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here it was that he studied his rural de- | Frenchifying the manners of all ages, espescriptions.
cially in the abominable fashion of fine let“This pastoral romance," says Gifford, ter writing. Story is involved within story, " which once formed the delight of our like a nest of boxes; or they come one after grandmothers, is now never heard of, and another, so that you have always to go back would in fact exhaust the patience and weary to learn what has happened, and the main the curiosity of the most modest and indefa- business seldom goes on; this was inevittigable devourer of morals at a watering able from the prodigious number of characplace, or a boarding school.”—B. J. vol. v. ters which were introduced. p. 394, &c.
Pharamond was the romance which he “ Astrea," Gifford says, “ bears a remote composed with most care; but he did not or allegorical allusion to the gallantries of live to finish it. Seven parts of the twelve the court of Henry IV."-Ibid.
he printed; the remainder were added by M. de Vaumoriere. The story is by no means so ably conducted as in the former part. I
perceived the great inferiority before I knew Pharamond.
the cause of it. WHOEVER was the inventor of the French heroic romance, Calprenade is the writer who carried it to its greatest perfection. (Les Trois Siècles, tom. i. p. 230. Le seul
Gyron le Courtoys. nom,—le même genre.)?
The utter want of method in this book It is the fault of the romances of chivalry makes it appear as if it consisted of several that they contain so many adventures of the metrical romances transposed. same character, one succeeding the other, It begins with an adventure of Branor le which have no necessary connection with the Brun, an old knight above 120 years of age, main story, and which might be left out who, though he had not borne arms for forty without affecting it; in fact they are in the years, comes to Kamelot to try whether the main made up of these useless episodes. The knights of the present time were as good as fault of Calprenade is of an opposite charac- those of his days. He stands quintain against ter : he ran into the other extreme, and his Palamedes, Gavaine, and many others; but three romances for variety of adventures honours Tristan, Sir Lancelot, and King and character, and for extent and intricacy Arthur enough to take a spear against them, of plot, are perhaps the most extraordinary and overthrows them all like so many chilworks that have ever appeared. There is not dren. one of them which would not furnish the Then follows an adventure of Tristan and plots for fifty tragedies, perhaps for twice Palamedes, which is in Mort Arthur. the number, and yet all these are made into Gyron now appears. He goes (wherefrom one whole. For this kind of invention, cer- does not appear) to Maloane, the castle of tainly he never has been equalled.
his friend Danayn le Roux. The lady of The old romances gave true manners, Maloane twice tempts him, but in vain. They though they applied them to wrong times ; go to a tournament. Sir Lac, the friend of but the anachronism was of little import. K. Meliadus, falls in love with the lady, and Every thing in them was fiction. A double waylays her after the tournament, and wins sin was committed by the French romancers her from her guard of twenty-five knights. in chusing historical groundwork, and in Gyron (who is all this while unknown, and
indeed supposed to be dead,) wins her then | This evidently is the beginning and the
from him ; but Sir Lac's love for her has end of an intended extract.-J. W. W.
now inflamed him, his heart gives way to
the temptation, and he leads her to a foun- the “ Latin book from which this is transtain in the forest. As he is disarming him-lated saying no farther.” And the romance self to commit the sin, his sword drops into ends with a chapter in which Galinans le the water, and in taking it out he is struck Blanc, son of Gyron and the damsel, who is by the motto, “ Loyaulte passe tout y faul- born the chapter before, defeats the best sete si honnit tout et decoit tous hommes de- knights of the Round Table one after andans quels elle se herberge." Upon this, his other ; but he is a wicked knight, having remorse for having sinned even in thought been brought up by the false traitor who is such, that he stabs himself ; the lady pre- imprisoned his father. vents him from repeating the blow. After Everywhere the knights are represented sundry adventures, Danayn finds them in this as children to those of Uterpendragon's days. situation, learns the whole truth, and loving The prowess of these worthies exceeds in Gyron better than ever for this his courtesy, hyperbole any thing in Esplandian. They as it is termed, takes him home to Maloane, make nothing of singly attacking large arwhere he is soon healed. A great deal by mies, and killing giants with a blow of the way of episode is related of Hector le Brun fist. to K. Meliadus.
