fon. He meets with an extraordinary adventure at a caftle, and 
afterwards fallying forth, he encounters a knight richly armed, with 
whom he fights, till the knight, feeing that his fword has no point, dif- 
covers Degore to be his fon by that fign, and the conteft ceafes. 
father and mother are married, and Degore efpoufes the lady whom 
he had met at the caftle, and whom he had delivered from a giant. 
The incident of the mother marrying her fon alfo occurs in Sir 
Eglamore of Artois.~\ 

The romance of King Robert of Sicily begins and proceeds thus : 2 

Pryncis, that be prowde in prefe, 

I wylle [telle] that that ys no lees. 

Yn Cyfylle was a nobulle kynge, 

Fayre and ftronge, and fome dele ?inge j 

He had a brodur in grete Rome, 

That was pope of alle Cryftendome ; 

Of Almayne hys odur brodur was emperowre, 

Thorow Cryftendome he had honowre. 

The kynge was calde kynge Roberd, 

Never man in hys tyme wyfte hym aferde. 

He was kynge of grete valowre, 

And alfo callyd conquerowre ; 

Nowhere in no lande was hys pere, 

Kynge nor dewke, ferre nor nere, 

And alfo he was of chevalrye the flowre : 

And hys odur brodur was emperowre. 

Hys own brodur in 5orthe Godes generalle vykerc, 

Pope of Rome, as ye may here j 

Thys pope was callyd pope Urbane : 

For hym lovyd bothe God and man j 

The emperowre was callyd Valamownde, 

A ftrawnger warreowre was none founde 

After hys brodur, the kyng of Cyfyle, 

Of whome y thynke to fpeke a whyle. 

The kynge thoght he had no pere 

For to acownte, nodur far nor nere, 

And thorow hys thoght he had a pryde, 

For he had no pere, ne tho3t, on no fyde. 

i All the romances have fuch an obftacle as this. They have all an enchantrefs, 
who detains the knight from his queft by objefts of pleafure j and who is nothing 
more than the Calypfo of Homer, the Dido of Virgil, and the Armida of Taflb. 

8 MS. Vernon, ut fupr. Bibl. Bodl. f. 499. It is alfo in Caius College Camb. 
MSS. Clafs. E 174. 4. and Bibl. Publ. Cambr. MSS. More, 690. 35. [printed in 
Harwell's Nug<e Poetica, 1844, 8vo.] and Brit. Mus. MSS. Harl. 525. a. f. 35. 
[Printed privately by Utterfon, 1839, 8vo. The extrafts in this edition have 
been copied from the text given from a collation of the Publ. Lib. Camb. and 
Harl. MSS. in Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of England, 1864-6, i.] 



s. 5. Kyng Roberd of Cyjile. 175 

And on a nyght of feynt Job an, 

Thys kynge to the churche come, 

For to here hys evynfonge ; 

Hys dwellynge tho5t he there to longe, 

He thoght more of worldys honowre, 

Then of Cryfte hys faveowre. 

In magnificat he harde a vers, 

He made a clerke hym hyt reherfe 

In the langage of hys owne tonge : 

For in Laten wyte he not what they fonge. 

The verfe was thys, as y telle the, 

Depofuit potentes defede t 

Et exalta<vit humiles. 

Thys was the verfe withowten lees : 

The clerke feyde anon ryght : 

Syr, foche ys Godys myght, 

That he make may hye lowe, 

And lowe hye in a lytylle throwe. 

God may do, withowten lye, 

Hys wylle in the twynkelyng of an ye, 

The kyng feyde than with tho^t unftabulle : 

Ye fynge thys ofte, and alle ys a fabulle, 

What man hath that powere 

To make me lowear and in dawngere ? 

I am flowre of chevalrye ; 

Alle myn enmyes y may dyftroye. 

Ther levyth no man in no lande, 

That my myght may withftande ; 

Then ys yowre fonge a fonge of noght. 

Thys arrowre had he in hys thoght, 

And in hys thoght a flepe hym toke 

In hys clofet, fo feyth the boke. 

When evynfonge was alle done, 

A kynge, hym lyke, owte can come, 

And alle men with hym can wende, 

And kynge Roberd lefte behynde. 

The newe kynge was, y yow telle, 

Godys aungelle, hys pryde to felle ; 

The aungelle in the halle yoye made, 

And alle men of hym were glade. 

Kynge Roberd wakenyd that was in the kyrke : 

Hys men he tho3t now for to wyrke, 

For he was lefte there allone, 

And merke nyght felle hym upon. 

He began to crye upon hys men, 

But there was none that anfweryd then, 

But the fexten at the ende 

Of the kyrke, and to hym can wende, 

And feyde : lurden, what doyft thou here ? 

Thou art a thefe or thefeys fere } 

Thou art here fykerlye 

Thys churche to robbe with felony e. 

He feyde : fals thefe and fowle gadlyng, 

Thou lyeft falfely j y am thy Kynge. 

Opyn the churche dore anon, 

That y may to my pales gone. 

The fexten went welle than, 

That he had be a wode man, 

And of hym he had farlye, 

And wolde delyver the churche in hye, 



176 Q&Jervations on the Story. s. 5. 

And openyd the dore ry5t fone in hafte. 

The kyng began to reaue owte fafte, 

As a man that was nere wode, 

And at hys pales 3ate he ftode, 

And callyd the porter : gadlyng, begone, 

And bad hym come fafte, and hye hym foone. 

When admitted, he is brought into the hall, where the angel, who 
had afTumed his place, makes him the fool of the ball^ and clothes 
him in a fool's coat. He is then fent out to lie with the dogs ; in 
which fituation he envies the condition of thofe dogs, which in great 
multitudes were permitted to remain in the royal hall. At length 
the Emperor Valemounde fends letters to his brother King Robert, 
inviting him to vifit, with himfelf, their brother the pope at Rome. 
The angel, who perfonates King Robert, welcomes the meflengers, 
and clothes them in the richeft apparel, fuch as could not be made 
in the world : 

The aungelle welcomyd the meflengerys, 

And clad them alle in clothys of pryfe, 

And furryd them with armyne ; 

Ther was never 5yt pellere half fo fyne j 

And alle was fet with perrye, 

Ther was never no better in cryftyante' j 

Soche clothyng and hyt were to dyght, 

Alle cryften men hyt make ne myght, 

Where foche clothys were to felle, 

Nor who them made, no man can telle. 

On that wondyrd alle that bande, 

Who wro3t thofe clothys with any hande. 

The meflengerys went with the kynge 

To grete Rome, withowte lefynge 5 

The fole Roberd with hym went 

Clad in a fulle fympulle garmente. 

With foxe tayles riven alle abowte j 

Men myght hym knowe in alle the rowte. 

A babulle he bare agenfte hys wylle, 

The aungelles hefte to fulfylle. 

Afterwards they return in the fame pomp to Sicily, where the 
angel, after fo long and ignominious a penance, reftores King Robert 
to his royalty. 

Sicily was conquered by the French in the eleventh century, 1 and 



1 There is an old French romance, Robert le Diable, often quoted by Carpentier 
in his Supplement to Du Cange, and a French Morality, without date or name of 
the author : [" Cy commence un miracle de Noftre dame, de Robert le dyable, fils 
du due de Normandie, a qui il fut enjoint pour fes mesfaiz quil feift le fol fans parler, 
et depuis or Noftre Seignor mercy de li, et efpoufa la fille de lempereur."] Beau- 
champ's Reck. Theat. Fr. p. 109. [Printed at Rouen, 1836, 8vo. 

The French profe romance of Robert le Diable, printed in 1496, is extant in the 
colleftion called Bibliotheque Bleue. It has been tranflated into other languages : 
among the reft into Englifh. The Englifh verfion was [twice] printed by Wynkyn 
de Worde, [and is reprinted in Thorn's Early Profe Romances, 1828 and 1858], 
The title or one of the chapters is, " How God fent an aungell to the hermyte to 
fhewe him the penaunce that he fholde gyve to Robert for his fynnes." " Yf that 
Robert wyll be fhryven of his fynnes, he muft kepe and counterfeite the wayes of a 
fole and be as he were dombe," &c. There is an old Englifh Morality on this tale, 



s. 5. Romance of the King of Tars. 177 

this tale might have been originally got or written during their 
pofleffion of that ifland, which continued through many monarchies. 1 
But Sicily, from its fituation, became a familiar country to all the 
weftern continent at the time of the Crufades, and confequently foon 
found its way into romance, as did many others of the Mediterranean 
iilands and coafts, for the fame reafon. Another of them, Cilicia, 
has accordingly given title to an ancient tale called The King ofTars^ 
touched with a rude but expreflive pencil, from which I {hall give 
fome extracts : " Her bigenneth of the Kyng of Tars, and of the 



under the very corrupt title of Robert Cicyll, which was reprefented at the High- 
Crofs in Chefter in 1529. There is a MS. of the poem on vellum in Trinity Col- 
lege library at Oxford (MSS. Num. Ivii.). 

[Robert of Cicyle and Robert the Devil, though not identical, are clearly members 
of the fame family, and this poetic embodiment of their lives is evidently the off- 
fpring of that tortuous opinion fo prevalent in the middle ages, and which time has 
mellowed into a vulgar adage, that " the greater the fmner the greater the faint." 
The fubjecl: of the latter poem was doubtlefsly Robert the fixth duke of Nor- 
mandy, who became an early objeft of legendary fcandal j and the tranfition to the 
fame line of potentates in Sicily was an eafy effort when thus fupported. The 
romantic legend of " Sir Gowther" publifhed in the Selet Pieces of Early Popular 
Poetry p , [1817], is only a different verfion of Robert the Devil with a change of 
fcene, names, &c. Price. 

That the fubjeft of the legend of Robert the Devil was Robert the fixth duke of 
Normandy, is treated by fome writers as a matter of much uncertainty, although 
Mr. Price appears to have entertained no doubt of it. In the Re<vue de Rouen for 
March, 1836, M. Pothier obferves : " Setting out with the fcarcely plaufible 
opinion, that all the perfonages of femi-hiftoric romance muft have their type and 
reprefentative in hiftory, they have fet themfelves to inveftigate what real pattern the 
fabulous Robert the Devil could have been modelled after. As the chronicle 
[of Normandy], the drama, and the romance agree in making him the fon of a 
duke of Normandy, it has been thence concluded that he muft himfelf have been 
duke of Normandy ; and comparifons have been inftituted of his legend with the 
hiftory of the two or three Roberts that the whole ducal lineage furnifhes. Yet 
neither chroniclers nor poets had ever dreamt of creating, of their own mere autho- 
rity, Robert the Devil duke of Normandy : the chronicle makes him die at Jeru- 
falem 5 the romance, in a hermitage near Rome ; and the miracle makes him marry 
the emperor's daughter, and then of courfe fucceed his father-in-law, agreeably to 
the external law of all feekers of adventures, from the paladins of the round table 
down to the renowned Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance." According to the 
later verfion of the Bibliotheque Bleue, Robert brings his wife into Normandy, 
afcends the ducal throne, and having lived a good prince, dies laden with honours 
and with years, leaving the duchy to his fon Richard-fans-Peur, whofe marvellous 
hiftory has alfo been recounted by the writers of romance." Taylor. 

See alfo remarks on this fubjeft in Remains of the Early Popular Poetry of 'England ', 
1864-6, i. a64--9.] 

1 A paffage in Fauchet, fpeaking of rhyme, may perhaps deferve attention here. 
" Pour le regard de Siciliens, je me tiens prefque afleure, que Guillaume Ferrabrach 
frere de Robert Guifchard et autres feigneurs de Calabre et Pouille enfans de 
Tancred Frangois-Normand, Tont portee aux pais de leur conquefte, eftant une 
couftume des gens de de9a chanter, avant que combattre, les beaux faits de leurs 
anceftres, compofez en vers." Rec . p. 70. Boccaccio's Tancredy in his beautiful 
tale of Tancred and Sigifmunda, was one of thefe Franco-Norman kings of Sicily. 
Compare Nouv. Abreg. Chronol. Hift. Fr. pag. 102, edit. 1751. [Alfo Gibbon, 
ch. Ivi. Anon^\ 

II. N 



178 Specimens of the Romance of 

Soudan of Dammias, 1 how the Soudan of Dammias was criftened 
thoru Godis gras :" 2 

Herkeneth now, bothe olde and 
For Maries love, that fwete thyng : 

How a werre bigan 
Bitwene a god Criftene kyng, 
And an hethene hey^e lordyng, 

Of Damas the Soudan. 
The kyng of Taars hedde a wyf, 
The feirefte that mighte bere lyf, 

That eny mon telle can : 
A doughter the! hadde hem bitween, 
That heore 3 ri^te heir fcholde ben j 

White fo 4 'fether of fwan : 
Chaaft heo 5 was, and feir of chere, 
With rode 6 red fo blofme on brere, 

Eyyen 7 ftepe and gray, 
With lowe fchuldres and why re fwere ; 8 
Hire to feo 9 was gret preyere 

Of princes pert in play. 
The word 10 of hire fprong ful wyde 
Feor and ner, bi vche a fyde : 

The Soudan herde fay j 
Him thoughte his herte wolde breke on five 
Bot he mihte have hire to wyve, 

That was fo feir a may ; 
The Soudan ther he fat in halle ; 
He fente his meflagers fafte withalle, 

To hire fader the kyng. 
And feide, hou fo hit ever bifalle, 
That mayde he wolde clothe in palle 

And fjpoufen hire with his ryng. 
" And elles u I fwere withouten fayle 
I fchull 12 hire winnen in pleyn battayle 

With mony an hei^ lordyng," &c. 

The Soldan, on application to the King of Tarfus for his daughter, 
is refufed ; and the meflengers return without fuccefs. The Soldan's 
anger is painted with great chara&eriftical fpirit : 

The Soudan fat at his des, 
I-ferved of his furfte mes ; 

Thei comen into the halle 
To fore the prince proud in pres : 
Heore tale thei tolden withouten lees, 

And on heore knees gunne falle : 



I Damafcus. 

- MS. Vernon. Bibl. Bodl. f. 304. It is alfo in Bibl. Adv. Edinb. W 4, i, 
Num. iv. Tn five leaves and a half. 

[This romance will be found in Mr. Ritfon's Colleftion, vol. ii. from whofe 
tranfcript the prefent text has been corrected. On the authority of Douglas's ver- 
fion of the JEneid and Ruddiman's Gloflary, he interprets " Tars" to mean Thrace ; 
but as the ftory is one of pure invention, and at beft but a romantic legend, why 
not refer the Damas and Tars of the text to the Damafcus and Tarfus of Scripture ? 
Price.] 

3 their. 4 as. 5 me. 6 [complexion.] 

7 eyes. 8 neck. 8 fee. 10 The report of her. 

II [elfe.] ia mall. 



s. 5- The King of Tars. 



179 



And feide, " Sire, the king of Tars 
Of wikked wordes nis not fears, 

Hethene hound ' he doth the 2 calle j 
And er his doughtur he give the tille, 3 
Thyn herte blode he wol fpille 

And thi barouns alle." 
Whon the Soudan this iherde, 
As a wod man he ferde : 

His robe he rente adoun j 
He tar the her < of hed and berd, 
And feide he wold her wiue with fwerd, 

Beo his lord feynt Mahoun. 
The table adoon rijt he fmot, 
In to the floore foot hot, 5 

He lokede as a wylde lyoun j 
Al that he hitte he fmot doun rijt, 
Bothe fergaunt and kni|t, 

Erl and eke baroun. 
So he ferde forfbthe a pli^t, 
Al a day and al a ni^t, 

That no man mi|te him chafte : 6 
A morwen whon hit was day lijt, 
He fent his meflagers ful rijt, 

After his barouns in hafte : 
[That thai com to his parlement, 
For to heren his jugement 

Bothe left and maft. 
When the parlement was pleyner, 
Tho bifpac the Soudan fer, 

And feyd to hem in haft.] 7 
" Lordynges," he feith, " what to rede ?" 
Me is don a grete myfdede, 

Of Taars the Criften kyng ; 
I bed him bothe lond and lede 
To have his douhter in worthli wede, 

And fpoufe hire with my ryng. 
And he feide withouten fayle : 
Arft he wolde me fle in batayle 

And mony a gret lordynge. 
Ac fertes 9 he fchal be forfwore, 
Or to wrothe hele 10 that he was bore, 



J A phrafe often applied to the Saracens. So, in Sjtr Be<vys y fig. C ii b : 

" To fpeke with an hethene hounde" 

thee. 3 " Before his daughter is given to thee." 

" tore the hair." 

ftruck, ftamped. [Sir F. Madden fays, that this is ftill in ufe in Ireland to 
denote anger or hafle^\ 
check. 

[The lines within brackets were inferted by Mr. Ritfon from the Auchinleck 
MS. Price.] 

8 "what counfel (hall we take?" 

9 But certainly. 

10 Lofs of health or fafety. Malediftion. So R. of Brunne, Chron. apud Hearne's 
Rob. Glouc. pp. 737, 738 : 

" Morgan did after confeile, 
And wrought him felfe to wrotherheile" 
Again : 

" To zow al was a wikke confeile, 
That ze felle fe full <wrotherheile" 



180 Extracts from the Romance of s. 5 

Bote he hit therto ' bryng. 
Therefore, lordynges, I have after ow Cent 
For to come to my parliment, 

To wite of $ow counfayle. 
And alle onfwerde with gode entent 
Thei wolde be at his comaundement 

Withouten eny fayle. 
And whon thei were alle at his hefte, 
The Soudan made a wel gret fefte 

For love of his batayle ; 
The Soudan gedred an ofte unryde a 
With Sarazyns of muchel pryde, 

The kyng of Taars to aflkyle. 
Whon the kyng hit herde that tyde, 
He fent about on vche a fyde, 

Alle that he mi^te of feende j 
Gret werre tho bigan to wrake 
For the manage ne moft be take 

Of that mayden heende. 3 
Batayle thei fette uppon a day, 
Withinne the thridde day of May, 4 

Ne longer nolde thei leende. 5 
The Soudan com with gret power, 
With helm brijt and feir baneer, 
Uppon that kyng to wende. 
The Soudan ladde an huge oft, 
And com with much pruyde and coft, 

With the kyng of Tars to fi^te. 
With him mony a Sarazyn feer : 6 
Alle the feldes feor and neer, 

Of helmes leomede 7 li^te. 
The kyng of Tars com alfo 
The Soudan batayle for to do 

With mony a Criftene kni^e ; 
Either oft gon othur aflayle : 
Ther bigon a ftrong batayle, 

That griflych was of fijt. 
Threo hethene ayein twey Criftene men, 
And falde hem doun in the fen, 

With wepnes ftif and goode : 
The fteorne Sarazyns in that fijt, 
Slowe vr Criften men doun rig^t, 

Thei fouhte as heo weore woode. 
The Soudan oft in that ftounde 
Feolde the Criftene to the groundc, 

Mony a freoly foode j 
The Sarazyns withouten fayle 
The Criftens culde 8 in that battayle, 

Nas non that hem withftoode. 
Whon the king of Tars fauj that fi^t 
Wodde he was for wrathe 9 aplijt ; 
In honde he hent a fpere, 



1 to that iflue, 2 [numerous.] 

3 [courteous. A general term expreflive of perfonal and mental accomplifhments. 
Price.] 

4 [Refpefting the feleftion of this period for a conteft, fee a fuggertion in Rem. 
of the E. P. Poetr. of Engl. 1864-6, ii. 109.] 

5 tarry. 6 companion. 7 (hone. 
8 killed. 9 wra^e. Orig. 



s. 5- "The King of Tars. ! g i 

And to the Soudan he rode fill rijt 
With a dunt 1 of much mi}t, 

Adoun he gon him here : 
The Soudan neigh he hedde i-lawe, 
But thritti thoufent of hethene lawe 

Coomen him for to were ; 
And broughten him ayeyn upon his ftede, 
And holpe him wel in that nede. 
That no mon mi^t him dere. 2 
Whon he was broutt uppon his ftede, 
He sprong, as fparkle doth of glede, 3 

For wrathe and for envye. 
Alle that he hutte he made hem blede, 
He ferde as he wolde a wede, 4 

Mahoun help, he gan crye. 
Mony an helm ther was unweved, 
And mony a bacinet 5 to-cleved, 

And fadeles mony emptye j 
Men mi^te fe uppon the feld 
Moni a kni^t ded under fcheld 

Of the Criften cumpagnie. 
Whon the kyng of Taars faugh hem fo ryde, 
No lengor there he nolde abyde, 

Bote fley 6 to his oune cite : 
The Sarazyns that ilke tyde 
Slough adoun bi vche fyde 

Vr Criftene folk fo fre. 
The Sarazyns that tyme fauns fayle 
Slowe vre Criftene in battayle, 

That reuthe hit was to fe ; 
And on the morwe for heore 7 fake 
Truwes thei gunne togidere take, 8 

A moneth and dayes thre. 
As the kyng of Tars fat in his halle, 
He made ful gret deol 9 withalle, 

For the folk that he hedde i-lore :i 
His doubter com in riche palle. 
On kneos heo u gon biforen him falle, 

And feide with fyking fore : 
Fader, heo feide, let me beo his wyf, 
That ther be no more ftryf, &c. 

To prevent future bloodfhed, the princefs voluntarily declares me 
is willing to be married to the Soldan, although a Pagan : and not- 
withftanding the king her father peremptorily refufes his confent, 
and refolves to continue the war, with much difficulty fhe finds 
means to fly to the Soldan's court, in order to produce a fpeedy and 
lafting reconciliation by marrying him : 

To the Soudan heo n is i-fare ; 
He com with mony an heij lordyng, 
For to welcom that fwete thyng, 

Ther heo com in hire chare: 12 
He cufte l3 hire wel mony a fithe, 
His joye couthe no man kithe, 14 

1 dint, wound, ftroke. 2 hurt. 3 coal, fire-brand. 

4 as if he was mad. 5 helmet. 6 flew. 

7 their. 8 They began to make a truce together. 

9 dole, grief. 10 loft. " (he. chariot. 13 kift. 14 know. 



1 82 The King of Tars. s. 5. 

Awei was al hire care. 
Into chambre heo was led, 
With riche clothes heo was cled, 

Hethene as thau^ heo were. 1 
The Soudan ther he fat in halle, 
He comaundede his knifes alle 
That mayden for to fette, 
In cloth of riche purpil palle, 
And on hire hed a comeli calle : 

Bi the Soudan heo was fette. 
Unfemli was hit for to fe 
Heo that was fo bright of ble, 

To habbe 2 fo foule a mette, 3 &c. 

They are then married, and the wedding is folemnized with a grand 
tournament, which they both view from a high tower. She is after- 
wards delivered of a fon, which is fo deformed as to be almoft a 
monfter. But at length (he perfuades the Soldan to turn Chriftian ; 
and the young prince is baptized, after which ceremony he fuddenly 
becomes a child of moft extraordinary beauty. The Soldan next 
proceeds to deftroy his Saracen idols : 

He hente a ftaf with herte grete, 
And al his goddes he gan to bete, 

And drou^ hem alle adoun j 
And leyde on, til that he con fwete, 
With fterne ftrokes and with grete, 

On Jovyn 4 and Plotoun, 
On Aftrot and fire Jovin, 
On Tirmagaunt and Apollin, 

He brak hem fcolle and croun 5 
On Tirmagaunt, that was heore brother, 
He lafte no lym hole with other, 

Ne on his lord feynt Mahoun, &c. 

The Soldan then releafes thirty thoufand Chriftians, whom he had 
long detained prifoners. As an apoftate from the pagan religion, 
he is powerfully attacked by feveral neighbouring Saracen nations : 
but he folicits the afiiftance of his father-in-law, the king of Tars ; 
and they, joining their armies, in a pitched battle defeat five Saracen 
kings, Kenedoch, Lefyas, king of Taborie, Merkel, Cleomadas, and 
Membrok. There is a warmth of defcription in fome paflages of 
this poem, not unlike the manner of Chaucer. The reader muft 
have already obferved that the ftanza refembles that of Chaucer's 
Rime of Sir Topas. 5 

1 as if me had been a heathen, one of that country. 2 have. 3 mate. 

4 I know not if byjire Jwyn he means Jupiter, or the Roman emperor called 
Jovinian, againft whom Saint Jerom wrote, and whofe hiftory is in the Gefta Ro- 
manorum, c. 59. He is mentioned by Chaucer as an example of pride, luxury, and 
luft. Somp. T. v. 7511. Verdier (in v.) recites a Moralite on Jovinian, with nine- 
teen charafters, printed at Lyons, from an ancient copy in 1584, 8vo, with the 
title UOrgueil et prefomption de VEmpereur Jovinian. [Compare fupra, vol. i. 
p. 255, and fee Brunet, dern. edit. iii. 1885.] But Jovyn being mentioned here 
with Plotoun and Apollin, feems to mean Jove or Jupiter ; and the appellationyfrr 
perhaps implies father, or chief, of the heathen gods. 

5 The romance of Sir Libeaux or Lybius Difconius [printed by Ritfon], is in this 



s. 5. The Romance of Tpotis. 183 

[Of the romance of TpotisJ mentioned by Chaucer, there are 
four copies preferved in the Britifh Mufeum, 2 and three at Oxford. 3 
Though mentioned by Chaucer along with Horn Child, Sir Bevis, 
and Sir Guy, it has but little in common with thofe romances of 
Price. It profefles to be " a tale of holy writ," and the work of 
St. John the Evangelift. The fcene is Rome. A child, named 
Ypotis, appears before the Emperor Adrian, faying that he is come 
to teach men God's law ; whereupon the emperor proceeds to in- 
terrogate him as to what is God's law, and then of many other 
matters, not in any captious fpirit, but with the utmoft reverence 
and faith. He afks queftions about heaven, Adam's fin, the Trinity, 
the creation, Sins, why men fhould faft on Friday, and other fubje&s ; 
and at laft he afks the wondrous child who has folved all his queries 
whether he is a wicked angel or a good : 

e child onfwerde with milde mood : 

" I am he }?at J?e wrouhte 

And alfo J?at J?e deore abongte." 

pe child wente to heuene f?o 

To J?e ftude }?at he com fro. 

pe Emperour kneled on J?e grounde 

And J>onked God, J?at blifsful ftounde 

He bi com good. In alle wyfe 

Lyuede & diyede in Godes feruife. 

And fo, with a fecond afcription of itfelf to Saint John as its author, 
the work ends. There is a little tra& in profe on the fame legend 
from the prefs of Wynkyn de Worde. 

The editor of the Catalogue of the AJhmolean MSS. fuggefts that 
the origin of this curious dialogue is to be found in thofe fpurious 
pieces relating to the philofopher Secundus, &c., which are defcribed 
by Fabricius. 4 What little is known of Secundus is given by Philo- 
ftratus, in his Vita Sopbtflarum. He was an Armenian fophift, who 
flourifhed about A.D. 100. Suidas confounds him with the younger 
Pliny; his words are, og Ex,pW% ri(re nriviog. Vincent of Beauvais 
made him known to the Middle Ages, or at leaft extended the 
knowledge of him, by recording the wonderful taciturnity he was 
faid to have preferved, and alfo certain anfwers in writing given to 
the Emperor Hadrian. 5 Befides this converfation between the 
Emperor Hadrian and Secundus, Fabricius gives a fimilar altercation 

ftanza. MSS. Cott. Cal. A 2, f. 40. [The Beau Difconu, Bel Inconnu, or rather 
Li Biaus Defconneus was written by Renals de Biauju, and a MS. of the original 
French is in the pofleflion of the Due d' Aumale. But the Englifh verfions are not 
a literal tranflation of the Due d'Aumale's French copy, and therefore there muft 
have been formerly a fomewhat different text, or the Englim author took un- 
acknowledged liberties with the poem. The title of the original French is : " Le 
Bel Inconnu, ou Giglain fils de Meflire Gauvain et de la Fee aux Blanches Mains, 
Poeme de la Table Ronde, par Renauld de Beaujeu, Poete du XIII e . fiecle. Public 
d'apres le MS. unique, par C. Hippeau. Paris, 1860, 8vo.] 



1 [Communicated by Mr. J. W. Hales.] 

2 Arundel MSS. No. 140, ; 



addit. MSS. No. 22283 J Cott - Mss - Calig. A. ii. 
and Titus A. xxvi. 

3 Vernon MS. 140 ; Afhm. Nos. 61 and 750. 

4 Btbl. Grxc. torn. xiii. 5 See Spec. Hift. x. 70, 71. 



184 The Romance of Tpotis. s. 5. 

between that fame emperor and Epi6tetus. But indeed between 
thefe pieces and Tpotis there is no likenefs whatever, except that the 
form is catechetical, and that the queftions are put in the mouth of the 
fame imperial figure. Secundus's anfwers are not anfwers, but mere 
accumulations of epigrams, mere rhetorical bouquets. He is afked 
what are xoo-ftog, axexvos, 6s6s, j/i*pa, ijMoj, &c., and replies in each cafe 
with a feries of elaborate metaphors. Thus, to the queftion, ri k<rri 
yuvn ; the refponfe of the oracle is, avtyo$ exiQvfuov, <7uv<rTiu/jt,F.vov bifiov, 

cruyKOifAw /xevri teaiva av9^u7T07roiov uTroupyYifAtz, uov Trovygov, avaynauov 

KO,KQV. Whereas in Tpotis the queftions are all anfwered with the 
wifh, not to air tropes and fimiles, but to convey information. In 
facSr,, Tpotis is a very curious medieval catechifm. It is evidently the 
work of fome fober-minded ecclefiaftical inftru&or of fome monaftic 
Pinnock of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The ftatements 
contained in it concerning the feven elements of which Adam was 
compofed, the lift of the fins committed by him, the defcription of 
the feven heavens and the nine celeftial orders, the thirteen reafons 
for fafting on Friday all thefe things formed part of what was once 
held to be highly important knowledge, to impart which in a form 
eafy to remember, and to inveft with a certain perfonal intereft, was 
the object of the verfifier, who produced Tpotis. 

For the name I venture to fuggeft that it is a corruption of the 
Greek *Tyroffreurt^ or rather, perhaps, 'YTrotnarrig. The former was 
a common word with the Greek ecclefiaftical writers for a perfon of 
the Trinity ; the latter is ufed by them for a creator.] 

Ipomydon is mentioned among the romances in the Prologue of 
Richard Cuer de Lyon ; in an ancient copy of the Britifh Mufeum, it 
is called Syr Ipomydon^ a name borrowed from the Theban war, and 
transferred here to a tale of the feudal times. 1 This piece is derived 
from a French original. Our hero Ippomedon is fon of Ermones 
king of Apulia, and his miftrefs is the fair heirefs of Calabria. About 
the year 1230, William Ferrabras 2 and his brethren, fons of Tancred 
the Norman, and well known in the hiftoryof the Paladins, acquired 
the fignories of Apulia and Calabria. But our Englifh romance 
feems to be immediately tranflated from the French ; for Ermones 
is called king of Poyle or Apulia, which in French is Pouille. I have 
tranfcribed fome of the moft interefting paflages. 3 

Ipomydon, although the fon of a king, is introduced waiting in 
his father's hall, at a grand feftival. This fervitude was fo far from 
being difhonourable, that it was always required as a preparatory ftep 
to knighthood : 

Every yere the kyng wold 
At Whytfontyde a feft hold 

MSS. Harl. 2251, 44, f. 54. [In Heber's library was a printed copy deficient 
of meet A, which had been part of the collection bequeathed to Lincoln Cathedral 
by Dean Honeywood. It was from the prefs of W. de Worde.] 

[Printed in Mr. Weber's collefrion of Metrical Romances, whofe text has been 
fubftituted for Warton's. It has alfo been analyfed by Mr. Ellis. Price.] 

a Bras defer. Iron arm. 3 MSS. f. 55. 



s . 5 Romance of Ipomydon . i 8 c 

Off dukis, erlis, and barons, 

Many there come frome dyvers townes, 

Ladyes, maydens, gentill and he, 

Come thedyr from ferre centre : 

And grette lordis of ferre lond 

Thedyr were prayd by fore the hond. 1 

When all were come togedyr than 

There was joy of mani a man j 

Full riche I wote were hyr feruice, 

For better might no man devyfe. 

Ipomydon that day fervyd in hallo, 

All fpake of hym bothe grete and fmalle, 

Ladies and maydens by helde hym on, 

So godely a man they had fene none : 

Hys feyre chere in halle theym fmert 

That mony a lady fmote throw the hert. 

And in there hertis they made mone 

That there lordis ne were fuche one. 

After mete they went to pley, 

All the peple, as I you fey j 

Some to chambre, and fome to boure, 

And fome to the hye towrej 3 

And fome in the halle ftode 

And fpake what hem thought gode : 

Men that were of that cite 3 

Enquered of men of other cuntre, &c. 

Here a converfation commences concerning the heirefs of Calabria : 
and the young Prince Ipomydon immediately forms a refolution to 
vilit and to win her. He fets out in difguife : 

Now they go furth on her way, 
Ipomydon to hys men gan fay, 
That ther be none of hem alle, 
So hardy by his name hym calle, 
Wherefo thei wend ferre or nere, 
Or over the ftrange ryvere j 
" Ne man telle what I am, 
What I fchall be, ne whens I cam." 
All they granted hys commandement, 
And forthe they went with one aflent. 
Ipomydon and Tholomew 
Robys had on and mantillis new, 
Of the ncheft that myght bee, 
Ther nas ne fuche in that cuntree : 
For many was the ryche ftone 
That the mantillis were uppon. 
So longe there weys they have nome 4 
That to Calabre they ar come : 
They come to the caftelle yate 
The porter was redy there at, 
The porter to theme they can calle 
And prayd hym go into the halle 



1 before-hand. 

3 In the feudal caftles, where many perfons of both fexes were aflembled, who 
did not know how to fpend the time, it is natural to fuppofe that different parties 
were formed, and different fchemes of amufement invented. One of thefe was to 
mount to the top of one of the higheft towers in the caftle. 

3 The Apulians. 4 [taken.] 



i 86 Romance of Ipomydon. s. 5 

And fay thy lady 1 gent and fre, 
That come ar men of ferre contree, 
And if it plefe hyr we wold hyr prey, 
That we might ete with hyr to day. 
The porter feyd full cortefsly 
" Your errand to do I am redy." 
The lady to hyr mete was fette, 
The porter come and feyre hyr grette, 
" Madame," he fayd, " God you fave," 
Atte your gate geftis ye have, 
Strange men all for to fee 
Thei afke mete for charyte." 
The lady comaundith fone anon 
That the gates were undone, 
*' And bryng theym all byfore me 
For wele at efe mall they bee." 
They toke hyr pagis hors and alle, 
Thefe two men went into the halle. 
Ipomydon on knees hym fette, 
And the lady feyre he grette : 
" I am a man of ftrange contre 
And pray you yff your will to [fo] be 
That I myght dwelle with you to-yere 
Of your norture for to lere, 2 
I am come frome ferre lond ; 
For fpeche I here bi fore the hand 
That your norture and your fervyfe 
Ys holden of fo grete empryfe. 
I pray you that I may dwelle here 
Some of your fervyfe to lere." 
The lady by held Ipomydon, 
Hym femyd wele a gentilmon, 
She knew non fuche in hyr lande, 
So goodly a man and wele farand ; 3 
She faw alfo by his norture 
He was a man of grete valure : 
She caft full fone in hyr thoght 
That for no fervyfe come he noght ; 
But it was worfhip hyr unto 
In feir fervyfe hym to do. 
She fayd, Syr, welcome ye be, 
And all that comyn be with the; 
Sithe ye have had fo grete travayle, 
Of a fervife ye mall not fayle : 



1 She was lady, by inheritance, of the fignory. The female feudatories exercifed 
all the duties and honours of their feudal jurifdiftion in perfon. In Spenfer, where 
we read of the Lady of the Caftle, we are to underftand fuch a charafter. See a ftory 
of a Comte/e, who entertains a knight in her caftle with much gallantry. Mem. 

fur rAnc. Chew. ii. 69. It is well known that anciently in England ladies were 
meriffs of counties. [Margaret, countefs of Richmond, was a juftice of peace. 
Sir W. Dugdale tells us that Ela, widow of >^illiam, earl of Salifbury, exe- 
cuted the merifPs office for the county of Wilts in different parts of the reign of 
Henry III. (See Baronage, vol. i. 177.) From Fuller's Worthies we find that 
Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Lord Clifford, was fheriffefs of Weftmoreland for 
many years, and from Pennant's Scottijh Tour we learn that for the fame county 
Anne, the celebrated Countefs of Dorfet, Pembroke and Montgomery, often fat 
in perfon as meriffefs. Park.] 

2 learn. 3 handfome. 



s. 5. Romance of Ipomydon. 187 

In thys centre ye may dwelle here 
And at your will for to lere, 
Of the cuppe ye mall ferve me 
And all your men with you fhal be, 

Ye may dwelle here at youre wille, 

But 1 your beryng be full ylle. 

Madame, he fayd, grautmercy, 

He thankid the lady cortefly. 

She comandyth hym to the mete, 

But or he fatte in ony fete, 

He faluted theym grete and fmalle, 

As a gentillman fhuld in halle ; 

All they fayd fone anone, 

They faw nevyr fo goodli a mon, 

Ne fo light, ne fo glad, 

Ne non that fo ryche atyre had : 

There was non that fat nor yede, 2 

But they had marvelle of hys dede, 3 

And fayd, he was no lytell fyre, 

That myght fhew fuche atyre. 

Whan they had ete, and grace fayd, 

And the tabyll away was leyd ; 

Upp than aroos Ipomydon, 

And to the botery he went anon, 

Ant [dydej hys mantille hym aboute ; 

On hym lokyd all the route, 

Ant every man fayd to other there, 

" Will ye fe the proude fqueer 

Shall ferve 4 my ladye of the wyne, 

In hys mantel! that is fo fyne ? " 

That they hym fcornyd wift he noght : 

On othyr thyng he had his thoght. 

He toke the cuppe of the botelere, 

And drewe a lace of fylke ful clere, 

Adowne than felle hys mantylle by, 

He prayd hym for hys curtefly, 

That lytelle yifte 5 that he wolde nome 

Tille efte fone a better come j 

Up it toke the botelere. 

Byfore the lady he gan it bere, 

And prayd the lady hertely 

To thanke hym of his corteflye j 

All that was tho in the halle * 

Grete honowre they fpake hym alle. 

And fayd he was no lytelle man 

That fuch yiftys yiffe kan. 

There he dwellyd many a day, 

And fervid the lady wele to pay. 

He bare hym on fo feyre manere 

To knyghtes, ladyes, and fquyere, 

All lovyd hym that com hym by, 

For he bare hym fo cortefly. 

The lady had a cofyne that hight Jafon, 

Full well he lovyd Ipomydon j 

Where that he yede in or oute, 

Jafon went with hym aboute. 



unlefs. 2 walked. 3 behaviour. 

" who is to ferve." * /'. e. his mantle. 



Romance of Ipomydon. s. 5, 



The lady lay, but fhe flept noght, 

For of the fquyere fhe had grete thoght ; 

How he was feyre and fhape wele, 

Body and armes, and every dele : 

Ther was non in al hir land 

So wel befemyd dougty of hand. 

But fhe kowde wete for no cafe, 

Whens he come ne what he was, 

Ne of no man cowde enquere 

Other than the ft range fquyere. 

She hyr bythought on a quentyfe, 

If (lie myght know in ony wyfe, 

To wete whereof he were come. 

Thys was hyr thoght all and fome : 

She thought to wode hyr men to tame 1 

That (he myght knowe hym by his game. 

On the morow, whan it was day, 

To hyr men than gan fhe fay, 

" To morrow whan it is day lyght, 

Loke ye be all redy dight, 

With youre houndis more and lefTe, 

In the forreft to take my grefe, 

And there I will myfelf be 

Youre game to byhold and fee." 

Ipomydon had houndis thre 

That he broght frome his contre ; 

When they were to the wode gone, 

This lady and hyr men ichone, 

And with hem her houndis ladde, 

All that ever any howndis hadde. 

Sir Tholomew foryate he noght, 

His maiftres howndis thedyr he broght, 

That many a day ne had ronne ere, 

Full wele he thoght to note hem there. 

Whan they come to the laund on hight, 

The quenys pavylon there was pight, 

That fhe myght fe of the beft 

All the game of the foreft, 

The wandleffours went throw the foreft, 

And to the lady broght many a beft, 2 

Herte and hynde, buk and doo, 

And othir beftis many moo. 

The howndis that were of gret prife 

Pluckid downe dere all at a tryfej 

Ipomydon with his houndis thoo 

Drew downe bothe buk and doo j 

More he tok with houndis thre 

Than all that othyr compaigne. 

There fquyres undyd hyr dere, 

Iche man on his owne manere : 

Ipomydon a dere yede unto, 

Full konnyngly gan he it undo $ 

So feyre that venyfon he gan to dight, 

That bothe hym byheld fquyer and knight : 

The lady lokyd oute of her pavyloun, 

And faw hym dight the venyfon. 

There fhe had grete deynte 

And fo had all that dyd hym fee : 



1 [tane or tan, A.-S. to lure or entice^ a beaft. 



s. 5 



La Mort cT Arthur. 



She faw all that he downe droughe 
Of huntyng (he wi(t he cowde ynoughe 
And thoght in hyr herte then 
That he was come of gentillmen : 
She bad Jafon hyr men to calle : 
Home they paffyd grete and fmalle : 
Home they come fone anone, 
This lady to hyr mete gan gone, 
And of venery had hyr fille 
For they had take game at wille. 

He is afterwards knighted with great folemnity : 

The heraudes gaff the child 2 the gree, 
A m. pownde he had to fee, 
Mynftrellys had yiftes of golde 
And fourty dayes thys feft was holde. 3 

The metrical romance entitled La Mort Arthure, preferved in the 
fame repofitory, is fuppofed by the learned and accurate Wanley to 
be a tranflation from the French : he adds, that it is not perhaps 
older than the times of Henry VII. 4 But as it abounds with many 
Saxon words, and feems to be quoted in Syr Bevys, I have given it a 
place here. 5 Notwithftanding the title and the exordium which 
promife the hiftory of Arthur and the Sangreal, the exploits of Sir 
Lancelot du Lak, king of Benwike, his intrigues with Arthur's 
queen Geneura, and his refufal of the beautiful daughter of the Earl 
of Afcalot, form the greateft part of the poem. At the clofe, the 
repentance of Lancelot and Geneura, who both aflume the habit of 
religion, is introduced. The writer mentions the Tower of London. 
The following is a defcription of a tournament performed by fome 
of the knights of the Round Table : 6 

Tho to the caftelle gon they fare, 

To the ladye fayre and bryht : 
Blithe was the ladye thare, 

That they wold dwelle with hyr that nyght. 
Haftely was there foper yare 7 

Off mete and drinke rychely dight j 
On the morow gon they dine and fare 

Both Launcelott and that other knight. 



1 [hunting, game.] a Ipomydon. 3 MS. f. 61. b. 

4 MSS. Harl. 2252. 49. f. 86. Pr. " Lordinges that are leffe and deare/' 
[Edited by F. J. Furnivall for the Roxburghe Club, 1864. The late Mr. Ritfon 
was of opinion that [this romance] was verfified from the profe work of the fame 
name written by Malory and printed by Caxton ; in proof of which he contended 
that the ftyle is marked by an evident affectation of antiquity. But in truth it 
differs moft effentially from Malory's work, which was a mere compilation, whilft 
this follows with tolerable exaftnefs the French romance of Lancelot-, and its phrafe- 
ology, which perfectly refembles that of Cheftre and other authors of the fifteenth 
century, betrays no marks of affeaation. Ellis. Anew edition of Caxton 's Morte 
Arthur has fince been published by Mr. Southey. Price. The Early Englifh Text 
Society alfo propofes to republim Caxton's edit. Southey's fo-called edition, 1817, 
was a mere bookfeller's fpeculation, with a very elaborate, but fome what difcurfive 
introduclion by the nominal editor. An imperfeft copy feems to have been em- 
ployed, and the deficiencies fupplied from a later text.] 

5 Signat. K ii b. MS. f. 89. b. 7 ready. 



i go La Mort cT Arthur, s. 5. 

Whan they come in to the feld 

Myche there was of game and play, 
Awhile they hovid l and byheld 

How Arthurs knightis rode that day, 
Galehodis 2 party bygan to held 3 

On fote his knightis ar led away. 
Launcelott ftiff was undyr fcheld, 

Thinkis to helpe yif that he may. 
Befyde hym come than fir Ewayne, 

Breme 4 as eny wilde bore ; 
Launcellott fpringis hym ageyne, 5 

In rede armys that he bore : 
A dynte he yaff with mekill mayne, 

Sir Ewayne was unhorfid thare, 
That alle men wente 6 he had ben flayne 

So was he woundyd wondyr fare. 7 
Sir Boerte thoughte no thinge good, 

When Syr Ewaine unhorfid was $ 
Forthe he fpringis, as he were wode, 

To Launcelot withouten lees : 
Launcellot hyte hym on the hode, 

The nexte way to grounde he chefe : 
Was none fo ftiff agayne hym ftode 

Ffule thynne he made the thikkeft prees. 8 
Sir Lyonelle beganne to tene, 9 

And haftely he made hym bowne, 10 
To Launcellott, with herte kene, 

He rode with helme and fword browne ; 
Launcellott hitte hym as I wene, 

Throughe the helme in to the crowne : 
That evyr after it was fene 

Bothe hors and man there yod adoune. 
The knightis gadrid to gedir thare 

And gan with crafte, &c. 

I could give many more ample fpecimens of the romantic poems 
of thefe namelefs minftrels, who probably flourifhed before or about 
the reign of Edward II. 11 But it is neither my inclination nor inten- 



[' tarried. Sir F. Maddens corr.] 2 Sir Galahad's. 

3 [heel, i. e. give way. Sir F. Madden's note.] 4 fierce. 

6 againft. 6 weened. ' 7 fore. 8 crowd. 

9 be troubled. 10 ready. 

11 Octavian is one of the romances mentioned in the Prologue to Richard Cuer de 
Lyoa, above cited. [An imperfect copy of an early printed edition, fuppofed to be 
from W. Copland's prefs, was fold amongft Mr. Heber's books.] In the Cotton 
MSS. there is the metrical romance of Octavian imperator, but it has nothing of 
the hiftory of the Roman emperors. Pr. " Jhefu pat was with fpere yftonge." 
Calig. A. 12. f. 20. It is a very fingular ftanza. In Bifhop More's manufcripts at 
Cambridge, there is a poem with the fame title, but a very different beginning, viz. 
" Lytyll and mykyll olde and younge." Bibl. Publ. 690. 30. [This romance has 
been edited by Mr. Halliwell for the Percy Society.] The Emperor Octa<vyen, per- 
haps the fame, is mentioned in Chaucer's Dreme, v. 368. Among Hatton's MSS. 
in Bibl. Bodl. we have a French poem, Romaunce de Otheuien Empereur de Rome. 
Hyper. Bodl. 4046. 21. [Of which Conybeare printed an Englifh epitomized verfion, 
1809, 8vo.] 

In the fame line of the aforefaid Prologue, we have the romance of Ury. This 
is probably the father of the celebrated Sir Ewaine or Yvain, mentioned in the 
Court Mantel (Mem. Anc. Ckeval. ii. p. 62). 



s. 5. Allujlon to other Tales. 191 

tion to write a catalogue, or compile a mifcellany. It is not to be 
expected that this work fhould be a general repository of our ancient 
poetry, I cannot however help obierving, that Englifh literature and 
Englifh poetry fufferfed], while fo many pieces of this kind ftill re- 
mainfed] concealed and forgotten in our manufcript libraries. They 
contain in common with the profe-romances, to moft of which indeed 



" Li rois pris par la deftre main 
L'amiz monfeignor Yvain 
Qui au roi Urien fu filz, 
Et bons chevaliers et hardiz, 
Qui tant ama chiens et oifiaux." 

Specimens of the Englifh Syr Be<vys may be feen in Percy's Reliques,i\\. 216, 
217, 297, edit. 1767, and Obfervations on the fairy Queen, ii. p. 50. It is in 
manufcript at Cambridge, Bibl. Publ. 690. 30, and Coll. Caii. A 9. 5. And 
MSS. Bibl. Adv. Edinb. W 4. i. Num. xxii. 

It is in this romance of Syr Be<vys, that the knight pafTes over a bridge, the arches 
of which are hung round with {mall bells. Signat. E iv. This is an oriental idea. 
In the Alcoran it is faid, that one of the felicities in Mahomet's paradife will be to 
liften to the ravifhing mufic of an infinite number of bells, hanging on the trees, 
which will be put in motion by the wind proceeding from the throne of God. 
Sale's Koran, Prelim. Difc. p. 100. In the enchanted horn, as we mail fee hereafter, 
in le Lai du Corn, the rim of the horn is hung round with a hundred bells of a moft 
mufical found. 

We fhall have occafion, in the progrefs of our poetry, to bring other fpecimens of 
thefe compofitions. See Obs. on SpenfeSs fairy Queen, ii. 42, 43. 

I muft not forget here, that Sir Gawaine, one of Arthur's champions, is cele- 
brated in a feparate romance. [In MS. Rawlinfon, C. 86, is The Wedding of Sir 
Ga-ivayne, a later copy of which, mutilated, occurs in the Percy MS. Sir F. Madden, 
who included the Rawlinfon copy in his Sir Gawayne, 1839, obferves : " It is, un- 
queftionably, the original of the mutilated poem in the Percy folio, and is Sufficiently 
curious to render its infertion in the Appendix an objeft of intereft." It is called 
The --weddynge of Sr Ga<wen & Dame Ragnell, and begins: 

" Lythe and liftenyth the lif of a lord riche 
The while that he lyvid was none hyrh liche."] 

Dr. Percy has printed the Marriage of Sir Gawayne, which he believes to have 
furnifhed Chaucer with his Wife of Bath, Reliques, i. n. It begins, " Kinge 
Arthur Hues in merry Carliele." [This is printed in Sir F. Madden's Sir Ganuayne, 
1839.] ! tninlc * have fomewhere feen a romance in verfe entitled, TheTurkeand 
Gawaine. [This romance occurs in the recently edited Percy MS. Many im- 
portant romances altogether omitted and probably unfeen by Warton and his 
editors, might be mentioned here, fuch as Blonde of Oxford and Jehan ofDammartin, 
edited for the Camden Society, 1858 5 Sir Generides, recently edited for the Rox- 
burghe Club by Mr. Furnivall (a ballad-poem on the fame fubjeft is in a MS. in 
the library of Trinity College, Cambridge; and of the longer narrative fragments 
printed with the types of W. de Worde are extant) ; The Romans of Partenay or 
Melujine, Early Englifh Text Society, 1866 5 and Torrent of Portugal, printed from 
the Chetham MS. 1842, 8vo. Torrent of Portugal, which, from a fmall fragment 
with his types remaining, feems to have been printed by Pynfon in the early part 
of the fixteenth century, is a very dull and puerile performance. It appears to b 
in heroic fiaion what Jack the Giant Killer is in the romance of the nuriery. 
far Jack may have owed his exiftence to his grander and more impofmg prototype, 
it is not eafy to fay. We fee in Torrent of Portugal a cunoufly vague ufe ot geo- 
graphical terms conneaed with America ; poffibly the ftory, in its prefent fhape, 
was not compofed long before it came from Pynfon's prefs.] 



1 92 Proofs of the AffeStion 5.5. 

they gave rife,amufmg images of ancient cuftoms and inftitutions not 
elfewhere to be found, or at leaft not otherwife fo ftrikingly delineated : 
and they preferve, pure and unmixed, thofe fables of chivalry which 
formed the tafte,and awakened the imagination, of our elder Englifh 
claflics. The antiquaries of former times overlooked or reje6red 
thefe valuable remains, which they defpifed as falfe and frivolous, and 
employed their induftry in reviving obfcure fragments of uninftru6tive 
morality or uninterefting hiftory. But in the prefent age we are 
beginning to make ample amends : in which the curiofity of the an- 
tiquarian is connected with tafte and genius, and his refearches tend 
to difplay the progrefs of human manners, and to illuftrate the hiftory 
of fociety. 

As a further illuftration of the general fubjecl and 'many par- 
ticulars of this fe6rion and the three laft, I will add a new proof of 
the reverence in which fuch ftories were held, and of the familiarity 
with which they muft have been known, by our anceftors. Thefe 
fables were not only perpetually repeated at their feftivals, but were 
the conftant objects of their eyes. The very walls of their apart- 
ments were clothed with romantic hiftory. Tapeftry was anciently 
the fafhionable furniture of our houfes, and it was chiefly filled with 
lively reprefentations of this fort The ftories are ftill preferved of 
the tapeftry in the royal palaces of Henry VIII.; 1 which I will here 
give without referve, including other fubjecls, as they happen to 
occur, equally defcriptive of the times. In the tapeftry of the Tower 
of London, the original and moft ancient feat of our monarchs, there 
are recited "Godfrey of Bulloign, the three kings of Cologne, the 
emperor Conftantine, faint George, king Erkenwald, 2 the hiftory of 
Hercules, Fame and Honour, the Triumph of Divinity, Efther and 
Ahafuerus, Jupiter and Juno, faint George, the eight Kings, the ten 
Kings of France, the Birth of our Lord, Duke Jofliua, the rich 
hiftory of king David, the feven Deadly Sins, the rich hiftory of the 
Paflion, the Stem of Jefle, 3 our Lady and Son, king Solomon, the 



1 " The feconde part of the Inventorye of our late fovereigne lord kyng Henry 
the Eighth, conteynynge his guardrobes, houfhold fluff," &c. &c. MSS. Harl. 1419, 
fol. The original. [The account which followed here in all the former edits, of 
the furniture in Henry VIII. 's palace at Greenwich, did not feem to be any part 
of the fubjeft ; but at any rate it is to be found much more full and accurate in 
the Retrofpeflive Review, fecond feries, i. 132-6.] 

2 So in the record. But he was the third bifhop of St. Paul's, London, fon of 
King Offa, and a great benefaftor to St. Paul's church, in which he had a moft 
fuperb fhrine. He was canonifed. Dugdale, among many other curious particulars 
relating to his fhrine, fays that in the year 1339 i f was decorated anew, when three 
goldfmiths, two at the wages of five fhillings by the week, and one at eight, 
worked upon it for a whole year. Hi/}. St. Paul's, p. 21. See alfo p. 233. 

3 This was a favourite fubjeft for a large gothic window. This fubjeft alfo 
compofed a branch of candleftics thence called a je/e, not unufual in the ancient 
churches. In the year 1097, Hugo de Flori, abbot of St. Auft. Canterb., bought 
for the choir of his church a great branch-candleftick. " Candelabrum magnum 
in choroaeneum quod^'^ vocatur in partibus emit tranfmarinis." Thorn, Dec. 
Script, col. 1796. About the year 1330, Adam de Sodbury, abbot of Glaftonbury, 



s. 5. for fetch Stories. 193 

Woman of Canony, Meleager, and the Dance of Maccabre." 1 At 
Durham-place we find the " Citie of Ladies, 2 the tapeftrie of Thebes 
and of Troy, the City of Peace, the Prodigal Son, 3 Efther, and other 
pieces of Scripture." At Windfor caftle the " fiege of Jerufalem, 
Ahafuerus, Charlemagne, the fiege of Troy, and hawking and 
bunting"* At Nottingham caftle, " Amys and Amelion." 5 At 
Woodftock manor, the " tapeftrie of Charlemagne." 6 At the More, 
a palace in Hertfordfhire, "king Arthur, Hercules, Aftyages, and 
Cyrus." At Richmond, the "arras of Sir Bevis, and Virtue and 
Vice fighting. " 7 Many of thefe fubjec~rs are repeated at Weftminfter, 
Greenwich, Oatlands, Bedington in Surrey, and other royal feats, 
fome of which are now unknown as fuch. 8 Among the reft we have 
alfo Hannibal, Holofernes, Romulus and Remus, ./Eneas, and 
Sufannah.9 I have mentioned romances written on many of thefe 

gave to his convent "Unum dorfale laneum le JeJJe." Joan. Glafton, edit. Hearne, 
p. 265. That is, a piece of tapeftry embroidered with theftem fJ e ]Je, to be hung 
round the choir, or other parts of the church, on high feftivals. He alfo gave a 
tapeftry of this fubjecl: for the abbot's hall. Ibid. And I cannot help adding, what 
indeed is not immediately connected with the fubjeft of this note, that he gave his 
monaftery, among other coftly prefents, a great clock, " proceffionibus et fpe&aculis 
infignitum," an organ of prodigious fize, and eleven bells, fix for the tower of the 
church, and five for the clock tower. He alfo new-vaulted the nave of the church, 
and adorned the new roof with beautiful paintings. Ibid. 

1 f. 6. In many churches of France there was an ancient mew of mimicry, in 
which all ranks of life were perfonated by the ecclefiaftics, who all danced together, 
and difappeared one after another. It was called Dance Maccabre, and feems to 
have been often performed in St. Innocent's at Paris, where was a famous painting 
on this fubjecl, which gave rife to Lydgate's poem under the fame title. See 
Carpent. Suppl. du Cange, Lat. Gl. ii. p. 1103. More will be faid of it when we 
come to Lydgate. 

2 A famous French allegorical romance [by Chriftine de Fife. An Englifh 
tranflation appeared in 1521]. 

3 A pi6hire on this favourite fubjecl is mentioned in Shakefpeare. And in Ran- 
dolph's Muffs Looking-glafs. " In painted cloth the ftory of the Prodigal." Dodjl. 
Old PI. vi. 260. 

4 f. 298. s f. 364. 6 f. 3 i8. * f. 346. 

8 Some of the tapeftry at Hampton-court, defcribed in this inventory, is to be 
feen ftill in a fine old room, now remaining in its original ftate, called the Ex- 
chequer. [In an inventory of the effefts of King Henry V. feveral pieces of 
tapeftry are mentioned, with the fubjefts of the following romances, viz. Bevis of 
Hampton, Oftavian, Gyngebras (?) Hawkyn namtelet, 1'arbre de jeoneffe, Farman 
(i.e. Pharamond), Charlemayn, Duke Glorian, Elkanus le noble, Renaut, Trovis 
roys de Coleyn, &c. See Rolls of Parl. fub anno 1423. Douce. Thefe Rolls are 
not very correclly printed, and the editor fufpefts fome errors in the preceding 
lift.] 

9 Montfaucon, among the tapeftry of Charles V. king of France, in the year 
1370, mentions, Le tappis de la 'vie du faint Thefeus. Here the officer who made 
the entry calls Thefeus a faint. The f even Deadly Sins, Le faint Graal, Le graunt 
tappis de NeufPreux, Reyne d' Ireland, and Godfrey of Bulloign. Monum. Fr. iii. 64.. 
The neuf preux are the Nine Worthies. Among the ftores of Henry VIII. we 
have, " two old ftayned clothes of the ix worthies for the greate chamber," at 
Newhall in Eflex, f. 362. Thefe were piaures. Again, at the palace of Weft- 
minfter in " the little ftudy called the Newe Librarye," which I believe was in Hol- 
bein's elegant Gothic gatehoufe, there is, " Item, xii piaures of men on horfebacke 
of enamelled ftuffe of the Nyne Worthies, and others upon fquare tables." f. 188. 
MSS. Harl. 1419, utfupr. 

II. O 



194 Ancient Tape/try. s. 5. 

fubje&s, and (hall mention others. In the romance of Syr Guy, 
that hero's combat with the dragon in Northumberland is faid to be 
reprefented in tapeftry in Warwick caftle : 

In Warwike the truth mall ye fee 
In arras wrought ful craftely. 1 

This piece of tapeftry appears to have been in Warwick caftle before 
the year 1398. It was then fo diftinguifhed and valued a piece of furni- 
ture, that a fpecial grant was made of it by Richard II. in that year, 
conveying " that fuit of arras hangings in Warwick caftle, which con- 
tained the ftory of the famous Guy earl of Warwick," together with 
the caftle of Warwick, and other pofleflions, to Thomas Holland, 
earl of Kent; 2 and in the reftoration of forfeited property to this lord 
after his imprifonment, thefe hangings are particularly fpecified in the 
patent of Henry IV., dated 1399. When Margaret, daughter of 
Henry VII., was married to James IV. of Scotland in 1503, Holyrood 
Houfe at Edinburgh was iplendidly decorated on that occafion ; and 
we are told in an ancient record, that the u hanginge of the queenes 
grett chammer reprefented the yftory of Troye toune." Again, " the 
king's grett chammer had one table, wer was fatt hys chammerlayn, 
the grett fqyer, and many others, well ferved ; the which chammer 
was haunged about with the ftory of Hercules, together with other 
yftorys." 3 And at the fame folemnity, " in the hall wher the qwenes 
company wer fatt in lyke as in the other, an wich was haunged of the 
hiftory of Hercules," &c. 4 A (lately chamber in the caftle of Hefdin 
in Artois was furnifhed by a duke of Burgundy with the ftory of 
Jafon and the Golden Fleece, about the year 1468. 5 The affecling 
ftory of Coucy's Heart, which [may have given] rife to an old metrical 
Englifh romance entitled, the Knight of Courtefy and the Lady of Faguel, 
was woven in tapeftry in Coucy caftle in France.* 5 I have feen an 
ancient fuite of arras, containing Ariofto's Orlando and Angelica, 
where at every group the ftory was all along illuftrated with fhort 
rhymes in romance or old French. Spenfer fometimes drefles the 
fuperb bowers of his fairy caftles with this fort of hiftorical drapery. 



1 Signat. Ca i. Some, perhaps, may think this circumftance an innovation or 
addition of later minftrels. A praclice not uncommon. 

2 Dugd. Bar. i. p. 237. 

3 Leland. Coll. vol. iii. p. 295, 296. Opufcul. edit. 1770. 4 Ibid. 

5 See Obs. Fair. Qu. i. p. 177. 

6 Ho well's Letters, xx. vi. B. i. This is a true ftory, about the year 1180. 
Fauchet relates it at large from an old authentic French chronicle ; and then adds, 
" Ainfi finerint les amours du Chaftelain du Couci et de la dame de Faiel." Our 
Caftellan, whofe name is [RaoulJ de Couci, was famous for his chanfons and chivalry, 
but more fo for his unfortunate love, which became proverbial in the old French 
romances. See Fauch. Rec. pp. 124, 128. [The Knight of Curtefy and the Fair 
Lady of Faguel has been reprinted by Mr. Ritfon, vol. iii. p. 193. See Memoir es 
Hiftoriques Jur Raoul de Courcy. Paris, 1781. Price. See Remains of the E. P. 
Poetry of Engl. ii. 65- 6 ; the romance is allb included in that collection. Ritfon's 
text is not accurate. The French ftory of Le Chatelain de Coucy et la dame de Fayel 
was printed at Paris, 1 829, 8vo. ; but it has veiy little in common with the Englifh 
romance.] 



s. 5. Ancient Tape/try and Hangings. 195 

In Hawes's Paftime of Pie a fur e [1517,] the hero of the piece fees all 
his future adventures difplayed at large in the fumptuous tapeftry of 
the hall of a caftle. I have before mentioned the moft valuable and 
perhaps the moft ancient work of this fort now exifting, the entire 
feries of Duke William's defcent on England, preferved in the church 
of Bayeux in Normandy, and intended as an ornament of the choir on 
high feftivals. Bartholinus relates that it was an art much cultivated 
among the ancient I (landers, to weave the hiftories of their giants and 
champions in tapeftry. 1 The fame thing is recorded of the old Per- 
fians ; and this furniture is ftill in high requeft among many Oriental 
nations, particularly in Japan and China. 2 It is well known, that to 
frame pictures of heroic adventures in needle-work was a favourite 
practice of claffical antiquity. 

[The following lift comprifes all the known Englifti Romances re- 
lating to Charlemagne. 3 

I. Roland. All that remains of this is a fragment 4 of a poem, pro- 
bably written in the thirteenth century. It is not ftri&ly alliterative, 
but abounds with alliteration. An analyfis and fome extracts furnifhed 
by Mr. Thos. Wright are printed at the end of M. Michel's edition of 
La Chanfon de Roland. The whole of the fragment will probably be 
publifhed by the Early Englifh Text Society. It relates the treachery 
of Gwynylon (the French Ganelon or Guenelon), and the beginning of 
the fight at Roncevaux. In defcribing Gwynylon's treachery the poet 
has derived one remarkable circumftance,not from the French Roland^ 
but from the Chronicle of the pfeudo-Turpin. M. Paris is miftaken, 
however, in fuppofmg that he does not include Turpin in the number 
of the combatants at Roncevaux. 5 He fays expreflly (leaf 384) : 

vnto Roulond then went the princw xij 
~Olyu<?r and Roger and Aubry hym-felue 
Richard and Rayn^r that redy was eu^r 
tirry and turpyn all redy wer. 

