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done can be understood as rescuing the vanquished poet from the doom he himself has fixed as the punishment of failure. We hold it, therefore, justifiable to reject an addition which does violence to the evident plan of the first part without rescuing it from its fragmentary state.
It cannot have escaped notice that there is a total absence of connection between the two parts of the Wartburgkrieg. At the end of the first, Ofterdingen is granted permission to call in Klingsor to his help. From this, it is naturally expected that when the magician appears he will resume the contest and defend his client's thesis. Instead of proceeding in this manner, however, he makes his entry into the poem as an unknown hawker. For it is only later that we are made aware that the propounder of riddles is Klingsor. He does not announce himself as Ofterdingen's defender. Indeed, he about whom the interest of the whole contest should centre, whose life is at stake, is entirely ignored. Further on he re-appears, and that in a most unnatural manner in stanzas which are generally recognised to be interpolations within the interpolation. But more than this, the death-penalty is not mentioned. Klingsor expressly states that if Wolfran succeeds in solving the enigma he shall be considered a “master." Evidently we are treading on different ground. But, again, why does Klingsor address himself to Wolfran? It is not he who has overcome Ofterdingen. It is Walther von der Vogelweide. But he, assuredly a more important personage, at the conclusion of the first part, than Wolfran or any of the other combatants, appears but once, in a very doubtful passage, to express his admiration of Wolfran's wisdom. If, however, we be willing to set aside all attempt at connecting the two parts, and consequently to reject as interpolations every strophe that contains an allusion to the question mooted in the first part, it then becomes possible to establish a certain unity in the contest between Klingsor and Wolfran. The magician then appears, not as coming from Hungary, but directly out of the pages of “ Parcival.” As the representative of profane knowledge and vain science he is opposed to Wolfran, who, without erudition, by the mere strength and power of his faith in God, is able to overcome not only his human but also his supernatural adversary. Looked at in this light, the so-called second part shapes itself into a not unharmonious whole. In justice, however, we must allow that there is one objection to the view. The riddle-strife, if for convenience we may be allowed to translate the German expression, into which the second part of the Wartburgkrief would thus resolve itself, is of the remotest origin. But wherever it appears, it is, so far as we know, an inevitable condition that the combatants stake their life on the result. If we go back to Grecian mythology we see Edipus threatened with death if he fail to rede the riddle proposed by the Sphinx, whilst his success brings about the destruction of the monster. In the Teutonic legends-in the Wafthrudismal, to mention but one example-Odin engages in a similar contest, and stakes his head on the event. In the riddle-strife which we would make of the so-called second part of the Wartburgkrieg, no penalty is incurred by failure. If we must account for this omission, we would do so on the ground that the poet, evidently inspired by a thoroughly Christian spirit, perhaps we ought to say by the spirit of Christianity, as opposed to the half-heathen principle which underlies the close of the ordinary riddle-strife, rejected the conclusion which custom prescribed, and, not unfittingly, terminated the victory of Christian over profane knowledge by Wolfran's sign of the cross.
To determine the authorship of the Wartburgkrieg, or rather of the disconnected fragments that have been strung together under that title, is an utter impossibility. The various theories that have been set up have not even plausibility to recommend them. The dates which it has been attempted to fix for the several sections range from 1216 to 1287. That the first part is the record of a real contest that took place in 1207, at the Wartburg, in presence of Landgraf Hermann, must be dismissed as a fiction. Even in the poem it is not a happy idea to represent him as present at a discussion of his own merits. To look upon this as an occurrence of real life would be little short of an absurdity.
The Wartburgkrieg has met with much praise and much censure. In the latter case, however, it has chiefly been from critics who, looking upon it as a whole, have naturally been struck with the evident want of unity. If, however, we judge the separate parts on their own merits, we must allow them considerable poetical worth. They cannot, indeed, be placed on a level with the productions of the more important of the Minnesingers, of Walther von der Vogelweide and of Eschenbach. But, on the other hand, their superiority to the poetry of the Master-singers whom they preceded can scarcely be questioned. As in point of time, so also in point of poetical worth, the Wartburgkrieg may fittingly take its place between the Minnesingers of the twelfth and the Master-singers of the fourteenth century, between the Poetry of the Court and the Poetry of the Workshop.
THE Buscapié is a literary curiosity, about the genuineness of
1 which there was, some years ago, considerable discussion. Much learned dust was raised on both sides of the question, until it was laid, by public indifference, with a few drops of cold water. The matter in dispute was, shortly, this. A certain Adolfo de Castro published, three-and-thirty years before the present date, with a preliminary discourse and copious notes chiefly bibliographical, an opuscule which he declared to be the “Buscapié of Cervantes." That Cervantes had written a work bearing such a title seenis to be generally admitted. It is at least mentioned by such authorities as Pellicer and Navarrete, though no printed copy of the work appears to have been known. The matter under the judge is whether or not the work published by De Castro is the genuine production of Cervantes. De Castro, of course, affirms that it is ; Ticknor may be cited as a representative of those who entertain a contrary opinion. On the side of the former are the style of the work, its humour, its genius, and its invention ; on that of the latter stand the circumstances that it is never mentioned by Cervantes himself, or by his contemporaries, and that, though written for so long a period, and at one time eagerly sought for among a certain portion of the literary world, it never attracted anybody's notice till the year 1848, when the Sr. Castro, then twenty-four years of age, published it at Cadiz. The primary concern of the present paper is with the work itself, which is so admirably written that even those who consider it apocryphal must allow its author a high intellectual rank, subject only to much the same moral abatement as that of the English Chatterton.