I think I can perceive that oftentimes he There are no other divisions than of chap- who began one of these adventures planned ters, but what may be called the second part it as he went on; and often ended with a is upon this story. Gyron sends Danayn to different feeling of character from that which bring him his damsel ; he carries her off for he began with. himself; is pursued; overtaken at last, and I never read a romance so completely free defeated after a desperate battle. Gyron, from all impurity of thought or word. Yet though he had resolved to kill him, spares what morals does it indicate! Gyron acts him for courtesy, and then rescues him from from no other principle than that of coura giant immediately after. The incidental tesy; and his damsel, whom he married, parts are a story of Galahalt le Brun, with Danayn carries off as his concubine. whom in his youth Gyron had been compa- Monnon de la Selve, or, Hennor de la nion, and a curious adventure which befals Selve, as the name is sometimes printed, the Breus sans pitie, in which he finds the bodies son of a forester, seems to be the original of Febus and the damsel of Northumberland of Braggadochio. in a house cut in the rock, and learns their history from the son of Febus, a very
old man, who dwells there, leading a life of penance with his son, the father of Gyron, but
Meliadus de Leonnoys. Gyron knows not his birth.
This book professed to have been written Then comes a good adventure of the knight by the author of the Brut, at the request of sans paour, in the valley of Serfage, where King Henry of England, and recompiled Naban le Noir makes serfs of every body from the Latin, in which it had been rudely who enters. This is an excellent adventure. and confusedly written by Maistre Rusticien For the sequel we are referred to the ro- de Pise, at the desire of King Edward of Engmance of Meliadus.
land. What is curious, is, that it was to have Danayn delivers Gyron and his damsel, been about Palamedes, and in the name of who had been betrayed, and was tied to a Palamedes the author says he begins it. He tree, to suffer from the severity of the wea- brings Esclabor, the father of the knight, ther in the cold country of Sorolois. They from Babylon to Rome, and from Rome to are reconciled, separate each on adventure, Northumberland ; and having thus got to and are both made prisoners. Here too, we King Arthur, nothing more is said about are referred to Meliadus for their release ; | him. A few desultory adventures of K. Pha
ramond by the Morhoult d'Irland, brings on morals, but our ordinary feelings, that the the stage K. Meliadus, and the Bon Cheva- general effect of the book is far from being lier sans paour, the two heroes of the book. pleasant. There is something vile in proMany tales of their heroism and of their ri- ducing that love on which the whole history valry are related, just in the manner of the turns—by a philtre,—in making both the episodes in Gyron, so much so indeed, as to heroes live in adultery,—and in the unidentify the author, and the business of the worthy usage of the second Yseult. That first half of the book ends in a tournament, everlasting fault of the romancers in sacriwhere they take different sides, and in which, ficing the character of one hero to enhance on the whole, the Chevalier is most fortu- the fame of another, is carried to a great denate. The manner in which each speaks of gree here. With the creatures of his own his rival is always very fine, in the noblest creation an author may do what he will, but spirit of chivalry.