The following defcription of the " ftrange weather" that happened 
in France while the battle was going on may ferve as a fpecimen of 
the ftyle of the poem, which is remarkably vigorous : 

while our folk fought to-gedur 
ther fell in Fraunce A ftrauwg wedur 
A gret derk myft in the myd-day-tym 
thik and clowdy and euyll wedur thene 
and thiknes of fterris and thond^r light 
the erthe dynnyd doillfully to wet 



1 Antiquit. Dan. lib. i. 9, p. 51. 

2 In the royal palace of Jeddo, which overflows with a profufion of the moft ex- 
quifite and fuperb eaftern embellifhments, the tapeftry of the emperor's audience- 
hall is of the fineft filk, wrought by the moft fkilful artificers of that country, and 
adorned with pearls, gold, and filver. Mod. Univ. Hift. B. xiii. c. ii. vol. ix. p. 83. 
(Not. G.) edit. 1759. 

3 [Communicated by Mr. Shelly, of Plymouth.] 

4 [Lanfd. MS. 388, leaf 381 to 395.] 

4 \Hift, Poet de Charlemagne, p 155, note.] 



196 The Charlemagne Romances. s. 5. 

Foulis fled for fere it was gret wonder 
bowes of trees Men breftyn aibndir 
beft ran to banker And cried full fore 
they durft not abid in the mor 
ther was no man but he hid his hed 
And thought not but to dy in Mat fted 
the wekid wedur laftid full long 
from the mornying to the euynfong 
then Rofe a clowd euyn in the well 
as red as blod w/M-outon reft 
It fhewid doun on the erthe & ther did fhyn 
So many doughty men as died Mat tym. 

2. Otuwel. This is alfo incomplete. Ellis has given an analyfis of 
it; 1 and the poem was printed from theAuchinleckMS. for the Abbots- 
ford Club in 1836. Its date is fuppofed to be not later than 1330. 
Ellis has completed the ftory,as he fays, from another MS. then in the 
poflefiion of Mr. Fillingham, in which, however, M. Gafton Paris has 
recognized a portion of a cyclic poem, to which he gives the title of 
Charlemagne and Roland, and which I will next defcribe. Our Otuwel 
is the French Qtinel? Otuwel or Otinel, the hero of the poem, comes 
as the ambaflador of the Saracen king Garfie (Garfile), to fummon 
Charles to pay homage to his mafter, and to abjure the Chriftian faith ; 
but by a miracle he is himfelf converted, and " fbrfakes all his gods." 
He is then betrothed to Belecent, the daughter of Charles, and 
marches with Charles and his <l duzze peres" (douze pairs) to fight 
againft Garfie in Lombardy. Garfie is taken prifoner, and led to 
Charles by Otuwel, who is rewarded according to the French Ro- 
mances, for here our fragment ends with the hand of Belecent and 
the crown of Lombardy. 

3. Charlemagne and Roland. This is the title which, according to 
M. Paris, 3 ought to be given to a poem which we po fiefs only in fcattered 
fragments. The poem belongs probably to the beginning of the 
fourteenth century. M. Paris divides it into four parts, ift. Charle- 
magne's Journey to the Holy Land according to the Latin legend. 
2nd. The beginning of the war in Spain after the firft chapters of 
Turpin's Chronicle. 3rd. Otuwel, but a different verfion from that 
defcribed above. 4th. The end of Turpin's hiftory. The firft and 
fecond parts confift of the poem in the Auchinleck MS., printed for 
the Abbotsford Club under the title of Roland and Vernagu, and ana- 
lyfed by Ellis as Roland and Ferragus 4 The ftory of the firft part, as 
related in this poem, fhould rather be defcribed as Charles's vifit to the 
emperor " Conftanfious," and that of the fecond part, which begins on 
page 15 of the Abbotsford [Club] edition, as the combat of Roland 
and Vernagu. The concluding lines of this fecond part connect it 
with the third : 

To Otuel alfo yern 
That was a farrazin ftern 

Ful fone this word fprong. 

1 Specimens of Early EngL Metr Romances (ed. 1811), vol. ii. p. 324.] 

2 Les Anciens Poetes de la France, torn, i.] 

3 Hift. Poet, de Charlem. liv. i, ch. viii.] [ 4 Vol. ii. 302.] 



s. 5. Ancient Englljh Verfion of Fer umbras. 197 

This third and the fourth part are comprifed in Mr. Fillingham's 
MS., which we know only from Ellis's analyfis. It contains, ac- 
cording to Ellis, about 11,000 lines, and relates not only the ftory 
of Otuwel (the third part of the poem), but alfo the conqueft of 
Spain, the deceit of Ganelon, the fight at Roncevaux, the defeat of 
the Saracens by Charles, 1 and the punimment of Ganelon, which 
form the fourth part. The poem concludes as follows : 

Here endeth Otuel, Roland, and Olyuere, 
And of the twelve duffypere. 

It is worth while remarking how entirely the meaning of the title 
given to the peers has been loft by the Englifh poets. Here we read 
of " the twelve duffypere " (les douze pairs), and in other places we 
find each fingle knight called "a dozeper," while in the Afhmole 
MS. of Sir Ferumbras the word becomes "dof^^eper." 

4. Ferumbras. We have two verfions of this romance ; one of 
them the Farmer MS. analyzed by Ellis, 2 and now in the library 



1 [La Conquefle que fit le grand roi Charlemaigne es Efpaignes ne doit pas etre 
confondue avec la compilation de David Aubert. Ce livre eft le meme que celui 

qui porte le nom de Fierabras Sous le nom de Fierabras M. Brunet 

indique une edition de 1478 j fous le titre de la Conquete de Charlemagne il n'en 
connait pas avant 1501, mais la Bibliotheque Imperiale en pofsede une de 1486. 
Cy finift Fierabras. Imprimee a Lyon par Pierre de Saincle Lucye dift le Prince. 
Lan de grace MCCCCLXXXVI. Le vii jour de Septembre. Toutefois le titre au 
moins et les trois feuillets qui {uivent cet explicit font pofterieurs. Au refte 1'ouv- 
rage eft divife en trois livres, et la tradu6lion en profe de Fierabras ne forme que le 
fecond } Tenfemble a la prevention d'etre une hiftoire de Charlemagne. Elle y eft 
meme precedee d'un abrege de 1'hiftoire de France depuis Clovis, groffierement 
conforme aux chroniques. Puis vient 1'eloge de Charlemagne et un fommaire de 
fon regnej on raconte enfuite le voyage a Jerufalem d'apres la legende latine tel 
eft le contenu du premier livre. Le troifieme comprend le recit de la guerre 
d'Efpagne d'apres Turpin. L'auteur nous a donne lui-meme des renfeignements 
fur fes fources. II nous apprend d'abord qu'il a ecrit fur la demande de mefTire 
Henry Bolomier, chanoine de Laufanne, grand admirateur de Charlemagne. 
" Selon les matieres que j'ay peu amafler, j'ay ordonne ceftuy livre ; car je n'ay eu 
intencion de deduyre la matiere que je ne aye efte informe par plufieurs livres et 
principallement par ung qui eft intitule le Mirouer hyftorial, et auffi par les cro- 
nicques qui font mention de 1'oeuvre fuyvante." II eft fort probable que ces 
cronicques, vaguement defignees, n'ont jamais etc confultees par notre auteur, qui 
trouvait dans le Speculum hifloriale de Vincent de Beauvais tout ce dont il parle, 
fauf le Fierabras j auffi dit-il au debut du fecond livre: "Ce que j'ay deflus efcript, 
je 1'ay prins en ung moult autentique livre, lequel fe nomme le Mirouer hyftorial, 
et auffi es croniques anciennes, et Pay tranflate de latin en fran9oys ; et la matiere 
fuyvante que fera le fecond livre eft d'ung romant faift en 1'ancienne fagon, fans 
grande ordonnance, dont j'ay efte incite a le reduyre en profe par chapitres ordon- 
nez. Et eft appelle celluy livre felon aulcuns Fierabras." On voit que le travail 
auquel le compilateur s'eft livre, " felon la capacite de fon petift engin," n'etait 
pas fort difficile : il a fimplement mis en mauvaife profe franqaife le latin de Vin- 
cent de Beauvais et les vers de Fierabras. Son ouvrage n'en a pas moins eu des 
fon apparition un fucces immenfe, qui d'ailleurs n'eft pas epuife ; car on le reim- 
prime encore a Epinal et a Montbeliard, de plus en plus defigure dans chaque 
edition fucceffive, et de temps a autre un peu rajeuni. Gafton Paris (Hiji. Poet 
de Charlemagne, livre i. chap. iv. iv. pp. 97-8-9).] 

* [Vol. ii. p. 369.] 



198 Firft Draft of the Poem. s. 5. 

of Sir Thomas Phillipps ; the other a fragment 1 of great length, 
which will fhortly be printed by the Early Englifh Text Society. 
They both belong probably to the end of the fourteenth century. 
The original of the romance is the French Fierabras. 2 I give 
parallel extracts from the French and the two Englifh verfions. 
There is a Provencal as well as a French verfion of the romance, 
and I would fuggeft the enquiry whether the poem analyzed by 
Ellis does not follow this Provencal verfion, or rather perhaps the 
loft French original of which the French editors have fhown the 
Provencal verfion to be a tranflation. They agree at any rate in 
brevity, though they both give a long introdudtion, which the exift- 
ing French verfion 'omits. The Afhmole MS. is imperfect at the 
beginning and at the end ; but it appears generally to follow very 
nearly the ftory of the exifting French verfion, though it is much 
more diffufe, the remaining fragment containing about 10,4.50 lines, 
while the entire French poem contains only 6219. Both the 
Englifh verfions agree, however, in fome little particulars which the 
French omits ; e. g. the mention of Richard bleffing himfelf in the 
extracts I give. Our fragment begins, like the French poem, with 
the relation of a long combat between Oliver and Ferumbras (Fie- 
rabras, fern brachium), the fon of the admiral (anirans, Arab, amir) 
Balan, who in the Farmer MS. is ftrangely called Laban. Ferum- 
bras is vanquifhed, and embraces the Chriftian faith ; but Oliver is 
furprifed by the Saracens, and made prifoner, with four other peers. 
The reft of the peers are fent by Charles to demand the furrender 
of their companions, but are thrown into the fame dungeon. They 
are, however, protected by Florippe, the daughter of Balan, and 
after many battles are at length delivered by Charlemagne. Balan 
refufes baptifm, but Florippe is baptized, and here the Afhmole MS. 
ends, being imperfect ; but the other verfions relate the marriage of 
Florippe to Guy de Bourgoyne, and the divifion of the kingdom of 
Spain between him and Ferumbras. 

With the Afhmole MS. is preferved its ancient vellum cover, 
made out of portions of two Latin documents, one relating to the 
Vicarage of Columpton, and the other to the chapel of Holne and 
parifh of " Bukfaftleghe." This cover, however, is chiefly re- 
markable, becaufe it contains what is evidently part of the firft 
draft of the poem, written in the fame hand as the MS. itfelf. The 
following extracts from both will fhow how the poet corrected his 
verfes : 

DRAFT. 

So fturne ftrokes thay ara^te 

eyther til other the whyle 
That al the erthe about quajte 

men mi^t hure a myle 
They wer fo fers on hure mod 

And eger on hure fi^te 
That eyther of hem tho^te god 

to flen other if he mi^t. 

1 [Afhm. MS. 33.] 2 [Les Anctens Poetes de la France, torn, iv.] 



s - 5- Dialeft of the Poem. 199 

MS. 

So fterne ftrokes thay araujte 

eyther til other with ftrenghthe 
That al the erthe ther ofte qua^te 

a myle and more on lenghthe 
They weren fo eger bothe of mod 

And eke fo fers to fi^te 
That eyther of hem than tho^te god 

to fle other if he mi^te. 1 

The poem is written in the Southern dialed!, but it contains a 
remarkably large admixture of Northern forms, words occurring 
fometimes in two forms in lines clofe together, if not in the fame 
line. Thus we find ich and /, a and be, heo and fche y hy and thay 
(the latter moft frequently), and thllke and this, to and ///, prykyng 
and prykande, <uafte and fafte, and fo forth, the former being the 
Southern, the latter the Northern form. The Southern infinitive in 
y (ftill ufed occafionally in Devonfhire) continually occurs: e.g. 
maky, afky, gr aunty , robby^ why (to wed), &c. On the whole one 
would be inclined to fuppofe that the poem was written in the South 
(perhaps in the diocefe of Exeter) by a fouthern man, who had, 
however, lived in the North fufficiently long to become familiar with 
northern forms. But a more careful examination (in preparation for 
the Early Englifh Text Society's edition) will very likely lead to our 
being better informed concerning the character and hiftory of this 
moft interefting MS. 

From FierabraS) Chanfon de Gefte^ edited from MSS. of the xiv. 
and xv. centuries by MM. A. Kroeber and G. Servois (Paris, 1860). 
The extract begins with line 4354, p. 132 of this edition : 

RICHARS refgarde 1'yaue, qui moult fait a douter ; 
Se eft grande et hideufe que il n'i ofle entrer. 
Plus toft cuert que fajete, quaint on le lait aler ; 
Ne barge ne galie n'i puent abiter j 
La rive en eft moult haute, bien fait a redouter. 
Richars de Normendie fe prinft a refgarder, 
Efcortrement commence Jhefu a reclamer : 
" Glorieus fire pere, qui te laifas pener 



1 [Refpefting the early Englifh profe life of Charles the Great, from the prefs 
of Caxton, M. Gafton Paris remarks : ' Au quinzieme fiecle, le celebre imprimeur 
Caxton publia un livre intitule, The lyf of Charles the Great/ &c. Cette Vie de 
Charles le Grand, qui eft a prefent d'une rarete exceflive, a etc generalement re- 
gardee comme une compilation faite par Caxton ; on a loue le difcernement qu'il 
avait montre dans la choix de fes fources, et on a remarque qu'il avait donne un 
beau role au due de Normandie, Richard fans peur, evidemment par patriotifme. 
Voy. Revue britannique [Britifh Review?] Mars, 1844. On lui a fait honneur 
furtout des fentiments exprimes dans la preface, adreflee a un de fes amis particuliers, 
Henri Bolomyer, chanoine de Laufanne. Mais ce nom fuffit pour nous faire voir 
que Caxton avait fimplement traduit, et, comme il le dit lui-meme, reduit en 
anglais le livre des Conqueftes de Charlemagne ou de Fierabras. . . . Quant au 
role de Richard fans peur, il fe trouvait aufli developpe dans le livre francos, qui 
1'avait pris lui-meme dans le poeme de Fierabras" Hiftoire Poetique de Charle- 
magne, livre i. chap. viii. p. 157.] 



200 Extracts from the French Fierabras s. 5. 

" En la crois beneoite pour ton pule fauver, 
" Garifies hui raon cors de mort et cTafbler, 
" Que je puifTe Karlon mon meflage confer." 
Or oies quel vertu Diex i vaut demonftrer 
Por le roi Karlemaine, qui tant fait a douter. 
An$ois que on euft une liuee ale, 
Veiflies fi Flagot engroifier et enfler, 
Que par defous la rive commence a feronder. 
Atant es vous . i . cerf, que Diex i fift aler, 
Et fu blans comme nois, biaus fu a refgarder. 
Devant le ber Richart fe prent a demonftrer, 
Devant lui eft tantoft eus en Flagot entres. 
Li dus voit Sarrazins apres lui aroutes; 
S'il ot paour de mort ne fait a demander. 
Apres le blance bifTe commefn] cha a errer, 
Tout ainfi com ele vait, lait le ceval aler j 
Et li ciers vait devant, qui bien Pi fot garder, 
D'autre part a la rive fe prent a ariver. 

From the Romance of Ferumbras^ analyzed by Ellis, who has 
modernized the fpelling : 

When Richard faw there was no gate 

But by Flagote the flood, 
His meffage would he not let ; 

His horfe was both big and good. 
He kneeled, befeeching God, of His grace, 

To fave him fro mifchief : 
A white hind he faw anon in that place, 

That fwam over to the clifT. 
He blefled him in Goddis name, 

And followed the fame way, 
The gentil hind that was fo tame, 

That on that other fide gan play. 

From the Romance of Ferumbras (Afhmole MSS. 33). The fol- 
lowing palFage begins on fol. 52 : 

TJ Now y-come ys he to Me ryuere 
By fyde a treo and a ftod hi#z Mere 

T^at water to by holde 
And faw Me ryuer was dup and brod 
And ran away as he were wod 

Ys herte gan waxe colde 
^ Richard tok herte and Menche gan 
T^at nedelich a moft entrye Man 

In and paffe Mat ryuere 
OuMer he mofte turn a^ee 
And figte agayn al Mat maygne 

T/tat after him come there 
To ih<?/ti Mane he had a bone 
Lord Mat madell fune mone 

Lond and water cler 
Kep me Mys day fram my fone 
And if y Mys ryuer potte me one 

That y ne a-drenche her 
And fuch grace Mow me fende 
T-^rat y may fafe to Charlis wende 

And telle \\yrn my porpos 
So Mat he may come wyM focour 



s. 6. and the Englijh Ferumbras. 2 oi 

And delyuery ys barons of honour [Fol. 523 1 

T^at liggeM among thy fos 
<lf Nad he no^t Mat word ful fpeke 
Er Mat Mar cam an hert forM reke 

As wyt afe melkys fom 
Rygt euene by-fore duk Rychard 
The hert hym wente to watre-ward 

And fayre by-fore hym fwom 
Wa#ne Me duk Mat wonder y-fe^ 
And Me farfyns Mat Mo wer come wel neg 

W/M boft and noyfe gret 
WiM is rit honde Man bleflede he hym 
And thog Me ryuere were ftyf and grym 

WyM boMe hors in a fchet 
Ys ftede was an hors of prys 
And bar Me knigt at al dyuys 

Swywmynge w/M ys felawe 
The hert Mat was fo fair of figt 
Ouer Me Ryuer fwam ful ri^t 

And Ryc/zard doM after-drawe. 



SECTION VI. 

LTHOUGH much poetry began to be written about 
the reign of Edward II., yet I have found only [two] 
Englifh poet[s] of that reign whofe name[s] ha[ve] de- 
fcended to pofterity. 1 [One] is Adam Davy or Davie. 
He may be placed about the year 1312. I can collect 
no circumftances of his life, but that he was marmal of Stratford-le- 
bow near London. 2 He has left feveral poems never printed, which 
are almoft as forgotten as his name. Only one manufcript of thefe 
pieces now remains, which feems to be coeval with its author. 3 
They are, Vifions, The Eattell of Jerufalem, The Legend of Saint 
Alexius i Scripture hiftories^ of fifteen toknes before the day of Judge- 
ment, [and] Lamentations of Souls.* 

In the Vifions^ which are of the religious kind, Adam Davie draws 
this picture of Edward II. (landing before the fhrine of Edward the 
Confeffor in Weftminfter Abbey at his coronation. The lines have 
a ftrength arifing from fimplicity : 



1 Robert de Brunne, above mentioned, lived, and wrote fome of his pieces, in 
this reign ; but he more properly belongs to the laft. 

2 This will appear from citations which follow. 

3 MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Laud. 622 olim I 74, fol. 26 b. It has been much 
damaged. [All the extracts have now been collated with the original MS. a 
procefs which was found highly neceflary.] 

4 In the MS. there is alfo a piece in profe, entitled, The Pylgrymages of the holi 
land, f. 65, 66. It begins : " Qwerr foever a cros ftandyth ther is a for3ivenes of 
payne." I think it is a defcription of the holy places, and it appears at leaft to be 
of the hand- writing of the reft. 




2O2 Writings of Adam Davy. s. 5. 

To cure lorde Ihefu crift in heuene 

Ich to day fhawe myne fweuene, 1 

at ich mette 2 in one ni^th, 

Of a length of mychel mijth : 

His name is ihote 3 fir Edward ]>e kyng^, 

Prince of Wales Engelonde the faire ]?inge ; 

Me mette J?at he was armed wel, 

BoJ?e wij? yrne and wij? ftel, 

And on his helme that was of ftel, 

A Coroune of golde bicom hym wel. 

Bifore J?e fhryne of Seit Edward he floods, 

Myd glad chere and mylde of mood. 4 

Moft of thefe Vifions are compliments to the king. Our poet then 
proceeds thus : 

ANofj^r fweuene me mette on a tiwes ni^th 5 

Bifore the fefte of Allehalewew of \>a\. ilk*- kni^th, 

His name is ne/pned 3 here bifore, 

BlifTed be J?e tyme J?at he was bore, [&c.] 

Of fir Edward oure derworj? 6 kyng^ 

Ich mette of hym anoj^re fair metyng^, [&c.] 

Me J?ou^th he rood vpon an Affe, 

And J?at ich take god to witnefie ; 

Y-wonden he was in a Mantel gray, 

Toward Rome he nom 7 his way, 

Vpon his heuede fate an gray hure, 

It femed hym wel a mefure j 

He rood wij^outen hofe and fho, 

His wone was noirjth fo forto do ; 

His fhankes femeden al blood-rede, 

Myne herte wop 8 for grete drede j 

Als a pilgryme he rood to Rome, 

And j^ider he com wel fwij>e fone. 

pe J?rid fweuene me mette a ni|th 

Rigth of )?at derworj?e kni)th : 

pe Wedenyfday a ni^th it was 

Nexte J?e day of feint lucie bifore criftenmefle, [&c.] 

Me pou^th ^at ich was at Rome, 

And j?ider ich com fwifce fone, 

The Pope and fir Edward oure kyng^ 

Bojje hij 9 hadden a newe dubbynge, [&c.] 

Ih^/us crift ful of grace 

Graunte oure kyngf in eu^ry place 

Maiftrie of his wijj^rwynes 

And of alle wicked Sarafynes. 

Me met a fweuene on worf>iwg 10 ni^th 

Of \>zt ilche derwor^e kni^th, 

God ich it fhewe and to witnefle take 

And fo fhilde me fro fynne and fake. 

In-to an chapel ich com of oure lefdy, 11 

Ihefus crift hire leue l2 fon ftood by, 



1 dream. 

2 thought, dreamed. In the firft fenfe, we have me mette in Chaucer, Non. Pi 
T.v. 1013. And below. 

3 named. 4 fol. 26 b. * twelfth-night. 
6 dear-worthy. 7 took. 8 wept. 

9 they. lo [on worthing nyth. Park.] u lady. 

12 dear. 



s. 6. His Vifions. 203 

On rode 1 he was an louelich Man, 

Als ])\\ke |?at on rode was don 

He vnneiled 8 his honden two, [&c.] 

Adam J?e marchal of ftretfordf atte bowe 

Wei fwi^e wide his name is yknowe 

He hymfeife mette J?is metyng*, 

To witnefle he take}? Ih^/u heuene kyng*, 

On wedenyfday 3 in clene leinte 4 

A voice me bede I ne fhulde nou^th feinte, 

Of f>e fweuenes J?at her ben write 

I fhulde fwij?e don 5 my lorde kyngtf to wite, [&c.] 

pE fmrfday next \>e beryng* 6 of oure lefdy 

Me fcou^th an Aungel com fir Edward by, [&c.] 

Ich teJle |ou forfof>e wifcmtew les, 7 

Als god of heuene maide marie to moder ches, 8 

pe Aungel com to me Adam Dauy and fede 

Bot J?ou Adam (he we j?is J?ee worj'e wel yuel mede, [&c.] 

Who-fo wil fpeke myd me Adam J>e marchal 

In ftretforbe bowe he is yknowe and ou^re al, 

Ich ne fhewe noujth J?is fbrto haue mede 

Bot for god Almi^tties drede. 

There is a very old profe romance, both in French and Italian, on 
the fubje& of the Dejiruftion ofjerufalem? It is tranflated from a 
Latin work in five books, very popular in the middle ages, entitled, 
Hegefippus de Bella Judaico et Excidio Urbis Hierofolymitana Llbri 
quinque. This is a licentious paraphrafe of a part of Jofephus's 
Jewifh hiftory, made about the fourth century : and the name He- 
gefippus is moft probably corrupted from Jofephus, perhaps alfo 
called Jofippus. The paraphraft is fuppofed to be Ambrofe of Milan, 
who flourifhed in the reign of Theodofius. 10 On the fubjecl: of Vef- 
pafian's fiege of Jerufalem, as related in this book, our poet Adam 

1 crofs. 2 unnailed. 

3 Wodenis day. Woden's day, i.e. Wednefday. * Lent. 

5 [Swithe don to wite, quickly let him know. RitfonJ] 

Chriftmas-day. 7 lies. 

8 " As fure as God chofe the Virgin Mary to be Chrift's mother." 

9 In an ancient inventory of books, all French romances, made in England in 
the reign of Edward III., I find the romance of Titus and Vefpafian. Madox, 
Formul. Anglican, p. ja. See alfo Scipio Maffei's Traduttori Italiani, p. 48. Cref- 
cimbeni (Folg. Poes. vol. i. 1. 5, p. 317), does not feem to have known of this 
romance in Italian. Du Cange mentions Le Roman de la Prife de Jerufalem par 
Titus, in verfe, Glofs. Lat. i. Ind. Auft. p. cxciv. A metrical romance on this i'ub- 
jeft is in Royal MS. 16 E viii. 2, Brit. Mus. [and has been printed by M. Michel, 
as already mentioned, 1836, lamo. But it merely relates to the mythical expedition 
of Charlemagne to Jerufalem]. There is an old French play on this fubjeft, a&ed 
in 1437. It was printed in 1491, fol. Beauchamps, Rech. Fr. Theat. p. 134. 
[This is probably the fame as Le Vengeance et Deftruftion de Iherufalem par per- 
ibnages executee par Vefpafien et fon filz Titus, contenant en foy plufieurs cnro- 
nicques Rommaines tantdu regnedeNeron Empereur que de plufieurs aultres belles 
hyftoires. Printed at Paris, 1510, 410, for Jehan Trepparel. Douce. The Dyf- 
truccyon of Iherufalem by Wafpasyan and Tytus, of which there are two old printed 
edits, appears to be a paraphrafe of the French.] 

10 He mentions Conltantinople and New Rome : and the provinces of Scotia and 
Saxonia. From this work the Maccabees feem to have got into romance. It was 
firft printed at Paris, fol. 1511. Among the Bodleian MSS. there is a moft beauti- 
ful copy of this book, believed to be written in the Saxon times. 



204 Legend of St. Alexius. Scripture Hiftories. s. 6. 

Davie has left a poem entitled the Battell ofjerufalem. 1 It begins 
thus: 

PE BATAILE OF JER#/L*M. 

Liftnef? alle \a\. bej? alyue, 

boj>e criften Me #W wyue : 

I wil ^ou telle a wonder cas, 

hou Ihefus crift bihated w#s, 

Of }>e lewes felle and kene, 

p<zt w/zs o hem fjj^e ifene, 

Gofpelles I drawe to witnefle 

of }>is mature more <?W lefle, &c. 2 

In the courfe of the ftory, Pilate challenges our Lord to fingle combat. 
This fubje6t will occur again. 

Davie's Legend of faint Alexius the confeffor, fan of Eupbemius, is 
tranflated from Latin, and begins thus : 

[The line preceding is this : 

Here ende\> the <uengeaunce ofgoddes dethJ\ 

Alle bat willen here in ryme, 
Hou gode Men in olde tyme, 

Loueden god Almi^th j 
pat weren riche, of grete valoure, 
Kynges fones and Emperoure 

Of bodies ftronge and li^th ; 
^ee habbej; yherdt? ofte in gefte, . 
Of holy men maken fefte 

Bojje day and ni^th, 
Forto haue \>t ioye in heuene 
(Wij? Aungels fong^, andmtry fteuene,) 

pere blis is brode and brijth : 
To ^ou alle hei^e and lowe 
pe ri^th fo)?e to biknowe 

^oure foules forto faue, [&c.] 3 

Our author's Scripture Hiftories want the beginning. Here they 
begin with Jofeph, and end with Daniel : 

For gritty pens 4 j?ai folde \>at childe 

pe feller hi^th Judas, 
po 5 Ruben com hom and myffed hy/ 

Sori yno| he was. 6 

His Fifteen Toknes' 1 before the Day of Judgment are taken from the 
prophet Jeremiah : 



1 The latter part of this poem appears detached, in a former part of our MS. 
with the title The Vengeaunce ofGoddes Death, viz. fol. i. This latter part begins 
with thefe lines : 

" And at \>e fourty dayes ende, 

Winder I wolde he bad me wende, 

Vpon J?e mount of Olyuete," [&c. 

An imperfeft copy, fays Mr. Furnivall, is in Addit. MS. Brit. Mus. 10,036, and 
another, wanting only one meet, is in the pofTeflion of the Earl of Cardigan. Sec 
alfo Addit. MS. 10,269.] 

2 MS. utfupr. f. 71 b. 

3 Ibid. f. 21 b. 4 Thirty pence. 

* [The capital "p " in this MS. is always written thus : " |p".] 
6 MS. utfupr. f. 65. 7 Tokens. 



s. 6. EJiimate of D awe. 205 

pE firft figne \>er a~e/s, as oure lord hy/rc-felf fede, 
Hug^re ichal on erj?e be, treccherie, and falfhede, 
Batailes, and litel loue, fekenefle and haterede, 
And j?e erj>e fchal q#<zken, \>at vche maw fchal drede: 
pe mone ichal trne to blood, Jbe fu#e to derkhede, &C. 1 

Another of Davie' s poems may be called the Lamentation of Souls. 
But the fubjeft is properly a congratulation of Chrift's advent, and 
the lamentation of the fouls of the fathers remaining in limbo, for 
his delay: 

OF ioye andbliffe is my fong, care to bileue, 2 

And to herie \\jrn amowg^ \>at al oure forouj fchal reue, 

Ycome he is }>at fwete dew, \>at fwete hony drope, 

Ihefus kynge of alle kywges, to whom is al oure hope : 

Bicome he is oure brofcr, whare was he fo longe ? 

He it is and no ofr?r, \>a\. boujth vs fo ftronge : 

Oure broker we mowe 3 hym clepe wel, fo feij> hywz-felf Home. 4 

My readers will be perhaps furprifed to find our language improve 
fo flowly, and will probably think, that Adam Davie writes in a lefs 
intelligible phrafe than many more ancient bards already cited. His 
obfcurity, however, ariies in great meafure from obfolete fpelling, a 
mark of antiquity which I have here obferved in exacl: conformity 
to a manufcript of the age of Edward II., and which in the poetry 
of his predeceflbrs, efpecially the minftrel-pieces, has been often 
effaced by multiplication of copies and other caufes. In the mean- 
time it mould be remarked, that the capricious peculiarities and even 
ignorance of tranfcribers often occafion an obfcurity, which is not 
to be imputed either to the author or his age. 5 

[The fame volume with Adam Davie's poems (fol. 27 ), and 
therefore fometimes, but wrongly afcribed to him, has a production 
without any author's name, of the fame period, entitled] the Life of 
Alexander^ which deferves to be publifhed entire on many accounts. 
It feems to be founded chiefly on Simeon Seth's romance above 
mentioned ; but many paflages are alfo copied from the French 
Roman d? Alexandre^ a poem in our author's age perhaps equally 
popular both in England and France. It is a work of confiderable 
length. 6 I will firft give fome extracts from the Prologue: 



1 MS. utfupr. f. 70 b. 2 Leave. 3 May. * MS. utfupr. f. 71. 

5 Chaucer in Troilus and CreJJlda mentions " the grete diverfite in Englifh, and 
in writing of our tongue." 1 He therefore prays God, that no perfon would mifwrite, 
or miffe-metre his poem. Lib. ult. v. 1792,7^. 

6 [In attributing this romance to Davie [in his original edition] Warton has 
followed the authority of Tanner, who was probably led into the miftake by 
finding it bound up with the remaining works of this " poetic marfhall." We are 
indebted to Mr. Ellis for deteHng upon the force of internal evidence this mil- 
appropriation of a very fpirited compofition to the infipid author of the Legend of 
Saint Alexius. It has flnce been publifhed from a tranfcript of the LincolnVInn 
MS. made by Mr. Park, and forms the firft volume in Mr. Weber's colle6lion. 
Price. The text, conformably with Price's own opinion, has now been taken from 
the Laud MS. in preference to that preferved at LincolnVInn, and printed by 



206 An anonymous " Life of Alexander'' s. 6. 

Diuers is }>is middellerrde 

To lewed Men and to lerede, 1 

Byfynefle, care and forou$ 

Is myd Man vche morow^e [&c.] 

NaJ?eles, wel fele and fulle 

BoeJ? y-founde in herte and (hulle 

pat hadden leuer a Ribaudye 

pan here of god, oi \>er feint Marie ; 

O\\>er to drynk^ a Copful ale, 

pan to heron any gode tale: 

Swiche ich wolde were ou 

For certeyn lich, it were nett. 

For hire ne hae)> wille ich woot welbb 

Bot in )>e gute and \n )>e barel. 2 

[The writer] thus defcribes a fplendid proceflion made by Olym 
pias : 

In Hs tyme faire and lolyfe 3 
Olympyas, J?at faire wyfV 
Wolde make a riche fefte 
Of kni^ttes and lefdyes honefte, 
Of Burgeys and of lugelers 
And of Men of vche mefters, 4 
For Men feij> by north and fouth 
Wywmen bee}>, euere felcouj? ; 
Mychel fhe defirej^ to fhewe hire body 
Her faire here, her face rody, 
To haue loos 5 and ek praifyng^ : 
And al is folye by heuewe kyng* 
So dude )?e dame Olympyas 
Forto fhowe hire gentyl face. 
She hete Marfhales, and kni^htes 
Grei^e hem to ryde ono ri^ttes 
And leuedyes and damoyfele 
Quyk hem greit>ed boufandes fele, 
In faire atyre, in dyuers queyntife 
Many \>ere roode on riche wife. 
A Mule, alfo whyte fo mylk^ 
WiJ> fadel of gold, fambu of fylk* 
Was y-brou^th to \>e quene 
Myd many belle of fyluer fhene 
Yfaftned on Orfreys 6 of mounde 
pat hengen doune to neij grounde. 
For> fhe ferdeu 7 myd her rote 
A J>oufande lefdyes of riche foute. 

1 Leg. lerd. learned. 

2 The work begins thus : 

Wnilom clerkes wel ylerede 
On pre diztten Hs Middel erde, 
And clepid hit in here maiftrie, 
Europe, Affryke, and Afyghe: 
At Afyghe al fo muchul ys 
As Europe, and Affryk, I wis, &c. 
And ends with this diftich: 

Alilaunder I me reowith thyn endyng 
That thou n'adeft dyghed in criftenyng. 

5 Jolly. 4 Of each, or every, profeffion, trade, fort. 5 Praife. 

6 Embroidered work, cloth of gold. Aurifrigium, Lat. 7 Fared: went. 



s. 6. Specimen of the Poem, 207 



A fperuer' bat was honefte 
So (at on be lefdyes fyfte : 
Foure trumpes toforne 2 hire belew : 
Many Man bat day hire knew : 
An hundred houfande and ek moo 
Alle alouten hire vnto. 
Al be touw by-honged was 3 
Azeins 4 be lefdy Olympyas. 5 
Orgues, Chymbes, vche manure glee 6 
Was dryuen azein bat leuedy free. 
Wibouten bees tounes Murey : 
Was arered vche man^r pley ; 7 
p^re was knizttes tourneying^ 
p<?re was maydens Carolyng^ 
p^re was Champions fkirmyngf, 8 
Of hem of oker alfo wreftlyng^ 
Of lyons chace, of bere baityngf . 
A bay of bore 9 of bole (latyng*. 10 
Al be Cite was by-honge 
Wib Riche Samytes and pelles 11 longe 
Dame Olympias amonge this pres' 2 
Sengle rood, 13 al Mantel-les. 
And naked heued in one coroune 
She rood borouz oute al be touw. 
Here zelewe her 14 was faire atired* 
Mid riche ftrenges of goide wyred* 
It helyd here abouten al 15 
To here gentale Myddel fmal 
Brizth and fhene was her face 16 
Every fairehede 17 in hir was. 18 



I fparrow-hawk ; a hawk. 2 before. 

3 " hung with tapeftry." We find this ceremony praftifed at the entrance of 
Lady Elizabeth, queen of Henry VII. into the city of London. " Al the ftrets 
ther whiche (he (hulde pafle by wer clenly drefled and befene with cloth, of tappef- 
trye and arras, and fome ftreetes as Chepe, hanged with riche clothes of golde, 
velvettes and filkes." This was in the year 1481. Leland. Coll. iv. Opufcul. p. 
220, edit. 1770. 

4 " againft her coming." 

5 See the defcription of the tournament in Chaucer, Knighfs Tale y where the city 
is hanged with cloth of gold. v. 2570. 

6 "organs, timbrels, all manner of mufic." 

7 " all forts of fports." * fkirmifhing. 

9 " baying or bayting of the boar." 

10 flaying bulls, bull-feafts. [Sir F. Madden fays, bull-baiting.] Chaucer fays 
that the chamber of Venus was painted with " white bolts grete." Compl. of 
Mars and Pen. v. 86. 

II (kins. 12 crowd} company. 13 rode fingle. 
14 yellow hair. ls "covered her all over." 

6 line 155. I7 beauty. 

18 John Gower, who lived an hundred years after our author, hath defcribed the 
fame proceffion. Confefs. Amant. lib. vi. [ed. 1857, iii. 62-3.] 
" But in that citee thanne was 
The quene, whiche Olimpias 
Was hote, and with folempnite 
The fefte of her nativite 
As it befell, was than holde j 
And for her luft to be beholde, 
And preifed of the people about, 
She (hop her for to riden out, 



208 The Life of Alexander. s. 6. 

Much in the fame ftrain the marriage of Cleopatra is de- 
fcribed : 

phoo t>is meflage was horn y-come 

p<?re was many a blibe gome 

Of Olyue and of muge floures 

Weren ftrywed halle and boures : 

W\\> Samytes and Baudekyns 

Weren curtyned \>Q gardyns. 

Alle J?e Innes of J>e touw 

Hadden litel foyfouzz, 1 

pat day )>at com CJeopatras ; 

So mychel poeple wi> hir was. 

She rood on a Mule, white fo mylk* ; 

Her herneys was gold beten fylk^ 

pe prince hire led^ of Candas, 

And of Sydoyne Sir lonathas, 

Ten houfande barons hir cowme myde, 

And to chirche wi)> hire ryde. 

Yfpoufed me is and fet on deys : 

Nov gynne)> geft of gret nobleys : 

AT \>Q feft was harpyng^, 

And pipyng^ and tabouryng^, 

And fitelyng^ and tru/#pyng. 2 

We have frequent opportunities of obferving, how the poets of 
thefe times engraft the manners of chivalry on ancient claflical 
hiftory. In the following lines Alexander's education is like that of 
Sir Triftram. He is taught tilting, hunting, and hawking : 

Now can Alifauridre of fkirmyng^ 
As of ftedes derayeyng^, 



At after-mete all openly. 

Anone were alle men redy, 

And that was in the month of may 

This lufty quene in good array 

Was let upon a mule white 

To fene it was a great delite 

The joie that the citee made. 

With frefshe thinges and with glade 

The noble town was al behonged ; 

And every wight was fore alonged 

To fe this lufty ladie ride. 

There was great merth on alle fide, 

Where as me pafleth by the ftrete 

There was ful many a tymbre bete, 

And many a maide carolende. 

And thus through out the town pleinde 

This quene unto the pleine rode 

Where that me hoved and abode 

To fe diverfe games pley, 

The lufty folk jouft and tourney. 

And fo forth every other man 

Which pleie couth, his pley began, 

To plefe with this noble quene." 

Gower continues this ftory, from a romance mentioned above, to fol. 140. 

1 provifion. 

2 line 10x3 5 f. 32 of MS. Laud. 



s. 6. The Life of Alexander. 209 

Vpon ftedes of Juftuyng*-, 
And wij> Iwerdes turneyeing^, 
Of affailyngtf and defendyng^. 
In grene wood^ and of huntynge 
And of Ryuer of haukyng<? :' 
Of bataiL? and of all* >ing. 2 

In another place Alexander is mounted on a fteed of Narbonne,* 
and, amid the folemnities of a great feaft, rides through the hall to 
the high table. This was no uncommon pradtice in the ages of 
chivalry : 4 

He lepe]> vp myd ydone 

On a (tede of Nerebone ; 

He dafsheth for]? vpon J>e londe 

pe riche coroune on his honde, 

Of Nicholas J>at he wan : 

Bifide hyw ride]? many a gentil man. 

To he paleys he come]? ryde 

And fyndeh ]?is fefte and al his pride 

Forh goo]> Aiifaundre, faun^ fable 

Rijth vnto J>e hei^e table. 5 

His horfe Bucephalus, who even in claffical fidtion is a horfe of 
romance, is thus defcribed : 

An home in the forhed amydward* 
pat wolde perce a fhelde hard*?. 6 

To which thefe lines may be added : 

ALifaunder arifen is 

And fitte]> on his deys I wys 

His dukes and his barou/zs fauz doute 

Stondeh and fitted hym aboute. 7 

The two following extradts are in a fofter (train, and not inele- 
gant for the rude fimplicity of the times : 

Msry is he blaft of he ftyuoure 8 

Mery is he touchyng* of J?e harpore j 9 

1 Chaucer, R. of Sir Thop. v. 3245 : 

'* He couth hunt al the wild dere, 
And ride an haiukyng by the rivere." 
And in the Squyroflo<w degree [Rem. of the E. P. Poet, of Engl. ii. 52] : 

" Shall ye ryde 

On haukyng by the ryuers fide" 
Chaucer, Frankleins Tale, v. 1752 : 

" Thefe fauconers upon a faire rivere 
That with the hawkis han the heron flaine." 

2 f. 30 b. MS. Laud. 

3 [The Lincoln's Inn MS. reads " faire bone," which is probably the correfter 
verfion. Price."] 

4 See Obfervations on the Fairy Queen, \. v. p. 146. 

5 line 1075, 1 - 1074-83 Laud. MS. f. 32.) 8 11. 692, 35 f 30 . 

7 line 3966; (11. 3954-7, f. 45^.) 

8 [The editor thinks that Mr. Halliwell is fcarcely correft in defining this to be 
a kind of bagpipe. Mr. Herbert Coleridge (Glo/ary, 1859, m woce) is furely 
nearer the truth in defcribing it as a fort of trumpet, Fr. eflvue. In the prefent 
paffage it (lands for a trumpeter, or, at leaft, a perfon blowing ^Jii e veJ\ 

9 This poem has likewife, in the fame vein, the following well-known old 
rhyme, which paints the manners, and is perhaps the true reading, line 1163 : 

II. P 



21 o T'he Life of Alexander. s. 6. 

Swete is J>e fmellyng/f of ]>e flore 
Swete yit is in maydens boure 
Appel fwete berej? fair 1 coloure 
Of trewe loue is {we (fee] amoure. 
Again : 

IN tyme of May, }>e nijttygale 

In wood makej> mery gale j 

Sp don pe foules grete and fmale 

Suwme on hylles, and fu#zme in dale.' J 

Much the fame vernal delights, clothed in a fimilar ftyle, with the 
addition of knights turneying and maidens dancing, invite King 
Philip on a progrefs ; he is entertained on the road with hearing 
tales of ancient heroes : 

Mnry tyme it is in may 
pe foules fyngej? her lay ; 
pe knrjttes loue)? f?e t#rnay 
Maydens fo dauncen and J>ay play. 
pe kynge for]? ride]? his lournay 
Now here}> geft<? of grete noblay. 3 

Our author thus defcribes a battle : 4 

ALifaunder tofore is ride 

And many a gentil kni^th \\jrn myde 

Ac, forto gadr^ his meigne free 

He abide]? vnder a tree. 

Fourty J?oufande of fhyualerie 

He take]? in his compaignye. 

He dafshej? \\yrn for]> J>an faftwards : 

And J?e oj>er comen afterwards : 

He fee]? his kni^ttes, in Mefchief 

He take]? it gretlich a greef. 

He taked Bulcyphal b by J?e fide } 

So a fwalewe he gynne]? forb glide. 

A duke of Perce fone he mette 

And wi]? his launce he hy/w gretts; 

He pm;ej? his breny and cleuej? his fheld^, 

pe herte tokerne}? >e yrne chelds : 

pe duke fel doune to ]>e grounde 



And ftarf quykly in ]?at ftounde. 
Alifaunder aloude 



}>an feiede, 



" Swithe mury hit is in halle 
When the burdes wa<wen alle" 
And in another place we have : 

" Mury hit is in halle to here the harpe ; 
The mynftrall fyngith, theo jogolour carpith." 1. 5990. 

Here, by the way, it appears, that the minftrels and juglers were diftinft charafters. 
So Robert de Brunne, in defcribing the coronation of King Arthur, apud Anftis, 
Ord. Gart. i. p. 304 : 

"Jogeleurs wer ther inou^ 
That wer queitife for the drouj, 
Mynjlrels many with dyvers glew," &c. 

And Chaucer mentions "minftrels and eke joglours.'"- Rom. R. v. 764, But they 
are often confounded or made the fame. 

1 line *5 7 i j (11. 2566-71, f. 39.) 

2 line 454.6 ; (11. 2542-5, f. 39). 3 line 52105 (11. 5194-9, f. 51). 
4 line 3776; (11. 3764-3853, ff. 44 b, 45). s Bucephalus. 



s. 6. The Life of Alexander. 21 1 



O\>ere tol netifre ich ne paiede : 

Jute ^ee mullen of myne paie 

Or ich gon more Aflaie ! 

AnoJ>er launce in honde he hente ; 

A^ein J>e prince of Tyre he wente, 

He fmoottf \\jrn >orouj J?e bredte j>are 

And out of fadel ou^re croupe \\yrn bare 

And I figge forfo)>e J?ing^ 

He braak^ his nek in )>e fallyng*?. 

Oxeatre, wi> mychel wonder 

Antiochuw hadde hym vnder, 

And wij? fwerd wolde his heued<? 

From his body habbe yreued^, 

He feiz Alifaunder J?e gode gome 

Towardes hym fwij?e come 

He lete his pray and fleiz on hors 

Forto faue his owen cors. 

Antiochus on ftede lep 

Of none woundes ne took^ he kep ; 

And eke he had*? foure ford^ 

Alle ymade wij> fperes ord^. 1 

polomeus and alle hife felawen a 

Of HS focour fo weren wel fawen. 

Alifaunder made a cry hardy 

Ore toft, a ly ! a ly ! 

pere \>e kni^ttes of Achaye 

lufted wij? hem of Arabye ; 

poo 3 of Rome, wij? he/w of Mede 

Many londe wi> o\>ert >ede 

Egipte iufted wi}> hew of Tyre 
Symple knijth wij> riche fyre ; 
pere nas fore^ift^ ne for beryng^; 
bituene vauafoure 4 ne kyng^, 
Tofore, men mi^tten and byhynde 
Cuntek^ 5 feke and cuntek fynde. 
Wi)? Perciens foujittew \>t gregeys ; 6 
p^re roos cry and grete honteys. 
Hy kidden 7 J?at hy neren m^-rce 
Hy braken fperes alto flice : 
pere mi^th kni^th fynde his pere, 
p^re les many his deftrere : 
p^re was quyk in litel J>rawe, 8 
Many gentil kni^th yflawe ; 
Many Arme, many heued, 9 
Sone from J?e body reued : 
Many gentil lauedy 10 
p^re lefe quyk* her amy.: !1 
p^re was many maym yked^ 
Many fair penfel bibled*. 12 

^re was fwerdes lik lakn* 13 



was fperes baling*. 



yng* 
14 



I point. 2 fellows. 2 they. 4 fervant ; fubjea. 5 ftrife. 
6 Greeks. 7 [fhewed.] 8 fhort time. head. lo lady. 

II paramour. 12 "many a rich banner, or flag, fprinkled with blood." 

13 claming. [This phrafe is one of frequent occurrence in Anglo-Saxon poetry, 
and bears a very different import from that given by Mr. Weber : fweord-lac, A.-S. 
gladiorum ludus, from lacan, to play. Price.] 

14 [Bathyng is the fame as Beating; but perhaps the true word is Bateingzz 
Fluttering.] 



212 The Life of Alexander. s. 6. 

Bobe kynges J*re, faunj doute 
Beeb in dafsh*t wij> al her route ; 
pe on to do# mew of hy/ fpeke 
pe ob*re his harmes forto wreke. 
Many londes nei^ and ferre 
Lefen her lorde in bat werre. 
pe erbe quaked of her rydyng* 
pe weder x picked of her crieyng* 
pe blood of hem bat weren yflawe 
Ran by flodes to be lowe, &c. 2 

I have already mentioned Alexander's miraculous horn : 3 

He blew an home quyk*, fau) doute 4 

His folk* com fwibe aboute : 

And hem he feide wib voice clere, 

Ich bidde, frendes, bat ^e me here ! 

Alifaunder is comen in bis londe 

Wib ftronge knni^ttes, wib mi^tty of honde. 

Alexander's adventures in the deferts among the Gymnofophifts, 
and in India, are not omitted. The authors, whom he quotes for his 
vouchers, fhew the reading and ideas of the times : 5 

poo Alifaunder went* borou^ defert* 
Many wondres he feij apert* 6 
Whiche he dude wel defcrye 
By gode clerkes in her lyue 
By Ariftotle his maiftfr bat was 
Better clerks fiben non nas. 
He was wib hym and feij and wroot^ 
, Alle bife wondres, (god it woote) 

Salomon bat al be werlde borouj jede 
In foob witnefle helde hym myde. 
Yfidre 7 alfo, bat was fo wys 
In his bokes telleb bis. 
Maifter euftroge bereb hym witnefle 
Of be wondres more and lefle. 
Seint Jerome, jee fhullen y-wyte 
Hem hab alfo in book* y-write j 
And Mageftene, be gode clerk* 
Hab made bm)f mychel werk*. 
Denys bat was of gode memorie 
It fheweb al in his book* of ftorie } 
And alfo Pompie 8 of Rome lorde, 
Duke it writen eu*ry worde. 
Beheldeb me \>erof no fynder j 9 
Her bokes ben my (hewer 
And be lyf of Alifaunder 
Of whom fle| fo riche fldaunder. 



' weather, fky. (1. 3843, f. 45-) 

[It is moft probable that Warton interpreted this paflageof Alexander's horn : 
though the context plainly mews that it was Darius who blew it. Price.] 
4 (1. 3848, f. 4.5.) 5 line 4772. 6 fa w openly. 

7 IJidore. He means, I fuppofe, IfidorusHifpalenfis, a Latin writer of the feventh 
century. 

8 He means Juftin's Trogus Pompeius the hiftorian, whom he confounds with 
Pompey the Great. 

9 "don't look on me as th'e inventor." 



s. 6. The Life of Alexander. 2 1 3 

5>if ye willej> $iue liftnyng* 

Now ^ee fhullen here gode fringe 

IN Ibmers tyde >e day is long* j 

Foules fyngej? and make]? long* 

Kyng* Alifaunder y-wenf* is, 

Wi> dukes, Erles, and folk* of pris, 

Wi> many kni^th and dou^tty Men, 

Toward the Cite of facen ; 

After kyng* Porus J?at flowen l was 

Into the Cite of Bandas : 

He wolde wende >orou^ deferr* 

pife wondres to feen apert*. 

Gyoures he name 2 of J>e londe 

Fyue J>oufande I vnderftonde 

pat hem fhulden lede rrjth, 3 

porouj defert* by day and ni^th. 

pe Gyoures loueden )>e kyng* nou|th 

And wolden haue hym bicau^th : 

Hy ledden hy/ )>*rfore als I fynde 

In be ftraungeft p*ryl of ynde. 

Ac, fo ich fynde in the book* 

Hy were asfhreynt* in her crook*. 

Now ride)> Aliiaunder wi)> his Oft*, 

WiJ? mychel pride and mychel boort* ; 

Ac ar hy comen to Cartel, oi]?er tou 

Hy fhullen fpeken ano]>ere lefTou. 

Lordynges, alfo I fynde 

At Mede fo bigynne}> ynde : 

ForfoJ?e ich woot*, it ftretcheth ferreft*, 

Of alle the londes in >e Eft*, 

And o> >e fou)> half fikerlyk* 

To >e cee takej> of Affryk* ; 

And }?e nor]? half to a mountayne, 

pat is ycleped Caucafayne. 4 

Forfo]?e ^ee fhullen vnderftonde 

Twyes is Somer in ]>e londe 

And neu*rmore wynter ne chelen. 5 

pat londe is ful of al wele 5 

Twyes hy gaderen fruyt* here 

And wyne and Corne in one ^ere. 

In J>e londe als I fynde, of ynde 

Ben Cites fyue J>oufynde ; 

Wi]>outen ydles and Cartels, 

And Borough ^ tounes fwi]>e feles. 6 

In fre londe of ynde }>ou mi^th lere 

Nyne }>oufynde folk of felcouj> 7 manm 

phat ber non is o]>er yliche ; 

Ne helde }>ou it nou^th ferlich 

Ac by bat >ou vnderftonde \>t geftes 

Bo>e of Men and ek* of beeftes, [&c.] 8 

Edward II. is faid to have carried with him to the fiege of Stirling 
Caftle a poet named Robert Bafton.9 He was a Carmelite friar of 



1 fled. 2 took> 3 ftra j t> 4 Caucafus. 

5 chill, cold. 6 very many. 7 uncommon. 8 [1. 4831, f. 49 .] 

9 [Winftanley, in his Account of the Englijh Poets, 1687, has introduced the name 

of BASTON, and has quoted the opening of his involuntary eulogium on Scotland 

and her king : 



2 1 4 Robert Bafton. His Latin Works. s. 6. 

Scarborough ; and the king intended that Bafton, being an eye- 
witnefs of the expedition, fhould celebrate his conqueft of Scotland 
in verfe. Holinfhed, an hiftorian not often remarkable for penetra- 
tion, mentions this circumftance as a fingular proof of Edward's pre- 
fumption and confidence in his undertaking againft Scotland : but a 
poet feems to have been a ftated officer in the royal retinue when 
the king went to war. 1 Bafton, however, appears to have been 
chiefly a Latin poet, and therefore does not properly fall into our 
feries. At leaft his poem on the fiege of Stirling Caftle is written in 
monkifh Latin hexameters : 2 and our royal bard, being taken prifoner 
in the expedition, was compelled by the Scots, for his ranfom, to 
write a panegyric on Robert Brus, which is compofed in the fame ftyle 
and language. 3 Bale mentions his Poemata et Rhythmi, Tragcedite 
et Comcedice vulgares. 4 * Some of thefe indeed appear to have been 
written in Englifti : but no Englifti pieces of this author now remain. 
In the meantime, the bare exiftence of dramatic compofitions in 
England at this period, even if written in the Latin tongue, deferve 
notice in inveftigating the progrefs of our poetry. I muft not pafs 
over a Latin [dialogue in verfe], written about the year [1367]. This 
[dialogue] is thus entitled in the Bodleian MS. : De Babione et 
Croceo domino Bablonls et Viola filiajlra Babionis qt&m Croceus duxit 
invito Babione, et Pecula uxore Babionis et Fodio fuo^ &c. 5 It is 



" In dreery verfe my Rymes I make, 
Bewailing whileft fuch Theme I take." 

which appears to be Winftanley's own rendering of the opening lines.] 

1 Leland. Script. Brit. p. 338. Holinfh. Hift.\\. pp. 217, 220. Tanner mentions, 
as a poet of England, one Gulielmus Peregrinus, who accompanied Richard I. into 
the Holy Land, and fang his achievements there in a Latin poem, entitled Odoepo- 
ricon Ricardi Regis, lib. i. It is dedicated to Hurbert, archbifhop of Canterbury, 
and Stephen Turnham, a captain in the expedition. He flourifhed about A. D. 
1200. Bibl. p. 591. See Vofs. HijL Lat. p. 441. He is called " poeta per earn 
aetatem excellens." See Bale, iii. 45. Pits. 266. See Leland Script. Brit. p. 228. 
And a note in the editor's firft Index, under Gulielmus de Canno. 

2 It is extant in Fordun's Scoii-Chron. c. xxiii. 1. 12. 

3 Leland. ut fuj>r. And MSS. Harl. 1819. Brit. Mus. See alfo Wood, Hift. 
Ant. Uni<v. Oxon. i. p. 101. 

4 Tanner, p. 79. 

5 Arch. B. 52. [In the Cotton MS. Titus A. xx. the feveral parts of the 
dialogue are diftinguifhed by initial capitals ; and on the oppofite fide ftand mar- 
ginal notices of the change of perfon. Thus : " Babio, Violae; Viola, Babioni j 
Fodius, Babioni ; Babio, Croceo." The Geta [by Vitalis Blefenfis], noticed below, 
and alfo occurring in the Cotton MS., is founded on the ancient fable of Jupiter's 
intrigue with Alcmena, [and is a mediaeval verfion of the Geta of Plauttis.] It is 
in the fame ftyle of dialogue with Babio, and has fimilar marginal directions; fuch 
as " Jupiter Alcmenae j Alcmena Jovi," The line quoted by Warton occurs in 
what may be called the Prologue. The Cotton MS. affords no clue as to the date 
of thefe fingular produ&ions, [but Mr. Wright has mown the extreme probability 
that they belong to the middle of the thirteenth century.] It contains a farrago of 
rhythmical pieces from the time of Gualo (i 160) to Bafton and perhaps later. But 
in France fuch pieces appear to have been current during the twelfth century. Du 
Boulay has noticed a tragedy de Flaura et Marco, and a comedy called Alda, written 
by [Matthaeus Vindocinenfis]. Price. "Three manufcripts are known of this 
poem. One is in the Cotton MS. Titus, A. xx, which, amongft a vaft mafs of 



s. 6. The " Geta " of Vitalis Elefenfis. 2 1 5 

written in long and fhort Latin verfes. The ftory is in Gower's 
ConfeJJlo ^mantis. Whether Gower had it from this performance 
I will not enquire. It appears at leaft that he took it from fome 
previous book. 

I find write of Babio, 

Which had a love at his menage, 

Ther was no fairer of her age, 

And highte Viola by name, &c. 

And had affaited to his honde 

His fervant, the which Spodius 

Was hote, &c. 

A frefshe a free a frendly man, &c. 

Which Croceus by name hight, &C. 1 

There is nothing dramatic in the ftru&ure of this nominal comedy ; 
and it has certainly no claim to that title, only as it contains a fami- 
liar and comic ftory carried on with much fcurrilous fatire intended 
to raife mirth. But it was not uncommon to call any fhort poem, 
not ferious or tragic, a comedy. In the Bodleian MS. which com- 
prehends [the Babio] juft mentioned, there follows [the] Geta : this 
is in Latin long and fhort verfes, 2 and has no marks of dialogue. 3 
In the library of Corpus Chrifti College at Cambridge is a piece 
entitled Comedia ad monafterlum de Hulme or dims S. Benedict Diocef. 
Norwic. direfta ad Reformationem fequentem, cujus data eft primo die 
Septembris fub anno Chrifti 147 7> ft a morte Joannls Faftolfe mllltis 
eorum bentfaftoris* precipui 17, in cujus monafterll ecclefia humatur. 5 
This is nothing more than a fatirical ballad in Latin ; yet fome alle- 
gorical perfonages are introduced, which, however, are in no refpecl: 
accommodated to fcenical reprefentation. About the reign of Ed- 
ward IV. one Edward Watfon, a fcholar in grammar at Oxford, is 
permitted to proceed to a degree in that faculty, on condition that 
within two years he would write one hundred verfes in praife of the 
univerfity, and alfo compofe a comedy. 6 The nature and fubjeft of 
Dante's Commedia^ as it is ftyled, are well known. 7 The comedies 

Anglo-Latin poetry of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, contains 
alfo a copy of the Geta. . . . The two other MSS. of the Babio are preferved in 
the Bodleian Library." Wright.] 

1 [Gower's C. F. ed. Pauli, ii. 288-9.] 

2 Carmina compofuit, voluitque placere poeta. [The beft edition of the Geta of 
Vitalis Elefenfis is in Mr. Wright's volume of Early Myfteries, &c. 1838, 8vo. p. 
79 etfeqq.] 3 f. 121. 

4 In the epifcopal palace at Norwich is a curious piece of old wainfcot brought 
from the monaftery of Hulme at the time of its diflblution. Among other antique 
ornaments are the arms of Sir John Falftaff, their principal benefaftor. This mag- 
nificent knight was alfo a benefactor to Magdalene College in Oxford. He be- 
queathed eftates to that fociety, part of which were appropriated to buy liveries for 
fome of the fenior fcholars. But this benefaftion, in time, yielding no more than 
a penny a week to the fcholars who received the liveries, they were called, by way 
of contempt, Falftaff's Buckram-men. 

6 Mifcell. M. p. 274. 

6 Hiji. Ant'iq. Uni'v. Oxon. ii. 4, col. 2. 

7 [In the dedication of his Paradifo to Can della Scala, Dante thus explains his 
own views of Tragedy and Comedy : " Eft comoedia genus quoddam poeticae nar- 



216 The early Drama. s. 6. 

afcribed to Chaucer are probably his Canterbury Tales. We learn 
from Chaucer's own words, that tragic tales were called Tragedies, 
In the Prologue to the Monkes Tale : 

Tregedis is to fayn a certeyn ftorie, 
As olde bookes maken us memorie, 
Of hem that ftood in greet profperite, 
And is y-fallen out of heigh degre, &C. 1 

Some of thefe, the monk adds, were written in profe, others in metre. 
Afterwards follow many tragical narratives, of which he fays; 

Tragidies firft wol I tell 

Of which I have an hundred in my cell. 

Lidgate further confirms what is here faid with regard to comedy as 

well as tragedy : 

My maifter Chaucer with frefh comedies, 
Is dead, alas ! chief poet of Britaine : 
That whilom made ful piteous tragedies? 

The ftories in the Mirror for Magiftrates are called tragedies, fo late 
as the fixteenth century. Bale calls his play or Myftery of God's 
Promifes^ which appeared about the year 1538, a tragedy. 

I muft however obferve here that dramatic entertainments, repre- 
fenting the lives of faints and the molt eminent fcriptural ftories, 
were known in England for more than [a century] before the reign 
of Edward II. Thefe fpe&acles they commonly ftyled miracles. I 
have already mentioned the play of Saint Catharine, ated at Dun- 
ftable about the year mo. 3 [Two of the oldeft miracle-plays in the 
Englijh language are perhaps the Harrowing of Hell 4 and the Incredu- 
lity of St. Thomas^ the latter of which was exhibited by the Scriveners' 
Guild at York. 5 The Harrowing of Hell exifts in a MS. which may 



rationis ab omnibus aliis differens. Differt ergo in materia a tragoedia per hoc, quod 
tragoedia in principio eft admirabilis et quieta, in fine five exitu foetida et horri- 

bilis Comoedia vero inchoat afperitatem alicujus rei, fed ejus materiam 

profpere terminatur. Similiter differunt in modo loquendi.^ He has alfo expatiated 
upon the diftinftive ftyles peculiar to fuch compofitions in his treatife, De <vulgari 
Eloquentia; though his precepts when oppofed to his praftice have proved a fad (tum- 
bling-block to the critics: "Per Tragoediam fuperiorem ftylum induimus, per 

Comoediam inferiorem Si tragice canenda vicentur, turn adfumendum eft 

vulgare illuftre. Si vero cornice, turn quandoque mediocre, quandoque humile vul- 
gare fumatur." Lib. ii. c. iv. Price.} 

1 v. 85. See alfo, ibid. v. 103, 786, 875. 

2 Prol. F. Pr. v. i. See alfo Chaucer's 'Troll, and Cr. v. 1785, 1787. 

3 DifTertation ii. [The earlieft examples of fuch compofitions now known are 
three plays written in France by Hilarius, an Englifhman, and difciple of the famous 
Abelard, the fubjefts of which are the Raifing of Lazarus, a miracle of St. Nicholas, 
and the Hiftory of Daniel; they were written early in the twelfth century Wright. 
There is an edition of them at Paris, 1838, 8vo.] 

