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Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.
Again, in Summer's laft Will and Teftament, 1600 :
“ Sitting in a corner, turning crabs,
“ Or coughing o'er a warmed pot of ale.” SteeVENS. The bowl must be supposed to be filled with ale; a toast and some spice and sugar being added, what is called Lamb's wool is produced. So, in K. Henry V. 1598 (not our author's play):
" Yet we will have in store a crab in the fire,
“ With nut-brown ale, that is full ftale,” &c. MALONE. 4 In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confefsed that there are many passages mean, childin, and vulgar; and fome which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare. JOHNSON.
ACT I. SCENE I. Page 191. This child of fancy, that Armado hight, &c.] This, as I have Thown in the note in its place, relates to the stories in the books of chivalry. A few words, therefore, concerning their origin and nature, may not be unacceptable to the reader. As I don't know of any writer, who has given any tolerable account of this matter : and especially as monsieur Huet, the bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal treatise of the Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of these in that superficial work. For having brought down the account of Romances to the later Greeks, and entered upon those composed by the barbarous western writers, wbich have now the name of Romances almost appropriated to them, he puts the change upon his reader, and instead of giving us an account of these books of chivalry, one of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject he promised to treat of, he contents himself with a long account of the poems of the Provincial writers, called likewise romances; and so, under the equirogue of a common term, drops his proper subject, and entertains us with another, that had no relation to it more than in the name.
The Spaniards were of all others the fondest of these fables, as suiting best their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery; which in time grew fo excessive, as to need all the efficacy of Cervantes's incomparable satire to bring them back to their senses. The French suffered an easier cure from their doctor Rabelais, who enough discredited the books of chivalry, by only using the extravagant stories of its giants, &c. as a cover for another kind of satire against the refined politicks of his countrymen; of which they were as much possessed as the Spaniards of their romantick bravery: a bravery our Shakspeare makes their characteriftic in this description of a Spanish gentleman:
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate. * The sense of which is to this effect: This gentleman, says the speaker, Joall relate to us the celebrated stories recorded in the old romances, and in their very file. Why he says from tawny Spain, is because these romances, being of the Spanish original, the heroes and the scene were generally of that country. He says, loft in the world's debate, because the subjects of those romances were the crusades of the European Christians against the Saracens of Asia and Africa.
Indeed, the wars of the Chriftians against the Pagans were the general subject of the romances of chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground-work in two fabulous monkish historians : the one, who under the name of Turpin, archbishop of Rheims, wrote the History and Atchievements of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers; to whom, instead of his father, they assigned the talk of driving the Saracens out of France and the south parts of Spain : the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth.
Two of those peers, whom the old romances have rendered most famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Shakspeare makes Alençon, in the first part of Henry VI. say; “ Froyflard, a countryman of ours, records, England all Olivers and Rowlands bred, during the time Edward the third did reign.” In the Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of Roncesvalles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of Roldan el encantador; and in that of Palmerin de Oliva, * or simply Oliva, those of Oliver: for Oliva is the same in Spanish as Olivier is in French. The account of their exploits is in the highest degree monstrous and extravagant, as appears from the judgement passed upon them by the priest in Don Quixote, when he delivers the knight's library to the fecular arm of the house-keeper, “ Eccetuando à un Bernardo del Carpio que anda por ay, y å otro llamado Roncesvalles ; que estos en llegando a mis manos, an de estar en las de la ama, y dellas en las del fuego fin remission alguna." + And of Oliver he says, “ effa Oliva se haga luego raxas, y se queme, que aun no queden della las cenizas."I The reasonableness of this fentence may be partly seen from one story in the Bernardo del Carpio, which tells us, that the cleft called Roldan, to be seen in the summit of an high mountain in the kingdom of Valencia, near the town of Alicant, was made with a single back-stroke of that hero's broad-sword. Hence came the proverbial expression of our plain and sensible ancestors, who were much cooler readers of these extravagancies than the Spaniards, of giving one a Rowland for his Oliver, that is of matching one impoflible lye with another : as, in French, faire le Roland means, to fragger. This driving the Saracens out of France and Spain, was, as we say, the subject of the elder romances. And the first that was printed in Spain was the famous Amadis de Gaula, of which the inquifitor prieft says: “ segun he oydo dezir, este libro fué el primero de Cavallerias qui fe imprimiò en Espana, y todos los demás an tomado principio y origen deste;"s and for which he humourously condemns it to the fire, coma à Dogmatazador de una fecla tan mala. When this subject was well exhausted, the affairs of Europe afforded them another of the same nature. For after that the western parts had pretty well cleared themselves of these inhospitable guests, by the excitements of the popes, they carried their arms against them into Greece and Afia, to support the Byzantine empire, and recover the holy sepulchre. This gave birth to a new tribe of romances, which we may call of the second race or class. And as Amadis de Gaula was at the head of the first, fo, correspondently to the subject, Amadis de Græcia was at the head of the latter. Hence it is, we find, that Trebizonde is as celebrated
* From lawny Spain, &c.] This passage may, as Dr. Warburton imagines, be in allusion to the Spanish Romances, of which several were extant in English, and very popular at the time this play was written. Such, for instance, as Amadis de Gaule, Don Bellianis, Palmerin d'Oliva, Palmerin of England, the Mirrour of Knigbtbood, &c. But he is egregiously mistaken in aflerting that « the heroes and the scene were generally of that country,” which, in fact, (except in an instance or two no'hing at all to the present purpose) is never the care. If the words loft in the world's debate will bear the editor's construction, there are certainly many books of chivalry on the subject. I cannot, however, think that Shakspeare was particularly conversant in works of this description : But, indeed, the alternately rhyming parts, at least, of the present play are apparently by an inferior hand; the remains, no doubt, of the old platform. Ritson.