it is a literary crime to take up the hero Meliadus falls in love with the Queen of whom others have represented as a knight Scotland, and forcibly carries her off, out of of prowess and of worth, and to engraft vices King Arthur's dominions ; for which, he is upon him and stain him with dishonour. attacked in his own kingdom, conquered by Palamedes is better conceived than any the prowess of the Bon Chevalier sans paour, other personage in the book. and taken. Arthur imprisons him. His confinement is more rigorous than the king either intended or knew. Meantime Arthur falls sick : his vassals go to war with each
Sainct Greaal. other, and Arioban, a terrible Saxon, at the Joseph of Arimathea ung gentilhomme suggestion of some of them invades Logres. chevalier. He was shut in prison and forThe king recovers, and sends to all his liege gotten there for forty-two years without men. The Chevalier sans paour refuses to food. But Vespasian, the son of Titus, be. come, saying, Arthur has disgraced and in- | ing cured of leprosy by the S. Veronice, jured all chivalry by his imprisonment of went against Jerusalem to revenge the death the best knight living. In consequence of of our Lord, and he opened the prison, which this Meliadus is delivered. He accepts the was a great pillar, and there found Joseph defiance of Andhar, and concludes the war alive and well, for our Lord had visited by defeating him. When the author had got him, and he thought he had slept from Good thus far, he filled up the rest of his book Friday till the Sunday following. with any stories which came into his head P. 14. Joseph prays “ nudz coutes et about the round table. Galchad le Brun, nudz genoulx." Segurades, Gyron, Tristan, &c. are intro- 14. The prophet David taken prisoner duced without the slightest connection of by Nebuchadnezzar. time, place, or any thing else, and the whole 18. Christ consecrates Joseph the son a ends with the death of Meliadus, in the words bishop, and the mystery of transubstanwherein it is related in Tristan,
tiation is shown in a miracle as hideous as the doctrine; for he is made, very much
Tristan. This Romance has disappointed me, it is very inferior to Meliadus. The characters are in many instances so discordant, and the leading circumstances of the story so little consonant not merely with our ordinary
1 " Yet true it is, that long before that day,
Hither came Joseph of Arimathy,
J. W. W.
against his will, to dismember a beautiful 95. Joseph's wife, soon after her arrival infant who appears in the Ciborium. The in England, lay in in a richly built castle. body breaks like a cake, and it lies on the He was called Galaad, and when he grew patine like a piece of bread, but becomes a up, Galaad le fort, and therefore the castle child again when he puts it to his mouth. in which he was born was called Galleford ; "Et quant il le vit si le cuyda traire hors which is probably the etymology of Guildde sa bouche, mais il ne peust. Et quant ford in this romance. il eut use cel enfant si luy fut advis que 101.“ Messire Robert de Bosrou que toutes doulceurs que langue d'homme pour- ceste histoire translata de latin en françoys roit nommer, ne penser, estoyent en son par le commandement de Saincte Eglise." corps."
This book makes no reference to the le22. “ Et si nestoyt mye le chastel de gend concerning Glastonbury, though it is hault fielle ne desclos (?) ains estoit tout en- in the days of King Luce. vironne de moult riches murs quarres de Its dreams and types very much in the marbre vermeil et vert et bis et blanc." manner of the Gesta Romanorum.
56. “Car celluy seroit plain de trop folle 145. In the apartment with the S. Greaal hardiesse qui oseroit monstre mensonge en appears a chess board with pieces of ivory si baulte chose comme est ceste saincte hys- and gold. Gawain plays the ivory, and the toire que
vray Crucifix fist et escripvit gold play themselves and check mate him. de sa propre main, et pour ce doit il estre 150. Perceval's uncle, the hermit, has a tenu en plus grant honneur." He then mule which belonged to Joseph of Arimasays that our Saviour only wrote twice in his thea when he was in Pilate's service! mortal life, according to the Scriptures, 169. Perceval. “En toute le monde when he composed the Lord's prayer, and neust len sceu trouves ung plus beau chewhen the woman was taken in adultery. valier que luy, plus gros, ne mieulx quarre " Ja ne trouvons si hardy clerc qui dye de bras corps et jambes." que Dieu fist oncques escripture puis la 37. K. Euelach— Pygmalion ! Oh the resurrection, ne mais la saincte escripture du difference between a Grecian and a monkish Sainct Greaal seullement, et qui vouldroit imagination ! dire que puis il eust fait autre escripture de 47-2. A wild phenix. auctorite il seroit tenu a menteur, et si dy 89. Joseph, with 148 companions, sailed bien quil seroit de trop folle hardyesse qui from Babylon to Great Britain upon Jomensonge vouldroit mettre en si haulte seph's shirt, which he took off for that purchose comme est ceste hystoire que le filz de pose and spread upon the water. The night Dieu escripvit luy mesmes de sa propre was fair and serene, and the sea fair and main, puis que il eust mis la mortelle vie peaceable and without tempest, and the hors et revestu la mageste celestielle !" moon shone bright, and it was in the month
Fictions of this kind have obtained au- of April, on Easter eve, when they embarked, thority in the Sanscrit, and things as impu- or emshirted, to speak more properly, and dent in the Romish Church.