[Perhaps the plays of Rofwitha, a nun of Ganderfheim in Lower Saxony, who 
lived towards the clofe of the tenth century, afford the earlieft ipecimens of dra- 
matic compofition, fmce the decline of the Roman Empire. They were profefledly 
written for the benefit of thofe Chriftians who, abjuring all other heathen writers, 
were irrefiftibly attrafted by the graces of Terence, to the imminent danger of their 



s. 6. The early Drama. 217 

be nearly coeval with the performance itfelf ; of the other piece we 
have apparently only a copy made at a much later date.] William 
f'itz-Stephen, a writer of the twelfth century, in his Defcnption of 
London^ relates that " London, for its theatrical exhibitions, has holy 
plays, or the reprefentation of miracles wrought by confeflbrs, and of 
the fufferings of martyrs." 6 Thefe pieces muft have been in high 
vogue at our prefent period ; for Matthew Paris, who wrote about 
the year 1240, fays that they were fuch as " Miracula vulgariter 



fpi ritual welfare and the certain pollution of their moral feelings. Rofwitha appears 
to have been imprefled with a hope, that by contrafting the laudable chaftity of 
Chriftian virtue, as exhibited in her compofitions, with what fhe is pleafed to term 
the lewd voluptuoufnefs of the Grecian females, the Catholic world might be induced 
to forget the ancient claffic, and to receive with avidity an orthodox fubftitute, com- 
bining the double advantage of pleafure and inftruftion. How far her expectations 
were gratified in this latter particular, it is impoffible to fay ; but we can eafily 
conceive, that the almoft total oblivifcence of the Roman author during the fucceed- 
ing ages muft have furpafled even her fanguine wiihes. It does not appear that 
thefe dramas were either intended for reprefentation, 6V exhibited at any fubfequent 
period. They have been published twice : by Conrad Celtes in 1501, and Leonhard 
Schurzfleilch in 1707. They have alfo been analyfed by Gottfched in his Materials 
for a Hiftory of the German Stage. Leip. 1757. Fez (in his Thefaur. Novifs. Anecd. 
vol. ii. p. iii. f. 185) has publifhed an ancient Latin Myftery, entitled De Adventu 
et Interitu Antichr'ifli, which he acknowledges to have copied from a manufcript 
of the twelfth century. It approaches nearer to the character of a pageant, than to 
the dramatic caft of the later myfteries. The dumb-mow appears to have been con- 
fiderable, the dialogue but occafional ; and ample fcope is given for the introduc- 
tion of pomp and decoration. The paflages to be declaimed are written in Latin 
rhyme. Lebeuf alfo mentions a Latin Myftery written fo early as the time of Henry I. 
of France (1031 1061). In this Virgil is affociated with the prophets who come to 
offer their adorations to the new-born Meffiah 5 and at the conclufion he joins his 
voice with theirs in fmging a long Benedicamus. A fragment of what may 
be a German tranflation of the fame myftery, copied from a manufcript of the 
thirteenth century, will be found in Dieterich's Specimen Antiquitatum Biblicarum, 
p. 122. But here Virgil appears as an acknowledged heathen j and he is only ad- 
mitted with the other prophets from hisfuppofed predictions of the coming Meffiah 
contained in his Pollio. In conformity with this opinion, Dante adopted him as 
his guide in the Inferno. Price. Mr. Price's aflertion as to the almoft total obli- 
vifcence of Terence in the middle ages is not founded on fac~h No claffic author is 
oftener quoted by monkifh writers, and in the Britifh Mufeum alone there are above 
thirty MSS. copies written between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Madden.] 

4 [Edited from Had. MS. 2253 by Mr. Halliwell, 184.0, 8vo, and from the 
Auchinleck MS. by Mr. Laing (O f wain Miles and other Pieces of Ancient Engli/b 
Poetry, i8 37 , > 8vo).] 

5 [Printed in Croft's Excerpta Antiqua, 1797, and again by Collier, Camden Mif- 
cellany, iv.] 

6 " Lundonia pro fpeclaculis theatralibus, pro ludis fcenicis, ludos habet fancliores, 
reprefentationes miraculorum quae fan6H confeflbres operati funt, feu reprefentationes 
pafTionum quibus claruit conftantia martyrum." Stow's Survey of London, p. 480, 
edit. 1599. The reader will obferve, that 1 have conftrued faniiores in a pofitive 
fenfe. [But here Warton merely follows Pegge in his tranflation of Fitz-Stephen : 
neither ftates a reafon. See Collier's Hi/}, of E. D. P. \. z, note.] Fitz-Stephen men- 
tions at the end of his traft, " Imperatricem Matildem, Henricum regem tertium, 
et beatum Thomam, &c." p. 48 3. [Fitz-Stephen is fpeaking of Henry the younger, 
Ion of Henry II. and grandibn to the Emprefs Matilda, who was crowned king in 
the lifetime of his father, and is expreflly ftyled Henricus Tertius by Matthew Paris, 
William of Newbury, and feveral other of our early hiftorians. Ritfon.] 



2 1 8 The early Drama. s. 6. 

appellamus." 1 And we learn from Chaucer, that in his time Plays 
of Miracles were the common refort of idle goflips in Lent : 

Therefore made I my vifitations, 
To prechings eke and to pilgrimagis, 
To Plays of Miracles, and mariagis, &c. 2 



1 Vit. Abbat. ad calc. Hift. p. 56, edit. 1639. 

[William de Wadington (who poflibly was a contemporary of Matthew Paris) 
has left a violent tirade againft this general practice of acting miracles. As it con- 
tains fome curious particulars relative to the manner in which they were conduced, 
and the places felefted for exhibiting them, an extraft from it may not be out of 
place here : 

" Une autre folie apert 

Unt les fols clers cuntrove ; 

Qe miracles funt apele. 

Lur faces unt la deguife, 

Par vifers li forfene, 

Qe eft defendu en decree ; 

Tant eft plus grant Inr peche. 

Fer poent reprefentement, 

Mes qe ceo feit chaftement. 

En office de feint eglife 

Quant hom fet la, Deu fervife. 

Cum Ihu Crift lefiz Dee, 

Enfepulcreejieitpofej 

Et la refurrefliun : 

Par plus aver devociun. 

Mes fere foles aflemblez, 

En les rues des citez, 

Ou en cymiters apres mangers, 

Quant venent les fols volonters, 

Tut dient qe il le funt pur bien : 

Crere ne les devez pur rien, 

Qe fet feit pur le honur de Dee. 

E iuz del Deable pur verite. 

Seint Yfidre me ad teftimonie, 

Qe fut fi bon clerc lettre. 

II dit qe cil qe funt fpeftacles, 

Cum lem fet en miracles, 

Ou iuj qe vus nomames einj, 

Burdiz ou turnemens, 

Lur baptefme unt refufez, 

E Deu de ciel reneiez, &c. 

Ke en lur iuz fe delitera, 

Chevals ou harneis les apreftera, 

Vefture ou autre ournement, 

Sachez il fet folement. 

Si veftemens ferent dediez, 

Plus grant daflez eft le pechez. 

Si prefte ou clerc le uft prefte, 

Bien duft eftre chauftie ; 

Car facrilege eft pur verite. 

E ki par vanite les verrunt, 

De lur fet partaverunt." 

Harl. MS. 273, f. 141. Price. 

This has been printed by Mr. Furnivall in his edition of Robert de Brunne's Hand- 
lyng Synne, Roxburghe Club, 1862.] 
2 Prol. Wif. B. v. 555. 



s. 6. The early Drama. 219 

This is the genial Wife of Bath, who amufes herfelf with thefe 
fafhionable diverfions, while her hufband is abfent in London, during 
the holy feafon of Lent. And in Pierce the Plowman's Crede, a friar 
Minorite mentions the miracles as not lefs frequented than markets 
or taverns : 

We haunten no tavernes, ne hobelen abouten, 
Att markets and Miracles we medeley us never. 1 

Among the plays ufually reprefented by the guild of Corpus Chrifti 
at Cambridge, on that feftival, Ludus filiorum Ifraelis was acled in 
the year I355- 2 Our drama feems hitherto to have been almoft 
entirely confined to religious fubjecb, and thefe plays were nothing 
more than an appendage to the fpecious and mechanical devotion of 
the times. I do not find exprefsly, that any play on a profane fub- 
je6t, either tragic or comic, had as yet been exhibited in England. 
Our very early anceftors fcarce knew any other hiftory than that of 
their religion. Even on fuch an occafion as the triumphant entry 
of a king or queen into the city of London, or other places, the 
pageants were almoft entirely Scriptural. 3 I likewife find in the 
wardrobe-rolls of Edward III., 1348, an account of the drefles, ad 
faciendum Ludos domln'i regis ad ffeftum Natalls dom'inl celebrates apud 



1 Signat. A Hi b, edit. 1561. 

2 Matters' Hi/}. C. C. C. C. p. 5, vol. i. What was the antiquity of the Guary- 
Miracle, or Miracle-Play in Cornwall, has not been determined. In the Bodleian 
library are three Church interludes, written on parchment. [Bodley, 791.] In 
the fame library there is alfo another, written on paper in the year 1611. Arch. 
[N. 219.] Of this laft there is a tranflation in the Britifh Mufeum, MSS. Harl. 
1867, 2. It is entitled the Creation of the World^ [and bears traces of an obligation 
on the part of the compiler to the earlier production printed by Norris the Origo 
Mundi.\ It is called a Cornifh play or opera, and faid to be written by Mr. 
William Jordan. The tranflation into Englifh was made by John Keigwin of 
Moufhole in Cornwall, at the requeft of Trelawney, Bifhop of Exeter, 1691. Of 
this William Jordan I can give no account. [Mr. Davies Gilbert publifhed the 
Creation of the World in 1827, 8vo., and more recently, Mr. Edwin Norris has 
edited from the Bodleian MS. the three Cornifh Dramas, Origo Mundi, PaJ/io 
Domini Noftri, and Refurreftio Domini No/in, 1859, 2 vols. 8vo. Mr. Gilbert alfo 
edited the poem of Mount Calvary in 1826, 8vo. j but his text is very bad both 
there and in the Creation. See Mr. Norris's remarks and explanations in his 
Appendix, ii. W)Ctfeqq. I fear that Mr. Norris's own text is not very truftworthy. 
In the library of Mr. C. Wynne, at Peniarth, Montgomeryfhire, is another Cornifh 
play, unknown to Gilbert and Norris.] 

In the Britifh Mufeum there is an ancient Cornifh poem on the death and refur- 
reclion of Chrift. It is on vellum, and has fome rude pictures. The beginning 
and end are loft. The writing is fuppofed to be of the fifteenth century. MSS. 
Harl. 1782, 4to. [This is the poem on Mount Calvary already referred to, but 
three other copies are known.] See the learned Lwhyd's Archaeol. Brit. p. 265. 
And Borlafe's Cornwall, Nat. Hi/}, p. 295, edit. 1758. 

3 When our Hen. VI. entered Paris in 1431, in the quality of King of France, he 
was met at the gate of Saint Denis by a Dumb Shew, reprefenting the birth of the 
Virgin Mary and her marriage, the adoration of the three kings, and the parable 
of the fower. This pageant indeed was given by the French : but the readers of 
Holinfhed will recollect many inftances immediately to our purpofe. See Mon- 
ftrclet apud Fonten. Hi/}. Theatr. ut fupr. p. 37. 



22O "Z/z/dV" and Mafques. s. 6. 

Guldeford, for furniming the plays or fports of the king, held in the 
caftle of Guildford at the feaft of Chriftmas. 1 In thefe Ludi, fays 
my record, were expended eighty tunics of buckram of various 
colours, forty-two vifors of various fimilitudes, that is, fourteen of 
the faces of women, fourteen of the faces of men with beards, four- 
teen of heads of angels, made with filver ; twenty-eight crefts, 2 
fourteen mantles embroidered with heads of dragons : fourteen 
white tunics wrought with heads and wings of peacocks, fourteen 
heads of fwans with wings, fourteen tunics painted with eyes of 
peacocks, fourteen tunics of Englifh linen painted, and as many 
tunics embroidered with ftars of gold and filver. 3 In the Wardrobe 
rolls of Richard II. there is alfo an entry which feems to point out 
a fport of much the fame nature [in 1389, 12 Rich. II.] " Pro xxi 
coifs de tela linea pro hominibus de lege contrafadtis pro ludo regis 
tempore natalis domini anno xii." 4 That is, " for twenty-one linen 
coifs for counterfeiting men of the law in the king's play at Chriftmas." 
It will be fufficient to add here on the laft record, that the ferjeants 
at law at their creation anciently wore a cap of linen, lawn, or 
filk, tied under the chin : this was to diftinguifh them from the 
clergy who had the tonfure. Whether in both thefe inftances we 
are to underftand a dumb-fhew, or a dramatic interlude with fpeeches, 
I leave to the examination of thofe who are profefledly making en- 
quiries into the hiftory of our ftage from its rudeft origin. But that 
plays on general fubje6ts were no uncommon mode of entertainment 
in the royal palaces of England, at leaft at the commencement of the 
fifteenth century, may be collected from an old memoir of (hews 
and ceremonies exhibited at Chriftmas, in the reign of Henry VII. 
in the palace of Weftminfter. It is in the year 1489. " This 
criftmas I faw no difguyfings, and but right few Plays. But ther 



1 Comp. J. Cooke, Proviforis Magnae Garderob. ab ann. 21 Edw. [III.] ad ann. 
23. Memb. ix. 

2 I do not perfectly underftand the Latin original in the place, viz. " xiiij 
Creftes cum tibiis reverfatis et calceatis, xiiij Creftes cum montibus et cuniculis." 
Among the ftuffs are " viii pelles de Roan." In the fame wardrobe rolls, a little 
above, I find this entry, which relates to the fame feftival. " Et ad faciendum vi 
pennecellos pro tubis et clarionibus contra Feftum natalis domini, de fyndone, 
vapulatos de armis regis quartellatis." Membr. ix. 

3 Some perhaps may think, that thefe were drefles for a Mafque at court. If fo, 
Holinfhed is miftaken in faying, that in the year 1512, "on the daie of Epiphanie 
at night, the king with eleven others were difguifed after the manner of Italic 
called a mafke, a thing not fee n before in England. They were apparalled in gar- 
ments long and broad wrought all with gold, with vifors and caps of gold, 1 ' &c. 
Hi/I. vol. iii. p. 812, a, 4.0. Befides, thefe mafkings moft probably came to the 
Englifh, if from Italy, through the medium of France. Holinfhed alfo contradifts 
himfelf : for in another place he feems to allow their exiftence under our Henry IV., 
A. D. 1400. " The confpirators ment upon the fudden to have fet upon the king 
in the caftell of Windfor, under colour of a mafke to mummerie" &c. ibid. p. 515, 
b. 50. Strype fays there were Pageaunts exhibited in London when Queen Eleanor 
rode through the city to her coronation, in 1236. And for the viftory over the 
Scots by Edward I. in 1298. Anec. Brit. Topograph. p. 725, edit. 1768. 

* Comp. Magn. Garderob. an. 14 Ric. II. f. 198. b. 



s. 6. " Ludi" and Mafques. 221 

was an abbot of Mifrule, that made much fport, and did right well 
his office." And again, u At nyght the kynge, the qweene, and my 
ladye the kynges moder. cam into the Whitehall, and ther hard a 
Play." 1 

As to the religious dramas, it was cuftomary to perform this 
fpecies of play on holy feftivals in or about the churches. In the 
regifter of William of Wykeham, bimop of Winchefter, under the 
year 1384, an epifcopal injunction is recited, againft the exhibition 
of Spefiacula in the cemetery of his cathedral. 2 Whether or no 
thefe were dramatic Spettacles^ I do not pretend to decide. 3 In 
feveral of our old fcriptural plays, we fee fome of the fcenes directed 
to be reprefented cum cantu et organis^ a common rubric in the mifTal. 
That is, becaufe they were performed in a church where the choir 
affifted. There is a curious paflage in Lambarde's Topographical 
Dictionary written about 1570, much to our purpofe, and which I am 
therefore tempted to transcribe : 4 u In the Dayes of ceremonial 
religion, they ufed at Wytney (in Oxfordfhire) to fet foorthe yearly 
in maner of a Shew, or Enterlude, the Refurre6Hon of our Lord, 
&c. For the which Purpofe, and the more lyvely thearby to ex- 
hibite to the Eye the hole A6tion of the Refurre6Hon, the Prieftes 
garnimed out certain fmalle Puppets, reprefentinge the Parfons of 
Gkrlfte, the Watchmen, Marie^ and others ; amongeft the which, 
one bare the Parte of a wakinge Watcheman, who (efpiinge Chrlft 
to arife) made a continual Noyce, like to the Sound that is caufed 
by the Metinge of two Styckes, and was therof comonly called Jack 
Snacker of Wytney. The like Toye I my felfe (beinge then a Chiide,) 
once faw in Poules Churche at London^ at a Feaft of Whitfuntyde ; 
wheare the comynge downe of the Holy Goft was fet forthe by a 
white Pigion, that was let to fly out of a Hole, that yet is to be fene 
in the mydft of the Roofe of the great He, and by a longe Cenfer, 
which defcendinge out of the fame Place almoft to the verie Grounde, 
was fwinged up and downe at fuch'e a Lengthe, that it reached with 
thone Swepe almoft to the Weft Gate of the Churche, and with the 

1 Leland, Coll. iii. Append, p. 256, edit, 1770. 

a Regijir. lib. iii. f. 88. " Canere Cantilenas, ludibriorum fpettacula facere, fal- 
tationes et alios ludos inhoneftos frequentare, choreas," &c. So in Statut. Eccles. 
Nannett. A. D. 1405. No " mimi vel joculatores, ad monftra larvarum in ecclefia 
et cemeterio," are permitted. Marten. Thefaur. Anecd. iv. p. 993. And again, 
"Joculatores, hiftriones, faltatrices, in ecclefia, cemeterio, vel porticu. nee aliquae 
choreae." Statut. Synod Eccles. Leod. A.D. 1287, apud Marten, utfupr. 846. Fon- 
tenelle fays, that anciently among the French, comedies were afted after divine fer- 
vice in the church-yard. " Au fortir du fermon ces bonnes gens alloient a la 
Comedie, c'eft a dire, qu'ils changeoint de Sermon." Hift. Theatr. ut fupr. p. 24. 
But thefe were fcriptural comedies, and they were conftantly preceded by a Bene- 
dicite, by way of prologue. The French ftage will occur again below. 

3 [" Had he (Warton) feen the paflage in the Manuel de Peche, where Miracles 
are expreflly called Spectacles, his doubt (as to the nature of thefe Speflaculd) would 
have been removed. The author of the French original is very particular in 
ftating to what performances he refers." Collier.'] 

4 1730, 459. [Warton's tranfcript was full of errors in the orthography, 
although he muft have copied from the ed. of 1730.] 



222 Miracle-plays. s. 6. 

other to the Quyre Staires of the fame ; breathinge out over the 
whole Churche and Companie a moft pleafant Perfume of fuch fwete 
Thinges as burned thearin ; withe the like doome Shewes alfo, they 
ufed every whear to furnifhe fondrye Partes of their Churche Service, 
as by their Spectacles of the Nativitie, Paffion, and Afcenfion" &c. 

This practice of acting plays in churches, had at laft grown to fuch 
an enormity, and was attended with fuch inconvenient confequences, 
that in the reign of Henry VIII. , Bonner, bimop of London, iflued 
a proclamation to the clergy of his diocefe, dated 1542, prohibiting 
" all maner of common plays, games, or interludes to be played, fet 
forth, or declared, within their churches, chapels," &C. 1 This 
fafhion feems to have remained even after the Reformation, and 
when perhaps profane ftories had taken place of religious. 2 Arch- 
bifhop Grindal, in the year 1563, remonftrated againft the danger 
of interludes : complaining that players " did, efpecially on holy days, 
fet up bills inviting to their play." 3 From this ecclefiaftical fource 
of the modern drama, plays continued to be acted on Sundays fo late 
as the reign of Elizabeth, and even till that of Charles I., by the 
chorifters or fmging-boys of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, and 
of the royal chapel. 

It is certain that thefe Miracle-plays were the earlieft of our dra- 
matic exhibitions. But as thefe pieces frequently required the in- 
troduction of allegorical characters, fuch as Charity, Sin, Death, 
Hope, Faith, or the like, and as the common poetry of the times, 
efpecially among the French, began to deal much in allegory, at 
length plays were formed entirely confifting of fuch perfonifications. 
Thefe were called Moralities. The miracle-plays, or Myfteries, were 
totally deftitute of invention or plan : they tamely reprefented ftories 
according to the letter of fcripture, or the refpe&ive legend. But 
the Moralities indicate dawnings of the dramatic art ; they contain 
fome rudiments of a plot, and even attempt to delineate charac- 
ters, and to paint manners. Hence the gradual tranfition to real 
hiftorical perfonages was natural and obvious. It may be alfo ob- 
ferved, that many licentious pleafantries were fometimes introduced 
in thefe religious reprefentations. This might imperceptibly lead 
the way to fubjecls entirely profane and to comedy, and perhaps 
earlier than is imagined. In a Myftery 4 of the MaJJacre of the Holy 
Innocents, part of the fubje6l of a facred drama given by the Englifh 
fathers at the famous council of Conftance in the year 141 7, 5 a 



1 Burnet, Hift. Ref. i. Coll. Rec. p. 225. 

2 From a puritanical pamphlet entitled The [fe cond and~\ third Blaft of Retr ait from 
Plaies, &c. 1580, p. 77 [Englijh Drama & Stage, 1869, p. 134..] Where the author 
fays, the players are " permitted to publifh their mamettree in euerie Temple of 
God, and that through England," &c. This abufe of a&ing plays in churches is 
mentioned in the canon of James I., which forbids alfo the profanation of churches 
by court-leets, &c. The canons were given in the year 1603. 

3 S try pe's Grindal, p. 82. 

4 [Ancient Myfterics from the Digby MSS., 1835.] 
s L'Enfant, ii. 440. 



s. 6. Miracle-Plays. 223 

low buffoon of Herod's court is introduced, defiring of his lord to 
be dubbed a knight, that he might be properly qualified to go on the 
adventure of killing the mothers of the children of Bethlehem. This 
tragical bufmefs is treated with the moft ridiculous levity. The good 
women of Bethlehem attack our knight-errant with their fpinning- 
wheels, break his head with their diftaffs, abufe him as a coward 
and a difgrace to chivalry, and fend him home to Herod as a recreant 
champion with much ignominy. It is in an enlightened age only 
that fubje&s of fcripture hiftory would be fupported with proper 
dignity. But then an enlightened age would not have chofen fuch 
fubjecls for theatrical exhibition. 1 It is certain that our anceftors 
intended no fort of impiety by thefe monftrous and unnatural mix- 
tures. Neither the writers nor the fpe&ators faw the impro- 
priety, nor paid a feparate attention to the comic and ferious part 
of thefe motley fcenes ; at leaft they were perfuaded that the folem- 
nity of the fubjecT: covered or excufed all incongruities. They had 
no juft idea of decorum, confequently but little fenfe of the ridicu- 
lous : what appears to us to be the higheft burlefque, on them would 
have made no fort of impreflion. We muft not wonder at this, in 
an age when courage, devotion, and ignorance compofed the cha- 
racter of European manners; when the knight, going to a tourna- 
ment, firft invoked his God, then his miftrefs, and afterwards pro- 
ceeded with a fafe confcience and great refolution to engage his an- 
tagonift. In thefe Myfteries I have fometimes feen grofs and open 
obfcenities. In a play of the Old and New Teftamentf Adam and 

1 [Even what may be called the vices of literature have their favourable fide j 
for, if in our early drama from the Myfteries downward, there had not been the 
uncouth vernacular di6Hon, the grofs anachronifms, the ribaldry, and the totally un- 
artiftic conftru&ion, which we fee, thofe remains would never have pofTerTed the 
intereft in our eyes, which under the circumftances they have, as ftorehoufes of in- 
formation upon many points conne&ed with ancient manners and opinions.] 

2 MSS. Harl. 201 3, &c. Exhibited at Chefter in the year 1327, at the expenfe 
of the different trading companies of the city. The fall of Lucifer by the Tanners. 
The Creation by the Drapers. The Deluge by the Dyers. Abraham, Melchifedech, 
and Lot by the Barbers. Mofes, Balak, and Balaam by the Cappers. The Salu- 
tation and Nativity by the Wrightes. The Shepherds feeding their flocks by night 
by the Painters and Glaziers. The three Kings by the Vintners. The Oblation of 
the three Kings by the Mercers. The Killing of the Innocents by the Goldfmiths. 
The Purification by the Blackfmiths. The Temptation by the Butchers. The loft 
Supper by the Bakers. The Blindmen and Lazarus by the Glovers. Jefus and the 
Lepers by the Corvefarys. Chrifis PaJJion by the Bowyers, Fletchers, and Iron- 
mongers. Defcent into Hell by the Cooks and Innkeepers. The Refurreftion by 
the Skinners. The Afcenfion by the Taylors. The elefiion of S. Mathias, Sending 
of the holy ghoft, &c. by the Fifhmongers. Antechrift by the Clothiers. Day of 
Judgment by the Webfters. The reader will perhaps fmile at fome of thefe com- 
binations. This is the fubftance and order of the former part of the play : God 
enters creating the world : he breathes life into Adam, leads him into Paradife, and 
opens his fide while fleeping. Adam and Eve appear naked and not ajhamed, and 
the old ferpent enters lamenting his fall. He converfes with Eve. She eats of 
the forbidden fruit and gives part to Adam. They propofe, according to the 
ftage-dire&ion, to make themfelves fubligacula a foliis quibus tegamus Pudenda. 
Cover their nakednefs with leaves, and converfe with God. God's curfe. The 
ferpent exit hilling. They are driven from Paradife by four angels and the cheru- 
bim with a flaming fword. Adam appears digging the ground, and Eve fpinning. 



224 T&e various Series of thefe Plays. s. 6. 

Eve are both exhibited on the ftage naked, and converfing about 
their nakednefs : this very pertinently introduces the next fcene, in 
which they have coverings of fig-leaves. This extraordinary fpec- 
tacle was beheld [at Chefter] by a numerous aflembly of both fexes 
with great compofure : they had the authority of fcripture for fuch 
a reprefentation, and they gave matters juft as they found them in 
the third chapter of Genefis. It would have been abfolute herefy to 
have departed from the facred text in perfonating the primitive appear- 
ance of our firft parents, whom the fpe&ators fo nearly refembled in 
fimplicity : and if this had not been the cafe, the dramatifts were igno- 
rant what to rejedt and what to retain. 

[" The original date and the authormip of the Chefter plays," fays 
Mr. Wright, " have been fubjecls of considerable difcuflion. My own 
impreflion, from the phrafeology and forms of words, which may fre- 
quently be difcovered in the blunders of the modern fcribes, is that 
the original manufcript from which they copied was of the earlier part 
of the fifteenth or of the end of the fourteenth century." The 
tranfcript from which the edition fuperintended by Mr. Wright is 
printed, appears to have been made late in the reign of Elizabeth. 1 
Befides the Coventry and Chefter feries, and the other mifcel- 
laneous productions of the fame clafs in the Digby and other MSS., 
there were the York and Towneley or Widkirk Myfteries. The 
former, in fa6t, have had a moft unfortunate deftiny in being fecreted 
by fucceffive owners. It is to be regretted that they were not fecured, 
when they occurred for fale about twenty years ago, for the national 
library, fince only one of the York feries, the Scriveners' Play, ex- 
ifts in a duplicate copy. The Towneley plays, however, which are 
alfo known only in one MS. (and that not entirely perfect), have been 
publifhed.] 2 

In the meantime, profane dramas feem to have been known in 
France at a much earlier period. 3 Du Cange gives the following 



Their children Cain and Abel enter: The former kills his brother. Adam's 
lamentation. Cain is banifhed, &c. 

[The Chefter Myfteries have been published entire by T. Wright, Efq., ^ vols. 
8vo. 1843-7. Mr. Wright oblerves : "The traditions adopted or imagined by 
fbme old Chefter antiquaries, which carried the compofition of thefe plays fo far 
back as the mayoralty of John Arneway (1268 to 1270), and the fuppofition of 
Warton that they were the productions of Ralph Higden the chronicler, appear 
to me too improbable to deferve our ferious confideration, unlefs they were founded 
on more authentic ftatements, or on more fubftantial arguments."] 

1 [Mr. Whitley Stoke edited for the Philological Society (1860-1) The Play of 
the Sacrament, which he terms a middle-Englim " drama." A pageant called 
The Salutation of Gabriel, was exhibited at Edinburgh in 1503, at the nuptials of 
James IV. and the Princefs Margaret.] 

a [By the Surtees Society, 1836, 8vo.] 

3 At Conftantinople it feems that the ftage flourifhed much under Juftinian and 
Theodora, about the year 54.0. For in the Bafilical codes we have the oath of an 
a&refs /ttn ava^tufsiv rn<; Tropveia.;. Tom. vii. p. 682, edit. Fabrot. Graeco-Lat. The 
ancient Greek fathers, particularly Saint Chryfoftom, are full of declamation againft 
the drama, and complain that the people heard a comedian with much more 
pleafure than a preacher of the Gofpel. 



s. 6. Lavifli Expenditure on Plays. 225 

pi&ure of the king of France dining in public before the year 1300. 
During this ceremony, a fort of farces or drolls feems to have been 
exhibited. All the great officers of the crown and the houfehold, 
fays he, were prefent. The company was entertained with in- 
ftrumental mufic of the minftrels, who played on the kettle-drum, 
the flageolet, 1 the cornet, the Latin cittern, the Bohemian flute, the 
trumpet, the Moorifti cittern, and the riddle. B elides there were 
" des FARCEURS, des jougleurs, et des plaifantins, qui divertifTeoient 
les compagnies par leur faceties et par leur COMEDIES, pour 1'entre- 
tien." He adds, that many noble families in France were entirely 
ruined by the prodigious expenfes lavifhed on thofe performers'- 
The annals of France very early mention buffoons among the 
minftrels at thefe folemnities ; and more particularly that Louis le 
Debonnaire, who reigned about the year 830, never laughed aloud, 
not even when, at the moft magnificent feftivals, players, buffoons, 
minftrels, fingers, and harpers, attended his table. 3 In fome confti- 
tutions given to a cathedral church in France, in the year 1280, the 
following claufe occurs : u Nullus SPECTACULIS aliquibus quae aut 
in Nuptiis aut in Scents exhibentur, interfit." 4 Where, by the way, 
the word Scents feems to imply fomewhat of a profefled ftage, 
although the eftablifhment of the firft French theatre is dated not 
before the year I398. 5 The play of Robin and Marian is faid to 



1 I believe, a fort of pipe. This is the French word, viz. Demy-canon. See 
Carpent. Du Cange, GL Lot. i. p. 760. 

2 Di/ertat. Joinv. p. 161. 3 Ibid. 

4 Montfauc. Cat. Manuf crip, p. 1158. See alfo Marten. Thefaur. Anecd. torn. iv. 
p. 506. Stat. Synod. A. D. 1468. " Larvaria ad Nuptias," &c. Stow, in his 
Survey of London , mentions the practice of ailing plays [mafques] at weddings. 

5 [A modern French antiquary (M. Roquefort) has claimed a much higher 
antiquity for the eftablifhment or rather origin of the French ftage ; though upon 
principles, it muft be allowed, which have a decided tendency to confound all 
diftinclions between the feveral kinds of poetic compofition. The beautiful tale 
of Aucaflin and Nicolette is the corner-ftone upon which this theory repofes, 
and as the narrative is interfperfed with long, feems to have induced a belief, 
that the recitations were made by a fingle Trouvere, and the poetry chaunted by a 
band of attendant minftrels. Admitting this to be the cafe yet for it no 
authority is offered the approximation to dramatic compofition is as remote 
as when left in the hands or a folitary declaimer. Upon this ground every ballad 
or romantic tale, which is known to have been accompanied by mufic and the 
voice, might be ftyled " a monument of theatric art ; " and by analogy the rhap- 
fodifts of Greece, who fang the Iliad at the public games, might be faid to have 
" enacted the plays" of Homer. Nor is the argument in favour of the Jeux-partis 
or iuch fabliaux as the deux Bordeors ribauds, in any degree more admiffible. In 
all thefe pieces there is nothing more than a fimple interchange of opinion, whether 
argumentative or vituperative, without pretenfion to incident, fable, or development 
of character. Indeed, if a multiplicity of interlocutors would alone conftitute a 
drama, the claim of Wolfram von Efchenbach to be the founder of the German 
ftage (as fome of his countrymen have maintained) would be undeniable. In his 
Krieg aufWartburg, a fingular monument of early (1207) improvifatorial (kill, the 
declaimers in the firft part are fix and in the fecond three Mafter or Minne-fingers. 
But this poem, like the Tenfons of the Troubadours, is a mere trial of poetical 
ingenuity, and bears a ftrong refemblance both in matter and manner to the 
Torneyamens of the fame writers. That it was not confidered a play in earlier 

II. ( 



226 The Religious Myjleries in France. s. 6. 

have been performed by the fchoolboys of Anglers, according to 
annual cuftom, in the year 1392.* A royal caroufal given by Charles 
V. of France to the emperor Charles IV. in the year 1378, was 
clofed with the theatrical reprefentation of the Conquefl of Jerusalem 
by Godfrey of Bulloign, which was exhibited in the hall of the royal 
palace. 2 This indeed was a fubjecl: of a religious tendency ; but 
not long afterwards, in the year 1395, perhaps before, the interefting 
itory of Patient Grlfel appears to have been a6led at Paris. This 
piece ftill remains, and is entitled Le Myjlere de Grifildis marquife 
de Saluce.* For all dramatic pieces were indifcriminately called 
MyfterieS) whether a martyr or a heathen god, whether Saint Catha- 
rine or Hercules was the fubje6t. 

In France the religious Myfteries, often called Piteaux, or Pitoux^ 
were certainly very fafhionable and of high antiquity : yet from any 
written evidence I do not find them more ancient than thofe of the 
Englifh. In the year 1384, the inhabitants of the village of Aunay, 
on the Sunday after the feaft of Saint John, played the Miracle of 
Theophilus, " ou quel Jeu avoit un perfonnage de un qui devoit 
getter d'un canon/' 4 In the year 1398, fome citizens of Paris met 

times, is clear from an illumination published by Docen, where the aftors in 
this celebrated conteft are reprefented feated and finging together, and above them 
is this decifive infcription : " Hie krieget mit fange, Herr walther von der vogil- 
weide," &c. Here bataileth In fong, &c. However, mould this theory obtain, 
Solomon,- bifhop of Conftance in the tenth century, will perhaps rank as the earlieft 
dramatift at prefent known : Metro primus et coram Regibus plerumque pro 
ludicro cum aliis certator. Ekkehardus de Cajibus S. Galli, p. 49. Price.] 

1 The boys were deguifiez, fays the old French record : and they had among 
them un Fillette defguifee. Carpent. ubi fupr. v. Robinet Pentecofte. Our old 
character of Mayd Marian may be hence illuftrated. It feems to have been an 
early fafhion in France for fchoolboys to prefent thefe mews or plays. In an 
ancient MS. under the year 14.77, there is mentioned u Certaine MORALITE, ou 
FARC.E, que les efcolliers de Pontoife avoit fait, ainji qu'il eft de couftume." Carpent. 
ubi fupr. v. Moralitas. The Myftery of the old and new Teftament is faid to have 
been reprefented in 14.24 by the boys of Paris placed like ftatues againft a wall, 
without fpeech or motion, at the entry of the duke of Bedford, regent of France. 
See J. de Paris, p. 101. And Sauval, Ant. de Paris, ii. 101. [Le Jeu de Robin et 
de Marion, the piece alluded to in the text, has been analyfed by M. le Grand in 
the fecond volume of his fabliaux et Contes. It is there called Le Jeu du Berger et 
de la Bergere, and by him attributed to Adan de la Hale, nicknamed le BOC.U 
d'Arras. In this he is followed by M. Meon, the editor of Barbazan's Fabliaux, 
who alfo afcribes to the fame author a play called Le Jeu du Manage. M. Roque- 
fort catalogues Robin et Marion among the works of Jehan Bodel d'Arras, the 
author of three plays called Le Jeu de Pelerin, Le Jeu d^AJam ou de la Feuillee, Le 
Jeu de St. Nicholas; and a myftery called Le Miracle de Theophile. This latter 
may be the fame referred to below. Adan de la Hale appears to have lived in the 
early part of the thirteenth century (Roquefort, p. 103), and Jehan Bodel during 
the reign of Saint Louis (1226-70). Thefe perhaps are the earlieft fpecimens 
extant of anything refembling dramatic compolition in the French language. 
Price.] 

2 Felib. torn. ii. p. 68 1. [The thirteenth century romance (on this fubjeft) was 
publifhed by M. Hippeau of Caen j Paris, 1868, 8vo. F.] 

3 [Printed at Paris about 1550,410, 20 leaves. See Brunet, dern. edit. iii. 
1968-9.] 

4 Carpentier, Suppl. Du* Cange, Lat. Gl. v. Ludus. [The ftory of a man who 
fold himfelf to the devil, and was redeemed by the virgin to whom he had recom- 



s. 6. The Feajis of Affes and Fools. 227 

at Saint Maur to play the Paffion of ChrijL The magiftrates of 
Paris, alarmed at this novelty, publifhed an ordonnance, prohibiting 
them to reprefent " aucuns jeux de perfonages foit de vie de faints 
ou autrement," without the royal licence, which was foon after- 
wards obtained. 1 In the year 1486, at Anjou, ten pounds were paid 
towards fupporting the charges of adring the Paffion of Cbrlft^ which 
was represented by mafks, and, as I fuppofe, by perfons hired 
for the purpofe. 2 The chaplains of Abbeville, in the year 1455, gave 
four pounds and ten (hillings to the players of the Paffion ; 3 [and at 
Angiers, about the fame period, Jean Michel's very curious miftere 
de la pajffion iefu Grift was performed ; it was fubfequently exhibited 
at Paris in 1507 ; and the old editions of it are tolerably numerous]. 
But the French Myjleries were chiefly performed by the religious 
communities, and fome of their Fetes almoft entirely confifted of a 
dramatic or perfonated {hew. At the Feafiof AJJ'es, inftituted in [com- 
memoration of the Flight into Egypt,] the clergy walked on Chrift- 
mas-day in proceffion, habited to reprefent the prophets and others. 
Mofes appeared in an alb and cope, with a long beard and rod. 
David had a green vefrment. Balaam with an immenfe pair of 
fpurs, rode on a wooden afs, which inclofed a fpeaker. There were 
alfo fix Jews and fix Gentiles. Among other characters the poet 
Virgil was introduced as a gentile prophet and a tranflator of the 
Sibylline oracles. They thus moved in proceffion, chanting verficles, 
and converfing in character on the nativity and kingdom of Chrift, 
through the body of the church, till they came into the choir. 
Virgil fpeaks fome Latin hexameters during the ceremony, not out 
of his fourth eclogue, but wretched monkifh lines in rhyme. This 
feaft was, I believe, early fupprefled. In the year 1445, Charles VII. 
of France ordered the matters in theology at Paris to forbid the 
minifters of the collegiate 4 churches to celebrate at Chriftmas the 

mended himfelf, occurs in a colle&ion of miracles put in verfe by Guatier de 
Quenli, a French poet of the thirteenth century, from whofe work and others of 
the fame kind an abridgment was printed at Paris in the beginning of the fix- 
teenth century. This was made by Jean le Comte, a friar minor. Quenfi's work 
is among the Harl. MSS. No. 4400. Douce. It is alfo the legend of the Knyg/it 
and his Wyfe (Rem. of the Early Pop. P. of Engl. i. 16, etfeqq. and Brunet, utfupr. 

979)-] 

1 Beauchamps, ut fupr. p. 90. This was the firft theatre of the French : the 
aftors were incorporated by the king, under the title of the Fraternity of the PaJJion 
of our Saviour. Beauch. ibid. See above, feft. ii. The Jeu de perfonages was a 
very common play of the young boys in the larger towns, &c. Carpentier, utfupr. 
v. Perfonagium, and Ludus Perfonag. [But almoft all the old French miracle- 
plays purport to have been jeux de perfonnages.] At Cambray mention is made of 
the mew of a boy larvatus cum maza in collo with drums, &c. Carpent. ibid. v. 
Kalend<e Januar. 

2 D ecem iit, r> ex parte nationis, ad onera fupportanda hujus Mifterii." Car- 
pent, utfupr. v. Perfonagium. 

3 [Brunet, ut Jupr. 1971.] Carpent. ut fupr. v. Ludus. He adds, from an 
ancient Computus, that three millings were paid by the minifters of a church, in 
the year 1537, for parchment for writing Ludus Refurreftionis Domini. 

4 Marten. Anecd. torn. i. col. 1804.. See alfo Belet. L&Di<vin. Offic. cap. 72. And 
Guflanvill. poft. Not. ad Petr. Blefens. Felibien confounds La Fete de Fous tt la 



228 77/f /v///:w/ of the By-BiJlop. s. 6. 

Feaft of Fools in their chmehes, where the clergy danced in mafques 

and antiv- ilielles, .iiul exhibited li plulieurs nun -queries fpcchicles 
publics, dr : ps deouilcnu-nts, farces, tijMiKTeis," with various 

enormities fhoeking to decemv. In 1- ranee as well as England it 

\\.is euiliMiiai v to eelebiate the tc.iii ot the K>\ hilhop. In .ill the 

collegiate churches of both nations, about the feaii of St. Nk 
or the Holy Innocents, one of the children of the choir, completely 
apparelled in the epileopal veil meats, with a mitre and crolier, bore 
tin- title and itate of hilhop, atul e\aeK-d canonical obedience from 
his tc-llows, who were dielled like priells. Thev took pollellion of 
the ehurch, and performed all the ceremonies anil otlices,- the mals 
cxccpted, which might have been celebrated by the bifhop and his 
prebendaries/ 1 In the ftatutes of the archiepifeop.il cathedral of 
Tulles, given in the year 1497, it is faid, that during the celebration 
of the feftival of the boy-bifhop, " Moralities were prefented, and 

(hews of Miracles, with farces and other fporis, but compatible with 



Fttt <tt Sotift. The latter was an entertainment of dancing called Its Saultts, and 
thence corrupted into Sotift or Sotift. See Mtm. Ac*d. Infcritt. xvii, 125, 116, and 
Probat. HM. Antffiubr* p, 310. Again, the FtaA of Fools fcems to tv Mointcd it 

in St.itut. Scuomns. A. P. 144^. InJlr. torn. xii. c .'.;//. l.'Jsri/iitin. l\ll. 96. * IVm- 

pore divini fervitii larvatoset monftruplbsvultus deferendo,cuin?eftibui inulii-nnn. 

aut Icnoiuiin, aut hilirionuin, chmras in i-i-rlclia ct rhuro rjus iliuviulu," &e. With 
the molt immodeft fpe^acles. The nuns of fome French convents are laid to have 

h.ul /..//.';/.; on Saint Mary Ma^lalnu-'s and ntlu-r ti-ltivals, \vlu-n rlu-v wore the 
h.ilnts ot ilvuLirx. :iiul ilaiu-i-a with tlu-in. t'ai|vnt. ;.// i.^r. \ . A.;,V/;./.r-. There 

was the office of the Rtx StHbor*m in Beverley church, prohibited not. Pu : >! 

MM. Hi. Append. 7. [In the C\mltitutions of Rolu-it Cn-nlli-telle. bilhop ol l',n 
roln. is flu- tullowino; prohibition : " > . - '.em etiain ronluetudini-in 

fuevit in quibufdum ecclefns obfervari de faciendo Fefto Stultorum Ipeciali autluu i 
tate reicripti Apoftolici penitus inhibemus ; ne de domo orationix ti.it donui> ludi- 
bni.' A :. .\vn Fafcicul. rtrttm *xpftt*<i*ntm, ii. 411. And in his -n.l 
Letter, printed in the lame collection, Xi. 331, after reciting that the houfe of God 

is not to be tinned into a houle it buflooneu. \^'. he adds : " Qiiapropter vobis 
inaiulanuis in \utute olvilienti.r tirmiter ininns'.entes. qu.irviu 
ruin lit vanitate plenum et volnptatibus rjniirnin. I>eo odibil 
l>ile. de e.rtero in eeeleha Lincoln, die \euerand.r loU mutatis e 

nulUtenua permittatis fieri." ANN*] 

1 [This tiMlt \vas probably celebrated on St. Nieholas\ da\, on :uvmint of his 
brint; the pation laint ot 'children. See his legend, printed at Naples. i:> 4> , 4 to. 

D**c*. See alfo Popular A*ti<t*itits tf Great Britain, by Hailitt, i. 131-40.] 

* In the ftatutes of Eton College, given 1441, the E}ifcof>*s Putrorum is ordered 
to perform divine fervice on Saint Nicholas's day, Ruhr. xxxi. In the thuutes of 
Wmchefter College, given 1380, Pm, that is, the boy-bifhop and his fellows, are 
permitted on Innoeents day to execute all the facred offices in the chapel, accord- 
in--, to the ufe ot theehureh'ot Saruin. Rubr. x\i\. This it range piee. \ : , . ..s 
mockery flourilhed greatly in Salilbury cathedral. In the old rtatntes of that church 
there is a chapter De Epifcopo Choriftarum : and their ProceHionale gives a long 
and minute account of the whole ceremony, edit. 1555. 

H This ceremony was abolilhed by a proclamation, no later than ; -, Hen. VIII. 
MSS. Cott. Tit B i , f. 108. In the inventory of the treaiury of York cathedral, 
taken in 1530, we have ** Item una mitra pan a cum . popuerorum,' 

Arc. Dugd. Mo**fl. Hi. 169, 170. See alfo 313, 314, 177, 179. See al 
Hyi.S. Pa/\ pp. 105, ao6iwhei\ he is called Epilcopus P.uvulorum. And A 
OrJ, Cr/. ii. 309, where, iurtead of Nihilcntis, 1C ad Nieoleniis, or Nicolateniis. 




s. 6. The Stage in Italy. 229 

decorum. After dinner they exhibited, without their ma(ks, but in 
proper drefles, fuch farces as they were mailers of, in different parts 
of the city." ' It is probable that the fame entertainments attended 
the folemnifation of this ridiculous feftival in England: - and from 
this fuppofition fome critics may be inclined to deduce the practice 
of our plays being acled by the choir-boys of St. Paul's church and 
the chapel royal, which continued, as I before obferved, till Crom- 
well's ufurpation. The Engiim and French ilages mutually throw 
light on each other's hiftory. But perhaps it will be thought, that 
in fome of thefe inftances I have exemplified in nothing more than 
farcical and gefticulatory reprefentations. Yet even thefe traces 
fhould be attended to. In the meantime we may obferve upon the 
whole, that the modern drama had no foundation in our religion, 
and that it was raifed and fupported by the clergy. The truth is, 
the members of the ecclefiaftical focieties were almoft the only 
perfons who could read, and their numbers eafily furninhed per- 
formers : they abounded in leifure, and their very relaxations were 
religious. 

I did not mean to touch upon the Italian ftage. But as fo able a 
judge as Riccoboni feems to allow that Italy derived her theatre 
from thofe of France and England, by way of an additional illuftra- 
tion of the antiquity of the two laft, I will here produce one or two 
Miracle- Plays, acted much earlier in Italy than any piece mentioned 
by that ingenious writer or by Crefcimbeni. In the year 1298, on 
" the feaft of Pentecoft, and the two following holidays, the repre- 
fentation of the Play of Chrijl, that is, of his paflion, refurre&ion, 
afcenfion, judgment, and the miflion of the holy ghoft, was performed 
by the clergy of Civita Vecchia, c in curia domini patriarchs 
Auftriae civitatis honorifice et laudabiliter.' " s And again, " In 
1304, the chapter of Civita Vecchia exhibited a play of the creation 



1 Statut. Eccles. TulUns. apud Carpent. Suppl. Lot. Gl. Du Gang. v. Kalend*. 

2 It appears that in England the boy-bifhop with his companions went about to 
different parts of the town ; at leaft vifited the other religious houfes. As in Rot. 
Comp. Coll. Winton. A. D. 1461. " In Dat. epifcopo Nicolatenfi." This I fuppofe 
was one of the children of the choir of the neighbouring cathedral. In the ftatutes 
of the collegiate church of S. Mary Ottery, founded by Bifhop Grand ifon in 1337, 
there is this paflage : '* Item ftatuimus, quod nullus canonicus, vicarius, vel fecun- 
darius, pueros choriftas in fefto fanftorum Innocentium extra Parochiam de Otery 
trahant, aut eis licentiam vagandi concedant." cap. 50, MS. Regiftr. Priorat. S. 
S*within. Winton. quat. 9. In the wardrobe-rolls of Edward III. an. is, we have this 
entry, which (hews that our mock-bifhop and his chapter fometimes exceeded their 
adopted clerical commiflion, and exercifed the arts of fecular entertainment. 
" Epifcopo puerorum ecclefiae de Andeworp cantanti coram domino rege in camera 
fua in tefto fan&orum Innocentium, de dono ipllus dom. regis. xiiij. vid" 

3 Chron. Forojul. in Append, ad Monum. Eccl. Aquilej. p. 30, col. i. [An earlier 
record of the exhibition of thefe miracle-plays in Italy will be found in the Catalogo 
de" Podefte di Padova : In queft anno (1*4.3) fu fatta la rapprefentazion della Pal- 
fione e Refurreccione di Chrillo nel Pra della Valle." Muratori, Script. Rer. Ital 
v. 8, p. 365. The chief objeft of the Compagna del Confalone inltituted at Rome 
in the year 1264, was to reprefent the Myileries, "della PalTione del Redentore." 
Tirabofchi, vol. iv. p. 343. Price.] 



230 *The Boy-Bifliop. s. 6. 

of our firft parents, the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the birth 
of Chrift, and other paflages of facred fcripture." 1 In the mean 
time, thofe critics, who contend for the high antiquity of the Italian 
ftage, may adopt thefe inftances as new proofs in defence of that 
hypothecs. 

This (how of the BOY-BISHOP, not fo much for its fuperftition as 
its levity and abfurdity, had been formerly abrogated by King Henry 
VIII. fourteen years before, in the year 1542, as appears by a 
c< Proclamation deuifed by the Kings Maiefty by the advys of his 
Highnefs Counfel the xxii day of Julie, 33 Hen. viij, commanding 
the Feafts of faint Luke, faint Mark, faint Marie Magdalene, In- 
uention of the CrofTe, and faint Laurence, which had been abro- 
gated, mould be nowe againe celebrated and kept holie days," of 
which the following is the concluding claufe. "And where as here- 
tofore dyuers and many fuperftitious and chyldyfh obferuances have 
be vfed, and yet to this day are obferued and kept, in many and 
fundry partes of this realm, as vpon faint Nicholas, 2 faint Catharine, 3 
faint Clement, 4 the holie Innocents, and fuch like, 5 Children [boys] 

1 Ibid. p. 30, col. i. It is extraordinary that the Miracle-plays, even in the 
churches, fhould not ceafe in Italy till the year 1660. 

2 In Barnaby Googe's Popifh Kingdom, 1570, a tranflation from Naogeorgus's 
Regnum Antic hrifti, fol. 55 : 

"Saint Nicholas monie vfde to give to maydens fecretlie, 
Who that be ftill may vfe his wonted liberalitie : 
The mother all their children on the Eeve do caufe to faft, 
And when they euerie one at night in fenfelefle fleepe are caft, 
Both apples, nuts and payres they bring, and other thinges befide, 
As cappes, and fhoes, and petticoates, wich fecretly they hide, 
And in the morning found, they fay, that 'this Saint Nicholas brought," 1 &c. 
I have already given traces of this practice in the colleges of Winchefter and 
Eton. To which I here add another. Regiftr. Coll. Wint.fub ann. 1427. "Crux 
deaurata de cupro [copper] cum Baculo, pro Epifcopo puerorum." But it appears 
that the praftice fubfifted in common grammar-fchools. "Hoc anno, 1464, in fefto 
fan6K Nicolai non erat Epifcopus Puerorum in fchola grammaticali in civitate 
Cantuariae ex defeclu Magiftrorum, viz. J. Sidney et T. Hikfon," &c. Lib. Jo- 
hannis Stone t Monachi Eccles. Cant. fc. De Obitibus et aliis Memorabilibus fui ccenobii ab 
anno 1415, ad annum 1467. MS. C.C.C.C.Q. 8. The abufes of this cuftom in 
Wells Cathedral are mentioned fo early as Decemb. i. 1298. Regi/ir. Eccl. Wellens. 

3 The reader will recollect the old play of Saint Catharine, Ludus Catharine, 
exhibited at Saint Albans Abbey in 1160. Strype fays, in 1556, "On Saint 
Katharines day, at fix of the clock at night, S. Katharine went about the battle- 
ments of S. Paul's church accompanied with fine finging and great lights. This 
was faint Katharine's Proceffion." Eccl. Mem. iii. 309. ch. xxxix. Again, her 
proceffion in 1553 is celebrated with five hundred great lights, round Saint Paul's 
iteeple, &c. Ibid. p. 51. ch. v. And p. 57. ch. v. 

4 Among the church-proceflions revived by Queen Mary, that of S. Clement's 
church, in honour of this faint, was by far the moft fplendid of any in London. 
Their proceffion to Saint Paul's in 1557 "was made very pompous with fourfcore 
banners and dreamers, and the waits of the city playing, and threefcore priefts and 
clarkes in copes. And divers of the Inns of Court were there, who went next the 
priefts," &c. Strype, ubifupr. iii. 337, ch. xlix. 

5 In the Synodus Carnotenfis, under the year 1526, it is ordered, "In fefto 
fanfti Nicholai, Catharinae, Innocentium,aut alio quovis die, praetextu recreationis, 
ne Scholaftici, Clerici, Sacerdotefve, ftultum aliquod aut ridiculum faciant in 



s. 6. The Boy-BiJhop. 231 

be ftrangelie decked and apparayled, to counterfeit Priefts, Bifshopes, 
and Women, and fo be ledde with Songes and Dances from houfe to 
houfe, blefling the people, and gathering of money ; and Boyes do 
fmge mafic, and preache in the pulpitt, with fuch other vnfittinge 
and inconuenient vfages, rather to the deryfyon than anie true glorie 
of God, or honor of his fayntes : The Kynges maieftie therefore, 
myndinge nothing fo moche as to aduance the true glory of God 
without vain fuperftition, wylleth and commandeth, that from hence- 
forth all fvch fvperftitious obferuations be left and clerely extin- 
guimed throwout all this his realme and dominions, for-as moche as 
the fame doth refemble rather the vnlawfull fuperftition of gentilitie, 
than the pvre and fmcere religion of Chrifte." With refpecl: to the 
difguifmgs of thefe young fraternities, and their proceffions from 
houfe to houfe with finging and dancing, fpecified in this edicSt, in a 
very mutilated fragment of a Computus, or annual Accompt-roll, of 
Saint Swithin's Cathedral Priory at Winchefter, under the year 1441, 
a difburfement is made to the fmging-boys of the monaftery, who, 
together with the chorifters of Saint Elizabeth's collegiate chapel 
near that city, were drefled up like girls, and exhibited their fports 
before the abbefs and nuns of Saint Mary's Abbey at Winchefter, in 
the public refectory of that convent, on Innocents' day. 1 " Pro 
Pueris Eleemofynariae una cum Pueris Capellae fan&ae Elizabethae, 
ornatis more puellarum, et faltantibus, cantantibus, et ludentibus, 
coram domina AbbatifTa et monialibus Abbathiae beatae Marias vir- 
ginis, in aula ibidem in die fan&orum Innocentium." 2 Again, in a 
fragment of an Accompt of the Cellarer of Hyde Abbey at Win- 



ecclefia. Denique ab ecclefia ejiciantur veftes fatuorum perfonas fcenicas agen- 
dum." See Bochellus, Decret. Eccks. Gall. lib. iv. Tit. vii. C. 43. 44. 46. p. 586. 
Yet thefe fports feem to have remained in France fo late as 1585. For in the Synod 
of Aix, 1585, it is enjoined, " CefTent in die Sanctorum Innocentium ludibria 
omnia et pueriles ac theatrales lufus." Bochell, ibid. C. 45. p. 586. A Synod of 
Tholoufe, an. 1590, removes plays, fpeclacles, and hiftrionum circulationes from 
churches and their cemeteries. Bochell. ibid. lib. iv. tit. i. c. 98, p. 560. 

1 In the Regifter of Wodeloke Bimop of Winchefter, the following is an article 
among the injunctions given to the nuns of the convent of Rumfey in Hampmire, 
in confequence of an epifcopal vifitation, under the year 1310. " Item prohi- 
bemus, ne cubent in dormitorio pueri mafculi cum monialibus, vel foemellae, nee 
per moniales ducantur in Chorum, dum ibidem divinum officium celebratur." fol. 
1 34. In the fame regifter thefe injunctions follow in a literal French tranflation, 
made for the convenience of the nuns. 

2 MS. in Archiv. Wul-ves, apud Winton. It appears to have been a practice for 
itinerant players to gain admittance into the nunneries, and to play Latin myfteries 
before the nuns. There is a curious canon of the council of Cologne, in 1549, 
which is to this effect. " We have been informed that certain Actors of Comedies, 
not content with the ftage and theatres, have even entertained the nunneries, in 
order to recreate the nuns, ubi <virginibus commoveant voluptatem, with their pro- 
fane, amorous, and fecular gefticulations. Which fpectacles or plays, although 
they confifted of facred and pious fubjects, can yet notwithftanding leave little 
good, but on the contrary much harm, in the minds of the nuns, who behold 
and admire the outward geftures of the performers, and underftand not the words. 
Therefore we decree, that henceforward no plays, Comediae, mall be admitted into 
the convents of nuns," &c. Sur. Condi, torn. iv. p. 852. Binius, torn. iv. p. 765. 



232 Origin of the Cujiom. s. 6. 

chefter, under the year 1490. "In larvis et aliis indumentis Pue- 
rorum vifentium Dominum apud Wulfey, et Conftabularium Caftri 
Winton, in apparatu fuo, necnon fubintrantium omnia monafteria 
civitatis Winton, in Fefto fan&i Nicholai." 3 That is, " In furnifh- 
ing mafks and drefles for the boys of the convent, when they vifited 
the bifhop at Wulvefey-palace, the conftable of Winchefter-caftle, 
and all the monafteries of the city of Winchefter, on the feftival of 
faint Nicholas." As to the divine fervice being performed by 
children on thefe feafts, it was not only celebrated by boys, but there 
is an injunction given to the Benedictine nunnery of Godftowe in 
Oxfordshire by Archbifhop Peckham, in the year 1278, that on 
Innocents' day, the public prayers fhould not any more be faid in 
the church of that monaftery per parvulas, that is, by little girls. 2 

The ground-work of this religious mockery of the boy-bifhop, 
which is evidently founded on modes of barbarous life, may perhaps 
be traced backward at leaft as far as the year 867. 3 At the Con- 
ftantinopolitan fynod under that year, at which were prefent three 
hundred and feventy-three bifhops, it was found to be a folemn 
cuftom in the courts of princes, on certain ftated days, to drefs fome 
layman in the epifcopal apparel, who fhould exactly perfonate a bifhop 
both in his tonfure and ornaments : as alfo to create a burlefque 
patriarch, who might make fport for the company. 4 This fcandal 
to the clergy was anathematized. But ecclefiaftical fynods and cen- 
fures have often proved too weak to fupprefs popular fpe&acles, 
which take deep root in the public manners, and are only concealed 
for a while, to fpring up afrefh with new vigour. 

After the form of a legitimate ftage had appeared in England, 
myfteries and miracles were alfo revived by Queen Mary, as an 
appendage of the papiftic worfhip : 

En, iterum crudelia retro 
Fata vocant ! 5 

In the year 1556 a goodly ftage-play of the PaJJion of Chrift was 

1 MS. Ibid. See//r. 

5 Harpsfield, Hi/}. Eccl. Angl, p. 441, edit. 1622. 

3 Or, 870. [See Mr. Strutt's Sports and Paftimes of the People of England. 
Price.] 

[A traft explaining the origin and ceremonial of the Boy-bifhop was printed [by 
John Gregory] in 1649 with the following title: " Epifcopus puerorum in die Inno- 
centium; or a Difcoverie of an ancient CufTom in the church of Sarum, making an 
anniverfarie Bifhop among the Chorifters." This traft was written in explanation 
of a ftone monument ftill remaining in Salifbury Cathedral, reprefenting a little 
boy habited in epifcopal robes, with a mitre upon his head, a crofier in his hand, 
&c. and the explanation was derived from a chapter in the ancient ftatutes of that 
church entitled De Epifcopo Choriftarum. See a long account of the Boy Bifliop, in 
Hawkins's Hiftory of Mujic, vol. ii. Park. See Handb. of E. E. Lit. art. Epifcopus 
Puerorum.] 

4 Surius, Condi, iii. 529. 539. Baron. Annal. Ann. 869. u. See Condi. Bafll. 
num. xxxii. The French have a miracle play, Beau Miracle de S. Nicolas, to be 
afted by twenty-four perfonages, printed at Paris, for Pierre Sergeant, in quarto, 
without date, Bl. lett. [Compare Brunet, iii. 1742-3.] 

5 Virgil, Georg. iv. 495. 



s. 6. Performance of Miracle-Plays In London. 233 

prefented at the Grey-Friars in London, on Corpus-Chrifti day, 
before the lord mayor, the privy-council, and many great eftates of 
the realm. 1 Strype alfo mentions, under the year 1557, a ftage-play 
at the Grey-Friars, of the Pajjion of Ghrift, on the day that war was 
proclaimed in London againft France, and in honour of that occa- 
iion. 2 On Saint Olave's day in the fame year, the holiday of the 
church in Silver-ftreet which is dedicated to that faint, was kept 
with much folemnity. At eight of the clock at night began a ftage- 
play of goodly matter, being the miraculous hiftory of the life of that 
faint, 3 which continued four hours, and was concluded with many 
religious fongs. 4 

Many curious circumftances of the nature of thefe miracle-plays 
appear in a roll of the churchwardens of Bafiingborne in Cambridge- 
fhire, which is an account of the expenfes and receptions for a&ing 
the play of Saint George at Bailingborne, on the feaft of Saint Mar- 
garet in the year 1511. They collected upwards of four pounds in 
twenty-feven neighbouring parifhes for furnifhing the play. They 
difburfed about two pounds in the reprefentation. Thefe difburfe- 
ments are to four minftrels, or waits, of Cambridge for three days, 
vs. vj d. To the players, in bread and ale, iij s. ij d. To the 
garnement-man for garnements, and propyrts, 5 that is, for drefles, 
decorations, and implements, and for play-books, xx s. To John 
Hobard, brotherhoode preefte, that is, a prieft of the guild in the 
church, for the play-book, ij s. viij d. For the crofte, or field in 
which the play was exhibited, j s. For propyrte-making, or furni- 
ture, j s. iv d. " For fifh and bread, and to fetting up the ftages, 
iv d." For painting three fanchoms and four tormentors, words 
which I do not underftand, but perhaps phantoms and devils. . . . 
The reft was expended for a feaft on the occafion, in which are 
recited, " Four chicken for the gentilmen, iv d." It appears from 
the Coventry Plays that a temporary fcaffold only was erected for 
thefe performances; and Chaucer fays of Abfolon, a parifh-clerk, 



1 MSS. Cotr. Vitell. E. 5. Strype. See Life of Sir Thomas Pope, Pref. p. xii. 
3 Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. ch. xlix. 

3 Strype, ibid. p. 379. With the religious pageantries, other ancient {ports and 
fpeftacles alfo, which had fallen into difufe in the reign of Edward VI., began to 
be now revived. As thus, " On the 3oth of May was a goodly May-game in 
Fenchurch-ftreet, with drums, and guns, and pikes, with the Nine Worthies who 
rid. And each made his fpeech. There was alfo the morice-dance, and an 
elephant and caftle, and the lord and lady of the May appeared to make up this 
fhow." Strype, ibid. 376, ch. xlix. 

4 Ludovicus Vives relates that it was cuftomary in Brabant to prefent annual 
plays in honour of the refpeftive faints to which the churches were dedicated : and 
he betrays his great credulity in adding a wonderful ftory in confequence of this 
cuftom. Not. in Auguftin. De Civit. Dei, lib. xii. cap. 25, C. 

6 The property-room is yet known at our theatres. [" Malone (Shakefpeare by 
Bofwell, iii. 45), following Warton, has remarked upon the ufe of the word pro- 
perties in the reign of Henry VJII., but we here (in the Caftle of Perfeverance) find 
it employed, and in the fame fenfe of furniture, apparel, &c., a century earlier." 
Collier.] 



234 Hoftility of the Puritans to Plays. s. 6. 

and an a&or of King Herod's chara&er in thefe dramas, in the 

Miller's Tale : 

And for to fhew his lighmefle and maiftry 
He playith Herawdes on a fcaffald hie. 1 

Scenical decorations and machinery 2 which employed the genius 
and invention of Inigo Jones, in the reigns of the firft James and 
Charles, feem to have migrated from the mafques at court to the 
public theatre. In the inftrument here cited, the prieft who wrote 
the play, and received only two millings and eight pence for his 
labour, feems to have been worfe paid in proportion than any of 
the other perfons concerned. The learned Oporinus, in 1547, pub- 
limed in two volumes a collection of religious interludes, which 
abounded in Germany. They are in Latin, and not taken from 
legends, but from the Bible. 

The Puritans were highly offended at thefe religious plays now 
revived. 3 But they were hardly lefs averfe to the theatrical repre- 

1 Mill. e T. v. 275. Mr. Steevens and Mr. Malone have fhown that the accom- 
modations in our early regular theatres were but little better. That the old 
fcenery was very fimple, may partly be collected from an entry in a Computus of 
Winchefter College, under the year 1579, viz. Comp. Burs. Co/I. Winton. A. D. 1573. 
Eliz. xv. " Cuftos Aulae. Item, pro diverfis expenfis circa Scaffoldam erigendam 
et deponendam, et pro Domunculis de novo compofitis cum carriagio et recarriagio 
fy j\ft es > et aliorum mutuatorum ad eandem Scaffoldam, cum vj linckes et j [uno] 
duodeno candelarum, pro lumine expenfis, tribus no&ibus in Ludis comediarum et 
tragediarum, xxv s. viij d." Again in the next quarter, " Pro vij ly linckes deli- 
beratis pueris per M. Informatorem [the fchoolmafter] pro Ludis, iij s." Again, 
in the laft quarter, " Pro removendis Organis e templo in Aulam et praeparandis 
eifdem erga Ludos, v s." By Domunculis I underftand little cells of board, raifed 
on each fide of the ftage, for dreffing-rooms, or retiring places. Strype, under the 
year 1559, % s tnat after a grand feaft at Guildhall, the fame day was a fcaffold 
fet up in the hall for a play." Ann. Ref. \. 197, edit. 1725. 

