페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

In all these old poems the same set of knights are always represented with the same manners and characters; which seem to have been as well known, and as distinctly marked among our ancestors, as Homer's heroes were among the Greeks; for, as Ulysses is always represented crafty, Achilles irascible, and Ajax rough; so Sir Gawain is ever courteous and gentle, Sir Kay rugged and disobliging, &c. “Sir Gawain with his old curtysie,” is mentioned by Chaucer as noted to a proverb in his Squire's Tale, Canterb. Tales, vol. ii.

p. 104.

11. Syr Launfal, an excellent old romance concerning another of King Arthur's knights, is preserved in the Cotton library, Calig. A. 2. f. 33. This is a translation from the French?, made by one Thomas Chestre, who is supposed to have lived in the reign of Hen. VI. [See Tanner's Biblioth.] It is in stanzas of six lines, and begins,

Be douzty Artours dawes. The above was afterwards altered by some Minstrel into the Romance of Sir Lambewell, in three parts, under which title it was more generally known 8. This is in the Editor's folio MS. p. 60, beginning thus:

Doughty in King Arthures dayes. 12. Eger and Grime, in six parts (in the Editor's folio MS. p. 124), is a well-invented tale of chivalry, scarce inferior to any of Ariosto’s. This, which was inadvertently omitted in the former editions of this list, is in distichs, and begins thus:

It fell sometimes in the Land of Beame. 13. The Romance of Merline, in nine parts (preserved in the same folio MS. p. 145), gives a curious account of the birth, parentage, and juvenile adventures of this famous British prophet. In this poem the Saxons are called Sarazens ; and the thrusting the rebel angels out of heaven is attributed to "oure Lady." It is in distichs, and begins thus:

? The French original is preserved among the Harl. MSS. no. 978, § 112, Lanval.

8 See Lanebam's Letter concerning Queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Killingworth, 1575, 12mo, p. 34.

He that made with his hand. There is an old romance Of Arthour and of Merlin, in the Edinburgh MS. of old English poems: I know not whether it has any thing in common with this last mentioned. It is in the volume numbered xxiii., and extends through 55 leaves. The two first lines are,

Jesu Crist, heven king,

Al ous graunt gode ending. 14. Sir Isenbras (or, as it is in the MS. copies, Sir Isumbras) is quoted in Chaucer's R. of Thop. v. 6. Among Mr. Garrick's old plays is a printed copy; of which an account has been already given in vol. i. book iii

. no. viii. It is preserved in MS. in the library of Caius Coll. Camb. Class A. 9. (2.) and also in the Cotton library, Calig. A. 12. (f. 128.) This is extremely different from the printed copy: e. g.

God þat made both erbe and hevene. 15. Emarè, a very curious and ancient romance, served in the same vol. of the Cotton library, f. 69. It is in stanzas of six lines, and begins thus:

Jesu þat ys kyng in trone. 16. Chevelere assigne, or, The Knight of the Swan, preserved in the Cotton library, has been already described in vol. ii. Essay on P. Plowman's Metre, &c., as hath also

17. The Siege of Jêrlam (or Jerusalem), which seems to have been written after the other, and may not improperly be classed among the romances; as may also the following, which is preserved in the same volume: viz.

18. Owaine Myles (fol. 90), giving an account of the wonders of St. Patrick's Purgatory. This is a translation into verse of the story related in Mat. Paris's Hist. (sub ann. 1153.) – It is in distichs beginning thus:

God bat y8 so full of myght. In the same manuscript are three or four other narrative poems, which might be reckoned among the romances; but

is prebeing rather religious legends, I shall barely mention them: as, Tundale, f. 17. Trentale Sci Gregorii, f. 84. Jerome, f. 133. Eustache, f. 136.

19. Octavian imperator, an ancient romance of chivalry, is in the same vol. of the Cotton library, f. 20. — Notwithstanding the name, this old poem has nothing in common with the history of the Roman emperors.

It is in a very peculiar kind of stanza, whereof 1, 2, 3, and 5, rhyme together, as do 4 and 6. It begins thus:

Ihegu þat was with spere ystonge. In the public library at Cambridge', is a poem with the same title, that begins very differently:

Lyttyll and mykyll, olde and yonge. 20. Eglamour of Artas (or Artoys) is preserved in the same vol, with the foregoing, both in the Cotton library and public library at Cambridge. It is also in the Editor's folio MS. p. 295, where it is divided into six parts. — A printed copy is in the Bodleian library, c. 39, art. Seld., and also among Mr. Garrick's old plays, K. vol. x. It is in distichs, and begins thus:

Ihesu Crist of heven kyng. 21. Syr Triamore (in stanzas of six lines) is preserved in MS. in the Editor's volume, p. 210, and in the public library at Cambridge (690, S. 29. Vid. Cat. MSS. p. 394). — Two printed copies are extant in the Bodleian library, and among Mr. Garrick's plays in the same volumes with the last article. Both the Editor's MS. and the printed copies begin,

Nowe Jesu Chryste our heven kynge. The Cambridge copy thus:

Heven blys that all shall wynne. 22. Sir Degree (Degare, or Degore, which last seems the true title,) in five parts, in distichs, is preserved in the Editor's folio MS. p. 371, and in the public library at Cambridge (ubi supra). - A printed copy is in the Bod. library, c. 39,

9 No. 690 (30). Vide Oxon. Catalog. MSS. p. 394.

art. Seld. and among Mr. Garrick’s plays, K. vol. ix. - The Editor's MS. and the printed copies begin,

Lordinge, and you wyl holde you styl.
The Cambridge MS. has it,

Lystenyth, lordingis, gente and fre. 23. Ipomydon (or Chylde Ipomydon) is preserved among the Harl. MSS. 2252 (44). It is in distichs, and begins,

Mekely, lordyngis, gentylle and fre. In the library of Lincoln Cathedral, K k. 3. 10, is an old imperfect printed copy, wanting the whole first sheet A.

24. The Squyr of Lowe Degre, is one of those burlesqued by Chaucer in his Rhyme of Thopas 10. Mr. Garrick has a printed copy of this among his old plays, K. vol. ix. It begins,

It was a squyer of lowe degre,

That loved the kings daughter of Hungre. 25. Historye of K. Richard Cure [Cour] de Lyon, [Impr. W. de Worde, 1528, 4to,] is preserved in the Bodleian library, c. 39, art. Selden. A fragment of it is also remaining in the Edinburgh MS. of old English poems; no. xxxvi. in 2 leaves. A large extract from this romance has been given already above, p. 16. Richard was the peculiar patron of Chivalry, and favourite of the old Minstrels and Troubadours. See Warton's Observ. vol. i. p. 29; vol. ii. p. 40.

26. Of the following I have only seen No. 27, but I believe they may all be referred to the class of romances.

The Knight of Courtesy and the Lady of Faguel (Bodl. lib. c. 39, art. Sheld. a printed copy). This Mr. Warton thinks is the story of Coucy's Heart, related in Fauchet, and in Howel's Letters (V. i. s. 6, 1. 20. See Wart. Obs. v. ii. p. 40). The Editor has seen a very beautiful old ballad on this subject in French.

27. The four following are all preserved in the MS. so

10 This is alluded to by Shakspeare in his Henry V. (act. v.), where Fluellyn tells Pistol, he will make him a Squire of Low Degree, when he means to knock him down.

[ocr errors]

often referred to in the public library at Cambridge (690. Appendix to Bp. More’s MSS. in Cat. MSS. tom. ii. p. 394), viz. The Lay of Erle of Tholouse (No. 27), of which the Editor hath also a copy from “Cod. MSS. Mus. Ashmol. Oxon.” The first line of both is,

Jesus Chryste in Trynyte. 28. Roberd Kynge of Cysyll (or Sicily), shewing the fall of Pride. Of this there is also a copy among the Harl. MSS. 1703 (3) The Cambridge MS. begins,

Princis that be prowde in prese. 29. Le bone Florence of Rome, beginning thus:

As ferre as men ride or gone. 30. Dioclesian the Emperour, beginning,

Sum tyme ther was a noble man. 31. The two knightly brothers, Amys and Amelion (among the Harl. MSS. 2386, §. 42), is an old Romance of chivalry; as is also, I believe, the fragment of the Lady Belesant, the Duke of Lombardy's fair daughter, mentioned in the same article. See the Catalog. vol. ii.

32. In the Edinburgh MS. so often referred to (preserved in the Advocates' library, W. 4. 1), might probably be found some other articles to add to this list, as well as other copies of some of the pieces mentioned in it; for the whole volume contains not fewer than 37 Poems or Romances, some of them very long. But as many of them have lost the beginnings, which have been cut out for the sake of the illuminations; and as I have not had an opportunity of examining the MS. myself, I shall be content to mention only the articles that follow 1: viz.

An old Romance about Rouland (not, I believe, the famous Paladine, but a champion named Rouland Louth; query), being in the volume, no. xxvii. in 5 leaves, and wants the beginning

1 Some of these I give, though mutilated and divested of their titles, because they may enable a curious inquirer to complete or improve other copies.

« 이전계속 »