at break of day they arrived in England, 59. The same story of the tree of life as this being in every respect the most rein Lancelot du Lac.
markable passage that ever was made from Pierre Celicolen.
the Persian gulf. 84. Sire Robert de Berron " qui ceste The conclusion of the first part refers to histoire translata de latin en françoys." Merlin, Lancelot, Tristan, and other books
of the Round Table, of which I take this to
be one of the latest. ? Ciborium, appellant Scriptores Ecclesias. tici, quod Ordo Romanus tegimen et umbraculum
136. A guillotine invented for love of Altaris.”—Du CANGE, in v.-J. W. W. Gawain, Lancelot, anil Perceval, by Lor
gueilleuse Pucelle. It was literally for love of them,—for, as she could have no joy of L'Opere Magnanime dei due Tristani, Cavathem in life, she was determined to have joy
LIERI DELLE TAVOLA RITONDA, Co'l Priof them in death, and so in her chapel she
vilegio del sommo Pontefice et dell' illusprepared four magnificent coffins for them
triss. Senato Veneto per anni xx. and for herself. Gawain was her guest,
In Venetia per Michele Tramezino 1555. and by good fortune this pious Pucelle was The first part is made from the French so proud that she never asked any guest his romance, with an interpolation about the name; so she took him into the chapel and birth of the second Tristan, parts of which showed him the coffins, and told him why the author did not bear in mind when he they were made, and then showing him some returned to the thread of the original relics, she made him observe her device, story. which was that when she had these knights P. 173. So good a journey that she was here she would lead them to adore these not more than four months going from Cornrelics, and as soon as they had put their wall to Britanny. heads through the window by which they Don Chehai, my old acquaintance, is were to be seen, she would then take out a called. peg, and a knife, sharp as a razor, would 229. Here is the old knight from Giron. fall upon their necks.
The second part is original, and very Through great part of this book the name worthless. is written Parlevaulx - but at the close 22. “ Ella cavalco su un bonissimo caPerceval. Is this proof of two authors ? vallo Armellino come neve, co crini & coda Sic opinor.
falsi, ch'era maraviglia à vederlo ?” Ships and sepulchres the favourite ob- 64. A lady who has been long ill grows jects of the author's fancy.
fat with joy after her recovery, so that in Few or no moralizations in the second the course of a day it is perceptible, and part, which seems to be by a different hand, she is complimented upon it. or perhaps by many. The first is clearly 114. “ La Infanta et l'altre signore le one man's work, and very Gestaish.
trassero l'elmo di testa, et li nettarono il “How Parlevaulx had a tub made ready, viso con le maniche delle loro camicie.” and made all the knights of the Sire des Had they no handkerchiefs, that shift sleeves Mares be beheaded before him, so that their were used for this purpose ? Again, 171, blood should run into the tub; and how he “ cosi cavatoli l'elmo gli ascuigaron il volto had the Sire des Mares drowned in this tub con le lor sottili maniche delle camicie." in the blood of his knights."
176. From Cornwall to Camelot a journey Loheant, the only son of Arthur and of 1000 leagues ! Guenever, had a custom that whenever he 193. King Tristan asks why King Arthur killed a man he lay down to sleep upon his took a castle from a certain Phebus, in which body. He was taking his nap one day upon quarrel he is about to fight a combat in the a giant whom he had just demolished, when King's cause. “ Sire rispose Don Galasso, Sir Keux, the seneschal came by, and for per due cause principali
, la prima perche the sake of getting credit, killed him in his Phebro era infidele inimico della nostra sleep, then cut off the giant's head and santa fede catholica. Non me ne dite piu, carried it to court, to claim the merit of rispose il Re, che questa basta." having slain him and revenged Loheac. 207. Coarse and witless satire upon the But a damsel had seen all. 165.
Portugueze. The Spanish geography in this book is correct.
236. Elisandro, performing his vigil before knighthood, past the night agreeably,