2 [Dr. Afhby fuggefts that fome diftinclion mould perhaps be made between 
fcenery and machinery : and it may probably be ceded that fcenic decoration was 
firft introduced. Park.] 

3 A very late fcripture-play is The Hiftory of Jacob and Efau, 1568. But this 
play had appeared in Queen Mary's reign, "An enterlude vpon the hiftory of 
Jacobe and Efawe," &c. Licenfed to Henry Sutton in 1557. Regiftr. Station. 
A. fol. 23, a. It is certain, however, that the famion of religious interludes was 
not entirely difcontinued in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; for I find licenfed to 
T. Hackett, in 1561, "A newe enterlude of the ij fynnes of Kynge Dauyde." 
Ibid. fol. 75, a. [For other pieces of the fame nature, fee Handb. of E. E. Lit. 
1867, arts. Plays, Wager, &c. The "enterlude of the fynnes of Kynge Dauyde" 
is not known, unlefs it was the ballad reprinted by Chappell (Roxburghe Ballads, 
vol. i. part ii.)] Ballads on Scripture fubjefts are now innumerable. Peele's David 
and \Bethfabe~] is a remain of the fafhion of Scripture-plays. I have mentioned the 
play of Holofernes afted at Hatfield in 1556. Life of Sir Thomas Pope, p. 87. In 
1556 was printed "A ballet intituled the hiftorye of Judith and Holyfernes." 
Regiftr. ut lupr. fol. 154, b. And Regiftr. B. fol. 227. In Hearne's Manufcript 
Colleffanea there is a licence, dated 1571, from the queen, direfted to the officers of 
Middlefex, permitting one John Swinton Powlter, " to have and ufe fome playes 
and games at or uppon nine feverall fondaies," within the faid county. "And be- 
caufe greate reforte of people is lyke to come thereunto, he is required, for the 
prefervation of the peace and for the fake of good order, to take with him four or 
five difcreet and fubftantial men of thofe places where the games fhall be put in 
praftice, to fuperintend duringe the contynuance of the games or playes." Some of . 



s. 6. The Subject concluded. 235 

fentation of the Chriftian than of the Gentile ftory : yet for different 
reafons. To hate a theatre was a part of their creed, and therefore 
plays were an improper vehicle of religion. The heathen fables they 
judged to be dangerous, as too nearly refembling the fuperftitions of 
popery. 1 

In this tranfient view of the origin and progrefs of our drama, 
which was incidentally fugs;efted by the mention of Bafton's fuppofed 
comedies, I have trefpafled upon future periods. But I have chiefly 
done this for the fake of connection, and to prepare the mind of the 
reader for other anecdotes of the hiftory of our ftage, which will 
occur in the courfe of our refearches, and are referved for their re- 
fpeHve places. I could have enlarged what is here loofely thrown 
together, with many other remarks and illuftrations : but I was un- 
willing to tranfcribe from the collections of thofe who have already 
treated this fubje6t with great comprehenfion and penetration, and 
efpecially from the author of the Supplement to the Tranflator's 
Preface of Jarvis's Don Quixote. 2 I claim no other merit from this 
digreflion, than that of having collected fome new anecdotes relating 
to the early ftate of the Englifh and French ftages, the original of 
both which is intimately connected, from books and manufcripts 
not eafily found, nor often examined. Thefe hints may perhaps 
prove of fome fervice to thofe who have leifure and inclination to 
examine the fubje6r. with more precifion. 



SECTION VII. 

DWARD III. was an illuftrious example and patron of 
chivalry. His court was the theatre of romantic ele- 
gance. I have examined the annual rolls of his ward- 
robe, which record various articles of coftly ftuffs deli- 
vered occafionally for the celebration of his tournaments; 
fuch as ftandards, pennons, tunics, caparifons, with other fplendid fur- 
niture of the fame fort : and it appears that he commanded thefe 
folemnities to be kept, with a magnificence fuperior to that of former 
ages, at Lichfield, Bury, Guilford, Eltham, Canterbury, and twice 
at Windfor, in little more than the fpace of one year. 3 At his tri- 

the exhibitions are then fpecified, fuch as " Shotinge with the brode arrowe, 
The lepping for men, The pitchynge of the barre," and the like. But then 
follows this very general claufe, " With all fuche other games, as haue at anye 
time heretofore or now be lycenfed, ufed, or played." Coll. MSS. Hearne, torn. 
Ixi. p. 78. One wifhes to know whether any interludes, and whether religious or 
profane, were included in this inftrument. 

1 [Oppofite fefts, as Romanifts and Proteftants, often adopt each other's argu- 
ments. See Bayle's Di&. Afhby.} 

2 [This fubjeft is refumed in Se6l. 34.] 

3 Comp. J. Cooke, Proviforis Magn. Garderob. ab ann. 21 Edw. III. ad ann. 23, 
fupr. citat. I will give, as a fpecimen, this officer's accompt for the tournament 




236 Reign of Edward HI. s. 7. 

umphant return from Scotland, he was met by two hundred and thirty 
knights at Dunftable, who received their victorious monarch with a 
grand exhibition of thefe martial exercifes. He eftablifhed in the 
caftle of Windfor a fraternity of twenty-four knights, for whom he 
creeled a round table, with a round chamber ftill remaining, according 
to a fimilar inftitution of King Arthur. 1 Anftis treats the notion, that 
Edward in this eftablifhment had any retrofpecSt to King Arthur, as 
an idle and legendary tradition. 2 But the fame of Arthur was ftill 
kept alive, and continued to be an obje6t of veneration long after- 
wards : and however idle and ridiculous the fables of the round table 
may appear at prefent, they were then not only univerfally known, 
but firmly believed. Nothing could be more natural to fuch a ro- 
mantic monarch, in fuch an age, than the renovation of this moft 
ancient and revered inftitution of chivalry. It was a prelude to the 
renowned order of the garter, which he foon afterwards founded at 
Windfor, during the ceremonies of a magnificent feaft, which had 
been proclaimed by his heralds in Germany, France, Scotland, Bur- 
gundy, Hainault, and Brabant, and lafted fifteen days. 3 We muft 
not try the modes and notions of other ages, even if they have arrived 
to fome degree of refinement, by thofe of our own. Nothing is more 
probable, than that this latter foundation of Edward III. took its 
rife from the exploded ftory of the garter of the Countefs of Salifbury. 4 
Such an origin is interwoven with the manners and ideas of the times. 



at Canterbury. " Et ad faciendum diverfos apparatus pro corpore regis et fuorum 
pro haftiludio Cantuatienfi, an. reg. xxii. ubi Rex dedit o6k> hernefia de fyndone 
ynde fa&a, et vapulata de armis dom. Stephani de Coiyngton militis, dominis prin- 
cipibus comiti Lancaftriae, comiti Suffolcise, Johanni de Gray, Job. de Beauchamp, 
Roberto Maule, Joh. Chandos, et dom. Rogero de Beauchamp. Et ad faciendum 
unum harnefiurn de bokeram albo pro rege, extencellato cum argento, viz. tunicam 
et fcutum operata cum di&amine Regis, 

* Hay Hay the <vuythe fovan 
By Codes foule I am thy man? 

Et croparium, peftorale, teftarium, et arcenarium extencellata cum argento. Et 
ad parandum i. tunicam Regis, et i. clocam etcapuciam cum c. garteris paratis cum 
boucles, barris, et pendentibus de argento. Et ad faciendum unum dubleltum pro 
Rege de tela linea habente, circa manicas et fimbriam, unam borduram de panno 
longo viridi operatam cum nebulis et vineis de auro, et cum diftamine Regis, // 
is as it M." Membr. xi. [A.D. 1349.] 

' Walfmg. p. 117. 2 Ord. Gart. ii. 92. 

3 Barnes, i. ch. 22, p. 292. Froiflart, c. 100. Anftis, ut fupr. 

4 Ammole proves, that the orders of the Annunciada, and of the Toifon d"Or, 
had the like origin. Ord. Gart. pp. 180, 181. Even in the enfigns of the order of 
the Holy Ghoft, founded fo late as 1 578, fome love-myfteries and emblems were con- 
cealed under ciphers introduced into the blafonry. See Le Laboureur, Contin. des 
Mem. de Cajlelnau, p. 895. " II y cut plus de myfteres d'amourettes que de reli- 
gion," &c. But I cannot in this place help obferving, that the fantaftic humour of 
unriddling emblematical myfteries, fuppoied to be concealed under all enfigns and 
arms, was at length carried to fuch an extravagance, at leaft in England, as to be 
checked by the legiflature. By a ftatute of Queen Elizabeth, a fevere penalty is laid, 
" on all fond phantaftical prophecies upon or by the occafion of any arms, fields, 
beaftes, badges, or the like things accuftomed in arms, cognifaunces, or fignetts," 
&c. Statut.o.. Eliz. ch. 15, A.D. 1564. 



s. 7. Coftfy Pageantry. 237 

Their attention to the fair fex entered into every thing. It is by no 
means unreafonable to fuppofe, that the fantaftic Collar of SS., worn 
by the knights of this Order, was an allufion to her name. FroiiTart, 
an eye-witnefs, and well acquainted with the intrigues of the court, 
relates at large the king's affection for the countefs, and particularly 
defcribes a grand caroufal which he gave in confequence of that at- 
tachment. 1 The firft feftival of this order was not only adorned by 
the braveft champions of Chriftendom, but by the prefence of Queen 
Philippa, Edward's confort, accompanied by three hundred ladies 
of noble families. 3 The tournaments of this ftately reign were con- 
ftantly crowded with ladies of the firft diftin&ion, who fometimes 
attended them on horfeback, armed with daggers, and dreffed in a 
fuccint foldier-like habit or uniform prepared for the purpofe. 3 In 
a tournament exhibited at London, fixty ladies on palfries appeared, 
each leading a knight with a gold chain. In this manner they paraded 
from the Tower to Smithfield. 4 Even Philippa, a queen of fingular 
elegance of manners, 5 partook fo much of the heroic fpirit which was 
univerfally diflufed, that juft before an engagement with the king of 
Scotland, fhe rode round the ranks of the Englifti army encouraging 
the foldiers, and was with fome difficulty perfuaded or compelled to 
relinquifh the field. 6 The Countefs of Montfoi t is another eminent 
inftance of female heroifm in this age. When the ftrong town of 
Hennebond, near Rennes, was befieged by the French, this redoubted 
amazon rode in complete armour from ftreet to ftreet on a large 
courfer, animating the garrifon. 7 Finding from a high tower that the 

1 Ubifupr. [In Notes and Queries, from time to time, a good deal of information 
has been printed on this fubjedt. See General Indices.] 

3 They foon afterwards regularly received robes, with the knights companions, 
for this ceremony, powdered with garters. Afhmol. Ord. Gart. 217, 594.. And 
Anftis, ii. 123. 

3 Knyghton, Dec. Script, p. 2597. 

4 Froiflart apud. Stow's Sur<v. Lond. p. 718, edit. 1616. At an earlier period, 
the growing gallantry of the times appears in a public inftrument. It is in the reign 
of Edward I. Twelve jurymen depofe upon oath the ftate of the king's lordfhip at 
Woodftock : and among other things it is folemnly recited, that Henry II. often 
relided at Woodftock, " pro amore cujufdam mulieris nomine Rofamunda." Hearne's 
A-veJbury, Append. 331. 

5 And of diftinguifhed beauty. Hearne fays, that the ftatuaries of thofe days ufed 
to make Queen Philippa a model for their images of the Virgin Mary. Glofs. Rob. 
\de\ Brun. p. 349. He adds, that the holy virgin, in a representation of heraflump- 
tion was conftantly figured young and beautiful ; and that the artifts before the Re- 
formation generally " had the moft beautiful women of the greateft quality in their 
view, when they made ftatues and figures of her." Ibid. p. 550. 

6 Froiflart, i. c. 138, 

7 Froiflart fays, that when the Englifh proved vi&orious, the countefs came out 
of the caftle, and in the ftreet killed Sir Walter Manny the Englifh general, and his 
captains, one after another, twice or thrice, comme noble et<valliant dame. On another 
like occafion, the fame hiftorian relates, that fhe went out to meet the officers, whom 
fhe kifled and fumptuoufly entertained in her caftle, i. c. 86. At many magnificent 
tournaments in France, the ladies determined the prize. See Mem. anc. Che<val, i. 
p. 175, feq. p. zz^jfeq. An Englifh fquire, on the fide of the French, captain of 
the caftle ot Beaufort, called himfelf le Pourfuivant d" amour, in 1369. Froiflart, 1. 
i. c. 64. In the midft of grand engagements between the French and Englifh armies, 



238 Cojily Pageantry and Tournaments. s, 7. 

whole French army was engaged in the aflault, fhe iflued, thus com- 
pletely accoutred, through a convenient poftern at the head of three 
hundred chofen foldiers, and fet fire to the French camp. 1 In the 
mean time riches and plenty, the effects of conqueft, peace and 
profperity, were fpread on every fide ; and new luxuries were im- 
ported in great abundance from the conquered countries. There were 
few families, even of a moderate condition, but had in their poflefiion 
precious articles of drefs or furniture : fuch as filks, fur, tapeftry, em- 
broidered beds, cups of gold, filver, porcelain and cryftal, bracelets, 
chains, and necklaces, brought from Caen, Calais, and other opulent 
foreign cities. 2 The increafe of rich furniture appears in a foregoing 
reign. In an a<St of Parliament of Edward I. 3 are many regulations, 
directed to goldfmiths, not only in London, but in other towns, con- 
cerning the iterling alloy of veilels and jewels of gold and filver, &c.; 
and it is faid, " Gravers or cutters of ftones and feals {hall give every 
one their juft weight of filver and gold." It fhould be remembered, 
that about this period Europe had opened a new commercial inter- 
courfe with the ports of India. 4 No fewer than eight fumptuary laws, 
which had the ufual effe6t of not being obferved, were enacted in one 
feflion of parliament during this reign. 5 Amid thefe growing elegances 
and fuperfluities, foreign manners, efpecially of the French, were 
perpetually increafing ; and' the native fimplicity of the Englim people 
was perceptibly corrupted and effaced. It is not quite uncertain that 
mafques had their beginning in this reign. Thefe (hews, in which 
the greateft perfonages of the court often bore a part, and which 
arrived at their height in the reign of Henry VIII., encouraged the 
arts of addrefs and decorum, and are fymptoms of the rife of polifhed 
manners. 6 

In a reign like this, we {hall not be furprifed to find fuch a poet 
as Chaucer, with whom a new era in Englim poetry begins, and on 
whofe account many of thefe circumftances are mentioned, as they 
ferve to prepare the reader for his character, on which they throw 
no inconfiderable light. 

But before we enter on fo ample a field, it will be perhaps lefs 
embarrafling, at leaft more confiftent with our prefcribed method, 

when perhaps the interefts of both nations are vitally concerned, Froiflart gives many 
inftances of officers entering into feparate and perfonal combat to difpure the beauty 
of their refpective miftrefles. Hifl. 1. ii. ch. 33, 4.3. On this occafion an ingenious 
French writer obierves, that Homer's heroes of ancient Greece are juft as extrava- 
gant : who, in the heat of the fight, often flop on a fudden, to give an account of the 
genealogy of themfelves or their horfes. Mem. anc. Che'val. ubi fupr. Sir Walter 
Manny, in 1343, in attacking the caftle of Guigard, exclaims, " Let me never be 
beloved of my miftrefs, if I refufe this attack," &c. Froiflait, i. 8 1 . 

1 Froiflart, i. c. 80. Du Chefne, p. 656. Mezeray, ii. j, p. iy,feq. 

2 Walfmg. Tpodigm. 121, Hi/}. 159. 3 A.D. 1300, Edw. I. an. 28, cap. xx. 
4 Anderfon, Hiji. Comm. \. p. 141. 5 Ann. 37 Edw. III. cap. viii.y^. 

6 This fpirit of fplendour and gallantry was continued in the reign of his fucceflbr. 
See the genius of that reign admirably characterized, and by the hand of a mafter, 
in Bifhop Lowth's Life of Wykeham> p. 222. See alib Holinfh. Chron. fub ann. 
*399 P- 5 8 , co1 - i. 



s. 7. Richard Rolle of Hampole. 239 

if we previoufly difplay the merits of two or three poets, who 
appeared in the former part of the reign of Edward III., with other 
incidental matters. 

The firft of thefe is Richard [Rolle, of] Hampole, [near Don- 
cafter, commonly called Richard Hampole, who is faid to have been 
a hermit] of the Order of Saint Auguftine. He was a doctor of 
divinity, and lived a folitary life near the nuns of Hampole, four 
miles from Doncafter in Yorkmire. 1 The neighbourhood of this 
female fociety could not withdraw our reclufe from his devotions 
and his ftudies. He [died] in the year I34Q. 2 His Latin theological 
tracls, both in profe and verfe, in which Leland juftly thinks he has 
difplayed more erudition than eloquence, are numerous. His prin- 
cipal pieces of Englim rhyme are a Paraphrafe of part of the Book of 
Job, of the Lord's Prayer, and of thefeven penitential Pfalms, and the 
Pricke of Conference. But our hermit's poetry, which indeed from 
thefe titles promifes but little entertainment, has no tincture of fenti- 
ment, imagination, or elegance. The following verfes are extracted 
from the Pricke of Confcience^ one of the moft common manufcripts 
in our libraries, and I prophefy that I am its laft tranfcriber. 3 But 
I muft obferve firft that this piece is divided into feven parts. 
I. Of man's nature. II. Of the world. III. Of death. IV. Of 
purgatory. V. Of the day of judgment. VI. Of the torments 
of hell. VII. Of the joys of heaven. 4 



1 Wharton, App. ad Cave, p. 75. Saecul. Wickley. 

9 [Of the Black Death of 1348, no doubt. F. The faa of not finding MSS. 
older than the fourteenth century would feem to fhow that Hampole compiled the 
Pricke of Conscience but a few years before his death (A.D. 1349). Morris.] 

3 [The Pricke of Conscience, notwithftanding Warton's prediction to the contrary, 
has been edited by Richard Morris, 1863, 8vo., his text being chiefly taken from 
Cotton. MS. Galba, E. ix. ; an imperfect copy of the poem in Canterbury cathedral 
library exhibits, I am informed by Mr. Furnivall, dialectic changes, as ho for <wha, 
to for till,fchal forfal, &c. The enfuing extracts are from edit. Morris, pp. 11-12. 
In the Archaeologia,\Q\. xix. pp. 314-335,410. 1821, is a long analyfis of Hampole's 
poem, by Mr. J. B. Yates, illuftrated by extracts j in which the writer advocates 
with very doubtful fuccefs the poetical talent of the reclufe againft the opinion of 
Warton. But it is fomewhat remarkable, that previous to the publication of Mr. 
Yates's paper, a pamphlet of limited circulation (only fifty copies having been printed), 
written by W. J. Walter, appeared, 8vo. London, 1816, pp. 17, under the title of 
An Account of a MS. of ancient Englijh Poetry, entitled Claris Scientist, or Bretayne's 
Skyll-kay of Knanving, by John de Dageby, monk of Fountains Abbey. This MS. 
in reality, is only one of the numerous copies exifting of Hampole's Pricke of 
Conference, fomewhat altered and abbreviated, with fome lines added at the conclu- 
fion by the fcribe John de Dageby, whofe name appears in the colophon. Mr. 
Walter gives a copious analyfis of the work} and, like his fucceflbr Mr. Yates, is 
inclined to place the author much higher in the fcale of poets than Warton's critique 
would juftify. Madden. The MS. was fubfequently fold to the Britifh Mufeum.] 

4 Stimulus Confcientiae thys boke ys namyd. MS. Afhmol. fol. No. 41. There 
is much tranfpofition in this copy. In MS. Digb. Bodl. 87, it is called The Key 
of knoiving. Princ. 

" The mi$t of the fader admiti 
The wifdom of the fone al witti." 
[Mr. Corfer's MS. adds an eighth part of the ftate of the world after doomfday; it 



240 Hampoles Pricke of Confcience. 8.7. 

Here bygynnes the firft part 

That es of mans wrechednes. 

Firft whan God made al thyng of noght, 

Of the fouleft matere man he wroght 

That was of erthe ; for twa fkyls to halde j 

The tane es forthy that God walde 

Of foul matere, mak man in defpite 

Of Lucifer that fel als tyte 

Til helle, als he had fynned thurgh pryde, 

And of alle that with him fel that tyde ; 

For thai fuld have than the mare fhenfhepe, 

And the mare forow when thai tuk kepe, 

That men of fwa foul matere fuld duelle 

In that place fra whilk thai felle. 

The ather fldlle es this to fej 

For man fuld here the meker be 

Ay, when he fefe and thynkes in thoght, 

Of how foul mater he is wroght j 

For God, thurgh his gudnes and his myght, 

Wold, that then that place in heven bright 

Was made voyde thurgh the iyn of pryde, 

It war filled ogayne on ilka fyde 

Thurgh the vertu of mekenes, 

That euen contrary til pride es ; 

Than may na man thider come 

Bot he that meke es, and boghfome j 

That proves the gofpelle that fays us, 

How God fayd till his difciples thus : 

Nifi efficiamlm ficut parvulus y non intrabltls in regnum celorum. 

Bot yhe, he fayde, be als a childe, 
That es to fay, bathe meke and mylde, 
Yhe fal noght entre, be na way 
Hevenryke that fal laft ay, &c. 

In the Bodleian library I find three copies of the Pricke of Con- 
ference very different from that which I have juft cited. In thefe 
this poem is given to Robert Grofletefte, bifhop of Lincoln, above 
mentioned. 1 With what probability, [we need not] inquire ; but I 
haften to give a fpecimen. I will premife, that the language and 
handwriting are of confiderable antiquity, and that the lines are 
here much longer. The poet is defcribing the future rewards and 
punimments of mankind :* 

The goode foule fchal have in his herynge 
Gret joye in hevene and grete lykynge : 



is the end of the fifth in edit. Morris, with additions. F. But all thefe texts are 
decidedly very inferior to the MS. in the Northern dialeft fele&ed by Dr. Morris.] 
1 Compare Tanner, Bibl. p. 375, col. i, and p. 3 74,. col. i, notes. MSS. Am. 
52, pergamen. 410. Laud. K. 65, pergamen. And G. ai. And MSS. Digb. 14 
[and 87. The former begins :] 

" The mi^t of the fader of hevene 

The wit of his fon with his giftes fevene." 

[Other copies are in Royal MS. Br. Mus. 18 A v; Harl. MS. 2261 j Add. MS. 
11,305. See MS. Afhmol. 60 (Catalogue, p. 306, col. i),and MSS. 41 and 52. F.] 



s. 7- Further Specimens. 241 

For hi fchulleth yhere the aungeles fong, 

And with hem hi fchulleth l fynge ever among, 

With delitable voys and fwythe clere, 

And alfo with that hi ichullen have [there] 

All other maner of ech a melodye, 

Off well lykyng noyfe and menftralfye, 

And of al maner tenes 2 of mufike, 

The whuche to mannes herte 3 migte like, 

Withoute eni maner of travayle, 

The whuche fchal never cefle ne fayle : 

And fo fchil 4 fchal that noyfe bi, and fo fwete, 

And fo delitable to fmale and to grete, 

That al the melodye of this worlde heer 

That ever was yhuryd ferre or neer 

Were therto bote 5 as forwe 6 and care 

To the blifle that is in hevene well zare. 7 

Of the contrarie of that bliffe. 

Wei grete forwe fchal the fynfolke 8 bytyde, 

For he fchullen yhere in ech a fyde 9 

Well gret noyfe that the feondes 10 willen make, 

As thei al the worlde fcholde alto fchake ; 

And alle the men lyvynge that migte hit yhure, 

Scholde here wit 11 loofe, and no lengere alyve dure. 12 

Thanne hi 13 fchulleth for forwe here hondes wringe, 

And ever weilaway hi fchullethe be cryinge, &c. 

The gode men fchullethe have worfchipes grete, 

And eche of them fchal be yfet in a riche fete, 

And ther as kynges be ycrownid fayre, 

And digte with riche perrie 14 and fo yfetun 15 in a chayre, 

And with ftones of vertu and precioufe of choyfe, 

As David [thus fayth 16 ] to god with a mylde voyfe, 

Po/uiJ}i, domine^fuper caput eorum, &c. 
" Lorde," he feyth, " on his heved thou fetteft wel arigt 
A coronne of a pretious fton richeliche ydigt." 
[Ac 17 ] fo fayre a coronne nas never non yfene, 
In this worlde on kynges hevede, 18 ne on quene : 
For this coronne is the coronne of blifle, 
And the fton is joye whereof hi fchilleth never mifle, &c. 
The fynfolke fchulleth, as I have afore ytold, 
Ffele outrageous hete, and afterwards to muche colde ; 
For now he fchullethe freofe, and now brenne, 19 
And fo be ypyned that non fchal other kenne, so 
And alfo be ybyte with dragonnes felle and kene, 
The whuche fchulleth hem deftrye outrigte and clene, 
And with other vermyn and beftes felle. 
The whiche beothe nougt but fendes of helle, &c. 

We have then this defcription of the New Jerufalem : 



[' Not Hampole's verfign ; I cannot find this in edit. Morris. See it, flightly 
altered, in Add. MS. 11,305, leaf 119, verTo.] 

2 tunes. 3 beorte. W. 4 fhrill. 5 but. 

6 forrow. 7 prepared. 8 finners. 9 either fide. 

10 devils. fenfes. 12 remain. 13 they. 

14 precious ftones. 15 feated. 16 thy faid. W. > 7 and. W. 

18 Head. 19 This is the Hell of the monks, which Milton has adopted. 

20 know. 

II. R 



242 The Poem a Tr (inflation. s. 7. 

This citie is yfet on an hei hille, 

That no fynt'ul man may therto tille : ! 

The whuche ich likne to beril clene, 

[Ac 2 ] fo fayr berel may non be yfene. 

Thulke hyl is nougt elles to underftondynge 

Bote holi thugt, and defyr brennynge, 

The whuche holi men hadde heer to that place, 

Whiles hi hadde on eorthe here lyves fpace j 

And I likne, as ymay ymagene in my thougt, 

The walles of hevene, to walles that were ywrougt 

Of all maner precioufe ftones yfet yfere, 3 

And yfemented with gold brigt and clere ; 

Bot fo brigt gold, ne non fo clene, 

Was in this worlde never yfene, &c. 

The wardes of the cite of hevene brigt 

I likne to wardes that wel were ydygt, 

And clenly ywrougt and fotely enteyled, 

And on filver and gold clenly anamayled, 4 &c. 

The torettes 5 of hevene grete and fmale 

I likne to the torrettes of clene criftale, &c. 

I am not, in the mean time, quite convinced that any MS. of the 
Prlcke of Conference in Englifti belongs to Hampole. That this piece 
is a tranflation from the Latin appears from thefe verfes : 

Therefore this boke is in Englis drawe 
Of fele 6 matters that bene unknawe 
To lewed men that are unkonande, 7 
That con no latyn undirftonde. 8 



1 come. 2 and. W. 3 together. * aumayled. 

5 turrets. 6 many. 7 ignorant. 

8 MSS. Digb. utfupr. 87, ad princip. [Mr. Ritfon conceived this paflage " by 
no means conclufive of a Latin original," and inferred that it might ** be nothing 
more than [Ham pole's] reafon for preferring Englifh to Latin." Lydgate, how- 
ever, confidered Hampole as a tranflator only : 

" In perfit living which pafleth poyfie 

Richard hermite contemplative of fentence 

Drougk in Englifhe, the Pricke of Confcience." Bochas, f. 217, b. 
And this opinion is confirmed by the exprefs acknowledgment of the King's MS. 

" Now have I firfte as I undertoke 

Fulfilled the fevene materes of this boke, 

And oute of Latyn I have hem idrawe, 

The whiche to fom man is unknawe, 

And namely to lewed men of Yngelonde 

That konneth no thinge but Englifhe undirftonde. 

And therfor this tretys oute drawe I ivolde 

In Englifshe that men undirftonde hit fholde, 

And prikke of confcience is this tretys yhote, &c. 

For the love of our Lord Jefu Chrift now 

Praieth fpecially for hym that hit oute drow, 

And alfo for hym that this boke hath iwrite here, 

Whether he be in water, other in londe ferre or nere." 

Indeed it would be difficult to account for the exiftence of two Englifh verfions, 
eflentially differing in metre and language ; though generally agreeing in matter, 
unlefs we aflame a common Latin original. Which of thefe is Hampole's tranfla- 
tion, can only be decided by infpe&ing a copy once in the pofleflion of Dr. Monro ; 
and which Hampole " left to the fociety of Friers-minors at York, after his and his 
brother's death." No manufcript, which has fallen under the Editor's notice, 



s. 7. The Poem a Tr (inflation. 243 

The Latin original in profe, entitled Stimulus Confcientite^ was 
moft probably written by Hampole : and it is not very likely that he 
fhould tranflate his own work. The author and tranflator were 
eafily confounded. As to the copy of the Englifh poem given to 
Bifhop Grofetefte, he could not be the tranflator, to fay nothing 
more, if Hampole wrote the Latin original. On the whole, whoever 
was the author of the two tranflations, at leaft we may pronounce 
with fome certainty, that they belong to the reign of Edward III. 

makes mention of Hampole in the text ; nor has he been able to difcover any 
fhadow of authority for attributing to this fainted bard, the pieces numbered from 
6 to 1 6 in Mr. Ritfon's Bibliographia Poetica. Price.] 

1 In the Cambridge MS. of Hampole's Paraphrafe on the Lord's Prayer, above 
mentioned, containing a prolix defcription of human virtues and vices, at the end 
this remark appears. " Explicit quidam traclatus fuper Pater nofter fecundum Ric. 
Hampole qui obiit A.D. MCCCLXXXIV." [But the true date of his death is in 
another place, viz. 1349.] MSS. More, 215, Princ. 
" Almighty God in trinite 
In whom is only perfonnes thre." 

The Paraphrafe on the Book of Job, mentioned alfo before, feems to have exifted 
firft in Latin profe under the title of Parvum Job. The Englifh begins thus : 

" Lieff lord my foul thou fpare." 

In Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Laud. F 77. 5, &c. &c. It is a paraphrafe of fome Excerpta 
from the book of Job. Thefeven penitential Pfalms begin thus : 

" To goddis worfchippe that dere us bougt." 

MSS. Bodl. Digb, 18. Hampole's Expojitio in Pfalterium is not uncommon in 
Englifh. [Copies are in Corpus Chrifti College, Cambridge, and at Eton Col- 
lege. F.J It has a preface in Englifh rhymes in fome copies, in praife of the 
author and his work.^ Pr. " This bleflyd boke that hire." MSS. Laud. F i4,&c. 
Hampole was a very popular writer. Moft of his many theological pieces feem to 
have been tranflated into Englifh foon after they appeared : and thofe pieces abound 
among our MSS. Two of his tra6h were tranflated by Richard Mifyn, prior of 
the Carmelites at Lincoln, about the year 1435. The Incendium Amoris at the 
requeft of Margaret Hellingdon a reclufe. Princ. " To the afkynge of thi defire." 
And De Emendatione Vita. " Tarry thou not to cure." They are in the tranf- 
lator's own handwriting in the library of C.C.C. Oxon. MSS. 237. I find other 
ancient tranflations of both thefe pieces. Particularly, the Pricke of Love after 
Richard Hampol treting of the three degrees of love. MSS. Bodl. Arch. B. 65, 
f. 109. As a proof of the confufions and uncertainties attending the works of our 
author, I muft add, that we have a tranflation of his tra6l De Emendatione under 
this title : The form of perfyt living, which holy Richard the hermit wrote to a 
reclufe named Margarete. MS. Vernon. But Margarete is evidently the reclufe, 
at whofe requeft Richard Mifyn, many years after Hampole's death, tranflated the 
Incendium Amoris. Thefe obfervations, to which others might be added, are fuf- 
ficient to confirm the fufpicions infinuated in the text. Many of Hampole's Latin 
theological trafts were printed very early at Paris and Cologne. 

[In 1866, Mr. Perry edited fome of his Englifh Profe Treatifes for the Early 
Englifh Text Society. See Mr. Perry's Preface.] 




244 William Langland. His great Poem. s. 8. 



SECTION VIII. 1 

N this feHon we fhall proceed to give fome account of 
the poem which is commonly called the Vlfion of Piers 
the Plowman, with feveral extracts from the beft edition. 
The remarks of our earlier antiquaries upon the fubjedt: 
are frequently miileading ; and in the following fketch 
the reader's attention will often be moft invited to thofe points on 
which preceding writers have gone moft widely aftray. 

The title of the poem has been conftantly mifunderftood. In the 
MSS. it is Dialogue de Petro Plowman, and is divided into two 
fe&ions ; the former being Vifio Willelml de Petro Plowman, and the 
latter Vlfio ejufdem [or Vita'} de Dowel, Dobet, et Dobeji ; from which 
it follows that the author's name was William, and that " Piers 
Plowman" is the fubje6l of the poem. Yet it is quite ufual, in 
nearly all text books, to fpeak of Piers Plowman 1 s Vijlon as though 
Piers Plowman were the author's name ! But this miftake is made 
even by Spenfer, in his epilogue to the Shepheard's Calendar, where 
he alludes to Chaucer under the name of Tityrus, and next fpeaks 
of u the Pilgrim that the Ploughman playde awhyle." Let it be noted 
that the term " Piers Plowman's Vifion " is fheer nonfenfe, becaufe 
the words " of Piers the Plowman " mean " concerning Piers the 
Plowman," of not being here the fign of a pofleffive cafe. 

This blunder is frequently doubled by confuting the " VISION" 
with an imitation of it by another author, which will be confidered 
in the next fe&ion. 

The name of the author of the VISION is not certainly known, 
but all accounts agree in giving him the name of LANGLAND, whilft 
numerous allufions in the poem concur with the Latin title in 
affigning to him the Chriftian name of WILLIAM. There are two 
notices of him, in handwriting of the fifteenth century. The one, 
difcovered on the flyleaf of a MS. of the poem in Trinity College, 
Dublin, by Sir F. Madden, is as follows, "Memorandum, quod 
Stacy de Rokayle, pater Willlelml de Langlond, qui Stacius fuit 
generofus, et morabatur in Schipton vnder Whicwode [about 4 miles 
from Burford, co. Oxford] tenens domini le Spenfer in comitatu 
Oxon. qui predi&us Willielmus fecit librum qui vocatur Perys 
Ploughman." The other is on the flyleaf of a MS. (numbered cxxx) 
now in the poflefiion of Lord Afhburnham, which fays " Robert 
or william langland made pers ploughman 5" beneath which is added, 
in the handwriting of John Bale " Robert Langlande, natus in 
comitatu Salopie in villa Mortimers Clybery in the Clayland and 
within viij miles of Malvern hills, fcripfit piers ploughman," &c. 

f 1 Communicated by th Rev. W. W. Skeat, whofe text and remarks have 
been for the moft part iubftituted for thofe of Warton and his earlier editors.] 



s. 8. " The Vifwn of William:' 245 

It has commonly been afTumed that we know very little more 
about the author than this ; but the internal evidence of his poem 
really reveals much more, quite enough, in fa<St, to give us a clear 
conception of him. But it is necefTary firft to give fome account of 
the poem itfelf, and to correct the common notion which affigns to 
it the date 1362, as if it were molt of it written all at once. 

The poem aflumes at leaft five fhapes in the various MSS., of 
which more than forty are ftill extant. Two of thefe are due to 
errors of copyifts, but it is clear that three of thefe forms are due 
to the author himfelf, and that he rewrote his poem, not once only, 
but twice, and that rather long intervals intervened between the 
firft and fecond, and between the fecond and third, verfions. 

(A). The/r/? verfion, which is by much the fhorteft, and written 
with great rapidity and vigour, confifts of a prologue and twelve 
Paflus. It may be called the A-text, or the " Vernon" text, as the 
beft copy of it exifts in the Vernon MS. in the Bodleian library, and 
it has been publifhed by the Early Englifh Text Society, with the 
title " The Vifion of William concerning Piers \the\ Plowman, 
together with Vita de Dowel, Dobet^ et Dobeft,fecundum Wit et Refoun, 
by Wihiam Langland, A. D. I362." 1 None of thefe MSS. contains 
the twelfth Paflus, except the Univerfity Coll. MS., which preferves 
only eighteen lines of it ; but there is one complete copy in the 
Bodleian library, viz. MS. Rawl. Poet. 137, in which the twelfth 
Paflus begins at fol. 40. The date 1362 was fuggefted by Tyrwhitt, 
who obferved with great fagacity and juftice, that the " Southweftern 
wind on a Saturday at even," which the author refers to as a recent 
event, was certainly the terrible ftorm of Saturday, Jan. 15, 1361-2, 
which is noticed by many writers, and in particular, is thus recorded 
by Thorn, apud Decem Scriptores : u A. D. MCCCLXII. 15 die 
Januarii, circa horam vefperarum, ventus vehemens notus auftralis 
Africus tanta rabie erupit," &c. 2 Mention is made in the fame 
paflage of the poem (p. 52) of " thefe peftilences," /. e. the peftilences 
of 1348-1349, and 1361-1362. This verfion confifts of about 
2567 lines. 

(B). Not forefeeing the popularity which his poem was deftined 
to enjoy, the author reforted to the not uncommon device of killing 
himfelf off, in the concluding lines of the earlieft veriion, where he 
fays : 

" Wille 3 wifte thurgh inwit 4 thou woft wel the fothe, 
That this fpeche was fpedelich and fped him wel fafte, 
And wroughthe that here is wry ten 5 and other werkes bothe 

1 [Edited from the "Vernon" MS., collated with MS. R. 3. 14 in the library of 
Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. Harl. 875 and 6041, the MS. in Univerfity 
College, Oxford, MS. Douce, 323, &c. : by the Rev. W. W. Skeatj London, 
1867.] 

2 [Cf. Walfingham, ed. H. T. Riley, vol. i. p. 296, Fabyan's Chronicle, ed. 
Ellis, p. 475, Hardyng's Chronicle, ed. Ellis, p. 330.] 

3 [i.e. William, the author himfelf.] 4 [confcience.] 

5 [*.*. the Vifion of Do-wel 5 the "other werkes" refer to th< 
the Plowman, properly fo called.] 



246 The Period of the Competition fixed. s. 8. 

Of peres the plowman ' and mechel puple 1 alfo ; 

And whan this werk was wrought ere wille 2 myghte afpie, 

Deth delt him a dent 3 and drof him to the erthe, 

And [he] is clofed vnder clom 4 crift haue his foule !" 

And fo the matter refted for nearly fifteen years. But the grief of 
the whole nation at the death of the Black Prince, the difquieting 
political events of 1377, the laft year of Edward III., the diflatisfac- 
tion of the commons with the conduct of the Duke of Lancafter, 
roufed our poet, as it roufed other men. Then it was that, taking his 
text from Ecclefiafticus, x. 16, Va terrce ubi rex puer efl^ he compofed 
his famous verfion of the well-known fable of the rats wifhing to bell 
the cat, a fable which has never been elfewhere told fo well or fo 
effectively. Then it was that, taking advantage of his now more ex- 
tenfive acquaintance with Scripture, and his familiarity with the 
daily fcenes of London life, he rewrote and added to his poem till he 
had trebled the extent of it, and multiplied the number of his Latin 
quotations by feven. The additions are, moft of them, exceedingly 
good, and diftinguifhed by great freedom and originality of thought ; 
indeed, we may fay that, upon the whole, the u B-text " is the beft 
of the three, and the beft fuited for giving us a fair idea of the 
author's peculiar powers. The complete text comprifes the two 
Vifions, viz. of Piers Plowman, and of Do-wel, Do-bet, and Do- 
beft ; the former confiding of a Prologue and feven Paflus, and the 
latter of three Prologues and ten PafTus, viz. a Prologue and fix 
Paflus of Do-wel, a Prologue and three Paflus of Do-bet, and a Pro- 
logue and i Paflus of Do-beft. But in many (perhaps all) of the 
MSS. the diftinHons between the component parts are not much 
regarded, and in fome there is no mention of Do-wel, Do-bet, and 
Do-beft whatever, but the whole is called Liber (or Dialogus] de petro 
plowman^ and made to confift of a Prologue and twenty Paflus. Not 
to go into further details, it is neceflary to add that there are two 
perfect MSS. of it which are of fpecial excellence, and which do not 
greatly vary from each other ; from one of thefe, MS. Trin. Coll. 
Camb. B. 15, 17, Mr. Wright printed his well-known and conve- 
nient edition of the whole poem, and the other, MS. Laud 581, 
forms the bafis of the text publimed by the Early Englifh Text Soci- 
ety in 1869. Other good MSS. of this verfion are Rawl. Poet. 38 
(which contains fome extra lines), MS. Dd. i. 17, in the Cambridge 
Univerfity library, MS. 79 in Oriel College, Oxford, &c. 

The B-text was alfo printed by Robert Crowley, in 1550, from a 
very good MS. Indeed, Crowley printed three impreflions of it in 
the fame year, the firft and fcarceft being the moft correct, and the 
third (called " fecond " impreflion on the title-page) being the worft. 
Crowley's edition was very incorre6Uy reprinted by Owen Rogers 
in 1561. 

The third verfion was probably not compofed till 1380 or even 
later, or, ftill more probably, it contains additions and revifions made 

1 [much people.] 2 [/'. e. William, the author himfelf.] 

3 [dint, blow.] 4 [loam, clay.] 



s. 8. The A, B, and C Texts. 247 

at various periods later than 1378. Throughout thefe the working 
of the fame mind is .clearly difcernible, but there is a tendency to 
diffufenefs and to a love for theological fubtleties. It is of ftill 
greater length, containing a Prologue and nine Paffus of Piers the 
Plowman^ a Prologue and fix PafTus of Do-wel, a Prologue and 
three Paflus of Do-bet , and a Prologue and one PafTus of Do-beft ; 
or, according to the fhorter notation, a Prologue and twenty-two 
Paffus. It may be remarked that the fhort poem of Do-beft ftands 
almoft exactly the fame in both the B and C verfions. 

An edition of this text was printed (very incorre&ly) by Dr. 
Whitaker, in 1813, from a MS. now belonging to Sir Thomas 
Phillipps. 1 

We may fafely date the A-text about A.D. 1362, the B-text about 
A.D. 1377, and the C-text about A.D. 1380. To affume the date 
1362 for all three is to introduce unneceflary confufion. 

Befides this extraordinary work, with its three varying editions, I 
hold that we are indebted to the fame author for a remarkable poem 
on the Depofition of Richard II. of courfe written in 1399, and which 
has been twice printed by Mr. Wright,the more convenient edition 
being that publifhed for the Camden Society in 1838. This is not 
the place to difcufs a queftion of fome difficulty, and concerning 
which a careful reader may form an opinion for himfelf, and can 
come, I think, to no other conclufion. It is true that Mr. Wright 
has exprefled a different opinion, but he was mifled by a marginal 
note in his MS. to which he attached fome importance. 2 

Returning to the author, we may now piece together the follow- 
ing account of him, which is probably true, and, at any rate, refts 
chiefly upon his own ftatements. At the time of writing the B-text 
of Do-wel^ he was forty-five years of age, and he was therefore born 

1 [For further information concerning the MSS. fee the prefaces to the Early 
Englifti Text Society's edition, and a pamphlet alfo publifhed by the fame fociety, 
with the title " Parallel Extrads from twenty-nine MSS. of Piers Plowman,' 1 &c. : 
ed. Skeat, 1866.] 

For general remarks upon the poem, fee the fame prefaces ; Mr. Wright's pre- 
face to his edition of 1842, reprinted in 1856 ; Profeflbr Morley's Englifh Writers t 
vol. i. : MarftVs LeBures on the Origin and Hiftory of the Englifh Language ', 8vo., 
1862, p. 296, &c. ; and a fine paffage in Dean Milman's Hijiorj of Latin Chrif- 
tianity,\o\. vi. p. 536, ed. 1855. Refpe6ling Whitaker's edit. 1813, to extracts 
from which the former editors of Warton very ufelefsly, as the prefent writer thinks, 
devoted feveral pages, Mr. Wright has obferved : '* Dr. Whittaker was not well 
qualified for this undertaking; he alfo laboured under many d ifad vantages ; he had 
accefs to only three manufcripts, and thofe not very good onesj and he has not 
chofen the beft text even of thefe. Unlefs he had ibme reafon to believe that the 
book was originally written in a particular dialecl, he ought to have given a 
preference to that among the oldeft manufcripts, which prefents the pureft 
language."] 

2 [See his edition (Camd. Soc.) p. vi., where " liber hie " mould have been printed 
"liber homo," an error which vitiates the whole [argument. The unique copy of 
this poem is found in MS. LI. 4. 14. in the Cambridge Univerfity library, where 
it follows a copy of Piers the Plowman, and is in the fame handwriting with it, 
though that ot courfe proves but little. I argue from internal evidence, of which 
I can adduce a great deal.] 



248 Short Sketch of the Author s s. 8. 

about A.D. 1332, probably at Cleobury Mortimer. His father and 
his friends put him to fchool (poffibly in the monaftery at Great 
Malvern), made a clerk or fcholar of him, and taught him what 
holy writ meant. In 1362, at the age of about thirty, he wrote the 
A-text of the poem, without any thought of continuing or enlarging 
it. In this he refers to Edward III. and his fon the Black Prince, 
to the murder of Edward II., to the great peftilences of 1348 and 
1361, to the treaty of Bretigny in 1360, and Edward's wars in Nor- 
mandy, and alfo moft particularly to the great ftorm of wind which 
took place on Saturday evening, Jan. I5th, 1361-2. l This verfion 
of the poem he defcribes as having been partly compofed in May, 
whilft wandering on Malvern Hills, which are thrice mentioned in 
the part rightly called Piers the Plowman. In the introduction or 
prologue to Do-wel, he defcribes himfelf as wandering about all the 
fummer till he met with two Minorite Friars, with whom he dif- 
courfed concerning Do-wel. It was probably not long after this 
that he went to refide in London, with which he already had fome 
acquaintance ; there he lived in Cornhill, with his wife Kitte and 
his daughter Calote, for many long years. 2 In 1377, he began to 
expand his poem into the B-text, wherein he alludes to the acceffion 
of Richard II. in the words " jif I regne any while, 7 ' 3 and alfo 
explicitly to the dearth in the dry month of April, 1370, when 
Chichefter was mayor ; a dearth due to the excellive rains in the 
autumn of 1369. Chichefter was elected in 1369 (probably in 
October) and was ftill mayor in 1370. In Riley's Memorials of 
London^ p. 344, he is mentioned as being mayor in that very month 
of April in that very year in the words "Afterwards, on the 25th 
day of April in the year above-mentioned, it was agreed by John de 
Chicheftre, Mayor," &c. It is important to infift upon this, becaufe 
the MS. followed by Mr. Wright, in company with many inferior 
ones, has a corrupt reading which turns the words "A poufand and 
thre hondreth tweis tbretty and ten" into "twice twenty and ten," 
occafioning a great difficulty, and mifleading many modern writers 
and readers, fince the fame miftake occurs in Crowley's edition. 
Fortunately, the Laud MS. 581 and MS. Rawl. Poet. 38 fet us right 
here, and all difficulty now vanifhes ; for it is eafily afcertained that 
Chichefter was mayor in 1369-70, and at no other time, having 
never been re-elected. Stow and other old writers have the right 
date. In the C-text, written at fome time after 1378, the poet 
reprefents himfelf as ftill in London, and in the commencement of 
PafFus v. (alfo called Paffus vi, as in Whitaker) gives us feveral 
particulars concerning himfelf, wherein he alludes to his own tall- 
nefs, faying that he is too "long" to ftoop low, and he has alfo 
fome remarks concerning the fons of freemen which imply that he 



1 [That is, the year 1362, which was formerly called 1361, when the year was 
fuppofed not to begin till March. See, for thefe alJufions, B-text, Pafs. iii. 186, 
1 88 ; iv. 45 ; and v. 14..] 

[C-Text, Pals. v.J 3 [B. iv. 177.] 



s. 8. Career and Character. 249 

was himfelf the fon of a franklin or freeman, and born in lawful 
wedlock. He wore the clerical tonfure, probably as having taken 
minor orders, and earned a precarious living by iinging the placebo^ 
dlrige^ and u feven pfalms " for the good of men's fouls ; for, ever 
fmce his friends died who had firft put him to fchool, he had found 
no kind of life that pleafed him except to be in "thefe long clothes," 
and by help of fuch (clerical) labour as he had been bred up to he 
contrived not only to live " in London, but upon London " alfo. 
The fuppofition that he was married (as he fays he was) may, per- 
haps explain why he never rofe in the church. He has many allu- 
fions to his extreme poverty. Laftly, in the depofition of Richard 
II. he defcribes himfelf as being in Briftol in the year 1399, when 
he wrote his laft poem. This poem is but fhort, and in the only 
MS. wherein it exifts, terminates abruptly in the middle of a page, 
and it is quite poffible that it was never finimed. This is the laft 
trace of him, and he was then probably about fixty-feven years of 
age, fo that he may not have long furvived the acceffion of Henry 
IV. In perfonal appearance, he was fo tall that he obtained the 
nickname of " Longe Wille," as he tells us in the line : 

" I have lyued in londe," quod I "my name is Longe wille." 1 
This nickname may be paralleled from Mr. Riley's Memorials of 
London^ p. 457, where we read of John Edward, " otherwife called 
Longe Jack," under the date 1382. In Paflus xv (B-text) he fays 
that he was loath to reverence lords or ladies, or perfons drefled in 
fur, or wearing filver ornaments ; he never would fay u God fave 
you " to ferjeants whom he met, for all of which proud behaviour, 
then very uncommon, people looked upon him as a fool. It requires 
no great ftretch of imagination to piclure to ourfelves the tall gaunt 
figure of Long Will in his long robes and with his {haven head, 
ftriding along Cornhill, faluting no man by the way, minutely obfer- 
vant of the gay drefles to which he paid no outward reverence. It 
ought alfo to be obferved how very frequent are his allufions to 
lawyers, to the law-courts at Weftminfter, and to legal procefles. 
He has a mock-charter, beginning with the ordinary formula Sciant 
prcefentes et futuri, a form of making a will, and in one paflage (B- 
text, Pafs. xi.) he ipeaks with fuch fcorn of a man who draws up a 
charter badly, who interlines it, or leaves out fentences, or puts falfe 
Latin in it, that I think we may fairly fuppofe him to have been 
converfant with the writing out of legal documents, and to have 
eked out his fubfiftence by the fmall fums received for doing fo. 
The various texts are fo confiftent, that we may well fuppofe him 
to have been his own fcribe in the firft inftance. Indeed, there are 
fome reafons for fuppofing the MS. Laud Mijc. 581 to be an 
autograph copy. 

Wood confufes Langland with John Maluerne, a continuation of 

1 [See Wright's edition, p. 304, where "quod /" is printed "quod he" an error 
which a collation of many MSS. has removed. It is very curious that the words 
londe, longe, and luille in this line form Wille Longdonde when read backwards.] 



250 Character and Scope of the Poem. s. 8. 

the Polychronicon^ who is faid to have been a fellow of Oriel, and 
was certainly a prior of the Benedictine monaftery at Worcefter. 

The poem itfelf contains a feries of diftincl: vifions, which the 
author imagines himfelf to have feen, while he was fleeping, after a 
long ramble on Malverne-hiils in Worceftermire. It is a fatire on 
the vices of almoft every profeffion ; but particularly on the corrup- 
tions of the clergy, and the abfurdities of fuperftition. Thefe are 
ridiculed with much humour and fpirit, couched under a ftrong vein 
of allegorical invention. 

But it is untrue that Langland adopts the ftyle of the Anglo-Saxon 
poets, as has been well fhown by Mr. Marm who, in the patfage 
already referred to, thus refutes this notion : 

" The Vifion of the Ploughman furnifhes abundant evidence of 
the familiarity of its author with the Latin Scriptures, the writings 
of the fathers, and the commentaries of Romifh expofitors, but ex- 
hibits very few traces of a knowledge of romance literature. Still 
the proportion of Norman-French words, or at leaft of words which, 
though of Latin origin, are French in form, is quite as great as in 
the works of Chaucer. 1 The familiar ufe of this mixed vocabulary, 
in a poem evidently intended for the popular ear, and compofed by a 
writer who gives no other evidence of an acquaintance with the lite- 
rature of France, would, were other proof wanting, tend ftrongly to 
confirm the opinion I have before advanced, that a large infuiion of 
French words had been not merely introduced into the literature, 
but incorporated into the common language of England ; and that 
only a very fmall proportion of thofe employed by the poets were 
firft introduced by them. 

" The poem, if not altogether original in conception, is abun- 
dantly fo in treatment. The fpirit it breathes, its imagery, the turn 
of thought, the ftyle of illuftration and argument it employs, are as 
remote as pojjlble from the tone of Anglo-Saxon poetry , but exhibit the 
chara&eriftic moral and mental traits of the Englifhman as clearly 
and unequivocally as the moft national portions of the works of 
Chaucer or of any other native writer." 

The whole poem is in alliterative verfe, not becaufe Langland 
wimed here again to "imitate the Anglo-Saxon ftyle/* but becaufe 
that rhythm was more thoroughly Englim than any other kind, and 
familiar to moft Englifhmen, efpecially in the northern and weftern 
parts. Neither did the neceflity of finding fimilar initial letters 
cramp his expreflion, as Warton intimated ; for it is clear that 
Langland was often carelefs about his alliteration, and wrote with 
great eafe, facrificing found to fenfe in every cafe of perplexity. It 
ought further to be noticed that the poem is fomething more than 
a fatire ; the author, dreaming like another Bunyan, fees his ideal 
type of excellence in the fhape of Piers the Ploughman, and his chief 



1 [The Prologue to Piers the Plowman and the firft 420 lines of Chaucer's Pro- 
logue alike contain 88 per cent, of Anglo-Saxon words. See Marfti, Leflures on 
Englifli; ist Series, p. 124.] 



s. 8. The Metre of the Poem. 251 

aim is to develop the whole hiftory of the religious life of man, fo 
that Piers anfwers in fome fenfe to Banyan's " Chriftian," though 
he is ftill more like " Greatheart." In fact, Piers is fpoken of under 
feveral afpects. At one time he is the honeft and utterly truthful 
labourer, whofe ftrong common fenfe can give good advice to his 
betters ; at another, he is identified with the human nature of Chrift ; 
and again, he reprefents the whole Chriftian church in its primitive 
and beft condition. At all times he is the imperfonation of the fpiri- 
tual part of human nature which ever wars againft evil, but which 
can never wholly triumph in this world. Unlefs this be kept in view, 
the poem indeed feems wanting in unity. 

The fatire is conducted by the agency of feveral allegorical per- 
fonages, fuch as Avarice, Bribery, Simony, Theology, Confcience, 
&c. There is much imagination in the following picture, which is 
intended to reprefent human life and its various occupations : 

Thanne gan I to meten a merueiloufe fweuene, 1 
That I was in a wildernefle wilt I neuer where ; 
As I bihelde in-to he eft an hiegh to he fonne, 
I feigh a toure on a toft * trielich ymaked j 
A depe dale binethe a dongeon here-Inne, 
With depe dyches & derke * and dredful of fight. 
A faire felde ful of folke fonde I there bytwene, 
Of alle maner of men he mene and J?e riche, 
Worchyng and wandryng as he worlde afketh. 
Some putten hem to he plow pleyed ful felde, 
In fettyng and in fowyng fwonken ful harde, 
And wonnen that waftours ' with glotonye deftruyeth. 

And fome putten hem to pruyde, &c. 

The following extracts from Paflus viii-x. (Text B.) are not only 
ftriking fpecimens of our author's allegorical fatire, but contain 
much fenfe and obfervation of life, with fome ftrokes of poetry: 

Thus yrobed in ruflet I romed aboute 

Al a fomer fefouw for to feke dowel, 2 

And frayned 3 fill oft of folke hat I mette, 

If ani wijte wifte where dowel was at Inne, 4 

And what man he mi^te be of many man I axed. 

fl" Was neuere wi^te, as I went hat me wifTe couthe 5 

Where J>is lede lenged 6 lafle ne more j 

^T Tyl it bifel on a fryday two freres I mette, 

Maiftres of he Menoures 7 * men of grete witte. 

I hailfed hem hendely 8 as I hadde lerned, 

And preyed hem pr charitee ar hei paffed forther, 

If hei knewe any centre or coftes, as hei went, 

Where hat dowel dwelleth doth me to wytene. 9 

f[ For hei ben men on his molde hat mofte wyde walken, 

And knowen contrees, and courtes * and many kynnes places, 10 

Bothe prynces paleyfes and pore mennes cotes, 

And do-wel and do-yuel ' where hei dwelle bothe. 

^[ " Amonges vs," quod he Menours " hat man is dwejlyng^, 

And euere hath, as I hope and euere ftial here-after." 

1 B-text ; Prol. 11. 1 1 ^ (ed. Skeat). 

"Do-well.] 3 [inquired.] 4 [lived.] 5 [could inform me.] 

lingered, dwelt.] 7 [Friars Minors.] 8 [faluted them civilly.] 
know.] 10 [Places of many a kind 5 /'. e. many forts of places.] 



252 Extracts from the Vi/ion. s. 8, 

^T ' Contra," quod I as a clerke and com fed to difputen, 

And feide hem ibthli, "fepcies ' 'n die cadit iuftus; 

Seuene fythes, 1 feith he boke * fyimeth be ri^tful. 

And who-fo fynneth," I feyde " doth yuel, as me Jrinketh, 

And dowel and do-yuel ' mow nou^t dwelle togideres. 

Ergo, he nys nau^t alway amonge pw freres ; 

He is otherwhile ellis where to wifle he peple." 

fl" " I fhal fey >e, my fone " feide he frere Jeanne, 

" How feuene fithes J>e fad man 2 on he day fynneth ; 

By a forbifene," 3 qod he frere " I fhal he faire fhewe. 

^[ Lat Brynge a man in a bote amydde a brode water, 

pe wynde and he water * and the bote waggynge 

Maketh he man many a tyme to falle and to ftonde ; 

For ftonde he neuere fo ftyf he ftombleth ^if he moeue ; 

Ac ^it is he fauf and founde and fo hym bihoueth, 

For jif he ne arife J?e rather and rau^te to he ftiere ; 

pe wynde wolde, wyth he water * he bote oufrthrowe $ 

And hanne were his lyf lofte hourgh iaccheffe 4 of hym-felf. 

IT And hus it falleth," quod }>e frere "bi folke here on erthe ; 

pe water is likned to he worlde ' hat wanyeth and wexeth, 

pe godis of his grounde aren like to he grete wawes, 

pat as wyndes and wederes * walweth aboute. 

pe bote is likned to owre body hat brutel is of kynde, 

pat horugh he fende and he flefsh* and he frele worlde 

Synneth he fadman ' a day, feuene fythes. 

1T Ac dedly fynne doth he noujt for dowel hym kepith, 

And ]?at is charite }>e champiouw chief help a^ein fynne ; 

For he ftrengtheth man to ftonde * and ftereth mannes foule, 

And J?owgh V\ body bow as bote doth in \>e water, 

Ay is \>\ foule fauf but if j?i-felf wole 

Do a dedly fynne and drenche fo H foule j 

God wole fuffre wel J>i fleuthe ^if H-felf lyketh. 

For he |af J>e to ^eres^yue ' to ^eme wel H-felue, 

And hat is witte and fre wille to eu^ry w y^te a porciou, 

To fleghyng foules to fiffches & to beftes. 

Ac man hath mofte }?erof ' and mofte is to blame, 

But if he worche wel J>er-with as dowel hym techeth." 

^[ tf I haue no kynde knowyng," quod I ' " to conceyue alle |owre wordes, 

Ac if I may lyue and loke * I fhal go lerne bettere." 

" I bikenne J>e cryft, quod he >at on he croffe deyde." 

And I feyde, " he fame faue ^ow fro myfchaunce, 

And ^iue pw grace on HS grounde good men to worthe." 

^[ And J?us I went wide-where walkyng myne one, 

By a wilde wilderneflTe ' and bi a wode-fyde. 

Bliffe of ho briddes abyde me made, 

And vnder a lynde 5 vppon a launde lened I a ftouwde, 6 

To lythe 7 he layes he louely foules made. 

Murthe of her mouthes ' made me here to flepe 5 

pe merueilloufeft meteles mette me 8 hanne 

pat euer dremed wy^te in worlde, as I wene. 

IT A moche man, as me hou|te and lyke to my-felue 

Come and called me by my. kynde 9 name. 

" What artow," quod I ho " hat hou my name knoweft ?" 

" pat hou woft wel," qod he " and no wy^te bettere." 



1 [times.] 2 [fober, good man.] 3 [fimilitude, example.] 

4 [lazinefs.] 5 [lime-tree.] 6 [a while ] 

7 [liften to.] 8 [I dreamed.] 

9 [own; i.e. Chriftian name of" Will."] 



s. 8. ExtraSls from the Vifion. 253 

^| " Wote I what J>ow art ?"' " bought," feyde he ^anne, 

" I haue fuwed 1 \>e pis feuene jere fey K>w me no rather ?" 

1T " Art J>ow thought ?" qod I >o " J>ow coutheft me wiffe 

Where }>at dowel dwelleth and do me )>at to knowe?" 

If *' Dowel and dobet and dobeft >e thridde," 1 qod he, 

" Aren three faire vertues and beth naujte fer to fynde. 

Who-fo is trewe of his tonge and of his two handes, 

And K>rugh his laboure or >orugh his londe his lyflode wynneth, 2 

And is trufti of his tailende 3 taketh but his owne, 

And is nou^t dronkenlew 4 ne dedeignous dowel hym folweth. 

Dobet doth ry^t )>us ac he doth moche more ; 

He is as low as a lombe and loueliche of fpeche, 

And helpeth alle men after )>at hem nedeth ; 

pe bagges and >e bigurdeles he hath to-broken 5 hem alle, 

phat J>e Erl auarous helde, and his heires; 

And }ms with Mawmonaes moneie he hath made hym frendes, 

And is ronne in-to Religiouw and hath rendred 6 J?e bible, 

And precheth to the poeple ' feynt PouJes wordes, 

Libenter fuffertis infipientes, cumfitis ipjifapientes, 
f And fuffreth \>e vnwife with ow for to libbe, 
And with gladde wille doth hem gode for fo god $ow hoteth.' 
^[ Dobeft is aboue bothe and bereth a biffchopes crofTe, 
Is hoked on }>at one ende to halie 7 men fro helle. 
A pyke is on )>at potente 8 to pulte adown be wikked, 
pat wayten any wikkednefle * dowel to tene. 
And dowel and dobet amonges hem ordeigned 
To croune one to be kynge to reule hem bothe ; 
pat $if dowel or dobet did a^ein dobeft, 
panne fhal \>e kynge come * and caften hem in yrens, 
And but if dobeft bede for hem J?ei to be }?ere for euere. 
^[ Thus dowel and dobet and dobeft ]>e thridde, 
Crouned one to be kynge * to kepen hem alle, 
And to reule >e Reume bi her 9 thre wittes, 
And none other-wife but as J?ei thre aflented." 
1[ I thonked thou^t )>o )>at he me bus tau^te ; 
" Ac }ete fauoureth me nou^t J>i feggyng I coueite to lerne 
How dowel, dobet, and dobeft don amonges \>e peple." 
^[ " But witte conne wiffe J>e," quod j^oujt where J>o 10 thre dwelle j 
Ellis wote I none >at can hat now is alyue." 
^[ pou^te and I thus thre days we ^eden, 11 
Difputyng vppon dowel day after other, 
And ar we were ywar with witte gan we mete. 
He was longe and lene liche to none other, 
Was no pruyde on his apparaille ne pouerte noyther, 
Sadde of his femblaunt * and of foft chiere. 

I dorfte meue no matere to make hym to iangle, 

But as I bad J?oujt }>o be mene bitwene, 

And put forth fowme prpos * to prouen his wittes, 

What was dowel fro dobet and dobeft fram hem bothe. 

^ panne Kni^t in >at tyme ' feide J?ife wordes, 

"Where dowel, dobet'' and dobeft ben in londe, 

Here is wilte wolde y wyte * yif witte couthe teche hym, 

And whether he be man or [no] man Jns man fayne wolde afpye, 

And worchen as )>ei*thre wolde J>is is his entente." 

followed.] 2 [earns.] 