The subject, which no few of those who deny its genuineness admit not wanting in entertainment, is this : The author of the work, Cervantes or De Castro, riding on a hired mule to Toledo from Madrid, meets on his way a little hump-backed Bachelor, mounted on a middle-sized nag, lean, blind of one eye and not very sound on the other, saying his prayers at every opportunity, and so burdened with years and galls, that the mere sight of him made a body shiver. His rider is scarcely in a more enviable plight. His short legs are bowed like the handles of a plough, or a couple of slices of melon ; but their deficiency of length is amply compensated by his nose, his mouth which extends from ear to ear, and his feet which take twelves in shoes—a circumstance, says the satirical author, in which we see the gracious liberality of Nature to mankind. Between the horseman and his steed a little dispute arises, which ends in the hump-backed Bachelor being for the sixth time on his tragic journey of that morning thrown to the ground. The author assists him to rise, and attempts to console him by animadverting on the sorry description of jade, the walking bag of bones, which he is attempting to ride. But the Bachelor warmly defends his beast, speaking of him as a high-spirited colt, somewhat, indeed, of too stomachful a mettle, but in all else unexceptionable. On the author pointing out the particulars of his defects, the Bachelor allows he may be right; for himself, he thought otherwise, but he had been afflicted with short sight from his infancy, and had unfortunately lost his spectacles on his first fall on this ill-omened day. As he suffers considerably from his aching bones, and the “choler of the rays of rubicund Phæbus” is near its zenith, they agree to pass the noon under the shade of some tufted trees by the wayside, seated together on the bosom of their common mother.
There the graduate of Salamanca,—and not of Alcala, which is only fit for poor students,—takes out of a leather purse a couple of books for their entertainment, one of spiritual verse, and one of simple prose. After a word or two about the former, “ As for this other book," says the humpback, taking up the volume in prose, “people here do not care two farthings for it. Its contents are nought but madness and folly, and other matters out of the way of reason and judgment. It is, in a word, a compendium of all the levities and improbable passages wherewith other books, injurious like it to the commonwealth, are crammed.” Upon which the author takes the work, opens it at random, and reads on one of its pages the Title of The Ingenious Hidalgo. Thereupon he remains a season in suspense like one assaulted by a sudden fear, and his voice is frozen in his throat. On recovering, he defends the book, declaring it to be one of sweet entertainment, and written in a very pretty style, and says that its author ought to be rewarded for his desire to banish from the commonwealth all idle chivalric romances. The Bachelor allows that there are yet to be found foolish people believing in knights-errant of the past, and their outrageous battles, and their righting of wrongs
-“Would to God,” he adds in parenthesis, “I might meet one to right this hump of mine, which ought to have been righted long ago"- but steadfastly disbelieves in the existence of any chivalry of the present. What Florians or Palmerins, he asks, has the author of this book ever seen, armed de cap à pied just as if they stepped out of a piece of old tapestry in an inn, wronging what is right, and disordering what is well ordained ? He also urges the objection that it is a downright fatuity to attempt to banish knight-errantry solely by the recital of the adventures of a knight-errant. To this the author replies by quoting the famous knight Don Suero de Quiñones with his nine companions in arms, men of real flesh and bone, who obtained leave from Don John II., king of Castille, to break three hundred lances in thirty days against all who would, in their defence of the Honourable Pass, until at last Don Suero took off from his neck the iron collar which he wore constantly every Thursday, in sign of servitude to his sweetheart. The author also quotes the canon Almela who had a fancy for chivalric trifles, and was wont to bear a sword which had belonged to the famous Cid Ruy Diaz, according to an inscrip. tion on it which no man was able to read. The Bachelor, who is perpetually interrupting the connection of the argument by references to his father, a brave soldier in the German war, ever the last to advance and the first to retire, objects that these are ancient instances, though for that matter his antagonist might well have quoted the challenge of the king of France and Henry VIII. of England to Charles V. to fight them on covered field after all the laws of the tourney. “And to tell you the truth,” adds the Bachelor, “ very glad indeed should I be to see the days of chivalry return. Would I not ride out myself one fine morning in a robe of leather stuffed with squirrels' fur among the mountains, and there be surprised with a sudden storm of wind and rain? Then in the midst of the darkness I should wander to a spot which none dare enter for fear of the evil beasts that lodge therein, and there should I meet a most courteous prince himself a knight-errant, to wit the knight of the Red Band or of the Griffin, who has also happened to lose his way. Then will appear to us two incontinently a dwarf with a foul face and a fearful voice, who will announce to my companion a most terrible adventure. He will say the Princess Bacalambruna, who by the death of her father Borborifou, him of the wry nose, is now mistress of yon enchanted castle glimmering by the river side, is wounded by your love—when night has unfolded her fearful cloke, come to the castle whose doors will be open unto you. Then will that knight tell me how he is unable to go for that he has long been enamoured of Arsinda, daughter of Quinquirlimpuz, king of Tap. robane. Then will the fancy seize me to delight inyself with this