'The Oriel MS. has tayling, i.e. dealing, reckoning.] * [drunken.] 
Broken in pieces.] 6 [tranflated.] ' [hale, draw.] 

ftaff.] 9 [their.] 10 [thole.] 

went, travelled.] 



254 Extracts from the Vijion. s. 8, 

PASSUS IX. (B-TEXT). 

" Sire dowel dwelleth," quod witte " nou^t a day hennes, 

In a caftel >at kynde 1 made of foure kynnes Binges ; 

Of erthe and eyre is it made medled togideres, 

With wynde and with water witterly 2 enioyned. 

Kynde hath clofed )>ere-Inne ' craftily with-alle, 

A lemman 3 J?at he loueth like to hym-felue, 

Anima me hatte ac enuye hir hateth, 

A proude piyker of Fraunce prynceps hums mundi t 

And wolde winne hir awey with wyles, and he my|te. 

51" Ac kynde knoweth J?is wel * and kepeth hir \>e bettere, 

And hath do hir with fire dowel is duke of J?is marches. 

Dobet is hir damoifele fire doweles doubter, 

To feme this lady lelly 4 bothe late and rathe. 5 

Dobeft is abovie bothe a biflchopes pere ; 

pat he bit, mote be do 6 he reuleth hem alle j 

Anima ]?at lady is ladde bi his lerynge. 

1T Ac >e conftable of >at caftel J>at kepeth al >e wacche, 

Is a wys kni^te with-al fire Inwitte he hatte, 

And hath fyue feyre fones bi his firft wyf j 

Sire fewel and faywel and herewel j>e hende, 

Sire worche-wel-wyth-Hne-hande a wijte man of ftrengthe, 

And fire godfrey gowel gret lordes for fothe. 

pife fyue ben fette to faue }>is lady anima, 

Tyl kynde come or fende ' to faue hir for euere." 

^[ " What kynnes thyng is kynde," quod I *' canftow me telle ?" 

If " Kynde," quod witte, "is a creatour of alle kynnes Binges j 

Fader and fourmowr of al ]?at euere was maked j 

And >at is J?e gret god )>at gynnynge had neuere, 

Lorde of lyf and of lyjte of lyffe and of peyne. 

Angeles and al Jring aren at his wille. 

Ac man is hym mofte lyke of marke 7 and of fchaftej 

For )>orugh )>e worde J?at he fpake * wexen forth beftes, 

Dixit, &fa8afunt; 

H And made man likkeft to hym-felf one, 
And Eue of his ribbe-bon with-outen eny mene. 
For he was fynguler hym-felf and feyefaciamus, 
As who feith, * more mote here-to J>an my worde one ; 
My my^te mote helpe now with my fpeche.' 
Ri^te as a lorde fholde make l^//res and hym lakked p/zrchemyn, 
pough he couth write neuere fo wel ^if he had no penne, 

rl*//re[s] for al )>e lordfhip I leue were neuere ymaked. 
And fo it femeth bi hym as J?e bible telleth, 

pere he feyde, dixit, & fattafunt; 
He mofte worche with his worde and his witte fhewe. 
And in J>is manere was man made Jx>rugh my^te of god almijti, 
With his worde and werkemanfchip and with lyf to lafte. 
And Jms god gaf hym a gooft 8 or J?e godhed or heuene, 
And of his grete grace graunted hym blifle, 
And J?at is lyf >at ay fhal laft to al his lynage after. 
And J>at is J>e caftel ]>at kynde made caro it hatte, 
And is as moche to mene as man with a foule ; 
And J>at he wroujt with werke * and with worde bothe, 
porugh my^te of J>e maiefte man was ymaked. 



1 [nature.] 
4 [loyally.] 
7 [form, fafhion.] 


2 [verily, truly.] 
5 [early.] 
8 ffpirit.j 


3 [lover.] 

6 [What he 


bids, muft be done.] 



s. 8. Extracts from the Vijion. 255 

H Inwit and alle wittes * clofed ben J>er-inne, 
For loue of be lady anima >at iyf is ynempned j ' 
Ouer al in mannes body he walketh and wandreth, 
Ac in )>e herte is hir home and hir mofte 2 refte. 
Ac Inwitte is in >e hed and to the herte he loketh, 
What anima is lief or loth 3 he lat 4 hir at his wille ; 
For after )>e grace of god }>e gretteft is Inwitte. 



PASSUS X. (B-TEXT.) 

Thanne hadde witte a wyf was hote dame ftudye, 

pat lene was of lere * and of liche bothe. 

She was wonderly wroth t>at witte me )>us taujte, 

And al ftarynge dame ftudye fternelich feyde, 

" Wei artow w.yfe," quod (he to witte " any wyfdomes to telle 

To flatereres or to folis J>at frantyk ben of wittes ! " 

And blamed hym and banned hym and badde hym be ftylle, 

With fuche wife wordes to wiffen any fottes 5 

And feyde, " noli mittere, man margerye perlis 

Amanges hogges, J>at han hawes at wille. 

pei don but dryuele )>er-on * draffe 5 were hem leuere 6 

pan al >e precious perre J>at in paradys wexeth. 7 

I fey it bi iuche," quod me " }>at fheweth bi her werkes, 

pat hem were leuer 6 londe and lordfhip on erthe, 

Or ricchefle or rentis and refte at her wille, 

pan alle \>e fothe fawes * J?at falamon feyde euere. 

1[ Wifdome and witte now is noujt worth a carfe, 8 

But if it be carded with coueytife 9 as clotheres kemben here wolle. 

Who-fo can contreue deceytes an confpire wronges, 

And lede forth a loue-day 10 to latte with treuthe ; 

He J>at fuche craftes can to confeille is clepid j 

pei lede lordes with lefynges and bilyeth treuthe. 

H lob )>e gentel * in his geftes witneffeth, 

pat wikked men, >ei welden J>e welthe of >is worlde, 

And J>at J>ei ben lordes of eche a londe )>at oute of lawe libbeth ; 

Square impij viuunt ? bene eft omnibus, qui preuaricantur f inique 

agunt ? 
H pe fauter feyth J>e fame * bi fuche }>at don ille, 

Ecce ipjl pecc at ores habundantes; in feculo optinuerunt diuicias. 
' Lo ! ' feith holy letterrure ' whiche lordes beth J>is fhrewes ! * 
pilke J>at god mofte gyueth lefte good |>ei deleth, 
And mofte vnkynde to J>e comune |>at mofte catel weldeth j n 

$ue perfecifti, deftruxeruntj iuftus autem quid fecit ! 
Harlotes for her harlotrye may haue of her godis, 
And iaperes and iogeloures 12 and iangelers of geftes. 
IT Ac he J>at hath holy writte ay in his mouth, 
And can telle of Tobye and of }>e twelue apoftles, 
Or pr^chen of J>e penaunce ' )>at pilat wrou^t 
To Ih^fu >e gentil J>at lewes to-drowe : 
Litel is he loued J?at fuche a leffou fcheweth, 
Or daunted or drawe forth I do it on god hym-felf ! 



named.] 2 [greareft, chief.] 3 [unwilling.] 4 [leadeth.] 

dregs, refufe ; ufed by Chaucer.] 

dearer to them ; /. e. they would rather have.] 7 [grows.] 

Some MSS. have kerfe, i. e. a water-crefs.] 9 [covetoufnefs.] 

A day for the amicable fettlement of differences was called a love-day ^\ 

r wields j /. e. poflefles.] 12 [jugglers.] 



256 Extracts from the Vijion. s. 8, 

H But ho 1 )>at feynen hem foils and with faityng 2 libbeth, 

A^ein \>Q lawe of" owre lorde and lyen on hem-felue, 

Spitten and fpewen and fpeke foule wordes, 

Drynken and dryuelen and do men for to gape, 

Lickne men and lye on hem >at leneth hem no jiftes, 

pel conne 3 namore mynftralcye * ne mufyke, men to glade, 

Than Munde }>e mylnere oi mult a fecit deus ! 

Ne were here vyle harlotrye haue god my treuthe, 

Shulde neuere Kyng ne kni^t ne chanouw of ieynt Poules 

?yue hem to her ^erefyue ' J>e jifte of a grote ! 

IT Ac murthe and mynitralcye amonges men is nouthe 

Leccherye, lofengerye, 4 * and lofeles tales ; 

Glotonye and grete othes J?is murthe >ei louieth. 

^ Ac if )>ei carpen 5 of cryft J?is clerkis and J>is lewed, 

Atte mete in her murthes whan mynllralles ben ftille, 

panne telleth >ei of j?e trinite a tale other tweyjie, 

And bringen forth a balled refoua and taken Bernard 6 to witnefle, 

And putten forth a p?rfumpiiou# to preue >e fothe. 

pus J?ei dryuele at her deyfe 7 J?e deite to knowe, 

And gnawen god with )?e gorge 8 whan her gutte is fulle. 

H Ac )>e careful 9 may crye and carpen atte ^ate, 

Bothe afyngred 10 and a-thurft and for chele 11 quake ; 

Is none to nymen hym nere his noye 12 to amende, 

But hoen on hym as an hounde and hoten hym go }>ennes. 

Litel loueth he >at lorde J>at lent hym al J?at blifle, 

pat Jnis parteth with \>Q pore a parcel whan hym nedeth. 

Ne were mercy in mene men * more >an in riche, 

Mendinantj meteles 13 mi|te go to bedde. 

God is moche in J?e gorge of Hie grete mayftres, 

Ac amonges mene men his mercy and his werkis j 

And fo feith j?e fauter * I haue yfeye it ofte, 

EC ce audiuimus earn in effrata, inuenimus earn in campis 

filue. 

Clerkes and other kynnes men carpen of god fafte, 
And haue hym moche in }>e mouthe ac mene men in herte. 
If Freres and faitoures * han founde fuche queftious 
To plefe with proude men fithen }>e peftilence tyme, 
And pr^chen at feint poules for pure enuye of clerkis, 
pat folke is nou^te fermed in J?e feith ne fre of her goodes, 
Ne fori for her fynnes fo is pryde waxen 
In religiou/z in alle \>e rewme amonges riche & pore, 
pat prayeres haue no power }>e peftilence to lette. 
And ^ette J>e wrecches of Hs worlde is none ywar bi other, 
Ne for drede of )>e deth withdrawe noujt her pryde, 
Ne beth plentyuous to )>e pore as pure charite wolde, 
But in gaynefle and in glotonye * for-glotton her goode hem-felue, 
And breken noujte to he beggar as )?e boke techeth, 

f range efurienti panem tuum, &c. 

And J>e more he wynneth and welt welthes & ricchefle, 
And lordeth in londes he lafle good he deleth. 
IT Thobye telleth jow noujt fo take hede, y riche, 
How J>e boke bible of hym bereth witnefle : 

Si tibifit copia, habundanter tribue j fi autem exiguutn, 

illud impertiri ftude libenter : 
Who-fo hath moche, ipene manliche ' fo meneth Thobie, 



1 [thofe.] * [deceit.] 
5 [fpeak.] 6 [St, Bernard.] 
9 [poor.] lo [very hungry.] 
13 [Beggars fupperlefs.] 


3 [know.] 
7 dai's, high table. 
11 [cold.] 


4 [flattery.] 
8 [throat.] 
12 [trouble.] 



s. 8. Extracts from the Vifion. 257 

And who-fo litel weldeth reule him her- after ; 

For we haue no \ettre of owre lyf how longe it dial dure. 

Suche leffou/zes lordes fhulde louie to here, 

And how he my^te moft meyne manliche fynde. 

IT Nou^t to fare as a fitheler or a frere for to feke feftes, 

Homelich at other mennes houfes and hatyen her owne. 

Elyng 1 is he halle vche daye in he wyke, 

pere he lorde ne J>e lady * liketh nou^te to fytte. 

Now hath vche riche a reule 2 to eten bi hym-felue 

In a pryue parloure for pore mennes fake, 

Or in a chambre with a chymneye and leue J?e chief halle, 

pat was made for meles men to eten Inne ; 

And al to fpare to fpille * hat fpende (hal an other. 

IT And whan hat witte was ywar what dame ftudye tolde, 

He bicome fo con f us he couth nou^te loke, 

And as doumbe as deth and drowe hym arrer* 3 j 

1[ And for no carpyng I couth after ne knelyng to he grounde, 

I my^te gete no greyne of his grete wittis, 

But al laughyng he louted and loked vppon ftudye, 

In figne >at I fhulde bifeche hir of grace. 

IT And whan I was war of his wille to his wyf gan I loute, 

And feyde, " mercy, madame ^owre man fhal I worthe, 

As longe as I Hue bothe late & rathe, 

Forto worche ^owre wille he while my lyf dureth, 

With hat je kenne me kyndely to knowe what is dowel." 

IT " For hi mekenefle, man," qod me " and for hi mylde fpeche, 

I fhal kenne he to my cofyn hat clergye is hoten. 4 

He hath wedded a wyf with-Inne his fyx monethes, 

Is fybbe 5 to he feuene artz fcripture is hir name. 

pei two, as I hope after my techyng, 

Shullen wifTen >e to dowel I dar it vndertake." 

^[ panne was I alfo fayne 6 as foule 7 of faire morwe, 

And gladder J?an he gleman 8 J>at golde hath to $ifte, 

And axed hir he heighe weye where hat clergye 9 dwelte, 

" And telle me fome token," qaod I " for tyme is hat I wende." 

f " Axe he heighe waye," qod fhe " hennes to fuffre- 

Bothe-wel-&-wo $if hat how wolt lerne, 

And ryde forth by ricchefle ac reft how nau|t herinne, 

For if how coupleft he her-with to clergye comeftow neuere. 

^[ And alfo he likeroufe launde hat leccherye hatte, 

Leue hym on hi left halue a large myle or more, 

Tyl how come to a courte ' kepe-wel-hi-tonge- 

Fro-lefynges-and-lither 10 -fpeche-* and-likeroufe-drynkes. 

panne fhaltow fe fobrete and fymplete-of-fpeche, 

pat eche wi^te be in wille his witte he to fhewe, 

And hus fhaltow come to clergye hat can many hinges. 

^ Saye hym his figne I fette hym to fcole, 

And hat I grete wel his wyf for I wrote hir many bokes, 

And fette hir to fapience and to he fauter gloie. 

Logyke I lerned hir and many other lawes, 

And alle he mufous in mufike I made hir to knowe. 

T Plato he poete * I put hym fyrfte to boke, 

Ariftotle and other moo * to argue I taujte. 

Grammer for gerles I garte firft wryte, 

And bette hem with a baleis but if hei wolde lerne. 

1 [ftrange, deferted. Henry VIII. in a letter to Anne Bullen fpeaks of his El- 
lengnefs fince her departure. Hearne's Avejbury, p. 360.] 2 [cuftom.] 

3 back. 4 named. 5 akin. 6 glad. 

7 bird. 8 harper. 9 learning. 10 wanton, bad. 

II. S 



258 Ridicule of the Monks. s. 8. 

Of alkinnes craftes I contreued toles, 

Of carpentrie, of kerueres and comparted mafonws, 

And lerned hem leuel and lyne J>ough I loke dymme. 

^[ Ac theologie hath tened me ten fcore tymes, 

The more I mufe Jwe-Inne * J?e miftier it femeth, 

And J?e depper I deuyne }>e derker me it ]?inketh ; 

It is no fcience for fothe * forto fotyle Inne ; 

A ful lethy Hnge it were $if J?at loue nere. 

Ac for it let beft by loue I loue it J>e bettre ; 

For J>ere }>at loue is leder * ne lacked neuer* grace, &c.] 

The artifices and perfuafions of the monks to procure donations 
to their convents are thus humoroufly ridiculed, in a ftrain which 
feems to have given rife to Chaucer's Sompnour's Tale : 

Thanne he aflbilled hir fone and fithen he feyde, 
" We han a wyndowe a wirchyng wil fitten vs ful heigh j 
Woldeftow glafe J?at gable and graue }>ere-inne J>i name, 
Siker fholde }>\ foule be ' heuene to haue." [B. iii. 47.] ' 

Covetife or Covetoufnefs is thus drawn in the true colours of 
fatirical painting. 

And J>anne cam coueytife can I hym nou^te defcryue, 
So hungriliche and holwe ' fire Heruy hym loked. 
He was bitelbrowed * and baberlipped alfo, 
With two blered eyghen as a blynde hagge j 
And as a letheren purs lolled his chekes, 
Wei fydder J?an his chyn J>ei chiueled for elde ; 
And as a bondman of his bacou/z his berde was bidraueled. 
With an hode on his hed a loufi hatte aboue, 
And in a tauny tabarde 2 of twelue wynter age, 
Al totorne and baudy and ful of lys crepynge j 
But if J>at a lous couthe haue lopen J>e bettre, 
She fholde nou^te haue walked on J>at welche * fo was it thredebare. 

" I haue ben coueytoufe," quod HS caityue " I biknowe it here j 
For fome tyme I ferued Symme atte Stile, 

1 Thefe, and the following lines, are plainly copied by Chaucer, viz. : 

" And I fhall cover your kyrke, and your cloifture do maken." 
Chaucer, Sompn. T. v. 399, Morris edit. But with new ftrokes of humour. 

" Yif me than of thy good to make our cloyfter,' 

Quod he, * for many a mufcle and many an oyfter 

Hath ben cure foode, our cloyfter to arreyfe, 

Whan other men han ben ful wel at eyfe ; 

And yit, God wot, unnethe the foundement 

Parformed is, ne of cure pavyment 

Is nought a tyle yit withinne our wones j 

Bi God, we owe yit fourty pound for ftones.' " 
So alfo in the Ploughman's Crede, hereafter mentioned, 1. 396, a friar fays 

" So that thou mowe amenden our hous with money other elles, 

With fbm katell, other corne * or cuppes of filuer." 
And again, 1. 123 

" And mighteftou amenden vs with money of thyn owne, 

Thou fholdeft cnely bifore Crift * in compas of gold, 

In the wide windowe weftwarde wel nighe in the myddell." 
That is, ' your figure (hall be painted in glafs, in the middle of the weft window," 
&c. But of this paflage hereafter. 

2 tabard. A coat. 



s. 8. Defer ipt ion of Covetoufnefs. 259 



And was his prentis ypli^te * his profit to wayte. 
Firft I lerned to lye a leef other tweyne, 
Wikkedlich to weye was my furft leflbuw. 
To Wy 1 and to Wyncheftre" I went to >e faire, 



1 Wy is probably Weyhill in Hampfhire, where a famous fair ftill fubfifts. 

2 Anciently, before many flourishing towns were eftablifhed, and the necefTaries 
or ornaments of life, from the convenience of communication and the increafe of 
provincial civility, could be procured in various places, goods and commodities of 
every kind were chiefly fold at fairs, to which, as to one univerfal mart, the people 
reforted periodically, and fupplied moft of their wants for the enfuing year. The 
difplay of merchandife, and the conflux of cuftomers at thefe principal and almoft 
only emporia of domeftic commerce, was prodigious ; and they were often held on 
open and extenfive plains. One of the chief of them feems to have been that of 
St. Giles's hill or down near Winchefter, to which our poet here refers. It was 
inftituted and given as a kind of revenue to the bifhop of Winchefter by William 
the Conqueror, who by his charter permitted it to continue for three days. But 
in confequence of new royal grants, Henry III. prolonged its continuance to 
fixteen days. Its jurifdiftion extended feven miles round, and comprehended even 
Southampton, then a capital trading town : and all merchants who fold wares 
within that circuit forfeited them to the bifhop. Officers were placed at a con- 
fiderable diftance, at bridges and other avenues of accefs to the fair, to exacl: toll 
of all merchandife parting that way. In the meantime all mops in the city of 
Winchefter were fhut. In the fair was a court called the pavilion, at which the 
bifhop's jufticiaries and other officers affifted, with power to try caufes of various 
forts for feven miles round : nor among other fingular claims could any lord of a 
manor hold a court-baron within the faid circuit without licence from the pavilion. 
During this time the biftiop was empowered to take toll of every load or parcel of 
goods pafling through the gates of the city. On Saint Giles's eve the mayor, 
bailiffs, and citizens of the city of Winchefter delivered the keys of the four city 
gates to the bifhop's officers who, during the faid fixteen days, appointed a mayor 
and bailiff of their own to govern the city, and alfo a coroner to aft within the 
faid city. Tenants of the bifhop, who held lands by doing fervice at the pavilion, 
attended the fame with horfes and armour, not only to do fuit at the court there, 
but to be ready to affift the bifhop's officers in the execution of writs and other 
fervices. But I cannot here enumerate the many extraordinary privileges granted 
to the bifhop on this occafion, all tending to obftruft trade and to opprefs the 
people. Numerous foreign merchants frequented this fair ; and it appears that the 
jufticiaries of the pavilion, and the treafurer of the bifhop's palace of Wolvefey, 
received annually for a fee, according to ancient cuftom, four bafins and ewers of 
thofe foreign merchants who fold brazen veffels in the fair, and were called merca- 
tores diaunteres. In the fair feveral ftreets were formed, affigned to the fale of 
different commodities, and called the Drapery, the Pottery, the Spicery, &c. 
Many monafteries in and about Winchefter had fhops or houfes in thefe ftreets, 
ufed only at the fair, which they held under the bifhop, and often let by leafe for 
a term of years. One place in the fair was called Speciarium Sanfti S<wythini, or 
the Spicery of Saint Swithin's monaftery. In the revenue rolls of the ancient 
bifhops of Winchefter, this fair makes a grand and feparate article of reception, 
under this title : Feria. Computus Feria: fanfti Egidii. But in the revenue roll of 
bifhop Will, of Waynflete [an. 1471], it appears to have greatly decayed : in 
which, among other proofs, I find mention made of a diftrift in the fair being un- 
occupied, " Ubi homines Cornubix flare foleb ant" From whence it likewife appears 
that different counties had their different ftations. The whole reception to the 
bifhop this year from the fair amounted only to 45/. i8/. $d. Yet this film, fmall 
as it may feem, was worth upwards of 4oo/. Edward I. fent a precept to the fheriff 
of Hampfhire to reftore to the bifhop this fair, which his efcheator Malcolm de 
Harlegh had feized into the king's hands, without command of the treafurer and 
barons of the exchequer, in the year 1292. Regiftr. Joh. de Ponti/ara, Epifc. Wint, 
fol. 195. After the charter of Henry III. many kings by charter confirmed this 



260 Defcription of Covet oufnefs. s. 8, 

With many manere raarchandife as my Maiftre me hi^te ; 
Ne had }>e grace of gyle ygo amonge my ware, 
It had be vnfolde Jus feuene ^ere fo me god helpe ! 

Thanne drowe I me amonges draperes my donet 1 to lerne, 
To drawe be lyfer alonge }>e lenger it femed 5 
Amonge J>e riche rayes I rendred a leflbu;/, &c. [B. v. 188.] 



fair with all its privileges to the bimops of Winchefter. The laft charter was of 
Henry VIII. to Bifhop Richard Fox and his fucceflbrs, in the year 1511. But it 
was followed by the ufual confirmation-charter of Charles II. In the year 114.4, 
when Brian Fitz-count, lord of Wallingford in Berkfhire, maintained Wallingford 
Caftle, one of the ftrongeft garrifons belonging to Maud the emprefs, and confe- 
quently fent out numerous parties for contributions and provifions, Henry de Blois, 
bifhop of Winchefter, enjoined him not to moleft any paflengers that were coming 
to his fair at Winchefter, under pain of excommunication. Omnibus ad feriam 
meant venientibus, &c. MSS. Dodfrvorth, vol. 89, fol. 76, Bibl. Bodl. This was 
in King Stephen's reign. In that of Richard I., in the year 1 194, the king grants 
to Portfmouth a fair lafting for fifteen days, with all the privileges of Saint Giles's 
fair at Winchefter. Anders. Hlfl. Com. i. 197. In the year 1234, the eighteenth 
of Henry III., the fermier of the city of Winchefter paid twenty pounds to Ailward 
chamberlain of Winchefter Caftle, to buy a robe at this fair for the king's fon, and 
divers filver implements for a chapel in the caftle. Madox, Exch. p. 251. It 
appears from [the Northumb. Houjh. Book], that the ftores of his lordfhip's houfe at 
Wrefille, for the whole year, were laid in from fairs. " He that ftandes charged 
with my lordes houfe for the houll yeir, if he may poffible, (hall be at all Faires 
where the groice emptions (hall be boughte for the houfe for the houlle yeire, as 
wine, wax, beiffes, multons, wheite, and maltie," p. 407. This laft quotation is 
a proof that fairs ftill continued to be the principal marts for purchafing neceffaries 
in large quantities, which now are fupplied by frequent trading towns : and the 
mention of " beiffes " and " multons," which were falted oxen and fheep, (hews 
that at fo late a period they knew but little of breeding cattle. Their ignorance 
of fo important an article of hu(bandry is alfo an evidence that in the reign of 
Henry VIII. the ftate of population was much lower among us than we may 
imagine. 

In the ftatutes of Saint Mary Ottery's college in Devonmire, given by Bi(hop 
Grandifon the founder, the ftewards and facrift are ordered to purchafe annually 
two hundred pounds of wax for the choir of the college, at this fair. " Cap. Ixvii. 
Pro luminaribus vero omnibus fupradiftis inveniendis, etiam ftatuimus, quod 
fenefcalli fcaccarii per vifum et auxilium facrifte, omni anno, in nundinis Wynton, 
vel alibi apud Toryngton et in partibus Barnftepol, ceram fufficientem, quam ad 
ducentas libras aeftimamus pro uno anno ad minus faciant provideri." Thefe 
ftatutes were granted in the year 1338. MS. apud Regiftr. Priorat. S. Swithin. 
Winton. In Archiv. Wolves. In the accompts of the Priories of Maxtoke in 
Warwic.kmire, and of Bicefter in Oxfordfliire, under the reign of Henry VI., the 
monks appear to have laid in yearly ftores of various yet common neceflaries, at 
the fair of Sturbridge in Cambridgefhire, at leaft one hundred miles diftant from 
either monaftery. It may feem furprifing, that their own neighbourhood, including 
the cities of Oxford and Coventry, could not fupply them with commodities neither 
rare nor coftly, which they thus fetched at a confiderable expence of carriage. It 
is a rubric in fome of the monaftic rules De Euntibus ad Nundinas. See Dugd. 
Mon. Angl. ii. p. 746. It is hoped the reader will excufe this tedious note, which 
at leaft developes ancient manners and cuftoms. 

1 Leflbn. Properly a Grammar, from JElius Donatus the grammarian. Teftam. L. 
p. 504, b. edit. Urr. " No paffef to vertues of this Margarite, but therin al my 
donet can I lerne." In the ftatutes of Winchefter-college, [written about 1386,] 
grammar is called " Antiquus donatus," i. e. the old donat, or the name of a 
fyftem of grammar at that time in vogue, and long before. The French have 
a book entitled " Le Donnet, tratte de grammaire, bailie a feu roi Charles viii." 
Among Rawlinfon's MSS. at Oxford, I have feen Donatus optimus noviter compi- 



s. 8. Attack on the Prelacy. 261 

Our author, who probably could not get preferment, thus inveighs 
againft the luxury and diver/ions of the prelates of his age : 

Ac now is religiouw a ryder * a rowmer bi ftretes, 

A leder of louedayes 2 * and a londe-bugger, 

A priker on a palfray fro manere to manere, 

An heep of houndes at his ers as he a lorde were. 1 

And but if his knaue knele )>at fhal his cuppe brynge, 

He loureth on hym and axeth hym who taujte hym cuiteifye ? 3 

There is great pi6hirefque humour in the following lines : 

latus, a manufcript on vellum, given to Saint Alban's, by John Stoke, abbot, in 
1450. In the introduction, or lytell Proheme, to Dean Colet's Grammatices Rudi- 
menta, we find mention made of "certayne introducyons into latyn fpeche called 
Donates,'"' &c. Among the books written by Bifhop Pecock, there is the Donat into 
chriflian religion, and the Folower to the Donat. Lewis's Pecock, p. 317. I think 
I have before obferved, that John of Bafing, who flourifhed in the year 1240, calls 
his Greek Grammar Donatus Grxcorum. Pegge's Wefeham, p. 51. Wynkyn de 
Worde printed Donatus ad Anglicanarum fcholarum ufum. [But fee Handb. ofE. E. 
Lit. art. Children.] Cotgrave (in v.) quotes an old French proverb, " Les 
diables eftoient encores a leur Donat, The devils 'were but yet in their grammar.'''' 

1 Walter de Suffield, bifhop of Norwich, bequeaths by will his pack of hounds 
to the king in 1256. Blomefield's Norf. ii. 347. See Chaucer's Monkes Prol. v. 
165. This was a common topic of fatire. It occurs again, fol. xxvii. a. See 
[the] Teftament of Love, p. 492, col. ii. Urr. The archdeacon of Richmond, on 
his vifitation, comes to the priory of Bridlington in Yorkfhire, in 1216, with 
ninety-feven horfes, twenty-one dogs, and three hawks, Dugd. Man. ii. 65. 

2 [love-days.] 

3 B. x. 306. The following prediction, although a probable conclufion, con- 
cerning a king, who after a time would fupprefs the religious houfes, is remarkable. 
I imagined it was foifted into the copies, in the reign of Henry VIII. But it is 
in [all the] MSS. of this poem [which exhibit the fecond verfion, many of which 
are] older than the year 1400. 

" ^[ Ac \>ere flial come a kyng and confefle jow religioufes, 
And bete ^ow as be bible telleth for brekynge of jowre reule, 
And amende monyales monkes and chanouns 
^[ And banne Freres in here freitoure fhal fynden a keye 
Of coftantynes coffres in which is be catel 
pat Gregories god-children han yuel difpended. 
1f And banne fhal be abbot of Abyndoun and alle [his] ifTu for euere 
Haue a knokke of a kynge and incurable \>e <vuounde." [B. x. 317.] 

Again, where he alludes to the knights-templers, lately fupprefled : 

" Men of holy kirke 
Shul tourne as templeres did, the tyme approchethfafte.'''' 

[B. xv. 507.] 

This, I fuppofe, was a favourite doctrine in Wickliffe's difcourfes. I cannot help 
taking notice of a paflage in Piers Plowman, which fhews how the reigning pat- 
fion for chivalry infected the ideas and expreffions of the writers of this period. 
The poet is describing the crucifixion, and fpeaking of the perfonwho pierced our 
Saviour's fide with a fpear. This perfon our author calls a knight, and fays that 
he came forth " with his fpere in hand, and jufted with Jefus." Afterwards for 
doing fo bafe an acl as that of wounding a dead body, he is pronounced a difgrace 
to knighthood : and [this " champioun chiualer, chief knyght of yow alle " is 
declared to have yielded himfelf recreant. B. xviii. 99.] This knight's name is 
Longis, and he is blind ; but receives his fight from the blood which fprings from 
our Saviour's fide. This miracle is recorded in the Golden Legend. He is called 
Longias, " A blinde knight men ycallid Longias," in Chaucer, Lam. Mar. Magd. 
v. 177. 



262 Defcriptton of Conference. s. 8. 

Hunger in hafte J?o * hent waftour bi }>e mawe, 
And wronge hym fo bi >e wombe J>at bothe his eyen wattered ; 
He buffeted ]>e Britoner aboute )>e chekes, 
pat he loked like a lanterne al his lyf after. 1 

And in the following, where the Vices are reprefented as converted 
and coming to confellion, among which is the figure of Envy : 

Of a freres frokke were >e forfleues. 

And as a leke hadde yleye longe in J?e fonne, 

So loked he with lene chekes lourynge foule. [B. v. 81.] 

It would be tedious to tranfcribe other ftrokes of humour, with 
which this poem abounds. Before one of the Vifions the poet falls 
afleep, while he is bidding his beads. In another he defcribes Anti- 
chrift, whofe banner is borne by Pride, as welcomed into a monaftery 
with ringing of bells, and a folemn congratulatory proceflion of all 
the monks as marching out to meet and receive him. 2 

Thefe images of mercy and truth are in a different ftrain : 

Out of )>e weft cofte a wenche, as me thou^te, 
Cam walkynge in )>e wey * to-helle-ward me loked. 
Mercy hijt J>at mayde a meke )>ynge with-alle, 
A ful benygne buirde and boxome of fpeche. 
Her fufter, as it femed cam foftly walkyngf, 
Euene out of J>e eft and weftward (he loked. 
A ful comely creature treuth fhe hi^te, 
For ]>e vertue ]>at hir folwed * aferd was fhe neuere. 
Whan Jns maydenes mette mercy and treuth, 
Eyther axed other of J>is grete wonder, 
Of >e dyne & of >e derkneffe, &c. 3 

The imagery of Nature, or Kinde, fending forth his difeafes from 
the planets, at the command of Confcience, and of his attendants 
Age and Death, is conceived with fublimity : 

Kynd Confcience tho herde and cam out of the planets, 

And fent forth his foreioures * feures & fluxes, 

Coughes, and cardiacles * crampes, and tothaches, 

Rewmes, & radegoundes and roynoufe fcalles, 

Byles, and bocches and brennyng agues ; 

Frenefyes, & foule yueles forageres of kynde, 

Hadde yprykked and prayed polles of peple, 

pat largelich a legiouw lefe her lyf fone. 

ff There was " harrow and help ! here cometh kynde, 

With deth J?at is dredful to vndone vs alle ! " 

1f The lorde that lyued after luft tho alowde cryde 

After coflforte, a knyghte to come and bere his banere 

fl" Elde j?e hore ' he was in \>e vauntwarde, 

And bare J>e banere bifor deth by ri^te he it claymed. 

Kynde come after with many kene fores, 

As pokkes and peftilences and moche poeple fliente ; 

So kynde J?orw corupciouws ' kulled ful manye. 

If Deth cam dryuende after ' and al to douft pafshed 

Knyges & kny^tes kayferes and popes ; 

Many a louely lady and le/manes of knyghtes 

Swouned and fwelted for forwe of dethes dyntes. 

1f Confcience of his curteifye * to kynde he bifou^te, 

To ceffe & fuffre and fee where )>ei wolde 



[B. text; vi. 176.] 2 [B. xx. 57.] 3 [B. xviii. 113.] 



s. 8. Fortune or Pride. Luft. 263 

Leue pryde pryuely and be parfite criftene. 

^[ And kynde cefled tho to fe J>e peple amende. 1 

Thefe lines at leaft put us in mind of Milton's Lazarhoufe : " 

Immediately a place 

Before his eyes appeared, fad, noifome, dark : 
A lazar-houfe it leem'd, wherein were laid 
Numbers of all difeas'd : all maladies 
Of gaftly fpafm, or racking torture, qualms 
Of heart-fick agony, all feverous kinds, 
Convulfions, epileptics, fierce catarrhs, 
Inteftine ftone, and ulcer, cholic pangs, 
Demoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy, 
And moon-ftruck madnefs, pining atrophy, 
Marafmus, and wide-wafting Peftilence : 
Dropiies and afthma, and joint-racking rheum. 
Dire was the toiling! Deep the groans ! Defpair 
Tended the fick, bufy from couch to couch 5 
And over them triumphant Death his dart 
Shook, but delay 'd to ftrike, &c. 

At length Fortune or Pride fends forth a numerous army led by 
Luft, to attack Confcience. 

And gadered a gret hofte al agayne CONSCIENCE : 

This LECHERYE leyde on with a laughyng chiere, 

And with pryue fpeche * and peynted wordes, 

And armed hym in ydelneffe and in hiegh berynge. 

He bare a bowe in his hande and manye blody arwes, 

Weren fethered with faire bihefte * and many a falfe truthe. 3 

Afterwards Confcience is befieged by Antichrift and feven great 
giants, who are the feven capital or deadly fins : and the afTault is 
made by Sloth, who conduces an army of more than a thoufand 
prelates. 

It is not improbable, that Langland here had his eye on the old 
French Roman d* Ante ch rift, a poem written by Huon de Meri, about 
the year 1228. The author of this piece fuppofes that Antichrift is 
on earth, that he vifits every profeffion and order of life, and finds 
numerous partifans. The Vices arrange themfelves under the 
banner of Antichrift, and the Virtues under that of Chrift. Thefe 
two armies at length come to an engagement, and the battle ends to 
the honour of the Virtues, and the total defeat of the Vices. The 
banner of Antichrift has before occurred in our quotations from 
Longland. The title of Huon de Meri's poem deferves notice. It 
is \_Le\ Turnoyement de P Ante ch rift. Thefe are the concluding lines : 
Par fon droit nom a peau cet livre 
Qui trefbien s'avorde a T efcrit 
Le Tournoiement de VAntechrift. 

The author appears to have been a monk of St. Germain des Pres, 
near Paris. 4 This allegory is much like that which we find in the old 
dramatic Moralities. The theology of the middle ages abounded 
with conjectures and controverfies concerning Antichrft, who at a 
very early period was commonly believed to be the Roman pontiff. 5 

1 [B. xx. p! 372, edit. Skeat.] 2 Par. L. ii. 475. 3 [B. xx. 112.] 

4 [See fome account of this poem in Mr. Wright's St. Patrick's Purgatory.'] 

5 See this topic difcufled with fingular penetration and perfpicuity, by Dr. Hurd. 
in Twelve Sermons Introductory to the Study of the Prophecies, 1772, p. zo6,feq. 




264 Pierce the Ploughman's Crede. s. 9, 



SECTION IX. 

IO the Vifion of [ William concerning^ Pierce Plowman has 
been commonly annexed a poem called Pierce the 
Plowman 1 s Crede. 1 

The author, in the chara&er of a plain uninformed 
perfon, pretends to be ignorant of his creed, to be in- 
ftru&ed in the articles of which, he applies by turns to the four 
orders of Mendicant friars. This circumftance affords an obvious 
occafion of expofing in lively colours the tricks of thofe focieties. 
After fo unexpected a difappointment, he meets one Pierce or Peter, 
a ploughman, who refolves his doubts, and teaches him the principles 
of true religion. In a copy of the [edition of the] Grede, [printed in 
1561], prefented to me by the Bifhop of Gloucefter, and once be- 
longing to Mr. Pope, the latter in his own hand has inferted the 
following abftract of its plan. " An ignorant plain man having 
learned his Pater-nofter and Ave-Mary, wants to learn his creed. 
He afks feveral religious men of the feveral orders to teach it him. 
Firft a friar Minor, who bids him beware of the Carmelites, and 
aflures him they can teach him nothing, defcribing their faults, 
&c. but that the friars Minors {hall fave him, whether he learns 
his creed or not. He goes next to the friars Preachers, whofe mag- 
nificent monaftery he defcribes : there he meets a fat friar, who 
declaims againft the Auguftines. He is (hocked at his pride, and 
goes to the Auguftines. They rail at the Minorites. He goes to the 
Carmelites : they abufe the Dominicans, but promife him falvation, 
without the creed, for money. He leaves them with indignation, 
and finds an honeft poor Ploughman in the field, and tells him how he 
was difappointed by the four orders. The ploughman anfwers with 
a long invective againft them." 

The language of the Crede is lefs embarrafled and obfcure than 
that of the Vifion. But before I proceed to a fpecimen, it may not 

1 The firft edition [was printed by Reynold Wolfe in 1553.] It was reprinted, 
and added to Rogers's, or the fourth, edition of the Vifion, 1561. It was evidently 
written after the year 1384.. Wickliffe died in that year, and he is mentioned as 
no longer living, in fignat. C ii. edit. 1561 [1. 528]. Walter Britte or Brithe, a 
follower of Wickliffe, is alfo mentioned [1. 657] fignat. C iii, [The Crede is in 
no fenfe an appendage to the Vifion, but upon a totally different plan. The proper 
fequel to the Vifion is the piece called the Depofition of Richard //., probably alib 
by Langland. But Pierce the Plowman's Crede is by another author, a profefled 
follower of Wickliffe, written about A.D. 1 394, in order to difcredit the four orders 
of Mendicant Friars. The only points of connexion with the Vifion are the title, 
which was imitated from it ; the rhythm, and the faft that fome have thought fit to 
print both poems in one volume, to the intenfe confufion of hafty ftudents, who mix 
the two together in a moft unfcholarly fafhion. Steal.] Britte is placed by Bale in 
1390. Cent. vi. 94.. See alfo Fuller's Worth, p. 8, Wales, [and Pref. to edit. 
Skeat.] The reader will pardon this frnall anticipation for the fake of connexion. 



s. 9. Its Subjeft and Character. 265 

be perhaps improper to prepare the reader, by giving an outline of 
the conftitution and character of the four orders of Mendicant friars, 
the obje& of our poet's fatire : an enquiry in many refpe&s con- 
nected with the general purport of this hiftory, and which, in this 
place at leaft, cannot be deemed a digreflion, as it will illuftrate the 
main fubjeft, and explain many particular paflages, of the Plowman's 
Crede.^ 

Long before the thirteenth century, the monaftic orders, as we 
have partly feen in the preceding poem, in confequence of their 
ample revenues, had degenerated from their primitive aufterity, and 
were totally given up to luxury and indolence. Hence they became 
both unwilling and unable to execute the purpofes of their eftabli/h- 
ment : to inftrucl: the people, to check the growth of herefies, or to 
promote in any refpecl: the true interefts of the church. They 
forfook all their religious obligations, defpifed the authority of their 
fuperiors, and were abandoned without fhame or remorfe to every 
fpecies of difiipation and licentioufnefs. About the beginning there- 
fore of the thirteenth century, the condition and circumftances of 
the church rendered it abfolutely neceflary to remedy thefe evils, by 
introducing a new order of religious, who being deftitute of fixed 
poflefiions, by the feverity of their manners, a profefled contempt of 
riches, and an unwearied perfeverance in the duties of preaching 
and prayer, might reftore refpecl: to the monaftic inftitution, and 
recover the honours of the church. Thefe were the four orders of 
mendicant or begging friars, commonly denominated the Francifcans, 
the Dominicans, the Carmelites, and the Auguftines. 2 

Thefe focieties foon furpafled all the reft, not only in the purity of 
their lives, but in the number of their privileges and the multitude of 
their members. Not to mention the fuccefs which attends all novel- 
ties, their reputation arofe quickly to an amazing height. The popes, 
among other uncommon immunities, allowed them the liberty of 
travelling wherever they pleafed, of converfmg with perfons of all 
ranks, of inftrucling the youth and the people in general, and of 
hearing confeflions, without referve or reftri&ion : and as on thefe 
occafions, which gave them opportunities of appearing in public and 
confpicuous fituations, they exhibited more ftriking marks of gravity 
and fancliity than were obfervable in the deportment and conduct of 
the members of other monafteries, they were regarded with the 

1 And of fome perhaps quoted above from the Vifion. [" Of the creed there 
does not appear to exift any manufcript older than the firft printed edition." 
Wright. But fee Mr. Skeat's notice of a MS. in Trin. Coll. Camb. which, though 
a late tranfcript, is obvioufly exa&ly copied from a MS. of the firft half of the 
fifteenth century.] 

2 The Francifcans were often ftyled friars-minors, or minorites, and greyfriars : 
the Dominicans, friars-preachers, and fometimes black-friars ; the Carmelites, white- 
friars ; and the Auftins, grey-friars. The firft eftablimment of the Dominicans in 
England was at Oxford in 1221 ; of the Francifcans, at Canterbury. Thefe two 
were the moft eminent of the four orders. The Dominican friary at Oxford ftood 
in an iiland on the fouth of the city, fouth-weft of the Francifcan friary, the fite of 
which is hereafter defcribed. 



266 The various Religious Orders. s. 9. 

higheft efteem and veneration throughout all the countries of Eu- 
rope. 

In the mean time they gained ftill greater refpe<St, by cultivating 
the literature then in vogue with the greateft affiduity and fuccefs. 
Giannone fays, that moft of the theological profeflbrs in the univer- 
fity of Naples, newly founded in the year 1220, were chofen from 
the Mendicants. ' They were the principal teachers of theology at 
Paris, the fchool where this fcience had received its origin. 2 At 
Oxford and Cambridge refpe&ively, all the four orders had flouriming 
monafteries. The moft learned fcholars in the univerfity of Oxford, 
at the clofe of the thirteenth century, were Francifcan friars : and 
long after this period, the Francifcans appear to have been the fole 
fupport and ornament of that univerfity. 3 Hence it was that Bifhop 
Hugh de Balmam, founder of Peter-houfe at Cambridge, orders in his 
flatutes given about the year 1280, that fome of his fcholars fhould 
annually repair to Oxford for improvement in the fciences. 4 That 
is, to ftudy under the Francifcan readers. Such was the eminence 
of the Francifcan friary at Oxford, that the learned Bifhop Grofetefte, 
in the year 1253, bequeathed all his books to that celebrated feminary. 5 
This was the houfe in which the renowned Roger Bacon was edu- 
cated ; who revived in the midft of barbarifm, and brought to a con- 
fiderable degree of perfection, the knowledge of mathematics in Eng- 
land, and greatly facilitated many modern difcoveries in experimental 
philofophy. 6 The fame fraternity is likewife faid to have ftored their 

1 Hift. Nap. xvi. 3. 

2 See Boxil. Hift. Academ. Paris, iii. pp. 138, 240, 244, 248, &c. 

3 This circumltance in fome degree roufed the monks from their indolence, and 
induced the greater monafteries to procure the foundation of fmall colleges in the 
univerfities for the education of their novices. At Oxford the monks had alfo fchools 
which bore the name of their refpeftive orders : and there were fchools in that uni- 
verfity which were appropriated to particular monafteries. Kennet's Paroch. Ant. 
p. 214. Wood, Hift. Ant. Univ. Oxon. i. 119. Leland fays, that even in his time 
at Stamford, a temporary univerfity, the names of halls inhabited by the novices of 
Peterborough, Sempringham, and Vauldrey abbeys, were remaining. Itin. vi. p. 21. 
And it appears, that the greater part of the proceeders in theology at Oxford and 
Cambridge, juft before the Reformation, were monks. But we do not find that, in 
confequence of all thefe efforts, the monks made a much greater figure in literature. 
In this rivalry which fubfifted between the mendicants and the monks, the latter 
ibmetimes availed themfelves of their riches : and with a view to attraft popularity, 
and to eclipfe the growing luftre of the former, proceeded to their degrees in the uni- 
verfities with prodigious parade. In the year 1298, William de Brooke, a Benediftine 
of St. Peter's abbey at Gloucefter, took the degree of doftor in divinity at Oxford. 
He was attended on this important occafion by the abbot and whole convent of 
Gloucefter, the abbots of Weftminfter, Reading, Abingdon, Evefham, and Malmef- 
bury, with one hundred noblemen and efquires, on hories richly caparifoned. Thefe 
were entertained at a fumptuous feaft in the refeftory of Gloucefter college. But 
it mould be obferved, that he was thefirft of the Benediftine order that attained this 
dignity. Wood, Hift. Ant. Uni<v. Oxon. i. 25, col. i. See alfo Dugdale, Mon. 
[edit. Stevens,] i. 70. 

4 " De fcholaribus emittendis ad univerfitatem Oxonie pro dotrina." Cap. xviii. 
6 Leland. Script. Brit. p. 283. This houfe flood juft without the city walls, near 

Little-gate. The garden called Paradife was their grove or orchard. 

6 It is probable that the treatifes of many of Bacon's fcholars and followers, col- 



s. 9. The various Religious Orders. 267 

valuable library with a multitude of Hebrew manufcripts, which they 
purchafed of the Jews on their banifhment from England. 1 Richard 
de Bury, Bimop of Durham, author of Philobiblon, and the founder 
of a library at Oxford, is prolix in his praifes of the Mendicants for 
their extraordinary diligence in collecting books. 2 Indeed it became 
difficult in the beginning of the fourteenth century to find any trea- 
tife in the arts, theology, or canon law, commonly expofed to fale : 
they were all univerfaily bought up by the friars. 3 This is mentioned 
by Richard Fitzralph, archbifhop of Armagh, in his difcourfe before 
the Pope at Avignon in 1357 ; he was their bitter and profefled anta- 
gonift, and adds, without any intention of paying them a compliment, 
that all the Mendicant convents were furniftied with a " grandis et no- 
bilis libraria." 4 Sir Richard Whittington built the library of the Grey 
Friars in London, which was one hundred and twenty-nine feet long, 
and twelve broad, with twenty-eight defks. 5 About the year 1430, 
one hundred marks were paid for tranfcribing the profound Nicholas 
de Lyra, in two volumes, to be chained in this library. 6 Leland re- 
lates that Thomas Wallden, a learned Carmelite, bequeathed to the 
fame library as many MSS. of approved authors, written in capital 
Roman characters, as were then eftimated at more than two thoufand 
pieces of gold. 7 He adds that this library even in his time exceeded 
all others in London for multitude of books and antiquity of copies. 8 
Among many other inftances which might be given of the learning 
of the Mendicants, there is one which greatly contributed to eftablifh 
their literary character. In the eleventh century, Ariftotle's philo- 
fophy had been condemned in the univerfity of Paris as heretical. 
About a hundred years afterwards, the fe prejudices began to fubfide ; 
and new translations of Ariftotle's writings were publifhed in Latin 
by our countryman Michael Scotus, and others, with more attention 
to the original Greek, at leaft without the pompous and perplexed 



le&ed by Thomas Allen in the reign of James I. ftill remain among the MSS. of Sir 
Kenelm Digby in the Bodleian library. 

1 Wood, ubifupr. i, 77, col. 2. 

2 PhilobibL cap. v. This book was written in 1 344. 

3 Yet I find a decree made at Oxford, where thefe orders of friars flourifhed fo 
greatly, in the year 1373, to check the exceflive multitude of perfons felling books 
in the univerfity without licence. Pet. Stat. Unm. Oxon. D. fol. 75. Archiv. Bodl. 

4 MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Propofitio coram papa, &c. And MSS. C.C.C. Oxon. 182. 
Propofitio coram, &c. See a tranflation of this Sermon by Trevifa, MSS. Harl. 
1900, 2. See f. ii. See alfo Browne's append. Fafcic. Rer. expetend. fugiend. ii. 
p. 466. I believe this difcourfe has been printed twice or thrice at Paris. In which, 
lays the archbifhop, there were thirty thoufand fcholars at Oxford in my youth, but 
now (1357) fcarce fix thoufand. At Bennet in Cambridge, there is a curious MS. 
of one of Fitzrauf s Sermons, in the firft leaf of which there is a drawing of four 
devils, hugging four mendicant friars, one of each of the four orders, with great 
familiarity and affeftion. MSS. L. 16. This book belonged to Adam Efton, a 
very learned Benedi6line of Norwich, and a witnefs againft Wickliffe at Rome, 
where he lived the greateft part of his life, in 1370. 

5 Stow's Surv. Land. p. 255, edit. 1599. 

6 Stow, ibid. p. 256, Dugd. Monaft. [ed. Stevens] i. 112. 7 Aurei. 
8 Script. Brit. p. 441, and Colleftan. iii. p. 52. 



268 Splendour of their Houfes. s. 9. 

circumlocutions which appeared in the Arabic verfions hitherto ufed. 
In the mean time fprang up the Mendicant orders who, happily 
availing themfelves of thefe new tranflations, and making them the 
conftant fubjedl of their fcholaftic lectures, were the firft who re- 
vived the doctrines of this philofopher, and acquired the merit of 
having opened a new fyftem of fcience. 1 The Dominicans of Spain 
were accomplimed adepts in the learning and language of the Ara- 
bians ; and were employed by the kings of Spain in the inftru6tion 
and converfion of the numerous Jews and Saracens who refided in 
their dominions. 2 

The buildings of the Mendicant monafteries, efpecially in England, 
were remarkably magnificent, and commonly much exceeded thofe 
of the endowed convents of the fecond magnitude. As thefe fra- 
ternities were profefledly poor, and could not from their original 
inftitution receive eftates, the munificence of their benefactors was 
employed in adorning their houfes with ftately refectories and 
churches : and for thefe and other purpofes they did not want ad- 
drefs to procure abundance of patronage, which was facilitated by the 
notion of their fuperior fanctity. It was faihionable for perfons of 
the higheft rank to bequeath their bodies to be buried in the friary 
churches, which were confequently filled with fumptuous mrines and 
fuperb monuments. 3 In the noble church of the Grey friars in 
London, finifhed in the year 1325, but long fince deftroyed, four 
queens, befides upwards of fix hundred perfons of quality, were 
buried, whofe beautiful tombs remained till the diflblution. 4 Thefe 
interments imported confiderable fums of money into the mendicant 



1 See Joann. Laun. de <varia Ariftctel. Fortun. in Acad. Paris, p. 78, edit. 

2 R. Simon's Lett. Chois. torn. iii. p. 112. Theyftudied the arts of popi 
rtainment. The Mendicants, I believe, were the only religious in Engla: 



1662. 
mlar en- 
tertainment. The Mendicants, I believe, were the only religious in England who 
a&ed plays. The Creation of the World, annually performed by the Grey friars at 
Coventry, is ftill extant. And they feem to have been famous abroad for thefe ex- 
hibitions. De la Flamma, who flourifhed about the year 1 340, has the following 
curious paflage in his chronicle of the Vifconti of Milan, publifhed by Muratori. 
In the year 1336, fays he, on the feaft of Epiphany, the firft feaft of the three kings 
was celebrated at Milan by the convent of the friars Preachers. The three kings 
appeared crowned on three great horfes, richly habited, furrounded by pages, body- 
guards, and an innumerable retinue. A golden ftar was exhibited in the fky, going 
before them. They proceeded to the pillars of S. Lawrence, where King Herod was 
reprefented with his fcribes and wife men. The three kings afk Herod where Chrift 
fhould be born : and his wife men having confulted their books, anfwer him at 
Bethlehem. On which, the three kings with their golden crowns, having in their 
hands golden cups filled with frankincenfe, myrrh, and gold, the ftar ftill going be- 
fore, marched to the church of S. Euftorgius with all their attendants, preceded 
by trumpets and horns, apes, baboons, and a great variety of animals. In the church, 
on one fide of the high altar, there was a manger with an ox and an afs, and in it 
the infant Chrift in the arms of his mother. Here the three kings offer their gifts, 
&c. The concourfe of the people, of knights, ladies, and ecclefiaftics, was fuch as 
never before was beheld, &c Rer. Italic. Scriptor. torn. xii. col. 1017. D. This 
feaft in the ritual is called The feaft of the Star. Joann. Epifcop. Abrinc. de Offic. 
EccL p. 30. 

3 Their churches were efteemed more facred than others. 

4 Weev. Fun. Mon. p. 588. 



s. 9. The Dominicans and the Francifcans. 269 

focieties. It is probable that they derived more benefit from cafual 
charity, than they would have gained from a regular endowment. 
The Francifcans indeed enjoyed from the popes the privilege of 
diftributing indulgences, a valuable indemnification for their vo- 
luntary poverty. 1 

On the whole, two of thefe Mendicant inftitutions, the Dominicans 
and the Francifcans, for the fpace of nearly three centuries appear 
to have governed the European church and ftate with an abfolute 
and univerfal fway ; they filled, during that period, the moft eminent 
ecclefiaftical and civil ftations, taught in the univerfities with an 
authority which filenced all oppofition, and maintained the difputed 
prerogative of the Roman pontiff againft the united influence of 
prelates and kings, with a vigour only to be paralleled by its fuccefs. 
The Dominicans and Francifcans were, before the Reformation, 
exactly what the Jefuits have been fmce. They difregarded their 
monaftic character and profeflion, and were employed not only in 
fpiritual matters, but in temporal affairs of the greateft confequence ; 
in compofing the differences of princes, concluding treaties of peace, 
and concerting alliances ; they prefided in cabinet councils, levied 
national fubfidies, influenced courts, and managed the machinery of 
every important operation and event, both in the religious and poli- 
tical world. 

From what has been here faid, it is natural to fuppofe that the 
Mendicants at length became univerfally odious. The high efteem 
in which they were held, and the tranfcendent degree of authority 
which they had affumed, only ferved to render them obnoxious to 
the clergy of every rank, to the monafteries of other orders, and to 
the univerfities. It was not from ignorance, but from a knowledge 
of mankind, that they were active in propagating fuperftitious notions, 
which they knew were calculated to captivate the multitude, and to 
ftrengthen the papal intereft ; yet at the fame time, from the vanity 
of displaying an uncommon fagacity of thought and a fuperior fkill 
in theology, they affe6led novelties in doclrine, which introduced 
dangerous errors, and tended to fhake the pillars of orthodoxy. 
Their ambition was unbounded, and their arrogance intolerable. 
Their increafing numbers became, in many ftates, an enormous and 
unwieldy burthen to the commonwealth. They had abufed the 
powers and privileges which had been intrufted to them ; and the 
common fenfe of mankind could not long be blinded or deluded by 
the palpable frauds and artifices, which thefe rapacious zealots fo 
notorioufly pra6lifed for enriching their convents. In England, the 
univerfity of Oxford refolutely refifted the perpetual encroachments of 
the Dominicans ;' 2 and many of our theologifts attacked all the four 
orders with great vehemence and feverity. Exclufivelyof the jealoufies 
and animofities which naturally fubfifted between four rival inftitu- 
tions, their vifionary refinements and love of difputation introduced 

1 See Baluz. Mifcellan. torn. iv. 490, vii. 392.' 

2 Wood, ut fupr. i. 150, 154, 196. 



270 c Teflimony of Bale and Leland. s. 9. 

among them the moft violent diflenfions. The Dominicans aimed 
at popularity by an obftinate denial of the immaculate conception. 
Their pretended fan&ity became at length a term of reproach, and 
their learning fell into difcredit. As polite letters and general know- 
ledge increafed, their fpeculative and pedantic divinity gave way to a 
more liberal turn of thinking and a more perfpicuous mode of writing. 
Bale, who was himfelf a Carmelite friar, fays that his order, which 
was eminently diftinguifhed for fcholaftic erudition, began to lofe 
their eftimation about the year 1460. Some of them were impru- 
dent enough to engage openly in political controverfy ; and the Au- 
guftines deftroyed all their repute and authority in England by fedi- 
tious fermons, in which they laboured to fupplant the progeny of 
Edward IV., and to eftablifh the title of the ufurper Richard. 1 About 
the year 1530, Leland vifited the Francifcan friary at Oxford, big 
with the hopes of finding in their celebrated library, if not many 
valuable books, at leaft thofe which had been bequeathed by the 
learned bifhop Grofetefte. The delays and difficulties, with which 
he procured admittance into this venerable repofitory, heightened 
his curiofity and expectations. At length, after much ceremony, 
being permitted to enter, inftead of an ineftimable treafure, he 
faw little more than empty fhelves covered with cobwebs and 
duft. 2 

After fo prolix an introduction, I cannot but give a large quota- 
tion from our Crede^ the humour and tendency of which will now be 
eafily underftood ; efpecially as this poem is fo curious and lively a 
picture of an order of men who once made fo confpicuous a figure 
in the world : 3 

For firft y fraynede \>e freres * and J?ey me fulle tolden, 
pat all J>e frute of )>e fayj> was in here foure ordres, 
And \>Q cofres of criftendam & \>e keye bo]?en, 
And }>e lok [of beleve lyeth] ioken in her hondes. 



1 Newcourt, Repert. i. 289. 

2 Leland defcribes this adventure with fbme humour. " Contigit ut copiatn 
peterem videndi bibliothecam Francifcanorum, ad quod obftreperunt afmi aliquot, 
rudentes nulli prorfus mortalium tarn fanftos aditus et receflus adire, nifi Gardiano 
et facris fui collegii baccalariis. Sed ego urgebam, et principis diplomate munitus, 
tantum non coegi, ut facraria ilia aperirent. Turn unus e majoribus afmis multa 
fubrudens tandem fores aegre referavit. Summe Jupiter ! quid ego illic inveni ? 
Pulverem autem inveni, telas aranearum, tineas, blattas, fitum denique et fqual- 
lorem. Inveni etiam et libros, fed quos tribus obolis non emerem." Script. Brit. 
p. 286. 

3 [The Britifh Mufeum contains but one MS. (King's MSS. 18. B. xvi.) of the 
Crede, and that of no early date. It agrees clofely in orthography and matter with 
the printed copy, and is perhaps not much older. Price. There is another MS. in 
the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Both MSS., as well as the old printed 
edition, are evidently derived from one and the fame older MS., now loft, of the 
early part of the fifteenth century. The Trinity MS. is a very faithful tranfcript, 
and far more correft than the Mufeum copy; both the MSS. copies are more 
correct than the printed edition. The Crtde t as printed by Warton and his 
editors, has now been adjufted to the Early Engli/h 'Text Society's edition, 1867, ed. 
by Rev. W. W. Skeat.] 



s. 9. Pierce the Plowman's Crede. 271 

panne [wende] y to wyten & wij> a whijt y mette, 

A Menoure in a morrow-tide & to J?is man [ faide, 

" Sire, for grete god[e]s loue )?e grai}> )?ou me telle, 

Of what myddelerde man mi^te y beft lerne 

My Crede ? For I can it nou^t my kare is J?e more ; 

& Jtfrfore, for Criftes loue J?i councell y praie. 

A Carm me ha}> y-couenaunt >e Crede me to teche j 

But for )>ou knoweft Carmes well Y\ counfaile y afke." 

pis Menour loked on me * and law^yng he feyde, 

" Leue Criften man y leue \>at J?ou madde ! 

Whou^ fchulde J>ei techen J>e God jvzt con not hemfelue ? 

pei ben but jugulers and iapers, of kynde, 

Lorels and Lechures & lemmaws holden ; 

NeyJ>er in order ne out * but vn-ne>e lybbe}>, 

And byiapeb >e folke wi)> geftes of Rome ! 

It is but a faynt folk * i-founded vp-on iapes, 

pei makeh hem Maries men 1 (fo J>ei men tellen), 

And liej> on our Ladie many a longe tale. 

And >at wicked folke wymmen bi-traiej?, 

And bigilej? hem of her good wij> glauerynge wordes, 

And \>erw\\> holden her hous * in harlotes werkes. 

And, fo faue me God ! I hold it gret fynne 

To ^yuen hem any good fwiche glotones to fynde, 

To maynteyne fwiche maner men * \>ak mychel good deftruyej?. 

3>et feyn they in here futilte ' to fottes in townes, 

pei comen out of Carmeli 2 Crift for to followen, 

& feyneb hem with holynes * \>a\. yuele hem bifemej>. 

pei lyuen more in lecherie and lieth in her tales 

pan iueri any god liife ; but [lurken] in her felles, 

[And] wynnen werldliche god & waften it in fynne. 

And $if J>ei couj>en her crede o>er on Crift leueden, 

pei weren n-ou^t fo hardie fwich harlotri vfen. 

Sikerli y can nou^t fynden who hem firft founded, 

But }>e foles foundeden hem-felf freres of the Pye, 

And maken hem mendynauns & marre \>e puple. 

But what glut of J>o gomes * may any good kachen, 

He will kepen it hym-felf & cofren it fafte, 

And J>ei| his felawes fayle good for him he may fteruen. 

Her money may bi-queft & teftament maken, 

And no obedience bere but don as [hem] lufte. 

[And] ry|t as Robertes men 3 raken aboute, 

At feires & at ful ales & fyllen J>e cuppe, 

And preche> all of pardon to plefen the puple. 

1 The Carmelites, fometimes called the brethren of the BlefTed Virgin, were 
fond of boafting their familiar intercourfe with the Virgin Mary. Among other 
things, they pretended that the Virgin affumed the Carmelite habit and profeffion : 
and that me appeared to Simon Sturckius, general of their order, in the thirteenth 
century, and gave him a folemn promife, that the fouls of thofe Chriftians who 
died with the Carmelite fcapulary upon their fhoulders mould infallibly efcape 
damnation. 

2 The Carmelites pretended that their order was originally founded on Mount 
Carmel where Elias lived : and that their firft convent was placed there, within 
an ancient church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in uai. 

3 Robartes men, or Roberdfmen, were a fet of lawlefs vagabonds, notorious 
for their outrages when Pierce Plowman was written, that is, about the year 
[i 362]. The ftatute Edw. III. (an. reg. 5. c. xiv.) fpecifies " divers manflaughters, 
felonies, and robberies, done by people that be called Roberdefmen, Waftours, and 
drawlatches." And the ftatute (an. reg. 7. c. v.) ordains, that the ftatute of King 
Edward concerning Roberdfmen and Dra-vjlacches (hall be rigoroufly obferved. 

f 



272 Pierce the Plowman's Crede. s. 9 

Her pacience is all pafed & put out to ferme, 

And pride is in her pouerte \>a\. litell is to preifen. 

And at \>e lulling of oure Ladye J?e wymwen to lyken, 

And miracles of mydwyves * & maken wymmen to wenen 

pat \>e lace of oure ladie fmok li^teh hern of children. 

pei ne prechen nou^t of Powel ne penaunce for fynne, 

But all of mercy & menfk \>a\. Marie maie helpen. 

WiJ? fterne ftaues and ftronge >ey ouer lond ftrakej) 

pider as her lemmans liggej? and lurkej? in townes, 

(Grey grete-hedede quenes * wi> gold by \>e ei^en), 

And feyn, }>at here fiiftren }>ei ben \>at foiournej? aboute j 

And jms about bey gon & godes folke by-traiej>. 

It is }>e puple \>at Powel * preched of in his tyme j 

He feyde of fwich folk }>at fo aboute wente, 

' Wepyng, y warne $ow of walkers aboute ; 

It be> enemyes of |>e cros \>at crift opon ]>olede. 

Swiche flomerers in flepe * flau)>e is her ende, 

And glotony is her God ' wi}> g[l]oppyng of drynk, 1 

And gladnes in glees & gret ioye y-maked 5 

In J?e fchendyng of fwiche fchall mychel folk lawje. 1 

p^rfore, frend, for H feyj> fond to don betere, 

Leue nou^t on J>o lofels but let hem for]? pafen, 

For >ei ben fals in her fei)> & fele mo o)>ere." 

" Alas ! frere," qua}? I J>o " my purpos is i-failed, 

Now is my counfort a-caft ! * canftou no bote, 

Where y rny^te meten wi)? a man bat my^te me [wiflen] 
For to conne my Crede Crift for to folwen ?" 

" CERTEYNE, felawe," qua> \>e frere " wij>-outen any faile. 
Of all men opon mold we Menures moft fchewe]> 
pe pure Apoftell[e]s life wi> penance on er)?e, 
And fuen hem in faunftite & fuffren well harde. 
We haunten none tauernes ne hobelen abouten j 
At marketts & myracles we medle)? vs nevere ; 
We hondlen no money but menelich faren, 
And haven hunger at [the] meate at ich a mel ones, 
We hauen forfaken the worlde & in wo lybbeK 
In penaunce & pouerte * & preche}> \>e puple, 
By enfample of oure life * foules to helpen j 
And in pouertie praien for all oure parteners 
pat jyuej> vs any good god to honouren, 
OJ>er bell oj?er booke or breed to our fode, 
O}>er catell o)>er cloh to coveren wi)> our bones, 
Money or money-worthe ; here mede is in heven. 
For we buldeh a burwj a brod and a large, 
A Chirche and A Chapaile with chambers a-lofte, 
Wi}> wide windowes y-wrou^t ' & walles well heye, 
pat mote bene portreid and paynt & pulched ful clene 2 
WiJ> gaie glittering glas * glowing as j>e fonne. 
And my^teftou amenden vs wij> money 3 of >yn owne, 
pou chuldeft cnely bifore Crift in com pas of gold 
1 In >e wide windowe weftwarde wel ni^e in the myddell, 4 
And feynt Fraunces him-felf fchall folden the in his cope, 

1 In the Liber Pcenitentialis there is this injunftion, " Si monachus per ebrieta- 
tem vomitum fecerit^ triginta dies pceniteat" MSS. James V. 237, Bibl. Bodl. 

2 Muft be painted and beautifully adorned. Mote is often ufed in Chaucer for 
muft. 

3 If you would help us with your money. 

4 Your figure kneeling to Chrift fhall be painted in the great weft window. 
This was the way of reprefenting benefactors in painted glafs. 



s. 9. Extraffs from the Poem. 273 

And prefente the to the trynitie ' and praie for thy fynnes ; 

pi name fchall noblich ben wryten & wrou^t for the nones, 

And, in remembrance of J>e y-rade )?er for euer. 1 

And, broker, be J'ou nou^t aferd ; [bythenk in] thyn herte, 

POU^ >ou conne nou^t H Crede kare J>ou no more. 

I fchal afoilen J>e, fyre & fetten it on my foule, 

And J>ou maie maken J>is good J?enk J>ou non oj>er." 

" SIRE," y faide, " in certaine y fchal gon & afaye ;" 

And he fette on me his honde ' & afoilede me clene, 

And J>eir y parted him fro wij>-outen any peine, 

In couenant \>at y come ajen Crift he me be-tau^te. 

panne faide y to my-felf " here feme)> litel trewj>e ! 

Firft to blamen his broker and bacbyten him foule, 

peire-as curteis Crift * clereliche faide, 

* Whow my^t-tou in thine broker ei|e a bare mote loken, 

And in J?yn owen ei^e noujt a bem toten ? 

See fyrft on J>i-felf and fi>en on anoher, 

And clenfe clene J>i fyjt and kepe well J>yn eije, 

And for anoj?er manwes ei^e ordeyne after.' 

And alfo y fey coueitife * catel to fongen, 

pt Crift haj? clerliche forboden & clenliche deftruede, 

And faide to his fueres forfoj>e on J?is wife, 

' Nou^t f>i nei^bours good couet yn no tyme.' 

But charite & chaftete ben chafed out clene, 

But Crift feide, ' by her fruyt men mall hem ful knowen." " 

panne faide y, "certeyn, fire J>ou demeft full trewe !" 

Panne >ou|t y to frayne J>e firft of Ms foure ordirs, 

And prefede to \>e prechoures to proven here wille. 

[Ich] hi^ede to her houfe * to herken of more j 

And whan y cam to }>at court y gaped aboute. 

Swich a bild bold, y-buld * opon er]>e hei^te 

Say i nou^th in certeine fi>J>e a longe tyme. 

Y ^emede vpon \>a\. houfe & jerne ]?eron loked, 

Whouj >e pileres weren y-peynt and pulched ful clene, 

And queynteli i-coruen wih curioufe knottes, 

Wi> wyndowes well y-wrou^t wide vp o-lofte. 

And >anne y entrid in and even-for}> went, 

And all was walled bat wone ' j>ou^ it wid were, 

Wi> pofternes in pryuytie to pafen when hem lifte ; 

Orche^ardes and erberes euefed well clene, 

And a curious cros craftly entayled, 

WiJ? tabernacles y-ti^t to toten all abouten. 

pe pris of a plouj-lond of penyes fo rounde 

To aparaile f>at pyler were pure lytel. 

panne y munte me forj? )ie mynftre to knowen, 

And a-waytede a woon wonderlie well y-beld, 

Wi{? arches on eueriche half & belliche y-corven, 

WiJ? crochetes on corners wij> knottes of golde, 

Wyde wyndowes y-wrou^t * y- written full J>ikke, 

Schynen wi> fchapen fcheldes 2 to fchewen aboute, 

1 Your name mall be written in our table of benefaftors for whole fouls we pray. 
This was ufually hung up in the church. Or elfe he means, Written in the win- 
dows, in which manner benefa&ors were frequently recorded. 

Moft of the [later] printed copies read praid. Hearne, in a quotation of this 
paflage, reads yrad. Gul. Newbrig. p. 770. He quotes [the] edition of 1553. 
" Your name mall be richly written in the windows of the church of the monaftery 
which men will read there for ever." This feems to be the true reading [un- 
queftionably.] 

2 That is, coats of arms of benefaftors painted in the glafs. So in an ancient 
II. T 



274 Pierce the Plowman s Crede. s. 9. 

WiJ? merkes of marchauntes 1 y-medled bytwene, 
Mo Jjan twenty and two twyes y-no#mbred. 
per is none heraud \>cfr haj? ' half fvvich a rolle, 
Ri^t as a rageman haj? reckned hem newe. 
Tombes opon tabernacles tyld opon lofte, 
Houfed 2 in hirnes harde fet abouten, 
Of armede alabauftre clad for \>e nones, 
[Made vpon marbel ' i# many rnaner wyfe, 
Knyghter i her conifantef 3 ' clad for ]>e nones,] 

roll in verfe, exhibiting the defcent of the family of the lords of Clare in Suffolk, 
preferred in the Auftin friary at Clare, and written in the year 1356. 
" Dame Mault, a lady full honorable 
Borne of the Ulfters, as fheweth ryfe 
Hir armes of glafTe in the eaftern gable. 

So conjoyned be 

Ulftris armes and Gloceftris thurgh and thurgh, 
As fhewith our Wyndowes in houfes thre, 
Dortur, chapiter-houfe, and fraitour, which me 
Made out the grounde both plancher and wall. 11 

Dugdale cites this roll, Man. Angl. i. p. 535. As does Weever, who dates it in 
1460. Fun. Mon. p. 734. But I could prove this fafhion to have been of much 
higher antiquity. 

1 By merkes of merchauntes we are to understand their fymbols, ciphers, or 
badges, drawn or painted in the windows. [A great variety of them may be feen 
in Current Notes.] Of this paflage I have received the following curious explication 
from Mr. Cole, reftor of Blechleyin Bucks, a learned antiquary in the heraldic art. 
" Mixed with the arms of their founders and benefactors ftand alib the marks of 
tradefmen and merchants, who had no Arms, but ufed their Marks in a Shield like 
Arms. Inftances of this fort are very common. In many places in Great Saint 
Mary's church in Cambridge fuch a Shield of Mark occurs : the fame that is to be 
feen in the windows of the great mop oppofite the Conduit on the Market-hill, and 
the corner houfe of the Petty Cuny. No doubt, in the reign of Henry VII., the 
owner of thefe houfes was a benefactor to the building, or glazing Saint Mary's 
church. I have feen like inftances in Briftol cathedral ; and the churches at Lynn 
are full of them." In an ancient fyftem of heraldry in the Britifh Mufeum, I find 
the following illuftration, under a (hield of this fort. "Theys be none armys, bvt 
a Marke as Marchaunts vfe, for every mane may take hyme a Marke, but not 
armys, without an herawde or purcyvaunte." MSS. Harl. 2259, 9, fol. no. 

2 Humes, interpreted, in the fhort Gloflary to the Crede, Caves, that is, in the 
prefent application, niches, arches. See Glofs. Rob. Glouc. p. 660, col. i. Hum, 
is angle, corner. From the Saxon pyrtn, Angulus. Chaucer, Frankel. T. v. 393. 

" Seeken in every halke [nook], and every herne." 
And again, Chan. Tern. Prol. ver. 105. 

" Lurking in hernes and in lanes blynde." 
Read the line, thus pointed. 

" Houfed in hurnes hard fet abouten." 

The fenfe is therefore : " The tombs were within lofty-pinnacled tabernacles, and 
enclofed in a multiplicity of thick-fet arches." Hard is clofe, or thick. This 
conveys no bad idea of a Gothic fepulchral fhrine. 

3 In their proper habiliments. In their cognifances, or furcoats of arms. So 
again, fignat. C ii b. 

" For though a man in her minftre a mafic wolde heren, 

His fight fhall alfo byfet on fondrye workes, 

The pennons, and the poinells, and pointes of fheldes 

Withdrawen his devotion and dufken his harte." 

That is, the banners, achievements, and other armorial ornaments, hanging over 
the tombs. 






s. 9. Extracts from the Poems. 275 

All it femed feyntes y-facred open erbe; 

And louely ladies y-wrou^t leyen by her fydes 

In many gay garments * J?t weren gold-beten. 

pou^ J>e tax of ten ^er were trewly y-gadered, 

Nolde it nou^t maken \>a\. hous half, as y trowe. 

panne kam I to ]>at cloifter & gaped abouten 

Whouj it was pilered and peynt & portred well clene, 

All y-hyled wij> leed * lowe to J?e ftones, 

And y-paued wi)> peynt til * iche poynte after o>er j 

Wi{? kundites of clene tyn clofed all aboute, 

Wi> lauoures of latun louelyche y-greithed. 

I trowe be gaynage of he ground * in a gret fchire 

Nolde aparaile \>at place oo poynt til other ende. 

panne was J>e chaptire-hous wrou^t * as a greet chirche, 

Coruen and couered and queyntliche entayled j 

WiJ> femlich felure y-fet on lofte ; 

As a Parlement-hous y-peynted aboute. 1 

1 That they painted the walls of rooms, before tapeftry became fafhionable, I 
have before given inftances, Obfer<vat. Spens. vol. ii. p. 232. I will here add 
other proofs. In an old French romance on the Miracles of the Pirgin, liv. i. Car- 
pent. Suppl. Lat. Gl. Du Gang. v. Lambroi/are. 

" Lors mouftiers tiennent ors et fales, 

Et lor cambres, et lor grans fales, 

Font lambroiflier, paindre et pourtraire." 

Gervafius Dorobernenfis, in his account of the burning of Canterbury Cathedral in 
the year 1174, fays, that not only the beam-work was deftroyed, but the ceiling 
underneath it, or concameration called coelum, being of wood beautifully painted, 
was alfo confumed. " Ccelum inferius egregie depiclum," &c. p. 1289. Dec. 
Script. 1652. And Stubbes, AcJus Pontif. Eboracenfium^ fays that Archbifhop 
Aldred, about 1060, built the whole church of York from the prefbytery to the 
tower, and " fuperius opere pi6lorio quod Ccelum vocant auro multiformiter inter- 
mixto, mirabili arte conftruxit." p. 1704. Dec. Script, ut fupr. There are many 
inftances in the pipe-rolls. The roof of the church of CafTmo in Italy is ordered to 
be painted in 1349, like that of St. John Lateran at Rome. Hift. Coffin, torn. ii. 
p. 545, col. i. Dugdale has printed an ancient French record, by which it appears 
that there was a hall in the caftle of Dover called Arthur's hall, and a chamber 
called Geneura's chamber. Monaft. ii. 2. I fuppofe, becaufe the walls of thefe 
apartments were refpeftively adorned with paintings of each. Geneura is Arthur's 
queen. In the pipe-rolls, Hen. III., we have this notice, A. p. 1259. " Infra 
portam caftri et birbecanam, etc. ab exitu Cameras Rofamundae ufque capellam 
fanfti Thomas in Caftro Wynton." Rot. Pip. Hen. III. an. 43. This I once fup- 
pofed to be a chamber in Winchefter caftle, fo called becaufe it was painted with 
the figure or fome hiftory of fair Rofamond. But a Rofamond-chamber was a 
common apartment in the royal caftles, perhaps in imitation of her bower at Wood- 
ftock, literally nothing more than a chamber, which yet was curioufly conftrufted 
and decorated, at leaft in memory of it. The old profe paraphraft of the Chronicle 
of Robert of Gloucefter fays, "Boureshadde the Rofamonde about in Engelonde, 
which this kynge [Hen. II.] for hir fake made : atte Waltham bifhopes, in the 
caftelle of Wynchefter, atte park of Fremantel, atte Martelefton, atte Woodeftoke, 
and other fele [many] places." Chron. edit. Hearne, 479. This paffage indeed 
feems to imply, that Henry II. himfelf provided for his fair concubine a bower, or 
chamber of peculiar conftru&ion, not only at Woodftock, but in all the royal 
palaces : which, as may be concluded from the pipe-roll juft cited, was called by 
her name. Leland fays, that in the ftately caftle of Pickering in Yorkfhire, " in 
the firft court be a foure Toures, of the which one is caullid Rofamundes Toure." 
Itin. fol. 71. Probably becaufe it contained one of thefe bovvers or chambers. 
Or, perhaps we fhould read Rofamundes Boure. Compare Walpole's Anecd. Paint. 
i. pp. 10, 1 1. 



276 Pierce the Plowman's Crede. s. 9. 

panne ferd y into fraytour and fond \>erz an ober, 

An halle for an hey^ kinge an houfholde to holden, 

WiJ> brode hordes aboure * y-benched wel clene, 

WiJ> windowes of glas * wrou^t as a Chirche. 

panne walkede y ferrer & went all abouten, 

And fei^ halles full hy^e & houfes full noble, 

Chambers wi> chimneyes & Chapells gaie ; 

And kychens for an hy^e kinge in cattells to holden, 

And her dortour y-di|te wi]? dores ful ftronge ; 

Fermery and fraitur with fele mo houfes, 

And all ftrong fton wall fterne opon hefte, 

WiJ> gaie garites & grete & iche hole y-glafed ; 

\And o)we] houfes y-nowe to herberwe J>e queene. 

And ^et Hfe bilderes wilne beggen * a bagg-ful of wheate 

Of a pure pore man ' \>at maie onej?e paie 

Half his rente in a }er and half ben behynde ! 

panne turned y a^en whan y hadde all y-toted, 

And fond in a freitour a frere on a benche, 

A greet cherl & a grym growen as a tonne, 

WiJ> a face as fat as a full bladder, 

Blowen bretfull of bre}? & as a bagge honged 

On boj>en his chekes, & his chyn wi]> a chol lollede, 

As greet as a gos eye growen all of grece ; 

pat all wagged his fleche as a quyk myre. 

His cope }>at biclypped him wel clene was it folden, 

Of double worftede y-dyjt doun to J>e hele ; 

His kyrtel of clene whijt clenlyche y-fewed ; 

Hyt was good y-now of ground greyn for to beren. 

I haylfede \>at herdeman & hendliche y faide, 

" Gode fyre, for Godes loue canftou me grai)> tellen 

To any wor}?ely wij^t \>at [wifTen] me coufce 

Whou y fchulde conne my Crede Crift for to folowe, 

pat leuede lelliche him-felf & lyuede Jwafter, * 

pat feynede non falfhede but fully Crift fuwede ? 

For fich a certeyn man fyker wold y troften, 

pat he wolde telle me }>e trew>e and turne to none o)>er. 

And an Auftyn Ms ender daie egged me fafte ; 

pat he wolde techen me wel he ply^t me his treuj>e, 

And feyde me, ' ferteyne fy>en Crift died 

Oure ordir was [euelles] & erft y-founde.' " 

" Fyrft, felawe !" qua> he fy on his pilche ! 

He is but abortijf eked wij> cloutes ! 

He holde)> his ordynaunce wij?e hores and heues, 

And purchafe> hem pryuileges wij? penyes fo rounde ; 

It is a pur pardoners craft proue & afaye ! 

For haue j?ei ^i money a mone)? grafter, 

Certes, ^ei^ J?ou come ajen he nyl j&e nou^t knowen. 

But, felawe, our foundement was firft of >e o|?ere, 

And we ben founded fulliche wij^-outen fayntife ; 

And we ben clerkes y-cnowen cunnynge in fcole, 

Proued in proceflion by procefle of lawe. 

Of oure ordre \>er be> bichopes wel manye, 

Seyntes on fundry ftedes \>at fufFreden harde j 

And we ben proued \>t prijs of popes at Rome, 

And of greteft degre * as godfpelles telle)?." 

I muft not quit our Ploughman without obferving, that fome other 
fatirical pieces anterior to the Reformation bear the adopted name 
of Piers the Plowman. Under the character of a ploughman the re- 
ligious are likewife lafhed in a poem written in apparent imitation of 



s. 9. Popularity of the Title. 277 

Langland's Vifion, and [falfely] attributed to Chaucer. I mean the 
Plowman s Tale. 1 The meafure is different, and it is in rhyme. But 
it has Langland's alliteration of initials; as if his example had, as it 
were, appropriated that mode of verification to the fubjecl:, and the 
fuppofed character which fupports the fatire. 2 All thefe poems [or 
rather, the Crede and the Tale] were, for the moft part, founded on 
the dodrines newly broached by Wickliffe : 3 who maintained, among 
other things, that the clergy mould not poflefs eftates, that the eccle- 
fiaftical ceremonies obftru<5ted true devotion, and that Mendicant 
friars, the particular object of our Plowman's Grede, were a public 
and infupportable grievance. But Wickliffe, whom Mr. Hume pro- 
nounces to have been an enthufiaft, like many other reformers, carried 
his ideas of purity too far, and, as at leaft it appears from the two firft 

1 [In the] Plowman's 'Tale this Crede is alluded to, v. 3005 : 

" And of Freris I have before 

Told in a making of a Crede j 

And yet I could tell worfe and more."" 

This paflage at leaft brings the Plowman"* Tale below the Crede in time. But 
fome have thought, very improbably, that this Crede is Jack Upland. [Internal 
evidence clearly mows that the author of the Plonumatfs Tale was alfo author of 
the Crede, as he claims to have been. In imitation of Langland, he named one of 
his poems the Plowman's Crede, and the other the Plowman's Tale. The probable 
date of the former is A. D. 1 394, and of the latter A. D. 1395,] 

2 It is extraordinary that we mould find in this poem one of the abfurd argu- 
ments of the puritans againft ecclefiaftical eftablimments, v. 2253 : 

" For Chrift made no cathedralls, 
Ne with him was no Cardinalls." 
But fee what follows, concerning Wickliffe. 

3 It is remarkable, that they touch on the very topics which Wickliffe had juft 
publimed in his Objections of Freres, charging them with fifty herefies. As in the 
following : " Alfo Freres buildin many great churches, and cofty waft houfes and 
cloifteres, as it wern cafteles, and that withouten nede," &c. Lewis's Wickliff, 
p. 22. I will here add a paffage from WicklifFe's tracl entitled Why poor Priefls 
have no Benefices. Lewis, App. Num. xix. p. 289. " And yet they [lords] wolen 
not prefent a clerk able of kunning of god's law, but a kitchen clerk, or a penny 
clerk, or wife in building caftles, or worldly doing, though he kunne not reade 
well his fauter," &c. Here is a manifeft piece of fatire on Wykeham, bifhop of 
Winchefter, Wickliffe's cotemporary ; who is fuppofed to have recommended him- 
felf to Edward III. by rebuilding the caftle of Windfor. This was a recent and 
notorious inftance. But in this appointment the king probably paid a compliment 
to that prelate's fmgular talents for bufinefs, his aftivity, circumfpeftion, and 
management, rather than to any fcientific and profeffed fkill in architefture which 
he might have poffeffed. It feems to me that he was only a fupervifor or comp- 
troller on this occafion. It was common to depute churchmen to this department, 
from an idea of their fuperior prudence and probity. Thus John, the prior of St. 
Swithin's at Winchefter in 1280, is commiffioned by brief from the king to fuper- 
vife large repairs done by the fheriff in the caftle of Winchefter and the royal 
manor of Wolmer. MS. Regiflr. Priorat. Quat. 19, fol. 3. The bimop of S. 
David's was mafter of the works at building King's College. Hearne's Elmh. p. 
353. Alcock, bifhop of Ely, was comptroller of the royal buildings under Henry 
VII. Parker's Hi/}. Cambr. p. 119. He, like Wykeham, was a great builder, but 
not therefore an architect. Richard Williams, dean of Lichfield, and chaplain to 
Henry VIII. bore the fame office. MSS. Wood, Lichfield, D. 7. Afhmol. 
Nicholas Townley, clerk, was mafter of the works at Cardinal College. MS. 
Twyne, 8, f. 351. See alfo Walpole, Anecd. Paint, i. p. 40. 



278 Wickliffe and his Doffirines. s. 9. 

of thefe opinions, under the defign of deftroying fuperftition, his un- 
diftinguifhing zeal attacked even the neceffary aids of religion. It 
was certainly a lucky circumftance that Wickliffe quarrelled with 
the Pope. His attacks on fuperftition at firft probably proceeded 
from refentment. Wickliffe, who was profeffor of divinity at Ox- 
ford, finding on many occafions not only his own province invaded, 
but even the privileges of the univerfity frequently violated by the 
pretenfions of the Mendicants, gratified his warmth of temper by 
throwing out fome flight cenfures againft all the four orders, and the 
popes their principal patrons and abettors. Soon afterwards he was 
deprived of the wardenmip of Canterbury hall by the Archbimop 
of Canterbury, who fubftituted a monk in his place. Upon this he 
appealed to the Pope, who confirmed the archiepifcopal fentence, by 
way of rebuke for the freedom with which he had treated the mo- 
naftic profeflion. Wickliffe, highly exafperated at this ufage, imme- 
diately gave a loofe to his indignation, and without reftraint or dif- 
tindion attacked in numerous fermons and treatifes not only the 
fcandalous enormities of the whole body of monks, but even the 
ufurpations of the pontifical power itfelf, with other ecclefiaftical 
corruptions. Having expofed thefe palpable abufes with a juft ab- 
horrence, he ventured ftill farther, and proceeded to examine and 
refute with great learning and penetration the abfurd doctrines 
which prevailed in the religious fyftem of his age : he not only ex- 
horted the laity to ftudy the Scriptures, but tranflated the Bible into 
Englifh for general ufe and popular infpe6Hon. Whatever were his 
motives, it is certain that thefe efforts enlarged the notions of mankind, 
and fowed thofe feeds of a revolution in religion, which were quick- 
ened at length and brought to maturity by a favourable coincidence of 
circumftances, in an age when the increafing growth of literature 
and curiofity naturally led the way to innovation and improvement. 
But a vifible diminution of the authority of the ecclefiaftics, in Eng- 
land at leaft, had been long growing from other caufes. The difguft 
which the laity had contracted from the numerous and arbitrary en- 
croachments both of the court of Rome and of their own clergy, 
had greatly weaned the kingdom from fuperftition ; and confpicuous 
fymptoms had appeared, on various occafions, of a general defire to 
fhake off the intolerable bondage of papal oppreflion. 




s. io. Imitators of Lang! and. 279 



SECTION X. 

ANGLAND'S peculiarity of ftyle and verification Teems 
to have had many imitators. One of thefe is a name- 
lefs author on the fafhionable hiftory of Alexander the 
Great : and his poem on this fubjedt is inferted at the 
end of the beautiful Bodleian copy of the French 
Roman d* Alexandre^ before mentioned, with this reference : l Here 
fayleth a proffejfe of this romaunce of Allxaunder the whiche projjeffe 
that fayleth ye fchulle fynde at the ende of thy s boke ywrete in Engeliche 
ryme. It is imperfect, and begins and proceeds thus : " 

Ho<w Alexander partyd thennys? 
When this weith at his wil weduring hadde, 
Ful rathe rommede he rydinge thederre ; 
To Oridrace with his oft Alixandre wendus : 
There wilde centre was wift, and wondurful peple, 
That weren proved ful proude, and prys of hem helde ; 
Of bodi went thei bare withoute any wede, 
And had grave on the ground many grete cavys ; 
There here wonnynge was wyn turns and fomerus. 
No fyte nor no fur ftede fothli thei ne hadde, 
But holus holwe in the grounde to hide hem inne ; 
The proude Genolbphiftiens 4 were the gomus called, 



1 It is in a different hand, yet with Saxon characters. See ad calc. cod. f. 209. 
It has miniatures in water colours. [See Mr. Skeat's EJJay on Alliterative Poetry 
in the third volume of the lately-edited Percy folio MS. (1868). F.] 

2 There is a poem in the [Bodleian library,] complete in the former part, which 
is [certainly] the fame. [Sir F. Madden affigns the former to the reign of Henry 
VI. That gentleman alfo informs us that in the Bodleian is a fragment of 
anothers and quite different alliterative romance of Alexander, compofed, he 
believe, by the perfon who wrote the Englifh alliterative romance of William and 
the Werewolf, ed. 1832.] MSS. Afhtn. 44. It has twenty-feven paffus, and begins 
thus : 

" Whener folker faftid and fed, fayne wolde thei her 
Some farand thing," &c. 

3 [Printed in Weber's colleclion, 1810.] At the end are theie rubrics, with 
void Ipaces, intended to be filled : 

' How Alexandre remewid to a flood that is called Phifon." 
' How king Duidimus fente lettres to king Alexandre." 
' How Duidimus enditid to Alexaundre of here levyng." 
' How he fpareth not Alexandre to telle hym of hys governance." 
' How he telleth Alexandre of his maumetrie." 
' How Alexandre fente aunfwere to Duidimus by lettres." 
' How Duidimus fendyd an anfwereto Alexandre by lettre." 
' How Alexandre fente Duidimus another lettre." 
f How Alexandre pight a pelyr of marbyl ther." 

[The laft of thefe rubrics only is followed by a void fpace in the Bodleian copy j 
the former being filled up with iuch verification as is given in Mr. Warton's text, 
which led Ritibn to coniider it a much earlier compofition than Piers Plowman. 
Park.] 

4 Gymnofophifts. 



280 Romance of Alexander. s. 10. 

Now is that name to mene the nakid wife. 

Wan the kiddefte of the cavus, that was kinge holde, 

Hurde tydinge telle and toknynge wifte, 

That Alixaundre with his oft atlede thidirre, 

To beholden of horn hure hie^eft prynce, 

Than waies of worfhipe wittie and quainte 

With his lettres he let to the hid fende. 

Thanne fouthte thei fone the forefaide prynce, 

And to the fchamlefe fchalk fchewen hur lettres. 

Than rathe let the rink reden the fonde, 

That newe tythingeit tolde in this wife : 

The gentil Geneofophiftians, that gode were of witte, 

To the emperour Alixandre here aunfweris wreten. 

That is worfchip of word worthi to have, 

And is conquerer kid in contres manie. 

Us is fertefyed, feg, as we foth heren 

That thou haft ment with thi man amongis us ferre 

But yf thou kyng to us come with caere to fi^te 

Of us getift thou no good, gome, we the warne. 

For what richefle, rink, us might you us bi-reve, 

Whan no wordliche wele is with us founde ? 

We ben fengle of us filfe, and femen ful bare, 

Nouht welde we nowe, but naked we wende, 

And that we happili her haven of kynde 

May no man but God maken us tine. 

Thei thou fonde with thi folke to fighte with us alle, 

We fchulle us kepe on cau^t our cavus withinne. 

Nevere werred we with wi^th upon erthe ; 

For we ben hid in oure holis or we harme laache. 

Thus faide fothli the fonde that thei fente hadde, 

And al fo cof as the king kende the fawe, 

New lettres he let the ludus bitake, 

And with his fawes of foth he fikerede hem alle, 

That he wolde faire with his folke in a faire wife, 

To b'holden here home, and non harme wurke. 

So hath the king to hem fente, and fithen with his peple, 

Kaires cofli til hem, to kenne of hure fare. 

But whan thai fieu the feg with fo manye ryde, 

Thei war agrifen of hys grym, and wende gref tholie 5 

Fail heiede thei to holis, and hidden there, 1 

And in the cavus hem kept from the king fterne, &c. 

Another piece, written in Langland's manner, is entitled, ['The 
Deftruttion ofjerufalem\. This was a favourite fubje6t, as I have 
before obferved, drawn from the Latin hiftorical romance, which 
pafles under the name of Hegefippus de Excidio Hlerufalem : 

In Tyberyus tyme the trewe emperour 2 



1 [In the Bodleian Libraiy, MS. Greaves 60, is a fragment of another allitera- 
tive romance on the fubjecT: of Alexander, totally different from the former one, 
and which I have good grounds to believe was compofed by the fame poet who 
wrote the Englifh alliterative romance of William and the Werewolf, edited by me 
for the Roxburghe Club, in 1832. M.] 

2 [The prefent text has been collated with the Cott. MS. Calig. A. ii. The 
orthographical differences between this and the Laud MS. are numerous though 
not important. All its readings improving the fenfe have been adopted 5 though 
this perhaps would have been wholly fuperfluous, had the original tranfcript been 
correftly made, Price.] 



s. io. " Definition ofjerufalem" 281 

Syr Sefar hym [felf fefed ! ] in Rome 

Whyl Pylot was provoft under that prynce ryche 

And [jewes 2 ] juftice alfo in Judens londis 

Herode under his empire as heritage wolde 

King of Galile was ycallid, whan that Crift deyad 

They 3 Sefar fakles wer, that oft fyn hatide 

Throw Pilet pyned he was and put on the rode 

A pyler was down py^t 4 upon the playne erthe 

His body [bowndone *] therto beten with fcourgis, 

Whippes of [wherebole 6 ] by went his white fides 

Til he al on rede blode ran as rayn on the ftrete 5 

[Sith 7 ] ftockyd hym an a ftole with ftyf menes hondis, 

Blyndfelled hym as a be and boffetis hym ra^te 

^if you be a prophete of pris, prophecie, they fayde 

Which man her aboute [boiled 8 ] the lafte, 

A ftrange thorn crown was thrafte on his hed 

[They 9 ] caften [up a grete] cry [that hym on] cros flowen, 

For al the harme that he had, hafted he no^t 

On hym the vyleny to venge that hys venys broften, 

Bot ay taried on the tyme, ^if they [turne 10 ] wolde 

Gaf [hem n ] fpace that him fpilede they [hit fpedde 12 ] lyte 

[Fourty wynter 13 ] as y fynde, and no fewer, &c. 14 

Notwithftanding what has been fuppofed above, it is not quite cer- 



1 fuls fayfed. 2 fewen. 

3 This is the orthography obferved for both though and they. It occurs again 
below : " they it," though it. 

4 Pyg t was don. 5 bouden. 

6 quyrbole ; which might have ftood, fmce it only deftroys the alliteration to 
the eye. 

7 Warton read "Such;" the Cotton MS. "And fythen fette on a fete;" 
whence the genuine reading of the Laud MS. was obvious. 

8 bobette, Cot. MS. 

9 ... caften hym with a cry and on a crofs flowen. 

10 tone, which if intended for atone (like dine for endure, fperft for difperfed, 
&c.) might be allowed to ftand. The probability is that it is an erroneous tran- 
fcript for tome. 

lf he. 12 he fpedde. 

13 Yf aynt was. Perhaps : xl. wynterit was, &c. 

14 Laud. . . 22, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Ad calc. "Hie traaatur bellum Judaicum 
apud Jerufalem," f. 19, b. It is alfo in Brit. Mus. Cot. MSS. Callg. A. ii. fol. 
109-123. Gyraldus Cambrenfis fays, that the Welfh and Englifh ufe alliteration 
" in omni fermone exquifito." Defcript. Cambr. cap. xi. p. 889. O'Flaherty alfo 
fays of the Irifh, " Non parva eft apud nos in oratione elegantiae fchema, quod 
Paromaeon, i.e. AJJimile, dicitur: quoties multae di6liones, ab eadem litera incipi- 
entes, ex ordine collocantur." Ogyg. part iii. 30, p. 242. [An objeftion has 
been taken to the antiquity of the Welfh poetry, from its fuppofed want of 
alliteration. But this is not the cafe. For the alliteration has not been perceived 
by thofe ignorant of its conftruftion, which is to make it in the middle of words, 
and not at the beginning, as in this inftance : 



Yn ias ir ei naws eirian. 




This information was imparted to Mr. Douce by the ingenious Edward Williams, 
the Welfh bard. Park. See alfo, fays Sir F. Madden, Conybeare's lllujlr. of 
Anglo-Saxon Poetry, (1826) Introduction.] 



282 Other Specimens of the fame clafs of Poetry, s. 10. 

tain that Langland was the firft who led the way in this fingular 
fpecies of verification. His Vifion was written on a popular iubjedt, 
and [was formerly] the only poem, compofed in this capricious fort 
of metre, which [exiited in print]. It is eafy to conceive how thefe 
circumftances contributed to give him the merit of an inventor on 
this occafion. 

Percy has exhibited fpecimens of two or three other poems be- 
longing to this clafs. 1 One of thefe is entitled Death and Life : it 
conlifts of two hundred and twenty-nine lines, and is divided into two 
parts or Fitts. It begins thus : 

Chrift, chriften king, that on the crofle tholed, 
Hadd paines & paffyons to deffend our foules j 
Give us grace on the ground the greatlye to ferve 
For that royall red blood that rann from thy fide. 

The fubjecSt of this piece is a Vifion, containing a conteft for 
fuperiority between Our lady Dame Life, and the ugly fiend Dame 
Death : who with the feveral attributes and concomitants are per- 
fonified in a beautiful vein of allegorical painting. Dame Life is 
thus forcibly defcribed : 

Shee was brighter of her blee then was the bright fonn : 

Her rudd redder then the role that on the rife hangeth : 

Meekely fmiling with her mouth, & merry in her lookes j 

Ever laughing tor love, as fhee like wold : 

& as flie came by the bankes, the boughes eche one 

They lowted to that Ladye & layd forth their branches ; 

Bloffomes and burgens breathed full fweete, 

Flowers flourifhed in the frith where fhee forth ftepedd, 

And the graffe that was gray greened belive. 

The figure of Death follows, which is equally bold and exprefiive. 
Another piece of this kind, alfo quoted by Dr. Percy, is entitled 
Chevelere AJJigne, or De Cigne^ that is, Knight of the Swan.- Among 
the Royal MSS. in the Britifh Mufeum, there is a French metrical 
romance on this fubjecl, entitled DYflolre du Chevalier au Signe* 
[of which Le Chevelere Ajjigne is an abridgment]. Our Englifh 
poem begins thus : 4 



1 EJJay on the Metr. of P. P. Vis. p. %,feq. [The poem is printed in Bifhop 
Percy's folio MS. 1868, vol. iii. F.] 

[ 2 MS. Cotton. Caligula, A. 2. Printed by Mr. E. V. Utterfon, for the Rox- 
burghe Club, 1820, and again by Mr. H. H. Gibbs for the Early Englifh Text 
Society, 1868, with a feries of photographs from a very curious ivory-cafket in the 
editor's family, containing various illuftrations of the ftory.] 

3 15 E. vi. 9. fol. And in the Royal library at Paris, MS. 7192. Le Roman 
du Chevalier au Cigne en <vers. Montf. Cat. MSS. ii. p. 789. [There are fix 
romance sin the cycle. M. Paullin Paris has edited Le Chanfon d^Antioche. See 
Hiftoire Litter air e de la France, tome 22. F.] 

4 See MSS. Cott. Calig. A. ii. f. 109. 123. 

[The celebrated Godfrey of Bullogne was faid to have been lineally defcended 
from the Chevalier au Cigne. Melanges cTune Gr. Biblioth. vol. v. c. iii. p. 148. 
The tradition is ftill current in the Duchy of Cleves, and forms one of the moft 
interefting pieces in Otmar's Volkffagen. It muft have obtained an early and 
general circulation in F landers j for Nicolaes de Klerc, who wrote at the com- 



s. 10. C/ieve/ere Affigne. 283 

Alle-weldynge god whenne it is his wylle, 
Wele he wereth his werke with his owne honde : 
For ofte harmes were hente that helpe we ne my^te ; 
Nere the hy^nes of hym that lengeth in heuene 
For this, &c. 

This alliterative meafure, unaccompanied with rhyme, and in- 
cluding many peculiar Saxon idioms appropriated to poetry, remained 
in ufe fo low as the fixteenth century. In [the newly-edited Percy 
MS.] there is one of this clafs called Scottijh Feilde, containing a 
very circumftantial narrative of the battle of Flodden fought in 1513. 

[There is aifo an Englifh romance in profe, entitled The Knight 
of the Swanne, of which there feems to have been an edition by W. 
de Worde in 1512. It is a translation by Robert Copland, the in- 
duftrious typographer, of chapters 1-38 of a French romance entitled 
"La Genealogie avecques les Geftes & Nobles Faitz darmes du 
tres preux & renomme prince Godeffroy de Boulion & de fes cheua- 
lereux freres Baudouin et Euftace : yflus & defcendus de la tres 
noble & illuftre lignee du vertueux Chevalier au Cyne." The Knight 
of the Swanne was reprinted by William Copland about 1560, and it 
is included in a modern collection.] 1 

In fome of the earlieft of our fpecimens of old Englifh poetry, 2 
we have long ago feen that alliteration was efteemed a fafhionable 
and favourite ornament of verfe. For the fake of throwing the fub- 
je6t into one view, and further illuftrating what has been here faid 
concerning it, I choofe to cite in this place a very ancient hymn to 
the Virgin Mary, where this affe&ation profefTedly predominates. 3 

i. 

Hail beo yow 4 Marie, moodur and may, 
Mylde, and meke, and merciable j 



mencement of the i4th century (1318), thus refers to it in his Brabandfche 
Teeflen: 

" Om dat van Brabant die Hertoghen 

Voormaels dicke fyn beloghen 

Alfe dat fy quamen metten Swane 

Daar by hebbics my genomen ane 

Dat ic die waerheit wil out decken 

Ende in Duitfche Rime vertrecken, 

i. e. becauk formerly the dukes of Brabant have been much belied, to wit, that they 
came <vith a Swan, I have undertaken to difclofe the truth, and to propound it in 
Dutch Rhyme. See Van Wynutfupra, p. 270. The French romance upon this 
fubjecl, confifting of about 30,000 verfes, was begun by one Renax or Renaux, 
and finifhed by Gandor de Douay. Price.'] 

1 [Thorns' Early Profe Romances, 1828, iii.] 

2 See feft. i. 

3 Among the Cotton MSS. there is an [Early Englifh] alliterative hymn to the 
Virgin Mary. Ner. A. xiv. f. 240, cod. membran. 8vo. " On 30^ ureiliin to ure 
lefdi." That is, A good prayer to our lady. 

" Criptep mih>e mo'&er peynte Marie 
Minep huep leonie, mi leoue lep'ci." 

4 See fome pageant-poetry, full of alliteration, written in the reign of Henry 
VII., Leland, Co//, iii. App. 180, edit. 1770. 



284 Early Alliterative Poems. s. to. 

Heyl folliche fruit of fothfaft fay, 

Agayn vche ftryf ftudefaft and ftable ! 

Heil fothfaft foul in vche a fay, 

Undur the fon is non fo able. 

Heil logge that vr lord in lay, 

The formaft that never was founden in fable, 

Heil trewe, trouthfull, and tretable, 

Heil cheef i chofen of chaftite, 

Heil homely, hende, and amyable 

To pr eye for us to thifonefofre ! AVE. 

ii. 

Heil ftern, that never ftinteth liht ; 
Heil bufh, brennyng that never was brent ; 
Heil rihtful rulere of everi riht, 
Schadewe to fchilde that fcholde be fchent. 
Heil, blefled be yowe blofme briht, 
To trouthe and truft was thine entent ; 
Heil mayden and modur, moft of miht, 
Of all mifcheves and amendement ; 
Heil fpice fprong that never was fpent, 
Heil trone of the trinitie ; 
Heil foiene 1 that god us fone to fent 
To-ive preje for us thifonefre ! AVE. 

in. 

Heyl hertely in holinefle. 
Heyl hope of help to heighe and lowe, 
Heyl ftrength and ftel of ftabylnefle, 
Heyl wyndowe of hevene wowe, 
Heyl refon of rihtwyfnefle, 
To vche a caityf comfort to knowe, 
Heyl innocent of angernefle, 
Vr takel, vr tol, that we on trowe, 
Heyl frend to all that beoth fortth flowe 
Heyl liht of love, and of bewte, 
Heyl brihter then the blod on fnowe, 
To f w preje for us thi fone fo fre ! AVE. 

IV. 

Heyl mayden, heyl modur, heyl martir trowe, 

Heyl kyndly i knowe confeflbur, 

Heyl evenere of old lawe and newe, 

Heyl buildor bold of criftes bour, 

Heyl rofe higeft of hyde and hewe, 

Of all ffruytes feireft fflour, 

Heyl turtell truftieft and trewe, 

Of all trouthe thou art trefour, 

Heyl puyred princefTe of paramour, 

Heyl blofme of brere brihteft of ble, 

Heyl owner of eorthly honour, 

Towe pr eye for us thi fone fo fre I AVE, &c. 

v. 

Heyl hende, heyl holy emperefle, 

Heyle queene corteois, comely, and kynde, 

Heyl diftruyere of everi (trifle, 

Heyl mender of everi monnes mynde, 

Heil bodi that we ouht to blefle, 

So feythful frend may never mon fynde, 

1 F. Seyen. Scyon. 



s. 10. The Early Scotifh Poetry. 285 

Heil levere and lovere of largenefle 
Swete and fweteft that never may fwynde, 
Heil botenere of everie bodi blynde, " 
Heil borgun brihtes of all bounte, 
Heyl trewore then the wode bynde, 
To-iv preyefor us thi fine fo fre ! AVE. 

VI. 

Heyl modur, heyl mayden, heyl hevene quene, 

Heyl gatus of paradys, 

Heyl fterre of the fe that ever is fene, 

Heyl riche, royall, and ryhtwys, 

Heyl burde i blefled mote yowe bene, 

Heyl perle of al perey the pris, 

Heyl fchadewe in vche a fchour fchene, 

Heyl fairer thae that flour de lys, 

Heyl cher chofen that never nas chis 

Heyl chef chamber of charite 

Heyl in wo that ever was wis 

Toive preyefor us thifonefofre ! Ave, &c. &c. 1 

Thefe rude ftanzas remind us of the Greek hymns afcribed to 
Orpheus, which entirely confift of a clutter of the appellations ap- 
propriated to each divinity. 



SECTION XI. 

LTHOLJGH this work is profefledly confined to Eng- 
land, yet 1 cannot pafs over [a Scotifh poet] of this 
period who ha[s] adorned the Englifh language by a 
ftrain of verification, exprefiion, and poetical imagery, 
far fuperior to [his] age ; and who confequently de- 
ferve[s] to be mentioned in a general review of the progrefs of our 
national poetry. [His name] is John Barbour, archdeacon of Aber- 
deen. He was educated at Oxford ; and Rymer has printed an 
inftrument for his fafe paflage into England, in order to profecute 
his ftudies in that univerfity, in the years 1357 and 1365. 2 David 
Bruce, king of Scotland, gave him a penfion for life, as a reward for 
his poem called the [Brus]. It was printed at [Edinburgh about 
I57O, 3 and often afterwards]. 4 

1 MS. Vernon. f. 122. In this manufcript are feveral other pieces of this fort. 
The Holy Virgin appears to a prieft who often fang to her, and calls him her 
joculator. MSS. James, xxvi. p. 32. 

2 feed. vi. 31,478. 

3 Tanner, Bill. p. 73. [See our Lift of Early Englifh Poems > fupra. Mr. Henry 
Bradfliaw afligns to Barbour two works hitherto unknown to have been by him : 

1. Fragments of a Troy-Book, mixed up with fome copies of Lydgate's Troy-book j 

2. Nearly 4.0,000 lines of Lives of Saint f (MSS. Camb. Univ. and Queen's Coll. 
Oxford).?.] 

4 [Mr. D. Laing has a copy, wanting the title, of a 4*0 edit., which he afligns to 
this date. Extrafts have now been taken from Mr. Skeat's new edition for the Early 
Englifh Text Society, of which only Part I. (ten books) has yet appeared, 1870. 




286 The Battle of Methven. s. n. 

[The following is the account of the battle of Methven, near 
Perth, and the firft difcomfiture of King Robert :] * 
On aMir fyd Mus war Mai yhar, 2 
And til] aflemble 3 all redy war. 
Tyfcai ftraucht thar fpem, on aMir fyd, 
And fwa ruydly gan Samyn 4 ryd, 
'That fpem [all] to-frufchyt 5 war, 
And feyle men dede, and woundyt far j 
The blud owt at thar byrnys 6 breft. 
For Me beft, and the worthieft, 
That wilfull war to wyn honour, 
Plungyt in the ftalwart ftour, 
And rowt/j ruyd about Maim dang. 7 
Men mycht haifF feyn in-to that, thrang 
K.nychtis that wycht and hardy war, 
Wndyr horfs feyt defoulyt thar ; 
Sum woundyt, and fum all ded : 
The grefs wo.ux 8 off the blud all rede, 
And Mai, that held on horfs, in hy 9 
Swappyt owt fwerd/j fturdyly; 
And fwa fell ftrakys gave and tuk, 
That all the renk 10 about Maim quouk. 
The bruyflis folk full hardely 
Schawyt thar gret chewalry : 
And he him-{elff, atour the lave, 11 
Sa hard and hewy dyntw gave, 
That quhar he come Mai maid \\\m way. 
His folk Maim put in hard aflay, 
To ftynt 12 thar fais mekill mycAt, 
That then fo fayr had off Me fycfit, 
That thai wan feild ay mar & mar : 
The kingis fmall folk ner wencufyt ar. 
And quhen Me king his folk has fene 
Begyn to faile, for propyr tene, 13 
Hys affen^he 14 gan he cry; 
And in Me ftour fa hardyly 
He rufchyr, that all Me femble 15 fchuk : 
He all till-hewyt 16 that he our-tuk ; 
And dang on Maim quhill he myr^t drey. 17 
And till his folk he criyt hey ; 
"On Maim ! On Maim ! Mai feble faft ! 
This, bargane neuz'r may Izngar laft ! " 
And w/th that word fa wilfully 
He dang on, and fa hardely, 
That quha had fene him in that fycht 
Suld hald him for A douchty knyr^t. 
Bot thor^t 18 he wes ftout and hardy, 

In all the preceding editions of Warton, the account of Blind Harry's Wallace has 
been improperly inferted in the prefent feftion ; it has now been transferred to its 
cor reft place.] 

1 [Skeat's ed. pp. 38-42. " On the i9th June, 1306, the new king was com- 
pletely defeated near Methven by the Englifh Earl of Pembroke (Sir Aymer de 
Valence.)" Scott's Tales of a Grandfather.} 



;[ 



ready. 



all broken in pieces ; the word all is fupplied from Hart's edition, 1616.] 



1 [breaft-plates.] 

8 I grafs became.] 

11 [above the reft.] 

15 [aflembly.] 



to encounter^,] 4 [together.] 



dealt ftern ftrokes about them.] 
hafte.] I0 [ring ; Hart prints rinke.] 

ftop.] l3 [very grief.] 14 [battle-cry.] 

hewed in pieces.] 17 [hold out.] 18 [though.] 



S. ii. 



'The Battle of Metbven. 287 



And oMir als off his cumpany, 

Thar myr^t na worfchip Mar awailje ; ' 

For Mar fmall folk begouth to faille, 

And fled all fkalyt 2 her and thar. 

Bot Me gude, at enchaufyt 3 war 

Off Ire, abade and held Me ftour 

To conquyr Maim endles honour. 

And quhen fchir Amer 4 has fene 

The fmall folk fle all bedene, 5 

And fa few abid to fycht, 

He releyt 6 to him mony A knyr^t j 

And in Me ftour fa hardyly 

He rufchyt vrith hys chewalry, 

That he rufchyt 7 his fayis Ilkane. 

Schir Thomas Randell 8 thar wes tane, 

That Men wes A ^oung bacheler j 

And fchir Alexander frafeyr ; 

And fchir dauid Me breklay, 

Inchm^rtyne, and hew de le hay, 

And formrweil, 9 and othir maj 

And Me king him-felff alfua 

Wes fet in-till full hard aflay, 

Throw fchir philip Me mowbray, 10 

That raid till him full hardyly, 

And hynt hys reng|e, n and fyne gan cry 

" Help ! help ! I have Me new-maid king ! " 

With that come gyrdand, in A lyng, 12 

Cryftall off Seytoun, 13 quhen he fwa 

Saw Me king fefyt with his fa ; 

And to philip fie rout he raucht, 14 

That Mocht he wes of mekill maucht, 

He gert him galay 15 difyly j 

And haid till erd gane fullyly, 

Ne war he hynt him by his fted ; 

Then off his hand Me brydill yhed ; 16 

And Me king his e/zflen^e 17 gan cry, 

Releyt 18 his men that war him by, 

That war fa few that thai na mycht 

Endur Me forfs mar off Me fycht. 

T^ai pn'kyt Men out off Me prefs ; 

And Me king, that angry wes, 

For he his men faw fle him fra, 

Said Men : " lording/V, fen It is fwa 

That vre 19 rynys agane ws her, 

Gud Is we pafs off thar daunger, 20 

Till god ws fend eftfonys grace : 

And jeyt may fall, giff Mai will chace, 

Quyt Maim torn 21 but fu#z-dele we fall." 

To Mis word Mai affentyt all, 

And fra Maim walopyt 22 owyr mar. 



1 [avail.] * [difperfed.] 3 [good ones, that enraged.] 

4 [Sir Aymer de Valence.] 5 [quickly.] 6 [rallied.] 

7 [overthrew.] 8 [Randolph.] 

9 [Sir David Barclay, Inchmartin, Hugh de la Haye, and Somerville.] 

10 [Philip de Mowbray.] " [caught his rein.] 

1 [charging in a direl line.] 13 [Sir Chriftopher Seton.] 14 [blow he gave.] 

' [made him ftagger.J 16 [went.] 17 [war-cry.] 18 [rallied.] l9 [fortune.] 

20 [out of their power to harm.] 21 [requite them a turn.] 2S [galloped.] 



288 Barbour's " Brus" Andrew of Wyntown. s. u. 



fayis alfua wery war, 
Thai off Maim all thar chaflyt nane : 
Bot with pn'fonenV, that Mai had tane, 
Rycht to the toune 1 Mai held thar way, 
glaid and loyfull off thar pray. 



[As a further fpecimen of the poem, the opening of the defcrip- 
tion in the fifth book of Bruce's " hanfaling in Carrik, at his firft 
arriuing" may be fufficient:] 2 

This wes in were, 3 quhen vynt/r-tyde 
Vith his blaftis, hydwifs to byde, 
Wes ourdriffin : 4 and byrdis fmale, 
As thriftill and Me nychtingale, 
Begouth 5 rycht meraly to fyng, 
And for to mak in Mair fynging 
Syndry notis, and found/.; fere, 6 
And melody pleafande to here. 
And Me treis begouth to ma 
Burgeonys 7 and brycht blwmys alfua, 
To vyn Me heling of Mar hevede, 8 
T^at vikkit vynt/r had Mame revede ; 
And al grewis 9 begouth to fpryng. 

[To the latter half of the fifteenth century we muft refer another 
Scotifh writer, Andrew of Wyntown, who compofed the Original 
Chronicle of Scotland. Wyntown was born in all probability at the 
clofe of the fourteenth, or beginning of the fifteenth century j but 
the exacT: date is wanting. It is difficult to allow that he faw the 
light during the reign of David II. (1329-71), fince Dunbar, in his 
Lament for the Makarls, compofed moft probably not earlier than 
the year 1500, feems to refer to this author as one whom he had 
known, and who at that time had not been very long deceafed. 10 A 
tolerably copious account of Wyntoun and his writings is readily 
acceffible elfewhere j 11 and his Original Chronicle of Scotland has been 
printed entire by Macpherfon.] 12 

About the prefent period, hiftorical romances of recent events 
feem to have commenced. Many of thefe appear to have been 
written by heralds. 13 In the library of Worcefter college at Oxford, 
there is a poem in French, reciting the achievements of Edward the 
Black Prince, who died in the year 1376. It is in the fhort verfe 
of romance, and was written by the prince's herald, who attended 
clofe by his perfon in all his battles, according to the eftablifhed mode 
of thofe times. This was Chandos Herald, frequently mentioned in 
Froiflart. In this piece, which is of confiderable length, the names 

I [Perth.] 2 [Skeat's edit. p. 105.] 3 [fpring.] 4 [overpaft.] 
5 [began.] 6 [various.] 7 [buds.] 

8 [ to g et tfl e covering of their head. Hevede is clearly the reading, though fpelt 
hede in the Cambridge, and henuid in the Edinburgh MS.] 

9 [growing things j the Edinb. MS. has greffys, grades.] 

10 [Works by Laing, 1834, i. 213.] 

II [Irving's Hi/lory of Scoti/h Poetry, edit. 1861, chap, v.] 

^1795, 2 vols. large 8vo. A new edition by Dr. Laing has been promifed.] 
?e Le Pere Meneftrier, C&fWtl. Ancien. c. v. p. 225. 



s. ii. " The Black Prince" a Poem. 289 

of the Engliihmen are properly fpelled, the chronology exadt, and the 
epitaph, 1 forming a fort of peroration to the narrative, the fame as 
was ordered by the prince in his will. 2 This poem, indeed, mav 
feem to claim no place here, becaufe it happens to be written in the 
French language : yet, exclufive of its fubjecT:, a circumftance I have 
mentioned, that it was compofed by a herald, deferves particular at- 
tention, and throws no fmall illuftration on the poetry of this era. 
There are feveral proofs which indicate that many romances of the 
fourteenth century, if not in verfe, at leaft thofe written in profe, 
were the work of heralds. As it was their duty to attend their 
mafters in battle, they were enabled to record the moft important 
tranfa&ions of the field with fidelity. It was cuftomary to appoint 
none to this office but perfons of difcernment, addrefs, experience, 
and fome degree of education. 3 At folemn tournaments they made 



1 It is a fair and beautiful MS. on vellum. It is an oblong oftavo, and formerly 
belonged to Sir William Le Neve Clarencieux herald. [It has been edited by the 
Rev. H. O. Coxe, M.A. the prefent keeper of Bodley, for the Roxburghe Club, 
1842.] 

2 The hero's epitaph is frequent in romances. In the French romance of [Le 
Petit Jean di\ Saitre, written about this time, his epitaph is introduced. 

3 Le Pere Meneftrier, Che<val Ancien. ut fupr. p. 225, ch. v. *' Que 1'on croyoit 
avoir FEJfrit" &c. Feron lays that they gave this attendance in order to make a 
true report. Vlnjlit. des Roys et Herauds, p. 44, a. See alfo Favin. p. 57. See 
a curious defcription, in FroilTart, of an interview between the Chandois-herald, 
mentioned above, and a marfhal of France, where they enter into a warm and very 
ferious difpute concerning the devices d"" amour borne by each army. Liv. i. ch. 1 61. 

[A curious colle&ion of German poems, evidently compiled from thefe heraldic 
regifters, was formerly difcovered in the library of Prince Sinzendorf. The reader 
will find an account of them and their authof Peter Suchenwirt (who lived at the 
clofe of the fourteenth century) in the i4th volume of the Vienna Annals of Litera- 
ture (Jahrbiicher der Literatur, Wien. 1821). They are noticed here for their 
occafional mention of Englifh affairs. The life of Burkhard v. Ellerbach recounts 
the victory gained by the Englifti at the battle of CrelTy ; in which this terror of 
Pruflian and Saracen infidels was left for dead on the field, " the blood and the grafs, 
the green and the red, being fo completely mingled in one general mafs," that no 
one perceived him. Friedrich v. Chreuzpeckh ferved in Scotland, England, and 
Ireland. In the latter country he joined an army of 60,000 (!) men, aboxit to form 
the fiege of a town called Trachtal (?) $ but the army broke up without an engage- 
ment. On his return thence to England, the fleet in which he failed fell in 
with a Spaniih fquadron, and deftroyed or captured fix-and-twenty of the enemy. 
Thefe events occurred between the years 1332-36. Albrecht v. Niirnberg followed 
Edward III. into Scotland, and appears to have been engaged in the battle of 
Halidown-hill. But the " errant knight" moft intimately connefted with England 
was Hans v. Traun. He joined the banner of Edward III. at the fiege of Calais, 
during which he was engaged in cutting ofFfome fupplies fent by fea for the relief 
of the befieged. He does ample juftice to the valour and heroic refiftance of the 
garrifon, who did not furrender till their ftock of leather, 1 rope and fimilar mate- 
rials, which had long been their only food, was exhaufted. Rats were fold at a 
crown each. In the year 1356 he attended the Black Prince in the campaign which 
preceded the battle of Poiftiers j and on the morning of that eventful fight, Prince 
Edward honoured him with the important charge of bearing the Englifh ftandard. 
The battle is defcribed with confiderable animation. The holtile armies advanced 



1 [The original reads " fchuch, fil, chvnt und hewt ;" the two laft I interpret 
" kind und haut."] 



II, 



290 The ancient Heralds. s. u. 

an eflential part of the ceremony. Here they had an opportunity of 
obferving accoutrements, armorial diftin&ions, the number and ap- 
pearance of the fpetarors, together with the various events of the 
turney, to the belt advantage : and they were afterwards obliged to 
compile an ample regifter of this ftrange mixture of foppery and 
ferocity. 1 They were neceflarily connected with the minftrels at 
public feftivals, and thence acquired a facility of reciting adventures. 
A learned French antiquary is of opinion, that anciently the French 
heralds, called Hiraux, were the fame as the minftrels, and that they 
lung metrical tales at feftivals. 2 They frequently received fees or 
largefs in common with the minftrels. 3 They travelled into different 
countries, and faw the fafhions of foreign courts, and foreign tourna- 
ments. They not only committed to writing the procefs of the lifts, 
but it was alfo their bufmefs, at magnificent feafts, to defcribe the 
number and parade of the dimes, the quality of the guefts, the bril- 
liant drefTes of the ladies, the courtefy of the knights, the revels, dif- 
guifings, banquets, and every other occurrence moft obfervable in the 
courfe of the folemnity. Spenfer alludes exprefsly to thefe heraldic 
details, where he mentions the fplendour of Fiorimel's wedding : 



on foot, the archers forming the vanguard. " This was not a time," fays 
the poet, "for the interchange of chivalric civilities, for friendly greetings and 
cordial love : no man afked his fellow for a violet or a role j* and many a hero, 
like the oftrich, was obliged to digeft both iron and fteel, or to overcome in death 
the fenfations inflicled by the fpear and the javelin. The field refounded with the 
clafh of (words, clubs, and battle-axes ; and with mouts of Nater Dam and Sand 
Jors." But Von Traun, mindful of the truft repofed in him s rufhed forward to 
encounter the ftandard-bearer of France : " He drove his fpear through the vizer of 
his adverfary the enemy's banner fank to the earth never to rife again- Von Traun 
planted his foot upon its ftaffj when the king of France was made captive, and the 
battle was won." For his gallantry difplayed on this day Edward granted him a 
peniion of a hundred marks. He is afterwards mentioned as being intruded by 
Edward III. with the defence of Calais during a ten weeks 1 fiege ; and at a fubfe- 
quent period as crofling the channel, and capturing a (French ?) (hip, which he 
brought into an Englifli port and prefented to Edward. Price. The Poems 
were publiftied at Vienna in i8z? by PrimhTer under the title : Peter Suchenwirt 
Werke aus dem vierzehuten Jahr-hunderte. With an introduftion, notes, and a 
gloflary. See alfo Hormayr's Tafchenbuch fur die vaterlandifche Gefchichte. 
Vienna, 1828. Rye.'] 

1 " L'un des principaux fonclions des Herauts d'armes etoit fe trouver au joufts, 
&c. ou ils gardoient les ecus pendans, recevoient les noms et les blafons des cheva- 
liers, en tenoient regiftre, et en compofoient recueils," &c. Meneftr. Orig. des Armoir. 
p. 180. See' alfo p. 119. Thefe regifters are mentioned in Perceforeft, xi. 68, 77. 

3 Carperitier, Suppl. Du-Cang. Glofs. Lat. p. 750, torn. ii. 

3 Thus at St. George's feaft at Windfor we have, "Diverfisheraldis et miniftrallis," 
&c. Ann. a i Ric. ii. 9 Hen. vi. apud Anftis, Ord. Gart. \. 56, 108. And again, 
Exit, Pell. M. ann. ^^ Ed<w. iii. " Magiftro Andreas Roy Norreys, [a herald,] 
Lybekin le Piper, et Hanakino filio fuo, et fex aliis ineneftrallis regis in denariis eis 
liberatis de dono regis, in fubfidium expenfarum fuarum, Iv. s. iv. d." Exit. Pell. 
P. ann. 33 Ed<w. ii. " Willielmo Volaunt regi heraldorum et miniftrallis exiften- 
tibus apud Smithfield in ultimo haftiludio de dono regis, x /." I could give many 
other proofs. 

* [So I interpret " umb veyal (veilchen) noch umb rofen."] 



s. n. T*heir Duties and Station. 291 

To tell the glorie of the feaft that day, 
The goodly fervyfe, the devicefull fights, 
The bridegromes ftate, the brides moft rich aray, 
The pride of Ladies, and the worth of knights, 
The royall banquet, and the rare delights, 
Were worke fit for an herauld, not for me : ! 

I fufpe& that Chaucer, not perhaps without ridicule, glances at 
fome of thefe defcriptions, with which his age abounded ; and which 
he probably regarded with lefs reverence, and read with lefs edifi- 
cation, than did the generality of his cotemporary readers : 

What fchuld I telle of the realte 8 

Of this manage, or which cours goth biforn, 

Who bloweth in a trompe or in an horn ? 

.Again, in defcribing Cambufcan's feaft : 

Of which if I fchal tellen al tharray, 3 
Than wold it occupie a fomeres day j 
And eek it needith nought for to devyfe 
At every cours the ordre and the fervyfe. 
I wol nat tellen of her ftraunge fewes, 
Ne of her fwannes, ne here heroun-fewes. 

And at the feaft of Thefeus, in the Knight's Tale : 

The mynftralcye, the fervyce at the fefte, 4 
The grete yiftts to the moft and lefte, 
The riche aray of Thefeus paleys, 
Ne who fat fir'ft ne laft upon the deys, 
What ladies fayreft ben or beft dauniyng^, 
Or which of hem can daunce beft or fyng*-, 
Ne who moft felyngly fpeketh of love j 
What haukes fitten on the perche above, 
What houndes lyen in the floor adoun : 
Of al this make I now no mencioun. 

In the Flower and the Leaf^ the [author] has defcribed in eleven 
long ftanzas the proceffion to a fplendid tournament, with all the 
prolixity and exa&nefs of a herald. 5 The fame affe&ation, derived 
from the fame fources, occurs often in Ariofto. 

It were eafy to illuftrate this doctrine by various examples. The 
famous French romance of [Le Petit Jean de] Salntre was evidently 
the performance of a herald. [Jean de] Saintre, the knight of the 
piece, was a real perfon, and, according to Froiflart, was taken 
prifoner at the battle of Poitiers in I356. 6 But the compiler con- 
founds chronology, and afcribes to his hero many pieces of true 
hiftory belonging to others. This was a common practice in thefe 
books. Some authors have fuppofed that this romance appeared 
before the year 1380.7 But there are reafons to prove, that it was 
written by Antony de la Sale, a Burgundian, author of a book of 
Ceremonies, from his name very quaintly entitled La Sallade^ and 

1 F. >. v. iii. 3 [edit. Morris, 1869, p. 306.] 

2 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 191, ver. 605.] 

1 [Ibid. ii. 356, ver. 55.] 4 [Ibid. ii. 68, ver. 1339.] 

5 From ver. 204 to ver. 287. 6 FroifTart, Hijl. i. p. 178. 

7 Byfshe, Not. in Upton. Milit. Offic. p. 56. Meneftrier, Orig. Arm. p. 23. 



292 'Examples from early Authors. s. n. 

frequently cited by our learned antiquary Selden. 1 This Antony 
came into England to fee the folemnity of the queen's coronation in 
the year I445- 2 I have not feen any French romance which has 
preferved the practices of chivalry more copioufly than this of Saintre. 
It muft have been an abfolute matter-piece for the rules of tilting, 
martial cuftoms, and public ceremonies prevailing in its author's age. 
In the library of the [College] of Arms, there remains a very accurate 
defcription of a feaft of Saint George, celebrated at Windforin 147 i. 3 
It appears to have been written by the herald Blue-Mantle Pur- 
fuivant. Meneftrier fays, that Guillaume Rucher, herald of Henault, 
has left a large treatife, defcribing the tournaments annually cele- 
brated at Lifle in Flanders. 4 In the reign of Edward IV., John 
Smarte, a Norman, garter king at arms, defcribed in French the 
tournament held at Bruges, for nine days, in honour of the marriage 
of the duke of Burgundy with Margaret the king's daughter. 5 There 
is a French poem [on the fiege of the Caftle of Karlaverock in the 
year] I30O. 6 This was [probably, however, the production of Walter 
of Exeter, whom Carew fuppofes to have written the original Latin 
profe romance of Guy of Warwick.} The author thus defcribes the 
banner of John of Brittany, [nephew of the duke] : 

Baniere avoit cointe et paree 

De or et de a^ur efchequeree 

Au rouge ourle o iaunes lupars 

Dermine eftoit la quarte pars. 7 

The pompous circumftances of which thefe heraldic narratives 

1 Tit. Hon. p. 413, &c. 2 And. Ord. Gart. ii. 321. 

3 MSS. Offic. Arm. M. 15, fol. 12, 13. 

4 " Guillaume Rucher, heraut cTarmes du titre de Heynaut, a fait un gros 
volume des rois de 1'Epinette a Lifle en Flanders ; c'eft une ceremonie, ou un fefte, 
dont il a decrit les joulles, tournois, noms, armoiries, livrees, et equipages de divers 
feigneurs, qui fe rendoient de divers endroits, avec le catalogues de rois de cette 
feite." Meneftr. Orig. des Armoir, p. 64. 

5 See many other inftances in MS. Harl. 69, entit. The Booke ofcertaine Triumphes. 
See alfo Appendix to the [laft] edition of Leland's Collectanea. 

MSS. Cott. [Caligula, A xviii. The Siege of Carlaverock, in the xxviii 
Edward I. A. D. MCCC : &c., from a MS. in the handwriting of Robert Glover the 
herald. Edited by H. N. Nicolas, Lond. i828,4to. In fome copies the plates of arms 
are coloured. A reprint of the poem, with the roll of arms emblazoned, appeared in 
1860, from which text the prefent extract has been taken, that of Warton being in- 
correft. The piece itfelf is alfo inferted from a collation of the two known copies 
in the Antiquarian Repertory, edit. 1807, iv. 469. See alfo Black's Illuftrations of 
Ancient State and Chivalry , 1840, and A Booke of Precedence t &c. edit. Furnivall, 
1869. The Britim Mufeum has quite lately (Dec. 1870) acquired a curious volume 
of French and Latin pieces on this iiibj eft.] 

7 The bifhop of Gloucefter [fays Warton] has moft obligingly condefcended to 
point out to me another fource, to which many of the romances of the fourteenth 
century owed their existence. Montfaucon, in his Monument de la Monarchie 
Franfoife, has printed the "Statuts de TOrdre du Saint Efprit au droit defir ou du 
Noeud etabli par Louis d'Anjou roi de Jerufalem et Sicile en 1352-3-4," torn. ii. p. 
329. This was an annual celebration " au Chattel de TEuf enchanti du merveilleux 
peril." The caltle, as appears by the monuments which accompany thefe ftatutes, 
was built at the foot of the obfcure grot of the enchantments of Virgil. The 
ftatutes are as extraordinary as if they had been drawn up by Don Quixote himfelf, 
or his afleflbrs, the curare and the barber. From the feventh chapter we learn that 



s. ii. Splendour of ancient Chivalry. 293 

confifted, and the minute prolixity with which they were difplayed, 
feemed to have infe&ed the profefled hiftorians of this age. Of this 
there are various inftances in Froiflart, who had no other defign than 
to compile a chronicle of real fa&s. I will give one example out of 
many. At a treaty of marriage between our Richard II. and Ifabel 
daughter of Charles V. king of France, the two monarchs, attended 
with a noble retinue, met and formed feveral encampments in a 
fpacious plain, near the caftle of Guynes. Froiflart expends many 
pages in relating at large the coftly furniture of the pavilions, the 
riches of the fide-boards, the profufion and variety of fumptuous 
liquors, fpices, and difhes, with their order of fervice, the number 
of the attendants, with their addrefs and exa<St difcharge of duty in 
their refpe<Stive offices, the prefents of gold and precious ftones made 
on both fides, and a thoufand other particulars of equal importance, 
relating to the parade of this royal review. 1 On this account, Cax- 
ton, in his exhortation to the knights of his age, ranks FroifTart's 
hiftory, as a book of chivalry, with the romances of Lancelot and 
Percival, and recommends it to their attention, as a manual equally 
calculated to inculcate the knightly virtues of courage and courtefy, 2 
This indeed was in an age when not only the courts of princes, but 
the caftles of barons, vied with one another in the luftre of their 
fhews ; when tournaments, coronations, royal interviews, and folemn 
feftivals, were the grand objects of mankind. Froiflart was an eye- 
witnefs of many of the ceremonies which he defcribes. His paffion 
feems to have been that of feeing magnificent fpedlacles, and of 
hearing reports concerning them. 3 Although a canon of two churches, 
he pafled his life in travelling from court to court, and from caftle 
to caftle. 4 He thus, either from his own obfervation or the credible 
information of others, eafily procured fuitable materials for a hiftory, 
which profefled only to deal in fenfible objects, and thofe of the moft 
fplendid and confpicuous kind. He was familiarly known to two 
kings of England and one of Scotland. 5 But the court which he 

the knights who came to this yearly feftival at the chatel de />#/, were obliged to 
deliver in writing to the clerks of the chapel of the caftle their yearly adventures. 
Such of thele hittories as were thought worthy to be recorded, the clerks are ordered 
to tranfcribe in a book, which was called " Le livre des avenements aux chevaliers, 
&c. Et demeura le dit livre toujours en la di&e chapelle." This {acred regifter 
certainly furnifhed from time to time ample materials to the romance-writers. And 
this circumftance gives a new explanation to a reference which we fo frequently find 
in romances : I mean, that appeal which they fo conftantly make to fome authentic 
record. [Warton's epifcopal informant was, of courfe, his friend Warburton.] 

1 See Froiffart's Crony cle t tranflated by Lord Berners, 1523, vol. ii. f. 24.2. 

8 [Book of the ordre of chyualry or knyghthode (circa 1484).] 

3 His father was a painter of armories. This might give him an early turn for 
fhews. See Sainte-Palaye, Mem. Lit. torn. x. p. 664, edit. 4to. 

4 He was originally a clerk of the chamber to Philippa, queen of Edward III. 
He was afterwards canon and treafurer of Chimay in Henault, and of Lifle in 
Flanders ; and chaplain to Guy earl of Caftellon. Labor. Introd. a VHift. de 
Charles VI. p. 69. Compare alfo Froiffart's Chron. ii. f. 29, 305, 319. And 
Bullart, Academ. des Arts et des Scienc. i. p. 125, 126. 

5 Cron. ii. f. 158, 161. 



294 Froiffart regarded as a Rotnancijt. s. u. 

moft admired was that of Gafton, Comte de Foix, at Orlaix in 
Beam ; for, as he himfelf acquaints us, it was not only the moft 
brilliant in Europe, but the grand centre for tidings of martial ad- 
ventures. 1 It was crowded with knights of England and Arragon. 
In the meantime it muft not be forgotten that Froiflart, who from 
his childhood was (trongly attached to caroufals, the mufic of min- 
ftrels, and the fports of hawking and hunting, 2 cultivated the poetry 
of the troubadours, and was a writer of romances. 3 This turn, it 
muft be confefled, might have fome (hare in communicating that 
romantic caft to his hiftory which I have mentioned. During his 
abode at the court of the Comte de Foix, where he was entertained 
for twelve weeks, he prefented to the earl his collection of the 
poems of the duke of Luxemburg, confifting of fonnets, balades, and 
virelays. Among thefe was included a romance, compofed by him- 
felf, called Meliade\_s\ or The Knight of the Sun of Gold. Gafton's 
chief amufement was to hear Froiflart read this romance 4 every 
evening after fupper. 5 At his introduction to Richard II. he pre- 
fented that brilliant monarch with a book beautifully illuminated, 
engrofled with his own hand, bound in crimfon velvet, and embel- 
liftied with filver bofles, clafps, and golden rofes, comprehending all 
the matters of Amours and Moralities, which in the courfe of twenty- 
four years he had compofed. 6 This was in 1396. When he left 



1 Cron. ii. f. 30. This was in 1381. 

2 See Mem. Lit. ut fupr. p. 665. 

3 Speaking of the death of King Richard, Froiffart quotes a predi&ion from the 
old French profe romance of Brut, which he fays was fulfilled in that cataftrophe, 
liv. iv. c. 119. Froiffart will be mentioned again as a poet. 

4 I take this opportunity of remarking, that romantic tales or hiftories appear at 
a very early period to have been read as well as fung at feafts. So Wace in the 
Roman du Rou, in the Britifh Mufeum, above mentioned : 

" Doit Ten les vers et les regeftes 
Et les eftoires lire as feftes." 

5 Froiffart brought with him for a prefent to Gafton Comte de Foix four grey- 
hounds, which were called by the romantic names of Triftram, Hedor, Brut, and 
Roland. Gafton was fo fond of hunting, that he kept upwards of fix hundred 
dogs in his caftle. Sainte-Palaye, utfupr. pp. 676, 678. He wrote a treatife on 
hunting, printed [about 1507. See Brunet, dern. edit. r,rt. Phebus.} In illuftra- 
tion of the former part of this note, Crefcimbeni fays, "Che in molte nobiliflime 
famiglie Italiane, ha 400 e piu anni, paffarono" i nomi de 1 Lancillotti, de 1 ^riftani, 
de Galvani, di Gakotti, delle [Ifoulde], delle Genevre, e d'altri cavalieri, a dame 
in effe Tavola Roitonda operanti," &c. Iflcr. Volg. Poes. vol. i. lib. v. p. 327. 

6 I fhould think that this was his romance of Meliadus. Froiffart lays, that the 
king at receiving it alked him what the book treated of. He anfwered d* Amour. 
The king, adds our hiftorian, feemed much pleafed at this, and examined the book 
in many places, for he was fond of reading as well as fpeaking French. He then 
ordered Richard Crendon, the chevalier in waiting, to carry it into his privy 
chamber, dont il me fit bonne chere. He gave copies of the feveral parts of his 
chronicle, as they were finifhed, to his different patrons. Le Laboureur fays, that 
Froiffart fent fifty-fix quires of his Roman au Croniques to Guillaume de Bailly, an 
illuminator ; which, when illuminated, were intended as a prefent to the king of 
England. Hift. ch. vi. En la 'vie de Louis due d^Anjou, p. 67, feq. See alfb Cron. 
i. iv. c. i. iii. 26. There are two or three fine illuminated copies of Froiffart 



s. n. General Retrofpeff of Ancient Manners. 295 

England the fame year, 1 the king fent him a maflive goblet of filver, 
filled with one hundred nobles. 2 

As we are approaching to Chaucer, let us here ftand ftill, and 
take a retrofpedf of the general manners. The tournaments and 
caroufals of our ancient princes, by forming fplendid aflemblies of 
both fexes, while they inculcated the moft liberal fentiments of 
honour and heroifm, undoubtedly contributed to introduce ideas 
of courtefy, and to encourage decorum. Yet the national manners 
1U11 retained a great degree of ferocity, and the ceremonies of the 
moft refined courts in Europe had often a mixture of barbarifm 
which rendered them ridiculous. This abfurdity will always appear 
at periods when men are fo far civilized as to have loft their native 
fimplicity, and yet have not attained juft ideas of politenefs and pro- 
priety. Their luxury was inelegant, their pleafures indelicate, their 
pomp cumberfome and unwieldy. In the meantime it may feem 
furprifing that the many fchools of philofophy which flourimed in 
the middle ages fhould not have corrected and polimed the times. 
But as their religion was corrupted by fuperftition, fo their philo- 
fophy degenerated into fophiftry. Nor is it fcience alone, even if 
founded on truth, that will polifh nations. For this purpofe, the 
powers of imagination muft be awakened and exerted, to teach 
elegant feelings, and to heighten our natural fenfibiiities. It is not 
the head only that muft be informed, but the heart muft alfo be 
moved. Many claffic authors were known in the thirteenth cen- 
tury, but the fcholars of that period wanted tafte to read and admire 
them. The pathetic or fublime ftrokes of Virgil would be but little 
relifhed by theologifts and metaphyficians. 



among the Royal MSS. in the Bririfh Mufeum. Among the ftores of Henry VIII. 
at his manor of Beddington in Surrey, I find the fafhionable reading of the times 
exemplified in the following books, <viz. " Item, a great book of parchmente 
written and lymned with gold of graver's work De confejjlone Amantis, with xviii. 
other bookes, Le premier volume de Lancelot, Froiflart, Le grant voiage de Jeru- 
falem, Enguerain de Monftrellet," &c. MSS. Harl. 1419, f. 382. Froiflart was 
here properly clafled. 

1 Froiflart fays, that he accompanied the king to various palaces, " A Elten, a 
Ledos, a Kinkeftove, a Genes, a Certefee et a Windfor." This is, Eltham, Leeds, 
Kingfton, Chertfey, &c. Cron. liv. iv. c. 119, p. 34.8. The French are not much 
improved at this day in fpelling Englim places and names. 

Perhaps by Cenes, Froiflart means Shene, the royal palace at Richmond. 

2 Cron. f. 251, 252, 255, 319, 348. Bayle,who has an article on Froiflart, had 
no idea of fearching for anecdotes of Froiffart's life in his Chronicle. Inftead of 
which, he fwells his notes on this article with the contradictory accounts of Moreri, 
Voflius, and others, whofe difputes might have been all eafily fettled by recurring 
to Froiflart himfelf, who has interfperfed in his hiftory many curious particulars 
relating to his own life and works. 




296 Geoffrey Chaucer. Scarcity of s. 12. 



SECTION XII. 

IHE moft illuftrious ornament of the reign of Edward III. 
and of his fucceflbr Richard II. was Geoffrey Chau- 
cer, a poet with whom the hitlory of our poetry is by 
many fuppofed to have commenced, and who has been 
pronounced, by a critic of unqueftionable tafte and dif- 
cernment, to be the firft Englifh verllfier who wrote poetically. 1 
He was born [about] the year [1340, and was probably in his youth 
a page of Elizabeth, wife of Prince Lionel, third fon of Edward III.] : ~ 
but the livelinefs of his parts, and the native gaiety of his difpofition, 
foon recommended him to the patronage of a magnificent monarch, 
and rendered him a very popular and acceptable chara&er in the 
brilliant court which I have above defcribed. In the meantime he 
added to his accomplimments by frequent tours into France and 
Italy, which he fometimes vifited under the advantages of a public 
character. Hitherto our poets had been perfons of a private and 
circumfcribed education, and the art of verifying, like every other 
kind of compofition, had been confined to reclufe fcholars. But 
Chaucer was a man of the world ; and from this circumftance we 
are to account, in great meafure, for the many new embellifliments 
which he conferred on our language and our poetry. The defcrip- 
tions of fplendid proceflions and gallant caroufals with which his 
works abound are a proof that he was converfant with the practices 
and diverfions of polite life. Familiarity with a variety of things 
and objects, opportunities of acquiring the fafhionable and courtly 
modes of fpeech, connections with the great at home, and a perfonal 
acquaintance with the vernacular poets of foreign countries, opened 
his mind, and furnifhed him with new lights. 3 In Italy he [is faid 
to have met] Petrarch, at the wedding of Violante, daughter of 
Galeazzo, duke of Milan, with the duke of Clarence ; and it is 
[even alleged] that Boccaccio was of the party. 4 Although Chaucer 
had undoubtedly ftudied the works of thefe celebrated writers, and 
particularly of Dante, before this, yet it feems likely that thefe 
excurfions gave him a new relifli for their compofitions, and 
enlarged his knowledge of the Italian fables. His travels likewife 
enabled him to cultivate the Italian and [French] languages with 

1 Johnfon's Diflion. Pref. p. i. 

2 [New Fafts in the Life of Geoffrey Chaucer, by E. A. Bond, fortnightly Rev., 
Aug. 15, 1866.] 

3 The earl of Salifbury, beheaded by Henry IV., could not but patronize 
Chaucer. I do not mean for political reafons. The earl was a writer of verfes, 
and very fond of poetry. On this account his acquaintance was much cultivated 
by the famous Chriftina of Pifa, whofe works, both in profe and verfe, compofe fo 
confiderable a part of the old French literature. She ufed to call him, " Gracieux 
chevalier, aimant diftiez, et lui-meme gracieux difteur." See M. Boivin, Mem. Lit. 
torn. ii. p. 767, feq. 4.10. 

4 Froiflart was alfo prefent. Vie de Petrarque, 1766, iii. 772. I believe Paulus 
Jovius is the firft who mentions this anecdote. Vit. Galeas. ii. p. 152. 



s. i2. Original Productions in his time. 297 

the greateft fuccefs, and induced him to polifh the afperity, and 
enrich the fterility of his native verfification with fofter cadences, 
and a more copious and variegated phrafeology. [This attempt was] 
authorized by the recent and popular examples of Petrarch in Italy 
and [Jean de Meun and others] in France. 1 The revival of learning 
in moft countries appears to have firft owed its rife to tranflation. 
At rude periods the modes of original thinking are unknown, and 
the arts of original compofition have not yet been ftudied. The 
writers, therefore, of fuch periods are chiefly and very ufefully em- 
ployed in importing the ideas of other languages into their own. 
They do not venture to think for themfelves, nor aim at the merit 
of inventors, but they are laying the foundations of literature; and 
while they are naturalizing the knowledge of more learned ages and 
countries by tranflation, they are imperceptibly improving the national 
language. This has been remarkably the cafe, not only in England, 
but in France and Italy. [To mention only a few inftances : La^a- 
mon tranflated and enlarged Wace ; Robert of Brunne tranflated 
William of Waddington, Wace, and Langtoft ; and] in the year 
1387, John Trevifa, canon of Weftbury in Gloucefterfhire and a 
great traveller, not only finifhed a tranflation of the Old and New 
Teftaments at the command of his munificent patron, Thomas 
Lord Berkley, 2 but alfo tranflated Higden's Polycbronicon and other 
Latin pieces. 3 But thefe tranflations would have been alone infuf- 
ficient to have produced or fuftained any confiderable revolution in 
our language : the great work was referved for Gower and Chaucer. 
Wickliffe had alfo tranflated the Bible; 4 and in other refpe&s his 
attempts to bring about a reformation in religion at this time proved 
beneficial to Englifli literature. The orthodox divines of this period 
generally wrote in Latin : but Wicklifte, that his arguments might 

1 [Not Alain Chartier, as Warton fays ; for Alain Chartier was born at Bayeux 
not later than 1395, and did not compofe his firft work till after the battle of 
Agincourt (25 O61. 1415); it was Le Livre des Quatre Dames. He was fent 
to Scotland on an embafly in June or July, 1428. See Memoires de la Societe des 
Antiquaires de Normandie, tome xxviii. and Revue Critique, Aug. 28, 1869. F. 
The example of Chartier could not have been, confequently, of much fervice to 
our Chaucer!] 

2 See Wharton, Append. Ca<v. p. 49. 

3 Such as Bartholomew Glanville De Proprietatibus Rerum, lib. xix. and Vege- 
tius De Arte Militari. MSS. Digb. 233. Bibl. Bodl. In the fame manufcript is 
-fligidius Romanus De Regimine Principum, a tranflation by [Occleve. It was 
edited for the Roxburghe Club, by Mr. T. Wright, 1860.] He alfo tranflated 
fome pieces of Richard Fitzralph, archbifhop of Armagh. See fupr. He wrote 
a traft, prefixed to his verfion of" the Polychronicon, on the utility of tranflations : 
De Utilitate Tranjlationum, Dialogus inter Clericum et Patronum. See more of his 
tranflations in MSS. Harl. 1900. I do not find his Engli/h Bible in any of our 
libraries, nor do I believe that any copy of it now remains. Caxton mentions it 
in the preface to his edition of the Englifh Polyckronicon. See Lewis's Wickliffe, p. 
66, 329, and Lewis's Hiftory of the Tranflations of the Bible, p. 66. 

4 It is obfervable that he made his tranflation from the vulgate Latin verfion of 
Jerom. See MS. Cod. Bibl. Coll. Eman. Cant. 102. [There is nothing in the 
MS. to warrant the ftatement in the former editions as to the work having been 
finifhed in 1383, which date is fimply added in a note written in a fecond hand. 
Madden.] 



298 Boccaccio and Petrarch. s. 12. 

be familiarized to common readers and the bulk of the people, was 
obliged to compofe in Englifh his numerous theological treatifes 
againft the papal corruptions. Edward III. while he perhaps in- 
tended only to banifh a badge of conqueft, greatly contributed to 
eftablifh the national dialect, by abolishing the ufe of the Norman 
tongue in the public a6h and judicial proceedings, as we have before 
obferved, and by fubftituting the natural language of the country. 
But Chaucer manifeftly firit taught his countrymen to write Eng- 
lifh, and formed a ftyle by naturalizing words from the [Langue 
d'Oye], 1 at that time the [richeft] dialect of any in Europe, and the 
beft adapted to the purpofes of poetical expreffion. 

It is certain that Chaucer abounds in claffical allufions ; but his 
poetry is not formed on the ancient models. He appears to have 
been an univerfal reader, and his learning is fometimes miftaken for 
genius ; but his chief fources were the French and Italian poets. 
From thefe originals two of his capital poems, the Knight's lale* 
and the Romaunt of the Rofe [if his] are imitations or tranflations. 
The firil of thefe is taken from Boccaccio. [Chaucer, out of the 
2250 lines of his Knight's Tale, has tranflated 270 (lefs than one- 
eighth) from the 9054 of Boccaccio's original : 374 more lines 



1 The ingenious editor of the Canterbury Tales treats the notion, that Chaucer 
imitated the Provencal poets, as totally void of foundation. He fays, " I have not 
obferved in any of his writings a fingle phrafe or word, which has the leaft appear- 
ance of having been fetched from the South of the Loire. With refpecl: to the 
manner and matter of his compofitions, till fome clear inftance of imitation be pro- 
duced, I (hall be flow to believe, that in either he ever copied the poets of Provence ; 
with whofe works, I apprehend, he had very little, if any acquaintance," vol. i. 
Append. Pref. p. xxxvi. I have advanced the contrary doftrine, at leaft by impli- 
cation : and I here beg leave to explain myfelf on a fubje6l materially affeding the 
fyftem of criticifm that has been formed on Chaucer's works. I have never 
affirmed that Chaucer imitated the Provencal bards ; although it is by no means 
improbable that he might have known their tales. But as the peculiar nature of 
the Provencal poetry entered deeply into the fubftance, caft, and character, of fome 
of thofe French and Italian models, which he is allowed to have followed, he cer- 
tainly may be faid to have copied, although not immediately, the matter and 
manner of thefe writers. I have called his Houfe of Fame originally a Provencal 
compofition. I did not mean that it was written by a Provencal troubadour : but 
that Chaucer's original was compounded of the capricious mode of fabling, and 
that extravagant ftyle of fiction, which conftitute the eflence of the Provencal 
poetry. As to the Flower and the Leaf, which Dryden pronounces to have been 
compofed after their manner ', it is framed on the old allegorifmg fpirit of the Pro- 
vencjal writers, refined and disfigured by the fopperies of the French poets in the 
fourteenth century. The ideas of thefe fablers had been fo ftrongly imbibed, that 
they continued to operate long after Petrarch had introduced a more rational 
method of compofition. 

2 Chaucer alludes to fome book whence this tale was taken, more than once, viz. 
v. i. " Whilom, as olde ftories tellin us." v. 1465. " As olde bookes to us faine, that 
all this florietelleth more plain."' v. 28 14. " Ot foulis fynd I nought in this regifire^ 
That is, this hiftory, or narrative. See alfo v. 2297. In the Legend of good 
women, where Chaucer's works are mentioned, is this paflage, v. 420. 

" And al the love of Palamon and Arcite 
Of Thebis, though the fiords known lite.''' 1 

[The laft words feem to imply that it had not made itfelf very popular. Tyr- 
<whitt.] 



s. 12. The Story of 'Thefeus. 299 

bear a general likenefs to the Italian poets, and 132 more, a flight 
likenefs. J ] 

Boccaccio was the difciple of Petrarch : and although principally 
known and defervedly celebrated as a writer or inventor of tales, he 
was by his cotemporaries ufually placed in the third rank after Dante 
and Petrarch. But Boccaccio having feen the Platonic fonnets of 
his mafter Petrarch, in a fit of defpair committed [a portion of his 
own] to the flames, 2 except [only certain pieces, of which perhaps] 
his good tafte had taught him to entertain a more favourable opi- 
nion, [one] thus happily refcued from deftru6tion [was formerly] 
fo little known even in Italy, as to have left its author but a 
flender proportion of that eminent degree of poetical reputation 
which he might have juftly claimed from fo extraordinary a per- 
formance. It is an heroic poem, in twelve books, entitled La Te- 
feide, and written in the octave ftanza, called by the Italians ottava 
rima, which Boccaccio adopted from the old French chanfons, and 
here firft introduced among his countrymen. 3 It was printed at 
Ferrara, but with fome deviations from the original, and even mif- 
reprefentations of the ftory, in 147 5.* [It was reprinted without 
date in 4to, and again in 1528. The poem has alfo been tranflated 
into Italian and French profe.] 

Whether Boccaccio was the inventor of the ftory of this poem 
[feems rather doubtful]. It is certain that Thefeus was an early hero 
of romance. 5 He was taken from that grand repofitory of the 
Grecian heroes, the Hlftory of Troy^ [compofed from various 
materials] by Guido de Colonna. In the royal library at Paris 
there is a MS. entitled, Roman de Thefeus et de Gadifer? Probably, 
this is the French romance, [printed at Paris in two folio volumes in 
1534.7] Gadifer, with whom Thefeus is joined in this ancient tale, 
written probably by a troubadour of Picardy, is a champion in the 
oldeft French romances. 8 He is mentioned frequently in the Ro- 
man <F Alexandre. In the romance of Perceforreft, he is called king 
of Scotland, and faid to be crowned by Alexander the Great. 9 [But 
this Thefeus, as Mr. Douce has pointed out, is a different perfon 
altogether from the claffical hero, being the fon of Floridas, king of 

1 \^Temporary Preface^ by F. J. F., pp. 104-5.] 

2 Goujet, EM. Fr. torn. vii. p. 328. 

3 See Creicimbeni Iftor. Volgar. Poes. vol. i. 1. i. p. 65. 

4 [See the correft title in Brunet, laft edit. i. 1016-17. A purer text of the 
poem appeared in 1819, 8vo, in which it was taken from a MS. The Thefeid 
forms vol. 9 of the coilefted edit, of Boccaccio, publifhed at Florence, 1827-31, 13 
vols. 8vo.] 

5 In Lydgate's Temple ofGlas, among the lovers painted on the wall is Thefeus 
killing the Minotaur. I luppofe from Ovid, or from Chaucer's Legend of Good 
Women. Bib). Bodl. MSS. Fairfax, 16. 

6 MSS. Bibl. Reg. Paris, torn. ii. 974. E. 

7 [See the full and corred title in the laft edition of Brunet, v. 808. There was 
a later edition about 1550.] 

8 The chevaliers of the courts of Charles V. and VI. adopted names from the 
old romances, fuch as Lancelot, Gadifer, Carados, &c. Mem. Anc. Cheval. i. p. 340. 

9 [See Brunet, dern. edit, in v. Perceforeji. This tedious ftory was printed at 
Paris in 1528, in fix folio volumes, ufually bound in three.] 



300 The Grczco-barbarous Poem s. 12. 

Cologne, in the year 682.] There is in the fame library a MS. 
called by Montfaucon Hijtoria Tbefei In lingua vulgari^ in ten books. 1 
The Abbe Goujet obferves, that there is in fome libraries of France 
an old French tranflation of Boccaccio's Tbefeid, from which Anna 
de Graville formed the French poem of Palamon and Ardte, at the 
command of Queen Claude, wife of Francis L, about the year 1487. 
Either the tranflation ufed by Anna de Graville, or her poem, is 
perhaps the fecond of the MSS. mentioned by Mo'ntfaucon. Boc- 
caccio's Thefeid has alfo been tranflated into Italian profe by 
Nicolas Granuci, and printed at Lucca in I57[9J. 2 * n tne Dedica- 
tion to this work, which was printed about one hundred years after 
the Ferrara edition of the Thefeide appeared, Granucci [wrongly 
and even ignorantly, as we are much inclined to think], mentions 
Boccaccio's work as a tranflation from the barbarous Greek poem 
cited below. 3 Boccaccio himfelf mentions the ftory of Palamon 
and Arcite. This may feem to imply that the ftory exifted before 
his time : unlefs he artfully intended to recommend his own poem 
on the fubjecl: by fuch an allufion. It is where he introduces two 
lovers fmging a portion of this tale : " Dioneo e Fiametta gran 
pezza canterono infieme d' Arcite e di Palamone." 4 By Dioneo 
Boccaccio reprefents himfelf; and by Fiametta, his miftrefs, Mary 
of Arragon, a natural daughter of Robert, king of Naples. 

I confefs I am of opinion, that Boccaccio's Tbefeid is [to a great 
extent] an original compofition [though bafed on, and improved 
from, the Thebais of Statius]. But there is a Graeco-barbarous 
poem extant on this fubjecl:, which, if it could be proved to be ante- 
cedent in point of time to the Italian poem, would degrade Boccaccio 
to a mere tranflator on this occafion. It is a matter that deferves 
to be examined at large, and to be traced with accuracy. 

This Greek poem is [by no means fowell] known as Boccaccio's. 
It is entitled Yi<reu$ KOU. Ya^oi TYI$ E/uwhtag. It was printed at Venice 
in 1 529.3 It is often cited by Du Cange in his Greek gloflary under 
the title, De Nuptiis Tbefei et ^Emilia:. The heads of the chapters 
are adorned with rude wooden cuts of the ftory. I once fufpedted 
that Boccaccio, having received this poem from fome of his learned 
friends among the Grecian exiles, who being driven from Conftanti- 
nople took refuge in Italy about the fourteenth century, tranflated it 
into Italian. Under this fuppofition, I was indeed furprifed to find 

1 Bibl. MSS. utfupr. 

2 [But fee Brunet, i. 1017.] The Thefeid has alfo been tranflated into French 
profe, 1597, i2mo.-~[//W.] Jeanne de la Fontaine tranflated into French verfe 
this poem. She died 1536. Her tranflation was never printed. It is applauded 
by Joannes Secundus, Eleg. xv. 

3 Dedicaz. fol. 5. " Volendo far cofa, que non fio ftata fatta da loro, pero 
mutato parere mi dicoli a ridurre in profa queito Innamoramento, Opera di M. 
Giovanni Boccaccio, qualeegli tranfporto dal Greco in oftava rim a per compiacere 
alia fua Fiametta," &c. See Sloane MS. 1614. Brit. Mus. 

4 Giorn. vii. Nov. 10, p. 34.8, edit. 1548. Chaucer himfelf alludes to this ftory, 
BL Kn. v. 369. Perhaps on the fame principle. 

5 A MS. of it is in the Royal Library at Paris, Cod. 2569. Du Cange, Ind. 
Aufi. Glofs. Gr. Barb, ii. p. 65, col. i. 



s. 12. on the fame Subject. 301 

the ideas of chivalry and the ceremonies of a tournament minutely 
defcribed, in a poem which appeared to have been written at Con- 
ftantinople. But this difficulty was foon removed, when I recollected 
that the [Latins, in which name we include the French, Flemings, 
Italians, and] Venetians, had been in pofleflion of that city for more 
than one hundred years, Baldwin, earl of Flanders, having been 
elected emperor of Conftantinople in I2O4. 1 Add to this, that the 
word, TEPE/KEVTOV, a tournament, occurs in the Byzantine hiftorians. 2 
From the fame communication likewife, I mean the Greek exiles, 
I fancied Boccaccio might have procured the ftories of feveral of his 
tales in the Decameron : as, for inltance, that of Cymon and Iphigenta^ 
where the names are entirely Grecian, and the fcene laid in Rhodes, 

1 About which period it is probable that the anonymous Greek poem, called the 
Loves of Lybifter and Rhodamna^ was written. This appears by the German name 
Frederic, which often occurs in it, and is grecifed, with many other German words. 
In a MS. of this poem which Crufius faw, were many paintings and illuminations j 
where, in the reprefentation of a battle, he obferved no guns, but javelins and 
bows and arrows. He adds, " et muficae teftudines." It is written in the iambic 
meafure mentioned below. It is a feries of wandering adventures with little art or 
invention. Lybifter, the fon of a Latin king, and a Chriftian, fets forward accom- 
panied with an hundred attendants in fearch of Rhodamna, whom he had loft by 
the ftratagems of a certain old woman fkilled in magic. He meets Clitophon fon 
of a king of Armenia. They undergo various dangers in different countries. 
Lybifter relates his dream concerning a partridge and an eagle ; and how from that 
dream he fell in love with Rhodamna daughter of Chyfes a pagan king, and com- 
municated his paflion by fending an arrow, to which his name was affixed, into a 
tower, or caftle, called Argyrocaftre, &c. See Crufius, Turko-Gr<zcia, p. 974. But 
we find a certain fpecies of erotic romances, fome in verfe and fome in profe, exifting 
in the Greek empire, the remains and the dregs of Heliodorus, Achilles Tatius, 
Xenophon the Ephefian, Charito, Euftathius or Eumathius, and others, about or 
rather before the year 1200. Such are the Loves of Rhodante and Dojicles, by 
Theodorus Prodromus, who wrote about the year 1130. This piece was imitated 
by Nicetas Eugenianus in the Loves of Charicell and Drofilla. See Labb. Bibl. Nov. 
Manufcript. p. 220. The Loves of Callimachus and Chryforrhoe, The Erotic hiftory 
of Hemperius, The hiftory of the Loves of Florius and Platzaftcra, with fome others, 
all by anonymous authors, and in Graeco-barbarous iambics, were written at Con- 
ftantinople, [and were probably tranflations from another language.] See Neffel. 
i. p. 34.2-34.3. Meurs. Glofs. Gr. Barb. v. Bavsvi. And Lambecc. v. p. 262, 264. 

2 As alfo Topvs, Haftiludium. Fr. Tour not. And Tovpvea-nv, haftiludio contender e. 
Johannes Cantacuzenus relates, that when Anne of Savoy, daughter of Amadeus, 
the fourth earl of Savoy, was married to the Emperor Andronicus, junior, the 
Frarikifh and Savoyard nobles, who accompanied the princefs, held tilts and tour- 
naments before the court at Conftantinople ; which, he adds, the Greeks learned 
of the Franks. This was in 1326. Hift. Byzant. 1. i. cap. 42. But Nicetas 
fays, that when the Emperor Manuel [Comnenus] made fome ftay at Antioch, the 
Greeks held a folemn tournament againft the Franks. This was about 1160. 
Hift. Byzant. 1. iii. cap. 3. Cinnamus obferves, that the fame Emperor Manuel 
altered the fhape of the fhields and lances of the Greeks to thofe of the Franks. 
Hift. lib. iii. Nicephorus Gregoras, who wrote about the year 1340, affirms that 
the Greeks learned this praftice from the Franks. Hi/i. Byzant. 1. x. p. 339, edit, 
fol. Genev. 1615. The word Ka/fcxxaptoi, knights, chevaliers, occurs often in the 
Byzantine hiftorians, even as early as Anna Comnena, who wrote about 1140. 
Alexiad, lib. xiii. p. 411. And we have in J. Cantacuzenus, " TW Ka/fcxaptw vtfei^e 
T(jUflv: " He conferred the honour of Knighthood. This indeed is laid of the 
Franks. Hift. ut fupr. 1. iii. cap. 25. And in the Greek poem now under con- 
(ideration, one of the titles is, " n<wf ETTOIWSV o Qetreui; rat $vo n@a.iag Ka&tXpjf :" How 
Thefeus dubbed the two Thebans knights. Lib. vii. fignatur vj fol. vers. 



302 The Greek Verjiom mere Tranjlatiom s. 12. 

Cyprus, Crete, and other parts of Greece belonging to the imperial 
territory. 1 But, to fay no more of this, I have at prefent no fort of 
doubt of what I before aflerted, that Boccaccio is the writer and 
inventor of this piece. Our Greek poem is in fa& a literal tranflation 
from the Italian Thefeid. The writer has tranflated the prefatory 
epiftle addrefled by Boccaccio to the Fiametta. It confifts of twelve 
books, and is written in Boccaccio's o&ave ftanza, the two laft lines 
of every ftanza rhyming together. The verfes are of the iambic 
kind, and fomething like the Verfus Politici, which were common 
among the Greek fcholars a little be fore, and long after, Conftantinople 
was taken by the Turks in 1453. It will readily be allowed, that 
the circumftance of the ftanzas and rhymes is very fmgular in a 
poem compofed in the Greek language, and is alone fufficient to 
prove this piece to be a tranflation from Boccaccio. I muft not 
forget to obferve, that the Greek is extremely barbarous, and of the 
loweft period of that language. 

It was a common practice of the learned and indigent Greeks, 
who frequented Italy and the neighbouring dates about the fifteenth 
and fixteenth centuries, to tranflate the popular pieces of Italian 
poetry, and the romances or tales moft in vogue, into thefe Graeco- 
barbarous iambics. 2 P aft or Fido was thus tranflated. The romance 
of Alexander the Great was alfo tranflated in the fame manner by De- 
metrius Zenus, who flourifhed in 1530, under the title of Ate%avtyeus 
b Mowr&w, and printed at Venice in I529. 3 

In the very year, and at the fame place, when and where our 
Greek poem on Thefeus, or Palamon and Arcite, was printed, 
dpollonius of Tyre y another famous romance of the middle ages, was 
tranflated in the fame manner, and entitled A*w<n$ ipawraTu ATTOMMIOV 
TOU sv T^p<u 4 fu^a&z. 5 The ftory of King Arthur they alfo reduced 
into the fame language. The French hiftory or [rather] romance 



1 Giorn. v. Nov. i. 

2 That is verfus politid above mentioned, a ibrt of loofe iambic. See Langius, 
Philologia Graeco-barbara. Tzetzes's Chiliads are written in this verification. See 
Du Cange, GL Gr. ii. col. 1196. 

3 Cms. utfupr. pp. 373, 399- 

4 That is, Rythmically, poetically, Gr. Barb. 

Du Cange mentions, " Msva^tarrta-fjiit awo AttTMJMf Eif Pa,uaiX>]V hvyvtrLf TToXAnTTaOoyc 

AnroXAawoy tov Typou." Ind. AuEl. Glofs. Gr. Barb. ii. p. 36, col. b. Compare Fa- 
bricius, Bibl. Gr. vi. 821. Firft printed at Venice [in 1534. See Brunet, i. 350-1, 
where other editions are quoted.] In the works of Velferus there is Narratio Eorum 
qua Apollonio regi acciderunt, &c. He fays it was firft written by fome Greek 
author. Velferi Op. p. 697, edit. 1682. The Latin is in Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Laud, 
39. Bodl. F. 7, and F. 11.4.5. I n tne preface, Velferus, who died 1614., fays that 
he believes the original in Greek ftill remains at Conftantinople, in the library of 
Manuel Eugenicus. Montfaucon mentions a noble copy of this romance, written 
in the xiii th . century, in the royal library at Paris. Bibl. MSS. p. 753. Compare 
MSS. Langb. Bibl. Bodl. vi. p. 15. Gefta Apollonii, &c. There is a [verfion] in 
[ Anglo- jSaxon of the romance. Wanley's Catal. apud Hickes, ii. 146, [printed 
by Thorpe, 1834, 8vo.] See Martin. Crufii Turco Grac . p. 209, edit. 1594. 
Gower recites many ftories of this romance in his Confejfio Amantis. He calls Apol- 
lonius " a yonge, a frefhe, a Juftie knight." See lib. viii. fol. 175, b. 185, a. But 
he refers to Godfrey of Viterbo's Pantheon, or univerfal Chronicle, called alfo Me- 



s. i2. 



of Latin, Italian, and other Originals. 303 

of Berirand du Guefcelin, printed at Abbeville in 1487,* and that of 
Belifaire or Belifarius, they rendered in the fame language and metre, 
with the titles Awyrjtnj ea*prro$ B&Aonifyw rou Pu/^aiou,- and I<rro^n 
cw, &c. 3 Boccaccio himfelf, in the Decameron,* 



morlee Steculorum^ partly in profe, partly verfe, from the creation of the world to the 
year 1186. The author died in 1190. 

" A Cronike in daies gone 
The which is cleped Panteone," &c. 

fol. 175, a. [There is a fragment of 140 lines of a fifteenth-century Englifh verle 
tranflation of this romance in MS. Douce 216. F. Another is in the pofleffion 
of Sir Thomas Philipps. Neither has any connexion with the Englifh (profe) 
verfion of Apollonius of Tyre, executed by Robert Copland, and printed in 1510. 
The Duke of Devonfhire's copy of the latter, purchased at the Roxburghe fale in 
1812, feems to be unique. It has been lately (1870) reprinted in facfimile by Afh- 
bee. Refpecling Apollonius of Tyre, fee the prefent work Infra, Collier's Shakefpeare" s 
Library , 1843, anc l Halli well's New Boke about Shakefpeare and Stratford-on-A<von, 
1850, where the Philipps fragment is printed for the firft time. It formerly 
belonged to Dr. Farmer.] The play called Pericles Prince of Tyre, attributed 
to Shakefpeare , is taken from this ftory of Apollonius as told by Gower, who 
(peaks the prologue. It exifted in Latin before the year 900. See Earth. Adverfar. 
Iviii. cap. i. Chaucer calls him " of Tyre Apolloneus" (ProL Man. L. Tale, ver. 
82), and quotes from this romance : 

" How that the curfed kyng Anteochus 

Byreft his doughter of hir maydenhede, 

That is fo horrible a tale as man may reede, 

Whan he hir threw upon the pament." 

[But Shakefpeare is alfo fuppofed to have been indebted to Lawrence Twyne's 
compilation : " The Patterne of painefull Aduentures," firft publifhed probably in 
1 576, and reprinted from a later ed. in the firft vol. of Shakefpeare' s Library , 1843.] 
In the Britifh Mufeum there is Hiftoire d'Apollin roy de Thir. MSS. Reg. 20 C. 
ii. 2. With regard to the French editions of this romance, [the oldeft is probably 
that of Geneva, y/W ulla nota, folio. See Brunet, i. 351. Thofe of 1530 and fans 
date (Paris, Jehan Boufont) are later, curtailed, and of courfe lefs valuable.] At 
length the ftory appeared in a modern drefs by M. le Brun, under the title of 
Avantures a" Apollonius de Thyr, printed in 1710, and again the following year. 
In the edition of the Gefta Romanorum, printed at Rouen in 1521, and containing 
181 chapters, [as well as in that of 1488 and others,] the hiftory of Apollonius of 
Tyre occurs, ch. 153. This is the firft of the additional chapters. 

1 At the end of Le Triumphe des neuf Preux: that is, The Nine Worthies. [Com- 
pare Brunet, i. 44, with ibid. ii. 869.] 

2 See Du Cange, Gl. Gr. Barb. ii. Ind. AuElor. p. 36, col. b. This hiftory con- 
tains Beltrand's or Bertrand's amours with Xpua-ar^a., Chryfatfa, the king of Antioch's 
daughter. 

3 See Lambecc. Bibl Cafar. lib. v. p. 264. It is remarkable that the ftory of 
Date obolum Belifario is not in Procopius, but in this romance. Probably Vandyck 

F3t this ftory from a modernized edition of it, called Bellifaire ou le Conquerant, 
aris, 1643. It, however, is faid in the title-page to betaken from Procopius. 
It was written by [Francois de Grenaille, fieur de Chateaunieres.] 

4 They fometimes applied their Greek iambics to the works of the ancient Greek 
poets. Demetrius Zenus, above mentioned, tranflated Homer's Ba^a.^of^vo^a^ta ; 
and Nicolaus Lucanus the Iliad. The firft was printed at Venice, and afterwards 
reprinted by Cruiius, Turco-Grac. p. 373 ; the latter was alfo printed at Venice, 
1526. This Zenus is faid to be the author of the rateapvopa.x.iet, or Battle of the 
Cats and Mice. See Crus. ubifupr. 396, and Fabric. Bibl. Gr. i. 264, 223. [But 
the true writer was Theodorus Prodronus. /?j<?.] On account of the Graeco- 
barbarous books, which began to grow common, chiefly in Italy about the 
year 1520, Sabius above-mentioned, the printer of many of them, publifhed a 
Grseco-barbarous lexicon at Venice, 1527: [Introduttorio nuovo intitolato Corona pre- 
ciofa, &c. See Btunet, dern. edit. v. 7, and ibid. ii. 293.] It is a mixture of 



304 Abundance of thefe Verjions. s. 12. 

mentions the ftory of Troilus and Creffida in Greek verfe, which I 
fuppofe had been tranflated by fome of the fugitive Greeks with 
whom he was conne&ed, from a romance on that fubjecl:, many 
ancient copies of which now remain in the libraries of France. 1 
The ftory of Florins and Platzflora, a romance which Ludovicus 
Vives with great gravity condemns under the name of Florlan and 
Blanca-Flor^ as one of the pernicious and unclaffical popular hiftories 
current in Flanders about the year 1523," of which there are old 
editions in French, Spanim, 3 and perhaps Italian, is likewife extant 
very early in Greek iambics, moft probably as a translation into that 
language. 4 I could give many others, but I haften to lay before my 
readers fome fpecimens both of the Italian and the Greek Palamon 
and Arcite\ b only premifing that both have about a thoufand verfes 

modern and ancient Greek words, Latin and Italian. It was reprinted at Venice 
[in 1543, of which there was a re-iffue in] 1546. 

1 See Le Roman de Troy/us, [a profe French copy of the Filoflrato, in Nou<velles 
Franfoifes du XW me Siecle, 1858,] and Montfaucon, Bibl. MSS. p. 792, 793, &c. 
&c. There is, " L'Amore di Troleo et Grifeida, ove fi tratta in buone parte la 
Guerra di Troja," d'Angelo Leonico, Ven. 1553, in o6r.ave rhyme. 

2 Lud. Viv. de Chriftiana Femina, lib. i. cap. cui tit. jui non legendi Scriptores, 
&c. He lived at Bruges. He mentions other romances common in Flanders, 
Leonela and Canamor, Curias and Florela, and Pyramus and Tbijbe. 

3 Flores y Blancaflor. En Alcala, 1512, 4to. See Brunet's remarks, ii. 1300. 
This Spanifh verfion was tranflated into French, under the title :] Htftoire Amoreufe 
de Flores et de Blanchefleur, traduite de 1'Efpagnol par Jacques Vincent. Paris, 
1554, 8vo. Florimont et Pafferoze, traduite de 1'Efpagnol en prole Franc,oife, Lyon, 
15 , 8vo. There is a French edition at Lyons, 1571 ; it was, perhaps, originally 
Spanim. [Compare Brunet, ii. 1307.] 

The tranflation of Flores and Blanca[f~\lore in Greek iambics might alfo be 
made in compliment to Boccaccio. Their adventures make the principal fubjeft 
of his Philocopo: but the ftory exifted long before, as Boccaccio himfelf informs us, 
lib. i., edit. [1827-31.] Flores and Blancaflore are mentioned as illuftrious lovers 
by Matfres Eymengau de Bezers, a poet of Languedoc, in his Breviari d'Amor, 
dated 1288. MSS. Reg. 19 C. i. fol. 199. This tale was probably enlarged in 
palling through the hands of Boccaccio. [The two different verfions of the 
French thirteenth century romance of Florice and Blanche/lore (Bibl. Imperiale, 
No. 6987; Paulin-Paris, vol. 3, pp. 215-16) have been printed at Berlin in 1844, 
and at Paris in 1856. Read in the latter M. du Meril's excellent introduction. 
Several MSS. of the Englifh verfion are extant. There is a copy in the 
Auchinleck MS. printed in Antient Engli/b Poetry, 1857 ; in Cotton. MS. Vitellius, 
D, in, printed by Early Engl. Text Society (with King Horn), 1866; and at 
Cambridge, printed (probably very badly) in Hartlhorne's Ancient Metrical Tales, 
1829. The Cotton. MS. is fadly mutilated. F.] 

[A German romance on this fubjeft was tranflated by Konrad Flecke from the 
French of Robert d'Orleans, in the early part of the thirteenth century. The 
fubjeft is referred to at an earlier period by feveral Provencal poets, and this, 
coupled with the theatre of its events, makes Warton's conjefture extremely pro- 
bable that it is of Spanim origin. Price. For the fulleft account of the biblio- 
graphy of this popular romance fee Hoffmann's Hor<e Belgica, 1830, part 3. See 
alfo art. AJJenede in the Ditt. Soc. Ufeful Knowledge. Rye.] 

4 [Dr. Wagner is editing a Middle-Greek Floris for the Philological Society. F.] 

5 [Warton was indebted, he tells us, to Mr. Stanley for the ufe of the Greek 
Thefeus, printed at Venice in 1529, with woodcuts. Another copy was at that 
time in the hands of Ramfaythe painter. The firft edition of the original Italian, 
Ferrara, 1475, folio, was in Dr. Afkew's colleftion. Conful Smith's copy was 
bought for King George III. Another copy is at Althorp, and a fourth fold at 



s. 12. Extraflfrom La Tefeide. 305 

in each of the twelve books, and that the two firft books are intro- 
ductory ; the firft containing the war of Thefeus with the Amazons, 
and the fecond that of Thebes, in which Palamon and Arcite are 
taken prifoners. Boccaccio thus defcribes the Temple of Mars : 

Ne' campi tracii fotto i cieli iberni 

Da tempefta continova agitati 

Dove fchiere di nembi fempiterni 

Da venti or qua ed or la trafmutati 

In varii luoghi ne guazzori verni 

E d' acqua globi per freddo aggroppati 

Gittati fono, e neve tuttavia, 

Che 'n ghiacchio a mano a man' s' indura e cria: 

E 'n una felva fteril di robufti 
Cerri, dov 1 eran folti ed alti raolte, 
Nodofi ed afpri, rigid! e vetufti, 
Che d' ombra eterna ricuoprono il volto 
Del trifto fuolo, e in fra gli antichi fufti, 
Da ben mille furor fempre ravvolto 
Vi fi fentia grandiflimo romore, 
Ne v' era beftia encora ne paftore 
In quefta vide la ca 1 dello iddio 
Armipotente, e quefta e edificata 
Tutta d' acciaio fplendido e pulio, 
Dal quale era dal fol rivet berata 
La luce, che aborriva il luogho rio : 
Tutta di ferro era la ftretta entrata 
E le porte eran d' eterno diamante 
Ferrate d' ogni parte tutte quante, 
E le colonne di ferro cuftei 
Vide, che T edificio foftenieno 
Li gl' Impeti dementi parve a lei 
Veder, che fier fuor della ufcieno, 
Ed il cieco Peccare, ed ogni Omei 
Similemente quivi fi vedieno j 
Videvi 1' Ire rofle come fuoco, 
E la Paura pallida in quel loco. 
E con gli occulti ferri i Tradimenti 
Vide, e le Infidie con giufta apparenza : 
Li Difcordia fedeva, e fanguinenti 
Ferri avie in mano, e d' ogni differenza ; 
E tutti i luoghi pareano ftrepenti 
D' alpre minacce e di crudele intenza : 
E 'n mezzo il loco la Virtu triftiflima 
Sedie di degne lode poveriflima. 
Videvi ancora 1' allegro Furore, 
E oltre a cio con volto fanguinofo 
La Morte armata vide e lo Stupore j 
Ed ogni altare quivi era copioib 
Di fangue fol nelle battaglie fuore 
De' corpi uman cacciato, e luminofo 
Era ciafcun di fuoco tolto a terre 
Arfe e disfatte per le trifle guerre. 

Ed era il tempio tutto iftoriato 1 

Hibbert's lale in 1829 for 160. See Dibdin's Biblioth. Spencer, iv. 84, 'and 
Brunet, i. 1015-16.] 

Thus, ZropnTftctTa. means paintings, properly hiftory-paintings, and i$-p, and 
II. x 



306 Boccaccio's Tefeide. s. 12. 

Da fottil mano e di fopra e d' intorno 
E cio che pria vi vide difegnato 
Eran prede di notte e di giorno 
Tolti alle terre, e qualunque isforzato 
Fu era quivi in abito muforno : 
Vedevanfi le genti incatenate, 
Porti di ferro e fortezze fpezzate 

Videvi ancor le navi bellatrici, 

I voti carri, e li volti guaftati, 

E li miferi pianti ed infelici, 

Ed ogni forza cogli afpetti elati, 

Ogni fedita ancor fi vedea lici : 

E fangui colle terre mefcolati : 

E 'n ogni loco nell' afpetto fiero 

Si vedea Marte torbido ed altiero, &C. 1 

The Temple of Venus has thefe imageries : 

Poi vide preflb a fe paffar Bellezza 
Senz' ornamento alcun se riguardando, 
E vide gir con lei Piacevolezza, 
E P una e P altra feco commendano; 
Poi con lor vide ftarfi Giovinezza 
Deftra ed adorna molto fefteggiando : 
E d' altra parte vide il folle Ardire 
Lufinghe e Ruffianie infieme gire. 

E 'n mezzo il loco in fu alte colonne 
Di rame vide un tempio, al qual d' intorno 
Danzando giovinetti vide e donne, 
Qual da se belle : e qual d' abito adorno, 
Difcinte e fcalze, in capelli e gonne, 
Che in quefto folo difpendeano il giorno : 
Poi fopra il tempio vide volitare 
Paflere molte e columbe rucchiare. 

Ed all 1 entrata del tempio vicina 
Vide che fl fedeva pianamente 
Madonna Pace, e in mano una cortina 
'Nanzi alia porta tenea lievemente : 
Appreflb a lei in vifta aflai tapina 
Pacienza fedea difcretamente, 



is to paint, in barbarous Greek. There are various examples in the Byzan- 
tine writers. In middle Latinity Hiftoriographus fignifies literally a painter. 
Perhaps our hiftoriographer royal was originally the king's illuminator, 'if-opjo- 
ypa$o ? ftovo-ia.? occurs in an infcription publifhed by Du Cange, Di/ertat. Joinv. 
xxvii. p. 319. Where fjt,w<ria.rcap implies an artift who painted in mofaic work 
called fAovo-ctiw, or ftovnov, muji'vum. In the Greek poem before us Vopiraj is ufed 
for a painter, lib. ii. : 

In the middle Latin writers we have depingere hiftorialiter, to paint with hiftories or 
figures, viz. " Forinfecus dealbavit illud [delubrum,] intrinlecus autem depinxit 
hiftorialiter" Dudo, De Aft. Norman. 1. iii. p. 153. Dante ufes the Italian word 
before us in the fame fenfe. Dante, Pur gat. Cant. x. : 

" Quivi era hiftoriata Palta gloria 
Del Roman Principe." 

*irop<a frequently occurs, fimply for pi6hire or reprefentation in colours. Nilus 
Monach. lib. iv. Epift. 61. Keti l<ropta.<; itr-mut xai tpTrtrwv Ka\ ^Xapj|UaTa>v. *' Pi&ures 
of birds, ferpents, and plants." And in a thoufand other inftances. 

1 L. vii. [Ed. 1827-31, ix. 221-3. In all the former editions, the extract, as 
well as that which fucceeds, was fo disfigured by errors, as to be abfolutely unin- 
telligible.] 



s. i2. Boccaccio and his Works. 307 

Pallida nell' afpe6to : e d' ogni parte 
D' intorno a lei vide Promefle ad arte. 
Poi dentro al tempio entrata, di fofpiri 
VI fenti un tumulto, che girava 
Focofo tutto di caldi difiri: 
Quefto gli altari tutti aluminaua 
Di nuove fiamme nate di martiri, 
De' qua' ciafcun di lagrime grondava, 
Mofle da una dona cruda e ria, 
Che vide li, chiamata Gelofia. &C. 1 

It is highly probable that Boccaccio learned many anecdotes of 
Grecian hiftory and Grecian fable, not to be found in any Greek 
writer now extant, from his preceptors Barlaam, Leontius, and 
others, who had lived at Conftantinople, while the Greek literature 
was yet flourifhing. Some of thefe are perhaps fcattered up and 
down in the compofition before us, which contains a confiderable 
part of the Grecian ftory ; and efpecially in his Treatife of the 
Genealogies of the Gods. 2 Boccaccio himfelf calls his mafter Leon- 
tius an inexhauftible archive of Grecian tales and fables, although 
not equally converfant with thofe of the Latins. 3 He confefles that 
he took many things in his book of the genealogies of the gods from 
a vail work entitled Colleftivum, now loft, written by his cotemporary 
Paulus Perufmus, the materials of which had in great meafure been 
furniihed by Barlaam. 4 We are informed alfo, that Perufmus made 



1 [Ibid. pp. 230-1.] Some of thefe ftanzas are thus exprefled in the Graeco- 
barbarous translation : 

Etf TOVTOV 1i$e TOV Qeov, TOV otxov TOV (UEj/aXov, 

aTTap^taTa 7T9XXa o^xTujpa, XTioyxEvof ?TOV o'Xof. 
"O XoXttjtxTrpof yap rjrovaj, EXttjOtTrev if TOV iXiov, 

OTaV nX(Of SXpOUE, ttVTpaTTTEV if TOV <J>J/yOf. 

O TOTTOJ 0X0? Xaj7rev, Istrnv Xa|U.7rpoTjTavTOU, 

TO SfjiTTtLTOV oXofl'tS'flpOV, Jtai Ttt 0'TEVsijUaTttTOU. 

'ATTO S'ta^wavT*! TropTEsTToy, n<rav xai Ta ap<f>ta, 
i$ JyvaTa, aTfaira-irav 



ntrav (TjS'npf, TroXXa 

aTTavtorovi; l@a,<nEvav, o'Xov TOV o?itov xeivav. 
TW BovfX.OTvra.v t TOV Xoyjo-jtcov IXSIVMV, 

07TOX.TW TTOpTttV ^J/EVaiTl, cLypOl X.BU BvfAOfJlivOl . 

Ketl TW rvtyXri TM af^afriav xa.1 TO oval x.a.1 o%ou 

tniff~ Itya.iwvTrio-a.v, G/U.OIOV <ra.v nal T'aXXa. 
Kat Ta?f opya 

TOV <J>oj3ov t^ 
MSTO, K0(f>a Ta fl-^spa, Et^E 

xat TaTf <f>aX<ri'aif TTovyivovTat, K.a.1 fj.oia.ouv 
J EniTOV io-uvnBaeria,, 

l&ara. gif TO ^spn 

"OXOJ TOTTOf E^ef^VS, aJ/ptOf K0.\ poXiaff-|UEVOf, 

aypiovf yap <po8epta-/u,ovs, 

TOV T07TOV TOUTOVE, 

TTflVpETTE, Va EVaj 7ratVE|UEV. 

2 In fifteen books. Firft printed in 1481, fol. And in Italian by Betufli, 
Venet. 1553. In French at Paris, 1531, fol. In the interpretation of the fables 
he is very prolix and jejune. 

3 Geneal. Dear. lib. xv. cap. vi. 

4 " Quicquid apud Graecos inveniri poteft, adjutorio Barlaae arbitror collegifle.'* 
Ibid. 



308 Chaucer's Improvement on his Original. s. 12. 

ufe of fome of thefe fugitive Greek fcholars, efpecially Barlaam, for 
collecting rare books in that language. Perufinus was librarian, 
about the year 1340, to Robert, king of Jerufalem and Sicily, and 
was the moft curious and inquifitive man of his age for fearching 
after unknown or uncommon manufcripts, efpecially hiftories and 
poetical compofitions, and particularly fuch as were written in 
Greek. I will beg leave to cite the words of Boccaccio, who 
records this anecdote. 1 By the Hiftorits and Poetica Opera^ [men- 
tioned below as] brought from Conftantinople by Barlaam, un- 
doubtedly works of entertainment, and perhaps chiefly of the 
romantic and fictitious fpecies, I do not underftand the claflics. It 
is natural to fuppofe that Boccaccio, both from his connections and 
his curiofity, was no ftranger to thefe treafures : and that many of 
thefe pieces, thus imported into Italy by the difperfion of the 
Conftantinopolitan exiles, are only known at prefent through the 
medium of his writings. It is certain that many oriental fictions 
found their way into Europe by means of this communication. 

Boccaccio borrowed the ftory of Titus and Gefippus from the 
Gefta Romanorum^ or from the fecond fable of Alphonfus. There is 
another Latin hiftory of thefe two friends, a tranflation from [the 
eighth novel of the tenth day of the Decameron^] by Bandello, and 
printed at Milan in 1509. An exceedingly fcarce book. 2 

I take this opportunity of pointing out another fource of Boc- 
caccio's Tales, Friar Philip's ftory of the Goofe, or of the young 
man who had never feen a woman, in the prologue to the fourth day 
of the Decameron^ is taken from a fpiritual romance, called the 
Hiftory of Barlaam and Jofaphat. This fabulous narrative, in which 
Barlaam is a hermit and Jofaphat a king of India, is fuppofed to have 
been originally written in Greek by Johannes Damafcenus. The 
Greek is no uncommon manufcript. 3 It was from the old Latin 
tranflation, which is mentioned by Vincent of Beauvais, that it be- 
came a favourite in the dark ages. The Latin, which is alfo a 
common manufcript, was printed fo early as the year 1470. It has 
often appeared in French. A modern Latin verfion was publifhed at 
Paris in 1577. The legendary hiftorians, who believed everything, 
and even Baronius, have placed Barlaam and Jofaphat in their cata- 
logues of confeflbrs. Saint Barlaam and Saint Jofaphat occur in 
the Metrical Lives of the Saints.* This hiftory feems to have been 
compofed by an oriental Chriftian : and, in fome manufcripts, is faid 
to have been brought by a monk of Saint Saba into the holy city from 
Ethiopia. Among the Baroccian MSS. Cod. xxi. there was an office 
in Greek for thefe two fuppofed faints. 

In pafling through Chaucer's hands, this poem has received many 
new beauties. Not only thofe capital fictions and defcriptions, the 

1 " Et, fi ufquam curiofiflimus fuit homo in perquirendis, juflu etiam principis, 
peregrinis undecunque libris, Hiftoriis et Poettcis operibus, ifte fuit. Et ob id, fm- 
gulari amicitiae Barlaae conjunftus, quae a Latinis habere non poterat eo medio 
innumera exhaufit a Graecis." Geneal. Dear. lib. xv. cap. vi. 

2 [See, for the correa title, Brunei, i. 636.] 3 See MSS. Laud. C. 72. 
4 MSS. Bodl. 72, fol. 288, b, [Vernon MS., &c.j 



s. i2. The Englijh and Italian Poets. 309 

temples of Mars, Venus, and Diana, with their allegorical paintings, 
[but alfo] the figures of Lycurgus and Emetrius with their retinue, 
are fo much heightened by the bold and fpirited manner of the 
Britifh bard, as to ftrike us with an air of originality. Boccaccio's 
fituations and incidents refpe6Hng the lovers are often inartificial 
and unaffe6Hng. In the Italian poet, Emilia walking in the garden 
and finging is feen and heard firft by Arcite, who immediately calls 
Palamon. They are both equally, and at the fame point of time, 
captivated with her beauty ; yet without any expreffions of jealoufy, 
or appearance of rivalry. But in Chaucer's management of the 
commencement of this amour, Palamon by feeing Emilia firft 
acquires an advantage over Arcite, which ultimately renders the 
cataftrophe more agreeable to poetical juftice. It is an unnatural 
and unanimated pidture which Boccaccio prefents, of the two young 
princes violently enamoured of the fame object, and ftill remaining 
in a ftate of amity. In Chaucer, the quarrel between the two 
friends, the foundation of all the future beautiful diftrefs of the 
piece, commences at this moment, and caufes a converfation full of 
mutual rage and refentment. This rapid tranfition, from a friendfhip 
cemented by every tie to the moft implacable hoftility, is on this 
occafion not only highly natural, but produces a fudden and unex- 
pected change of circumftances, which enlivens the detail and is 
always interefting. Even afterwards, when Arcite is releafed from 
the prifon by Pirithous, he embraces Palamon at parting ; and in 
the fifth book of La Tefeide, when Palamon goes armed to the grove 
in fearch of Arcite, whom he finds fleeping, they meet on terms of 
much civility and friendfhip, and in all the mechanical formality of 
the manners of romance. In Chaucer, this dialogue has a very dif- 
ferent caft. Palamon, at feeing Arcite, feels a " colde fwerde " glide 
throughout his heart : he ftarts from his ambufcade, and inftantly 
falutes Arcite with the appellation of " falfe traitour ; " and although 
Boccaccio has merit in difcriminating the characters of the two 
princes, by giving Palamon the impetuofity of Achilles, and Arcite 
the mildnefs of Hector, yet Arcite by Boccaccio is here injudicioufly 
reprefented as too moderate and pacific. In Chaucer he returns the 
falute with the fame degree of indignation, draws his fword, and 
defies Palamon to fingle combat. So languid is Boccaccio's plan of 
this amour, that Palamon does not begin to be jealous of Arcite till 
he is informed in the prifon that Arcite lived as a favourite fervant 
with Thefeus in difguife, yet known to Emilia. When the lovers 
fee Emilia from the window of their tower, fhe is fuppofed by Boc- 
caccio to obferve them, and not to be difpleafed at their figns of ad- 
miration. This circumftance is juftly omitted by Chaucer, as quite 
unneceflary, and not tending either to promote the prefent bufinefs 
or to operate in any diftant confequences. On the whole, Chaucer 
has eminently (hewn his good fenfe and judgment in rejecting the 
fuperfluities and improving the general arrangement of the ftory. 
He frequently corrects or foftens Boccaccio's falfe manners ; and it 
is with fingular addrefs he has often abridged the Italian poet's 
oftentatious and pedantic parade of ancient hiftory and mythology 



310 Extracts from Chaucer. s. 12. 

Therefore it is to be remarked, that as Chaucer in fome places 
has thrown in ftrokes of his own, fo in others he has contracted 
the uninterefting and tedious prolixity of narrative, which he 
found in the Italian poet ; and that he might avoid a fervile 
imitation, and indulge himfelf as he pleafed in an arbitrary departure 
from the original, it appears that he neglected the embarraflment of 
Boccaccio's ftanza, and preferred the Englifh heroic couplet, of 
which this poem affords the firft confpicuous example extant in our 
language. 

The fituation and ftru&ure of the temple of Mars are thus 
defcribed : 

A forefte, 1 

In which ther dwelled^ neyther man ne befte, 

With knotty knarry bareyn trees olde 

Of ftubbes fcharpe and hidous to byholde j 

In which ther ran a fwymbul in a fwough, 

As it were a ftorme Ichuhfe berft every bough : 

And downward on an hil under a bent, 2 

Ther flood the tempul of Marz armypotent, 

Wrought al of burned 3 fteel, of which thentre 

Was long and ftreyt, and gaftly for to fee. 

And therout came a rage of fuche a prife, 

That it maad al the gates for to rife. 

The northen light in at the dore ichon, 

For wyndow on the walle ne was ther noon, 

Thorugh the which men might no light difcerne. 

The dores wer alle ademaunte eterne, 

I-clenched overthward and endelong 

With iren tough ; and, for to make it ftrong, 

Every piler the tempul to fufteene 

Was tonne greet of iren bright and fchene. 

The gloomy fan&uary of this tremendous fane, was adorned with 
thefe characlerifHcal imageries. 

Ther faugh I furft the derk ymaginyng 4 
Of felony, and al the compaflyng j 
The cruel ire, as reed as eny gleede ; 
The pikepurs, and eek the pale drede; 
The fmyler with the knyf under his cloke ; 
The fchipne brennyng with the blake fmoke j 
The trefoun of the murtheryng in the bed ; 
The open werres, with woundes al bi-bled j 
Contek with bloody knyf, 5 and fcharp manace. 
Al ful of chirkyng 6 was that fory place. 
The fleer of himfelf yet faugh I there, 
His herte-blood hath bathed al his here j 
The nayl y-dryve in the fchode a-nyght ; 

1 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 61, ver. 1117.] 

1 [declivity]. 3 burnifhed. 4 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 62, ver. 1137.] 

5 This image is likewife entirely mifreprefented by Dryden, and turned to a 
fatire on the Church : 

" Conteft with fharpen'd knives in doyfters drawn, 
And all with blood befpread the holy lawn" 

6 Any difagreeable noife, or hollow murmur. Properly, the jarring of a door 
upon the hinges. See alfo Chaucer's Boeth. p. [25, edit. Morris:] "Whan the 
felde chirkynge agrifethe of colde by the fellnefle of the wynde that hyjt aquilon." 
The original is, ** Vento Campus inhorruit. 1 ' 



s. i2. Extratfs from Chaucer. 311 

The colde deth, with mouth gapyng upright. 1 
Amyddes of the tempul fet mefchaunce, 
With fory comfort and evel contynaunce. 
Jet I faugh woodnes laughyng in his rage ; 
The hunfc? ftrangled with wilde bores corage. 
'The caraigne in the bufche, with throte i-kor<ve : 
A thoufand Jlayne , and not of qualme i-flor^e f 
The tiraunt, with the pray bi force i-rafte j 
The toune deftroied, there was no thing lafte. 
Yet faugh I brent the fchippis hoppefteres / 
The hunte 4 ftrangled with the wilde beeres. 
The fowe freten the child right in the cradel j 
The cook i-fkalded, for al his longe ladel. 
Nought beth forgeten the infortune of Mart ; 
The carter over-ryden with his cart, 
Under the whel ful lowe he lay adoun. 
Ther wer alfo of Martz divifioun, 
The barbour, and the bowcher, and the frnyth, 
That forgeth fcharpe fwerdes on his ftith. 
And al above depeynted in a tour 
Saw I conqueft fittyng in gret honour, 
With the fcharpe fwerd over his heed 
Hangynge by a fotil twyne threed. 

This group is the effort of a ftrong imagination, unacquainted with 
fele6Uon and arrangement of images. It is rudely thrown on the 
canvas without order or art. In the Italian poets, who defcribe 
every thing, and who cannot, even in the moft ferious reprefenta- 
tions, eafily fupprefs their natural predilection for burlefque and 
familiar imagery, nothing is more common than this mixture of fub- 
lime and comic ideas. 5 The form of Mars follows, touched with the 
impetuous dames of a favage and fpirited pencil : 

The ftatue 6 of Mars upon a carte flood, 
Armed, and loked^ grym as he were wood j 



1 This couplet refers to the fuicide in the preceding one, who is fuppofed to 
kill himfelf by driving a nail into his head [in the night], and to be found dead and 
cold in his bed, with his " mouth gapyng upryght." This is properly the mean- 
ing of his " hair being bathed in blood." Shade, in the text, is literally a bujh of 
hair. Dryden has finely paraphrafed this paffage. 

2 (t (lain not deftroyed by ficknefs or dying a natural death." 

3 A writer in Notes and Queries (ift S. ii. 31,) conjectures, that Chaucer may 
have mifread the bellatrici of Statius ballatrici. Another writer in the fame 
mifcellany (and S. iv. 407) thinks that it mould be hoppofleres quafi upholfteries= 
dock-yards. Now, a hopyr is the old word for the trough, in which the grain is 
placed to be ground, and there may have been a term, now loft, but known to 
Chaucer, founded upon hopyr, and having the fenfe of fhip's flocks. This 
appears to be on the whole the moft probable folution : 

" By God ! right by the hoper wol I ftande, 

Quod Johan, * And fe how that the corn gus inne.' " 

Reeves Tale, 1. 4034, ed. Wright.] 

4 [The huntfman j from the Saxon hunta. Tyrwhitt] 

5 There are many other inftances of this mixture, v. 319. "We ftrive as did 
the houndis for the bone." v. 403. " We fare he that dronk is as a moufe, &c." 
" Farewel phyfick ! Go bere the corfe to church}" "Some faid he lokid grim 
and he wolde fight," &c. infra. 

6 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 63, ver. 1183.] Statuary is not implied here. Thus he 
mentions the ftatue of Mars on a banner, fupr. v. 117. I cannot forbear adding in 



3 1 2 Statins quoted. s . 1 2 . 

A wolf ther flood byforn him at his feet 
With eyen reed, and of a man he eet ; 
With fotyl pencel depeynted was this ftorie, 
In redoutyng 1 of Mars and of his glorie. 

But the groundwork of this whole defcription is in the Thebais of 
Statius. I will make no apology for tranfcribing the paflage at 
large, that the reader may judge of the refemblance. Mercury vifits 
the temple of Mars fituated in the frozen and tempeftuous regions of 
Thrace : ~ 

Hie fteriles delubra notat Mavortia filvas, 

Horrefcitque tuens : ubi mille furoribus illi 

Cingitur adverfo domus immanfueta fub Haemo. 

Ferrea compago laterum, ferro arfta teruntur 

Limina, ferratis incumbunt tefta columnis. 

Laeditur adverfum Phoebi jubar, ipfaque fedem 

Lux timet, et dims contriftat fidera fulgor. 
Digna loco ftatio ? primis falit Impetus amens 

E foribus, caecumque Nefas, Iraeque rubentes, 

Exfanguefque Metus ; occultifque enfibus adftant 

Infidiae, geminumque tenens Difcordia ferrum. 

Innumeris ftrepit aula Minis : triftifiima Virtus 

Stat medio, laetufque Furor, vultuque cruento 

Mors armata fedet : bellorum folus in aris 

Sanguis, et incenfis qui raptus ab urbibus ignis. 

Terrarum exuviae circum, et faftigia templi 

Captae infignibant gentes, coelataque ferro 

Fragmina portarum, bellatricefque carinae, 

Et .vacui currus, protritaque curribus ora. 3 



this place thefe fine verfes of Mars arming himfelf in hafte, from our author's 
Complaint of Mars and Venus , v. 99 : 

" He throweM on him his helme of huge wyghte, 
And girt him with his fwerde ; and in his honde 
His myghty fpere, as he was wont to fyghte, 
He fhaketh fo, that almoft it to-wonde ;" 

Here we fee the force of defcription without a profufion of idle epithets. Thefe 
verfes are all finew : they have nothing but verbs and fubftantives. 

1 recording, [reverence, T.] 

2 Chaucer points out this very temple in the introduftory lines, v. 1 1 1 j : 

" L/'ke to the eftres of the grifly place, 

That hight the gret tempul of Mars in Trace, 

In that colde and frofty regioun, 

Ther as Mars hath his fovereyn mancioun." 

3 Stat. Theb. vii. 40 [Edit. Paris, 1827, Hi. 9-10]. And below we have 
Chaucer's Doors of adamant eterne, viz. v. 68. 

" Claufaeque adamante perenni 
Difliluere fores."" 

Statius alfo calls Mars, Armipotens, v. 78. A facrifice is copied from Statius, 
where, fays Chaucer (v. 1435) : 

" And did hir thinges, as men may biholde 

In Stare of Thebes." 

I think Statius is copied in a limile, v. 1640. The introduction of this, poem is 
alfo taken from the Thebaid, xii. 545, 481, 797. Compare Chaucer's lines, v. 870^ 
feq. v. 917, feq. v. 996, feq. The funeral pyre of Arcite is alfo tranflated from 
Tneb. vi. 195, feq. See Ch. v. 2940,^9. I likewife take this opportunity of 



s. i2. Statins a favourite Author. 313 

Statius was a favourite writer with the poets of the middle ages. 
His bloated magnificence of defcription, gigantic images, and pom- 
pous diction, fuited their tafte, and were fomewhat of a piece with 
the romances they fo much admired. They neglected the gentler 
and genuine graces of Virgil, which they could not relifti. His 
pictures were too corre&ly and chaftely drawn to take their fancies : 
and truth of defign, elegance of expreffion, and the arts of compofi- 
tion were not their objects. 1 In the meantime we muft obferve, 
that in Chaucer's Temple of Mars many perfonages are added : and 
that thofe which exifted before in Statius have been retouched, 
enlarged, and rendered more diftincl: and picturefque by Boccaccio 



obferving, that Lucretius and Plato are imitated in this poem, together with many 
paflages from Ovid and Virgil. 

1 In Troilus and CreJJide he has tranflated the arguments of the twelve books of 
the Thebais of Statius. See B. v. p. 1479,^. 

But to be more particular as to thefe imitations, ii. 28, v. 40 : 
" A companye of ladies, tweye and tweye," &c. 

Thus Thefeus, at his return in triumph from conquering Scythia, is accofted by 
the dames of Thebes, Stat. Theb. xii. 519 : 

" Jamque domos patrias, Scythicae poft afpera gentis 
Praelia, laurigero fubeuntem Thefea curru 
Laetifici plaufus, &c. &c. 
Paulum et ab infeffis moeftae Pelopeides aris 
Promovere gradum, feriemque et dona triumphi 
Mirantur, viftique animo rediere mariti. 
Atque ubi tardavit currus, et ab axe fuperbo 
Explorat caufas vi&or, poicitque benigna 
Aure preces ; orfa ante alias Capaneia conjux, 
Belliger ^Egide," &c. 

Chaucer here copies Statius (Theb. v. 861-966). Kn. T. from [v. 70 to v. 151,] 
See alfo ibid. v. "jo,feq. v. 930 : 

" Here in the Temple of the goddefs Clemence," &c. 

Statius mentions the temple of Clemency as the afylum where thefe ladies were 
aflembled, Theb. xii. 481 : 

" Urbe fuit media, nulli concefla potentum 
Ara deum, mitis pofuit dementia fedem," &c. 

Ver. 2087. 

" Ne what jewels men in the fyr cafte," &c. 
Literally from Statius, Theb. vi. 206 : 

" Ditantur flammae, non unquam opulentior ilia 

Ante cinisj crepitant gemmae," &c. 

But the whole of Arcite's funeral is minutely copied from Statius. More than a 
hundred parallel lines on this fubjeft might be produced from each poet. In 
Statius the account of the trees felled for the pyre, with the confternation of 
the Nymphs, takes up more than twenty-four lines, v. 84-116. In Chaucer 
about thirteen, v. 2060-2072. In Boccaccio, fix ftanzas, B. xi. Of the three 
poets, Statius is moft reprehenfible, the firft author of this ill-placed and unnecefTary 
defcription, and who did not live in a Gothic age. The ftatues of Mars and 
Venus I imagined had been copied from Fulgentius, Boccaccio's favourite mytho- 
grapher. But Fulgentius fays nothing of Mars : and of Venus, that me only flood 
in the fea on a couch, attended by the Graces. It is from Statius that Thefeus 
became a hero of romance. 



314 ErXtralls from Chaucer. s. 12. 

and Chaucer. Arcite's addrefs to Mars, at entering the temple, has 
great dignity, and is not copied from Statius : 

O ftronge god, that in the reynes cold* 1 

Of Trace honoured and lord art thou y-hold*, 

And haft in every regne and every land 

Of armes al the bridel in thy hand, 

And hem fortuneft as the luft* devyfe, 

Accept of me my pitous facrifife. 

The following portrait of Lycurgus, an imaginary king of Thrace, 
is highly charged, and very great in the Gothic ftyle of painting : 

Ther maiftow fe comyng with Palomoun 2 

Ligurge himfelf, the grete kyng of Trace j 

Blak was his herd, and manly was his face. 

The cercles of his eyen in his heed 

They gloweden bytwixe yolw and reed, 

And lik a griffoun loked he aboute, 

With kempe heres on his browes ftowtej 

His lymes greet, his brawnes hard and ftronge, 

His fchuldres brood, his armes rounde and longe. 

And as the gyfe was in his centre, 

Ful heye upon a chare of gold flood he, 

With foure white boles in a trays. 

In ftede of cote armour in his harnays, 

With nales yolwe, and bright as eny gold, 

He had a bere 3 fkyn, cole-blak for old. 

His lange heer y-kempt byhynd his bak, 

As eny raven fether it fchon for blak. 

A wrethe of gold arm-gret, and huge of wight*, 

Upon his heed, fet ful of ftoones bright*, 

Of fyne rubeus and of fyn dyamauntz. 

Aboute his chare wente white alauntz, 4 

Twenty and mo, as grete as eny ftere, 

To hunt at the lyoun or at the bere, 

And folwed him, with mofel faft i-bounde, 

Colerd with golde, and torettz 5 fyled* rounde. 

1 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 73, ver. 1515.] 2 [Ibid. ii. 66, ver. 1270.] 3 A bear's. 

4 Greyhounds. A favourite fpecies of dogs in the middle ages. In the ancient 
pipe-rolls, payments are frequently made in greyhounds. Rot. Pip. an. 4, Reg. 
Johann. [A. D. 1203.] " Rog. Conftabul. Ceftrie debet D. Marcas, et x. 
palfridos et x. laiffas Leporariorum pro habenda terra Vidonis de Loverell de quibus 
debet reddere per ann. c. M." Ten leafhes of greyhounds, Rot. Pip. an. 9 Reg. 
Johann. [A. D. 1208.] " Suthant. Johan. Teingre debet c. M. et x. leporarios 
magnos, pulchros, et bonos, de redemtione fua." &c. Rot. Pip. an. ii, Reg. Johan. 
[A. D. 1210.] " Everveycfire. Rog. de Mallvell redd. comp. de I. palefrido 
velociter currente, et ii. Laifiis leporariorum pro habendis literis deprecatoriis ad 
Matildam de M." I could give a thoufand other inftances of the fort. [" Speght 
interprets alaunz, greyhounds; Tyrrwhitt, maftiffs. The latter was apparently 
milled by the fa6l that the wolf-dog, generally known by the name of the Irifh 
greyhound, becaufe ufed moft recently in that country, is called by Buffon le 
matt*." Sett.] 

In Hawes's Pa/lime of Pleafure, Fame is attended with two greyhounds, on 
whofe golden collars Grace and Governaunce are infcribed in diamond letters. 
See next note. 

5 Rings j the faftening of dogs' collars. They are often mentioned in the 
inventory of furniture, in the royal palaces of Henry VIII. above cited. MSS. 
Harl. 14.19. In the Caflle of Windfor, article Collars, f. 409. "Two grey- 

* Filed 5 highly polifhed. 



s. iz. Extracts from Chaucer. 315 

An hundred lordes had he in his route 
Armed ful wel, with hertes ftern and ftoute. 

The figure of Emetrius, king of India, who comes to the aid of 
Arcite, is not inferior in the fame ftyle, with a mixture of grace : 

With Arcita, in ftories as men fynde, 1 
The gret Emetreus, the kyng of Ynde, 
Uppon a fteede bay, trapped in fteel, 
Covered with cloth of gold dyapred wel, 
Cam rydyng lyk the god of armes Mars. 
His coote armour was of a cloth of Tars, 2 
Cowched of perlys whyte, round and grete. 
His fadil was of brend gold newe /-bete j 
A mantelet upon his fchuldre hangyng 
Bret-ful of rubies reed, as fir fparclyng. 
His crifpe her lik rynges was i-ronne, 
And that was yalwe, and gliteryng as the fonne. 
His nofe was heigh, his eyen bright cytryne, 
His lippes rounde, his colour was fangwyn, 
A fewe freknes in his face y-fpreynd, 
Betwixe yolwe and fomdel blak y-meynd, 
And as a lyoun he his lokyng cafte. 
Of fyve and twenty yeer his age I cafte. 
His berd was wel bygonne for to fprynge j 
His voys was as a trumpe thunderynge. 
Upon his heed he wered o/'laurer grene 
A garlond freifch and lufty for to fene. 
Upon his hond he bar for his delyt 
An egle tame, as eny lylie whyt*. 
An hundred lordes had he with him ther, 

Al armed fauf here hedes in here ger, 

***** 

Aboute the kyng ther ran on every part 
Ful many a tame lyoun and lepart. 

The banner of Mars difplayed by Thefeus, is fublimely con- 
ceived : 

The reede ftatue of Mars with fpere and targe 3 
So fchyneth in his white baner large, 
That alle the feeldes gliteren up and doun. 

This poem has many ftrokes of pathetic defcription, of which 
thefe fpecimens may be fele&ed : 

houndes collars of crimfun velvett and cloth of gold, lacking torre^es."--" Two 
other collars with the kinges armes, and at the ende portcullis and role.'" " Item, 
a collar embrawdered with pomegranates and rofes with turrets of filver and gilt." 
" A collar garnifhed with ftole-worke with one fhallop fhelle of filver and gilte, 
with torrefies and pendauntes of filver and guilte." " A collar of white velvette, 
embrawdered with perles, the fwivels of filver." 

1 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 67, ver. 1297.] 

2 Not of Tarfus in Cilicia. It is rather an abbreviation for Tartarin, or Tar- 
tarium. See [the] Flower and Leaf, [ibid, iv. 94, ver. 211 :] 

" On every trumpe hanging a broad banere 

Of fine tartarium ful richely bete.' 1 

That it was a coftly fluff appears from hence. " Et ad faciendum unum Jupoun 
de Tartaryn blu pouderat. cum garteriis blu paratis cum boucles et pendants de 
argento deaurato." Comp. J. Coke Proviforis Magn. Garderob. temp. Ed^w. HI. 
ut fupr. It often occurs in the wardrobe-accounts for furniming tournaments. 
Du Cange fays, that this was a fine cloth manufactured in Tartary. Glofs. v. Tar- 
tarium. But Skinner in v. derives it from Tortona in the Milanefe. He cites 
Stat. 4, Hen. VIII. c. vi. 3 [Morris's Chaucer, ii, 31, ver. 117.] 



316 Extracts from Chaucer. s. 12. 

Uppon that other fyde Palomon, 1 
Whan he wifte that Arcite was agoon, 
Such forwe maketh, that the grete tour 
Refowneth of his yollyng and clamour. 
The pure feteres of his fchynes grete 
Weren of his bitter falte teres wete. 

Arcite is thus defcribed, after his return to Thebes, where he 
defpairs of feeing Emilia again : 

His ileep, his mete, his drynk is him byraft, 2 

That lene he wexe, and drye as eny fchaft. 

His eyen holwe, grifly to biholde j 

His hewe falwe, and pale as affchen colde, 

And folitary he was, and ever alone, 

And dwellyng al the night, making his moone. 

And if he herde fong or initrument, 

Then wolde he wepe, he mighte nought be ftent j 

So feble were his fpirites, and fo lowe. 

And chaunged fo, that no man couthe knowe 

His fpeche nother his vois, though men it herde. 

Palamon is thus introduced in the proceflion of his rival Arcite's 
funeral : 

Tho cam this woful Theban Palomoun, 3 
With flotery 4 berd, and ruggy afshy heeres, 
In clothis blak, y-dropped al with teeres, 
And, paffyng other, of wepyng Emelye, 
The rewfulleft of al the companye. 

To which may be added the furprife of Palamon, concealed in the 
foreft, at hearing the difguifed Arcite, whom he fuppofes to be the 
fquire of Thefeus, difcover himfelf at the mention of the name of 
Emilia : 

Thurgh his herte 5 

He felt a cold fwerd fodeynliche glyde : 
For ire he quook, he nolde no lenger abyde. 
And whan that he hath herd Arcites tale, 
As he were wood, with face deed and pale, 
He fterte him up out of the buflches thikke, &c. 

A defcription of the morning muft not be omitted ; which vies 
both in fentiment and expreflion with the moft finimed modern 
poetical landfcape, and finely difplays our author's talent at delinea- 
ting the beauties of nature : 

The bufy larke, meflager of day? 
Salueth in hire long the morwe gray j 
And fyry Phebus ryfeth up fo bright, 
That al the orient 7 laugheth of the light, 8 
And with his ftiemes dryeth in the greves 
The filver dropes, hongyng on the leeves. 

1 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 40, ver. 417.] 2 [Ibid. ii. 42, ver. 503.] 

3 [Ibid, ii. 89, ver. 2024.] 

4 fqualid. [Flotery feems literally to mean floating ; as hair difhevelled (ra- 
buffata] may be faid to float upon the air. Tjr-ivfiitt.~\ 

6 [Morris's Chaucer, ii. 49, ver. 716.] [ 6 Ibid. ii. 46, ver. 633.] 

7 For Orient, perhaps Qrifount, or the horifon, is the true reading. So the edition 
of Chaucer in 1561. So alfo the barbarous Greek poem on this ftory, 'o Ovpavos 
o'xoc ysAa. Dryclen ieems to have read, or to have made out of this miflpelling of 
Horifon, Orient. The ear inftrufts us to rejeft this emendation. 

8 See Dante, Purgat. c. i. p. 234. 






s. i2. Remarks on the Poem. 3 17 

Nor muft the figure of the blooming Emilia, the moft beautiful 
object of this vernal picture, pafs unnoticed : 

Emelie, that fairer was to feene 1 
Than is the lilie on hire ftalkes grene. 
And fresfcher than the May with floures newe 
For with the rofe colour ftrof" hire hewe. 

In other parts of his works he has painted morning fcenes con 
amore : and his imagination feems to have been peculiarly ftruck 
with the charms of a rural profpecl: at fun-rifmg. 

We are furprifed to find, in a poet of fuch antiquity, numbers fo 
nervous and flowing : a circumftance which greatly contributed to 
render Dryden's paraphrafe of this poem the moft animated and 
harmonious piece of verification in the Englifh language. I can- 
not leave the Knight's Tale without remarking, that the inventor of 
this poem appears to have pofTefTed coniiderable talents for the arti- 
ficial conftruclion of a ftory. It exhibits unexpected and ftriking 
turns of fortune, and abounds in thofe incidents which are calculated 
to ftrike the fancy by opening refources to fublime defcription, or 
to intereft the heart by pathetic fituations. On this account, even 
without confidering the poetical and exterior ornaments of the 
piece, we are hardly difgufted with the mixture of manners, the 
confufion of times, and the like violations of propriety, which this 
poem, in common with all others of its age, prefents in almoft every 
page. The action is fuppofed to have happened foon after the mar- 
riage of Thefeus with Hippolita, and the death of Creon in the fiege 
of Thebes : but we are foon tranfported into more recent periods. 
Sunday, the celebration of matins, judicial aftrology, heraldry, tilts 
and tournaments, knights of England and targets of Pruffia, 2 occur 
in the city of Athens under the reign of Thefeus. 



SECTION XIII. 

H AUGER'S Romaunt of the Rofe 3 is tranflated from a 
French poem entitled Le Roman de la Rofe. It was 
begun by William of Lorris, a ftudent in jurifprudence, 
who died about the year 1260. Being left unfiniihed, 
it was completed by John of Meun, a native of a little 
town of that name, fituated on the River Loire near Orleans, who 



[Morris's Chaucer ', ii. 33, ver. 177.] 

2 The knights of the Teutonic order were fettled in Pruffia, before 1300. See 
alfo Ch. Prol. v. 53 ; where tournaments in Pruffia are mentioned. Arcite quotes 
a fable from ./Efop (v. 1179). 

3 [The one fifteenth century MS. of this poem that we poflefs (in the Hunterian 
Mufeum, at Glafgow) is a very faulty one. Mr. Bradfhaw contends that it is not 
Chaucer's tranflation at all, but that of a fifteenth century poet, mainly becaufe it 
contains fo many falfe rhymes of the final e falfe according to Chaucer's uniform 




318 The Romaunt of the Rofe. s. 13. 

feems to have flouriftied about the year I3IO. 1 This poem is 
efteemed by the French the moft valuable piece of their old poetry. 
It is far beyond the rude efforts of all their preceding romancers : 
and they have nothing equal to it before the reign of Francis I., who 
died in the year 1547. But there is a confiderable difference in 
the merit of the two authors. William of Lorris, who wrote not 
one quarter of the poem, is remarkable for his elegance and luxuri- 
ance of defcription, and is a beautiful painter of allegorical perfonages. 
John of Meun is a writer of another caft. He poiTefTes but little of 
his predeceflbr's inventive and poetical vein ; and in that refpect 
was not properly qualified to finifh a poem begun by William of 
Lorris. But he has.ftrong fatire and great livelinefs. 2 He was 
one of the wits of the court of Charles le Bel. 

The difficulties and dangers of a lover, in purfuing and obtaining 
the object of his defires, are the literal argument of this poem. This 
defign is couched under the allegory of a Rofe, which our lover after 
frequent obftacles gathers in a delicious garden. He traverfes vaft 
ditches, fcales lofty walls, and forces the gates of adamantine and 
almoft impregnable caftles. Thefe enchanted fortrefles are all in- 
habited by various divinities, fome of which aflift, and fome oppofe, 
the lover's progrefs. 3 

Chaucer has luckily tranflated all that was written by William of 
Lorris : 4 he gives only part of the continuation of John of Meun. 5 

praftice in his genuine poems. For inftance, the Romaunt rhymes the infinitives 
ly-e, li-e, with the adverbs erly, tendirly, 1. 264, p. 2738 ; maladie,jeloujie, with I, 

I. 1850, 3910, 4146, &c. &c. See Temporary Frefa.ee to Six-Text Chaucer, pp. 107- 

II. Prof. Child of Harvard alfo holds the Romaunt not to be Chaucer's. F.] 

1 Fauchet, pp. 198-200. He alfo tranflated Boethius De Confolatione, [recently 
edited by Dr. Morris (1868, 8) from Addit. MS. Br. Mus. 10,340, collated 
with MS. Univ. Lib. Cam. I. 3, 21,] and Abelard's Letters, and wrote Answers of 
the Sibyls, Sec. 

8 The poem confifts of 22734 veries. William of Lorris's part ends with v. 
4149, viz : 

"A peu que je ne m'en defefpoir." 

3 In the preface of the edition printed in the year 1538, all this allegory is turned 
to religion. The Rofe is proved to be a ftate of grace, or divine wifdom, or eternal 
beatitude, or the Holy Virgin to which heretics cannot gain accefs. It is the white 
Rofe of Jericho, Quafi plantatio Rof<e in Jericho, &c. &c. The chemifts, in the 
mean time, made it a fearch for the philofopher's ftone : and other profefllons, with 
laboured commentaries, explained it into their own refpe&ive fciences. 

4 See Occleve (Letter ofCupide, written 1402. Urry's Chaucer, p. 536, v. 283), 
who calls John or' Meun the author of the Romaunt of the Rofe. 

5 Chaucer's poem confifts of 7699 verfes : and ends with this verfe of the original, 
viz. ver. 13105. 

" Vous aurez abfolution." 

But Chaucer has made feveral omifiions in John of Meun's part, before he comes to 
this period. He has tranflated all William of Lorris's part, as I have obferved j 
and his tranflation of that part ends with ver. 4432, viz. 

" Than fhuldin I fallin in wanhope." 

Chaucer's cotemporaries called his Romaunt of the Rofe a tranflation. Lydgate fays 
that Chaucer 

" Notably did his bufinefie 



s. 13. The French and Englifh Verfions compared. 319 

How far he has improved on the French original, the reader fhall 

judge. I will exhibit paflages fele&ed from both poems : refpe&ively 

placing the French befide the Englifh, for the convenience of com- 

parifon. The renovation of nature in the month of May is thus de- 

fcribed. 

That it was May, thus dremed* me, 1 Qifon joli moys de May fongeoye, 

In tyme of love and jolite, Ou temps amoreux plein de joye, 

That al thing gynneth waxen gay, Que toute chofe fi s'efgaye, 

For ther is neither bufk nor hay Si qu'il n'y a buiflbns ne haye 

In May, that it nyl fhrouded bene, Qui en May parer ne fe vueiile, 

And it with newe leves wrene. Et couvrir de nouvelle fueille : 

Thefe wodes eek recoveren grene, Les boys recouvrent leur verdure, 

That drie in wynter ben to fene ; Qui font fees tant qui Thiver dure j 

And the erth wexith proude withalle, La terre mefrnes s'en orgouille 

For fwote dewes that on it falle ; Pour la roufee qui la mouille, 

And the pore eftat forgette, En oublian la povrete 

In which that wynter had it fette. Ou elle a tout Thiver efte ; 

And than bycometh the ground fo proude, Lors devient la terre fi gobe, 

That it wole have a newe fhroude, Qu'elle veult avoir neufve robe j 

And makith fo queynt his robe and faire, Si fget fi cointe robe faire, 

That it had hewes an hundred payre, Que de couleurs y a cent paire, 

Of gras and flouris, ynde and pers, D'herbes, de fleures Indes et Perfes : 

And many hewes ful dyvers : Et de maintes couleurs diverfes, 

By grete avyfe his wittes to difpofe, 
To tranflate the Romans of the Rofe." 

ProL Bock. ft. vi. It is manifeft that Chaucer took no pains to difguife his tranfla- 
tion. He literally follows the French, in faying, that a river was " lefle than Saine." 
i. e. the Seine at Paris, ver. 118. " No wight in all Paris," ver. 7157. A grove 
has more birds " than ben in all the relme of Fraunce," ver. 495. He calls a pine, 
"A tree in France men call a pine," ver. 1457. He fays of rofes, "fo faire werin 
never in Rone," ver. 1674. " That for Paris ne for Pavie," ver. 1654. He has 
fometimes reference to French ideas, or words, not in the original. As " Men 
clepin hem Sereins in France," ver. 684. " From Jerufalem to Burgoine," ver. 
554. " Grein de Paris," ver. 1369. In mentioning minftrells and jugglers, he fays, 
that fome of them " Songin fonges of Loraine," ver. 776. He adds, 

" For in Loraine there notis be 

Full fwetir than in this centre." 

There is not a fyllable of thefe fongs and fingers of Lorraine, in the French. By 
the way, I fufpeft that Chaucer translated this poem while he was at Paris. There 
are alfo many allufions to Englifh affairs, which I fufpefted to be Chaucer's 5 but 
they are all in the French original. Such as, " Hornpipis of Cornevaile," v. 4250. 
Thefe are called in the original, " Chalemeaux de Cornouaille," ver. 3991. [Cor- 
nouaille here mentioned was a part of the province of Bretagne in France. Mr. 
Warton muft have confulted fome French MS. refpe&ing the fingers of Lorraine, 
for the pafiage certainly occurs in fome of the printed editions, and in feveral MSS. 
Douce.} A knight is introduced, allied to king " Arthour of Bretaigne," ver. 
1199. Who is called, "Bon roy Artusde Bretaigne," Orig. ver. 1187. SirGawin 
and Sir Kay, two of Arthur's knights, are characterised, ver, ^^o6,feq. See Orig. 
ver. 2124. Where the word Keulx is corrupt for Keie. But there is one pat 
fage, in which he mentions a Bachelere as fair as " The Lordis fonne of Win- 
difore," ver. 1250. This is added by Chaucer, and intended as a compliment to 
fome of his patrons. In the Legend of Good Women, Cupid fays to Chaucer, ver. 
329: 

" For in pleyne text, withouten hede of glofe, 
Thou haft tranjlated the Romaunce of the Rofe" 

1 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 2, ver. 51.] 



320 



Englifh and French 



s. 13 



That is the robe I mene, iwis, 
Through 'which the ground to preifen is. 
The briddes, that haven lefte her fong, 
While thei hanfuffrife cold fo ftrong 
In wedres gryl and derk to fights, 
Ben in May for the fonne bright*, 
So glade, &c. 

In the defcription of a grove, within the garden of Mirth, are 
many natural and pi&urefque circumftances, which are not yet got 
into the ftorehoufe of modern poetry : l 



Eft la robe que je devife 
Parquoy la terre mieulx fe prife. 
Les oifeaulx qui tant fe font teuz 
Pour 1'hiver qu'ils ont tous fentuz, 
Et pour le froit et divers temps, 
Sont en May, et par la printemps, 
Si liez, &c. 



Thefe trees were fette, that I devyfe, 
One from another in aflyfe 
Five fadome or fyxe, I trowe fo, 
But they were hye and great alfo : 
And for to kepe oute well the fonne, 
The croppes were fo thycke yronne, 2 
And every braunche in other knytte, 
And full of grene leves fytte, 
That fonne myght* there noon dyfcende, 
Left the tender graffes fhende. 
There myght* men does and roes yfe, 
And of fquyrels ful gret plente, 
From bowe to bowe alwaye lepynge. 
Connies there were alfo playenge, 3 
That comyn out of her clapers 
Of fondry colours and maners, 
And maden many a tourneynge 
Upon the frefhe grafle fpryngynge. 



Mais fachies que les arbres furent 
Si loing a loing comme eftre durent 
L'ung fut de 1'autre loing aflis 
De cinque toifes voyre de fix, 
Mais moult furent fueilluz et haulx 
Pour gardir de 1'efte le chaulx 
Et fi efpis par deflus furent 
Que chaleurs percer ne lis peurent 
Ne ne povoient bas defcendre 
Ne faire mal a 1'erbe tendre. 
Au vergier eut dains & chevreleux ; 
Et aufli beaucoup d'efcureux, 
Qui par deflus arbres failloyent j 
Connins y avoit qui yflbient 
Bien fouvent hors de leurs tanieres, 
En moult de diverfes manieres, 4 
[Aloient entr'eus tornoiant 
Sor 1'erbe frefche verdoiant. 5 ] 



Near this grove were (haded fountains without frogs, running into 
murmuring rivulets, bordered with the fofteft grafs enamelled with 
various flowers. 6 



In places fawe I welles there, 
In whych there no frogges were, 
And fayre in fhadowe was every well* ; 7 
But I ne can the nombre tell* 
Of ftremys fmal*, that by devyfe 
Myrthe had*/* done come through con- 

dyfe, 8 

Of whych the water in rennynge 
Gan make a noyfe full lykynge. 

Aboute the brynkes of thefe welles, 
And by the ftremes over al elles 
Sprange up the grafle, as thycke yfet 
And ibfte as any velvet, 
On whych men myght hys lemman ley*, 

As on a fetherbed to pley*, 

***** 

There fprange the vyolet al newe, 
And frefshe pervynke 9 ryche of hewe, 



Par lieux y eut cleres fontaines, 
Sans barbelotes & fans raines, 
.Qui des arbres eftoient umbrez, 
Par moy ne vous feront nombrez, 
Et petit ruifleaulx, que Deduit 
Avoit la trouves par conduit j 
L'eaue alloit aval faifant 
Son melodieux et plaifant. 
Aux bortz des ruifleaulx et des rives 
Des fontaines cleres et vives 
Poignoit 1'erbe dru et plaifant 
Grant foulas et plain" r faifant. 
Amy povoit avec fa mye 
Soy deporter ne'en doubtez mye. 



Violette y fut moult belle 
Et aufli parvenche nouvelle ; 



1 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 4.3, ver. 1391.] 

2 " the tops, or boughs, were fo thickly twifted together," 

3 Chaucer imitates this paflage in the A/emble of Foules, v. 190, y*y. Other 
paffages of that poem are imitated from the Roman de la Rofe. 

4 ver. 134.8. 5 ed. Michel, p. 46. 6 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 43, ver. 1409.] 
7 A fpecies of infeft often found in ftagnant water. 8 conduits. 9 periwinkle. 



s. ij. Verfions compared. 321 

And floures yelow^, white, and rede ; Fleurs y eut blanches et vermeilles, 

Suche plente grewe there never in mede. Ou ne pourroit trouver pareilles, 

Ful gaye was al the grounde,and queynt, De toutes diverfes couleurs, 

And poudred, as men had it peynt, De haulx pris et de grans valeurs, 

With many a freme and ibndrye floure, Si eftoit foef flairans 

That caften up ful good favoure. Et reflagrans et odorans. 1 

But I haften to difplay the peculiar powers of William de Lorris 
in delineating allegorical perfonages ; none of which has fuffered in 
Chaucer's tranflation. The poet fuppofes that the garden of Mirth, 
or rather Love, in which grew the Rofe, the object of the lover's 
wifhes and labours, was enclofed with embattled walls, richly painted 
with various figures, fuch as Hatred, Avarice, Envy, Sorrow, Old 
Age, and Hypocrify. Sorrow is thus reprefented : 

Sorowe was peynted next Envie 2 De les Envie etoit Triftefle 

Upon that walle of mafonrye. Painte aufli et garnye d'angoifle. 

But wel was feyn in hir colour Et bien paroit a fa couleur 

That (he hadde lyved in langour j Qu'elle avoit a cueur grant douleur : 

Hir femede to have the jaunyce. Et fembloit avoir la jaunice, 

Nought half fo pale was Avarice, La n'y faifoit riens Avarice, 

Nor no thyng lyk of lenefle ; Ne de paleur ne de maigrefle j 
For forowe, thought, and gret diftreffe. Car le travaile et la deftrefTe, &c. 
***** *** 

A forowful thyng wel ferried^ me. Moult fembloit bien que fuft dolente ; 

Nor (he hadde no thyng flowe be Car el n'avoit pas efte lente 

For to forcracchen al hir face, D'efgratignier toute fa chiere ; 

And for to rent in many place Sa robe ne luy eftoit chiere 

Hir clothis, and for-to tere hir fwire, En mains lieux 1'avoit defliree, 

As me that was fulfilled of ire j Comme celle qui moult fut yree. 

And al to-torn lay eek hir here Ses cheveulx derompus eftoient, 

Aboute hir fhuldris, here and there, Qu'autour de fon col pendoient, 

As (he that hadde it al to-rent Prefque les avoit tous defroux 

For angre and for maltalent. De maltalent et de corroux. 3 

Nor are the images of Hatred and Avarice inferior : 

Amyd faugh I a Hate ftonde, 4 Au milieu de mur je vy Hayne. 

* * * * * * * * 

And (he was no thyng wel arraied, Si n'eftoit pas bien atournee, 

But lyk a wode womman afraied, Ains fembloit eftre forcenee. 

Frounced foule was hir vifage, Rechignee eftoit et fronce, 

And grennyng for difpitous rage, 

Hir nofe fnorted up for tene. Le vis et le nez rebourfe. 

Ful hidous was (he for to fene, Moult hydeufe eftoit et fouillee, 

Ful foule and rufty was (he this. 

Hir heedjwrithen was, y-wis, Et fut fa tefte entortillee 

Ful grymly with a greet towayle. Tres ordement d'un touaille. 5 

The defign of this work will not permit me to give the portrait 
of Idlenefs, the portrefs of the garden of Mirth, and of others, which 
form the group of dancers in the garden : but I cannot refift the 
pleafure of tranfcribing thofe of Beauty, Franchife, and Richefle, 
three capital figures in this genial aflembly : 

1 v. 1348. [Warton quotes a very late and poor French text, much modernized. 

a [Morris's Chaucer, vi. TO, ver. 301.] 3 ver. 300. 

H \Ibid. vi. 5, ver. 147.] 5 ver. 143. 

II. Y 



322 The Imagery of the Englifli Poem. s. 13 



The God of Love, jolyf and lyght, 1 
Ladde on his honde a lady bright, 
Of high prys, and of grete degre. 
This lady called was Beaute, 
And an arowe, of which I tolde. 
Ful wel thewed 2 was fhe holde, 
Ne fhe was derk ne broun, but bright, 
And clere as the mone-lyght. 

***** 

Hir flefh was tendre as dewe of flour, 
Hir chere was fymple as byrde in bour ; 
As whyte as lylye or rofe in rys, 3 
Hir face gentyl and tretys. 
Fetys 4 fhe was, and fmale to fe, 
No wyntred 5 browis had<& fhe, 
Ne popped hir, for it neded^ nought 
To wyndre hir, or to peynte hir ought. 
Hir trefles yelowe, and longe ftraughten, 
Unto hir helys doun they raughten. 



Le Dieu d'amours fl s'eftoit pris 
A une dame de hault pris, 
Pres fe tenoit de fon cofte, 
Celle dame cut nom Beaulte. 
Ainfi comme une des cinque flefches 
En elle aut toutes bonnes taiches : 
Point ne fut obfcur, ne brun, 
Mais fut clere comme la lune. 

***** 

Tendre cut la chair comme roufee, 
Simple fat comme une efpoufee. 
Et blanche comme fleur de lis, 
Vifage cut bel doulx et alis, 
Elle eftoit grefle et alignee 
N'eftoit fardie ne pignee, 
Car elle n'avoit pas meftier 
De foy farder et affai&ier. 
Les cheveulx cut blons et fi longs 
Qu'ils batoient aux talons. 6 



Nothing can be more fumptuous and fuperb than the robe and 
other ornaments of Richefle, or Wealth. They are imagined with 
great ftrength of fancy. But it mould be remembered, that this 
was the age of magnificence and mow ; when a profufion of the 
moft fplendid and coftly materials was lavifhed on drefs, generally 
with little tafte and propriety, but often with much art and invention : 

Richefle a robe of purpur on hadde, 7 De pourpre fut le veftement 
Ne trowe not that I lye or madde ; A Richefle, fi noblement, 

For in this world is noon hir lyche, Qii'en tout le monde n'euft plus bel, 

Ne by a thoufand deelle fo riche, 
Ne noon fo faire ; for it ful welle 
With orfrays leyd was everydeelle, 
And portraied in the ribanynges 
Of dukes ftoryes, and of kynges. 
And with a bend of gold tafleled, 



And knoppis fyne of gold enameled. ! 



Mieulx fait, ne aufli plus nouvel : 
Pourtraiftes y furent d'orfroys, 
Hyftoryes d'empereurs et roys. 
Et encores y avoit-il 
Un ouvrage noble et fobtil ; 
A noyaulx d'or au col fermoit, 
Et a bendes d'azur tenoit j 



1 [Morris's Chaucer , vi. 31, ver. 1003.] 

2 Having good qualities. Seefupr. ver. 939,^7. 

3 [On the branch. Sax. hjiis, virgulta.] 4 [well-made, neat. T.] 

5 contrafted. 6 ver. 1004. 7 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 33, ver. 1071.] ' 

8 Enameling, and perhaps piftures in enamel, were common in the Middle 
Ages. From the Teftament of Joh. de Foxle, knight, Dat. apud Brarnfhill 
co. Southampt. Nov. 5, 1378. " Item lego domino abbati de Waltham unum 
annulum auri grofli, cum uno faphiro infixa, et nominibus trium regum [of 
Cologne] fculptis in eodem annulo. Item lego Margarite forori mee unam tabulam 
argenti deaurati et amelitam, minorem de duabus quas habeo, cum diverfis ymagi- 
nibus fculptis in eadem. Item lego Margerite uxori Johannis de Wilton unum 
monile auri, cum S. litera fculpta et amelita in eodem." Regiftr. Wykeham Epifc. 
Winton. p. ii. fol. 24. See alfo Dugd. Ear. i. 234, a. 

Enameled is from the French email, or enamel. This art flourifhed moft at 
Limoges in France. So early as the year 1197, we have " Duas tabulas asneas 
fuperauratas de labore Limogiae." Chart, ann. 1197, apud Ughelin. Ital. Sacr. 
vii. 1274. I 1 i s called Opus Lemnoviticum, in Dugdale's Men. iii. 310, 313, 331. 
In Wilkins's Condi, i. 666, two cabinets for the holt are ordered, one of filver or of 
ivory, and the other de opere Lemo'vicino. Synod. Wigorn. A.D. 1240. And in 
many other places. I find it called Limaife in a metrical romance the name of 
which I have forgotten, where a tomb is defcribed, 



S. 13 



The Romaunt of the Rofe. 



3 2 3 



Aboute hir nekke of gentyl entayle 
Was mete the riche chevelaile, 
In which ther was fulle gret plente 
Of ftones clere and bright to fee. 
Rychefle a girdelle hadde upon, 
The bokele of it was of a ftoon, 
Of vertu gret, and mochel of myght 
For who fo bare the ftoon fo bright, 
Of venym durft hym no thing doute, 
While he the ftoon hadde hym aboute. 
***** 

The mourdaunt, wrought in noble wife, 

Was of a ftoon fulle precious, 

That was ib fyne and vertuous, 

That hole a man it koude make 

Of palafie, and tothe ake. 

Ami yit the ftoon hadde fuch a grace, 

That he was fiker in every place 

Alle thilke day not blynde to bene, 

That faftyng myghte that ftoon feene. 

The barres 1 were of gold ful fyne, 

Upon a tyflu of fatyne, 

Fulle hevy, gret, and no thyng lyght, 

In everiche was a befaunt wight. 

Upon the trefles of Richefle 

Was fette a cercle for noblefle 

Of brend gold, that fulle lyght* fhoon ; 

So faire trowe I was never noon. 

But me were kunnyng for the nonys, 

That koude devyfe alle the ftonys 

That in that cercle me wen clere ; 

It is a wondir thing to here. 

For no man koude preyfe or gefle 

Of hem that valewe or richefle. 



Noblement eut le chief pare, 
De riches pierres decore, 
Qui gettoient moult grant clarte ; 
Tout y eftoit bien aflbrte. 
Puis eut une riche fainture, 
Sainte par deflus fa vefture : 
Le boucle d'une pierre fu, 
Grofle, et de moult grant vertu : 
Celluy qui fur foy la portoit, 
De tons venins garde eftoit. 

* * * * i 

D'une pierre fut le mordans 



Qui gueriflbit du mal des dens. 

Ceft pierre portoit bon eur, 
Qui Tavoit pouvoit eftre afleur 
De fa fante et de fa vei, 
Quant a jeun ii Tavoit vei : 
Les cloux furent d'or epure, 
Par deflus le tiflu dore, 
Qui eftoient grans et pefans ; 
En chafcun avoit deux befans. 
Si eut avecques a Richefle 
Uns cadre d or mis fur la trefle, 
Si riche, fi plaifant, et fi bel, 
Qu'onques on ne veit le pareii : 
De pierres eftoit fort garny, 
Precieufes et aplany, 
Qui bien en vouldroit devifer, 



On ne les pouvroit pas prifer : 



" And yt was, the Romans fayes, 
Ail with golde and limaife." 

[Du Cange v. Limogia], obferves, that it was anciently a common ornament of 
liimptuous tombs. He cites a Teftament of the year 1 327, " Je lais huit cent livres 
pour faire deux tombes hautes et levees de 1'Euvre de Limoges." The original 
tomb of Walter de Merton, Bifhop of Rochefter, ereded in his cathedral about the 
year 1276 [?], was made at Limoges. This appears from the accompts of his 
executors, viz. " Et computant xl 1. v s. vi d. liberat. Magiftro Johanni Linnom- 
cenfi, pro tumba didti Epifcopi RofFenfis, fcil. pro Conftruftione et carriagio de 
Lymoges ad Roffam. Et xls. viii d. cuidam Executori apud Lymoges ad ordi- 
nandam et providendam Conftruclionem di&ae Tumbae. Et x s. viii d. cuidam 
garcioni eunti apud Lymoges quasrenti didam tumbam conftru6lam,et ducenti earn 
cum ditto Mag. Johanne ufque Roffam. Et xxiil.in maceoneria circa di&am 
tumbam defunfti. Et vii marcas, in ferramento ejufdem, et carriagio a Londin. 
ufque ad Roff. et aliis parandis ad diftam tumbam. Et xis. cuidam vitriario pro 
vitris feneftrarum emptarum juxta tumbam di<5H Epifcopi apud Roffam." Ant. 
Wood's MS. Merton Papers, Bibl. Bodl. Cod. Ballard, 46. 

1 I cannot give the precile meaning of Barris, nor of Cloux in the French. It 
feems to be part of a buckle. In the wardrobe-roll, quoted above, are mentioned, 
" One hundred garters cum boucles, barris, et pendentibus de argento." For which 
were delivered, " ccc barrs argenti." An. 21, Edw. III. [Clavus in Latin, 
whence the Fr. cloux is derived, ieems to have fignified not only an outward border, 
but alfo what we call a ftripe. Montfaucon, t. iii. P. i. ch. vi. A bar in heraldry 
is a narrow ftripe or fafcia. Tyr^whitt.'] 



3 2 4 



The Romaunt of the Rofe. 



s. 13, 



Rubyes there were, faphires^'agounces, 1 
And emeraudes, more than two ounces. 
But alle byfore ful ibtilly 
A fyn charboncle fette laugh I. 
The ftoon fo clere was and ib bright, 
That, alfo foone as it was nyght, 
Men myghte feen to go for nede 
A myle or two, in lengthe and brede. 
Sich lyght tho fprang oute of the ftone, 
That Richefie wondir bright^ fhone 
Bothe hir heed, and alle hir face, 
And eke aboute hir al the place. 



Rubis y cut, faphirs, jagonces, 
Efmeraudes plus de cent onces : 
Mais devant cut, par grant maiftrife, 
Un efcarboucle bien afllfe, 
Et le pierre fi clere eftoit, 
Que cil qui devant la mettoit, 
Si en povoit veoir au befoing 
A foy conduire une lieue loing. 
Telle clarte fi en yflbit 
Que Richefle en refplendiflbit 
Par tout le corps et par fa face, 
Aufli d'autour d'elle la place. 2 



The attributes of the portrait of Mirth are very expreflive : 



Of berde unnethe hadde he no thyng, 3 
For it was in the firfte fpryng. 



Et fi n'avoit barbe a menton, 
Si non petit poil follaton ; 



Ful yonge he was, and mery of thought, II etoit jeune damoyfaulx ; 

And in famette, 4 with briddis wrought, Son bauldrier fut portrait d'oifeaulx 



1 The gem called a jacinth. The knowledge of precious ftones was a grand 
article in the natural philofophy of this age j and the medical virtue of gems, 
alluded to above, was a doctrine much inculcated by the Arabian naturalifts. 
Chaucer refers to a treatife on gems, called the Lapidary, famous in that time. 
Houfe of Fame, L. iii. ver. 260 [edit. Morris]: 

" And they were fet as thik of nouchis 
Fyne, of the fyneft ftones faire 
That men reden in the Lapidaire." 

Montfaucon, in the royal library at Paris, recites, " Le Lapidaire, de la vertu des 
pierres." Catal. MSS. p. 794.. This I take to be the book here referred to by 
Chaucer. Henry of Huntingdon [has, among his minor productions (of which 
there is a copy in Royal MS. 13, c. 11), fome verfes on precious ftones. See 
Wright's Biog. Brit. Literaria, Anglo-Norman period, p. 169. This writer was 
living in 1154]. See Du Cange, Glo/. Gr. Barb. ii. Ind. Auftor. p. 37, 
col. i. In the Cotton library is a Saxon Treatife on precious ftones. Tiber. A. 3, 
liii. fbl. 98. The writing is [very] ancient. [The treatife referred to contains a 
meagre explanation of the twelve precious ftones mentioned in the Apocalypfe.] 
Pelloutier mentions a Latin poem of the eleventh century on precious ftones, 
written by Marbode, bifhop of Rennes [who died in the year 1123], and foon 
afterwards tranflated into French verfe. Mem. Lang. Celt, part i. vol. i. ch. xiii. 
p. 26. The tranflation begins : 

" Evax fut un mult riche reis 

Lu reigne tint d'Arabeis." 

It was printed in [the folio edit. (1708) of the works of St. Hildebert,] col. 1638. 
This may be reckoned one of the oldeft pieces of French verification. A MS. De 
Speciebus Lapldum, occurs twice in the Bodleian library, falfely attributed to one 
Adam Nidzarde, Cod. Digb. 28, f. 169. and Cod. Laud. C. 3, Princ. " Evax rex 
Arabum legitur fcripfifle." But it is, I think, Marbode's book above mentioned. 
Evax is a fabulous Arabian king, faid to have written on this fubjecT:. Of this 
Marbode or Marbodaeus, fee Ol. Borrich. DiiT. Acad. de Poet. p. 87, feel. 78, 
edit. Francof. 1683, 4*0. His poem was publifhed, with notes, by Lampridius 
Alardus. The eaftern writers pretend that King Solomon, among a variety of 
phyfiological pieces, wrote a book on gems : one chapter of which treated of thofe 
precious ftones which refift or repel evil Genii. They fuppofe that Ariftotle ftole 
all his philofophy from Solomon's books. See Fabric. Bibl. Gr. xiii. 387, feq. 
and i. p. 71. Compare Herbelot, Bibl. Oriental, p. 962, b. Artie. Ketab alahgiar 
feq. 

2 ver. 1066. 3 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 26, ver. 833.] 4 famite; fattin. 



S. 13, 



The Romaunt of the Rofe. 



3 2 5 



And with gold beten ful fetyfly, 

His body was clad ful richely. 

Wrought was his robe in ftraunge gife, 

And al to-flytered for queyntile 

In many a place, lowe and hie. 

And mode he was with grete maiftrie, 

With fhoon decoped, 1 and with laas, 

By dru^ry, 2 and by folas. 

His leef a rofyn chapelet 

Hadde made, and on his heed it fet. 

Franchife is a no lefs attra&ive 
grace and delicacy : 

And next hym daunced^ dame Fraun- 

chife, 4 

Arayed in fulle noble gyfe. 
She was not broune ne dunne of hewe, 
But white as fnowe falle newe. 
Hir nofe was wrought at poynt devys, 
For it was gentyl and tretys ; 
With eyen gladde, and browes bente ; 
Hir here doun to hir helis wente. 5 
And fhe was fymple as dowve of tree, 
Ful debonaire of herte was fhe. 



Qui tout etoit e or batu, 
Tres richement eftoit veftu 
D'un' robe moult defgyfee, 
Qui fut en maint lieu incilee, 
Et decouppee par quointife. 
Et fut chaufle par mignotife 
D'un fouliers decouppes a las, 
Par joyeufete et foulas, 
Et fa neye luy fift chapeau 
De rofes gracieux et beau. 3 

portrait, and fketched with equal 
Apres tous ceulx eftoit Franchife, 



Qui ne fut ne brune ne bife j 
Ains fut comme la neige blanche 
Courtoife eftoit, joyeufe et franche, 
Le nez avoit long et tretis 
Yeulx vers rins, foureils faitis, 
Les cheveulx cut tres-blons et longs, 
Simple feut comme les coulons. 
Le cueur cut doulx et debonnaire. 6 



The perfonage of Danger is of a bolder caft, and may ferve as a 
contraft to fome of the preceding. He is fuppofed fuddenly to ftart 
from an ambufcade, and to prevent Bialcoil, or Kind Reception^ from 
permitting the lover to gather the rofe of beauty : 



With that fterte outeanoon Daungere, 7 
Out of the place w^ere he was hidde. 
His malice in his chere was kidde j 8 
Fulle grete he was and blak of hewe, 
Sturdy, and hidous, who-fo hym knewe, 
Like marp urchouns 9 his here was growe, 
His eyes rede fparkling as the fire glo^we, 
His nofe frounced fulle kirked ftoode, 
He come criande as he were woode. 



A tant faillit villain Dangere, 
De la ou il eftoit muce $ 

Grant fut, noir, et tout herice, 



S'ot les yeulx rouges comme feux, 
Le vis fronce, le nez hydeux 
Et s'efcrie tout forcenez. 10 



Chaucer has enriched this figure. The circumftance of Danger's 
hair {landing ere& like the prickles on the urchin or hedge-hog is 
his own, and finely imagined. 

Hitherto fpecimens have been given from that part of this poem 

1 cut or marked with figures. From decouper, Fr. to cut. I fuppofe Poulis 
windows was a cant phrafe for a fine device or ornament. [Compare infra, p. 
358, and Note 12.] 

a [courtfhip, gallantry, T.J 3 v. 832. 

4 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 37, ver. lau.J 

5 All the females of this poem have grey eyes and yellow hair. One of them is 
faid to have " Hir yen grey as is a faucoun," v. 546. Where the original word, 
tranflated grey, is <vers. v. 546. We have this colour again, Orig. v. 822. " Les 
yeulx eut <vers." This too Chaucer tranflates, " Hir yen greye," v. 862. The 
fame word occurs in the French text before us, v. 1195. This comparifon was na- 
tural and beautiful, as drawn from a very familiar and favourite-objecl in the age 
of the poet. Perhaps Chaucer means " grey as a falcon's eyes." 

6 v. 1190. 7 [Morris's Chaucer , vi. 96, 3130.] 

8 " was difcovered by his behaviour, or countenance." 

9 urchins^ hedge-hogs. 10 v. 2959. 



326 The Poem one of the s. 13. 

which was written by William de Lorris, its firft inventor. Here 

Chaucer was in his own walk. One of the moft ftriking pictures in 

the ftyle of allegorical perfonification, which occurs in Chaucer's 

tranflation of the additional part, is much heightened by Chaucer, 

and indeed owes all its merit to the tranflator ; whofe genius was 

much better adapted to this fpecies of painting than that of John of 

Meun, the continuator of the poem : 

With hir Labour and Travaile 1 Travaile et Douleur la herbergenr, 

Logged ben with Sorwe and Woo, Mais il la lient et la chargent, 

That never out of hir court goo. 

Peyne and Diftrefle, Syknefle, and Ire, 

And Malencoly, that angry fire, 

Ben of hir paleys 2 fenatours. 

Gronyng and Grucchyng, hir herbe- 

jours, 3 

The day and nyght, hir to turmente, Et tant la batent et tormentent, 

With cruelle Deth they hir prefente. Que mort prochaine luy prefentent, 

And tellen hir, erliche 4 and late, Et talent de fe repentir ; 

That Deth ftondith armed at hir gate. Tant luy font de fleaux fentir. 
Thanne brynge they to her remem- Adonc luy vient en remembraunce, 

braunce En ceft tardifve pefance, 

The foly dedis of hir infaunce, Quant el fe voit foible et chenue, 5 

Whiche caufen hir to mourne in woo Que malement l'a deceue 

That Youthe hath hir bigiled fo. Jouefce . . . 

The fiction that Sicknefs, Melancholy, and other beings of the 
like fort were counfellors in the palace of Old Age, and employed 
in telling her day and night, that " Death flood armed at her gate," 
was far beyond the fentimental and fatirical vein of John of Meun, 
and is conceived with great vigour of imagination. 

Chaucer appears to have been early (truck with this French 
poem. 6 [So were many other Englifh poets. The author of the 
Tie of LadyeS) called generally Chaucer'' s DremeJ fuppofes that the 
chamber in which he flept was richly painted with the ftory of the 
Romaunt of the Rofe. 8 It is natural to imagine that fuch a poem 
muft have been a favourite with Chaucer. No poet, before William 
of Lorris, either Italian or French, had delineated allegorical per- 
fonages in fo diftindt and enlarged a ftyle, and with fuch a fulnefs 
of chara&eriftical attributes : nor had defcriptive poetry fele&ed 
fuch a variety of circumftances, and difclofed fuch an exuberance 
of embellifhment, in forming agreeable reprefentations of nature. 
On this account, we are furprifed that Boileau fhould mention 
Villon as the firft poet of France who drew form and order from 
the chaos of the old French romancers : 



1 [Morris's Chaucer, vi. 152, 4997.] 2 palace. 

J [providers of lodgings, harbingers. T.] 4 early. 5 v. 4733. 

6 [See M. Sandras's Etude fur Chaucer confidere comme Imitateur des Trouveres, 
Paris, 1859, arguing that Chaucer owed nearly everything to Jean de Meun's and 
other French influence on him. See on the other fide as to the greater influence of 
Italian on him. Ebert's review of Sandras in the Chaucer Society's Eflays, p. 5, 
and Prof. Ten Brink's Studien.Y J\ 

7 [Mr. Bradftiaw and Prof. Ten Brink contend that the poem called Chaucer's 
Dreme is decidedly not his. F.] 

8 v. 322. Chaucer alludes to this poem in The Marchauni's Tale, v. 1548. 



s. 13. ear Heft Specimens of Allegory. 327 

Villon f^eut le Premier, dans ces fiecles gro fliers, 
DebroiiiJler Tart confus de nos vieux romanciers. 1 

But the poetry of William of Lorris was not the poetry of Boileau. 
That this poem mould not pleafe Boileau, I can eafily conceive. 
It is more furprifing that it mould have been cenfured as a con- 
temptible performance by Petrarch, who lived in the age of fancy. 
Petrarch having defired his friend Guido di Gonzaga to fend him 
fome new piece, he fent him the Roman de la Rofe. With the poem, 
inftead of an encomium, he returned a fevere criticifm ; in which 
he treats it as a cold, inartificial, and extravagant compofition : as a 
proof how much France, who valued this poem as her chief work, 
was furpafled by Italy in eloquence and the arts of writing. 2 In this 
opinion we muft attribute fomething to jealoufy. But the truth is, 
Petrarch's genius was too cultivated to relim thefe wild excurfions 
of imagination : his favourite daffies, whom he revived, and ftudied 
with fo much attention, ran in his head. Efpecially Ovid's Art of 
Love, a poem of another fpecies, and evidently formed on another 
plan ; but which Petrarch had been taught to venerate, as the model 
and criterion of a didactic poem on the paffion of love reduced to a 
fyftem. We may add that, although the poem before us was founded 
on the vifionary doclrines and refinements concerning love invented 
by the Provencal poets, and confequently lefs unlikely to be favoura- 
bly received by Petrarch, yet his ideas on that delicate fubjecl: were 
much more Platonic and metaphyfical. 



SECTION XIV. 

HAUCER'S poem of Troilus and Creffeide is faid