• Dr. Warburton is quite mistaken in deriving Oliver from (Palmerin de) Oliva, which is utterly incompatible with the genius of the Spanith language. The old romance, of which Oliver was the hero, is entitled in Spanish, « Hir. torias de los nobles Cavalleros Oliveros de Castilla, y Artus de Algarbe, in fol. en Valladolid, 1501, in fol. en Sevilla, 1507;" and in French thus, “ Histoire d'Olivier de Castille, & Artus d'Algarbe son loyal compagnon, & de Heleine, Fille au Roy d'Angleterre, &c. translatée du Latin par Phil. Kamus, in fol. Gothique." It has also appeared in English. See Ames's Typograph. p. 94, 47.
PERCY. + B. i. c. 6.
in these romances as Roncesvalles is in the other. It may be worth observing, that the two famous Italian epic poets, Ariosto and Tasso, have borrowed, from each of these classes of old romances, the scenes and subjects of their several stories: Ariosto choosựng the first, the Saracens in France and Spain; and Tasso, the latter, the Crusade against them in Afia: Ariosto's hero being Orlando, or the French Roland: for as the Spaniards, by one way of transposing the letters, had made it Roldan, so the Italians, by another, make it Orland.
The main subject of these fooleries, as we have said, had its ori. ginal in Turpin's famous History of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers, Nor were the monstrous embellishments of enchantments, &c. the invention of the romancers, but formed upon eastern tales, brought thence by travellers from their crusades and pilgrimages : which indeed have a caft peculiar to the wild imaginations of the eastern people. We have a proof of this in the travels of Sir John Maundeville, whose excessive superstition and credulity, together with an impudent monkish addition to his genuine work, have made his veracity thought much worse of than it deserved. This voyager, speaking of the išle of Cos in the Archipelago, tells the following ftory of an enchanted dragon. “ And also a zonge man, that wilt not of the dragoun, went out of the schipp, and went through the ile, till that he cam to the castelle, and cam into the cave; and went so longe till that he fond a chambre, and there he saughe a damyselle, that kembed hire hede, and lokede in a myrour: and sche hadde moche tresoure abouten hire: and he trowed that sche hadde ben a comoun woman, that dwelled there to receive men có folye. And he abode till the damyselle faughe the schadowe of him in the myrour. And fche turned hire toward him, and asked him what he wolde. And he seyde, he wolde ben hire limman or paramour. And fche asked him, if that he were a knyghte. And he fayde, nay. And then sche fayde, that he might not ben hire limman. But sche bad him gon azen unto his felowes, and make him knyghte, and come azen upon the morwe, and sche scholde come out of her cave before him; and thanne come and kysse hire on the mowth and have no drede. For I schalle do the no maner harm, alle be it that thou see me in lykeness of a dragoun. For thoughe thou see me hideouse and horrible to loken onne, I do the to wytene that it is made be enchauntement. For withouten doubte, I am none other than thou seeft now, a woman; and herefore drede the noughte. And zyf thou kysse me, thou schalt have all this tresoure, and be my lord, and lord also of all that isle. And he departed," &c. p. 29, 30, ed. 1725. Here we see the very spirit of a romance adventure. This honeft traveller believed it all, and so, it seems did the people of the isle. “ And some men seyne (says he) that in the isle of Lango is zit the doughtre of Ypocras in forme and lykenesse of a gret dragoun, that is an hundred fadme in lengthe, as men seyn: for I have not seen hire. And they of the isles callen hire, lady of the land." We are not to think then, these kind of stories, believed by pilgrims and travellers, would have less credit either with the writers or readers of romances : which humour of the times therefore may well account for their birth and favourable reception in the world
The other monkish historian, who supplied the romancers with materials, was our Geoffry of Monmouth. For it is not to be supposed, that these children of fancy (as Shakspeare in the place quoted above, finely calls them, insinuating that fancy hath its infancy as well as manhood,) should stop * in the midit of so extraordi. nary a career, or confine themselves within the lists of the terra firma. From him therefore the Spanish romances took the story of the British Arthur, and the knights of his round table, his wife Gueniver, and his conjurer Merlin. But still it was the same subject, (essential to books of chivalry,) the wars of Chriftians against Infidels. And, whether it was by blunder or design, they changed the Saxons into Saracens, I suspect by design; for chivalry without a Saracen was so very lame and imperfect a thing, that even the wooden image, which turned round on an axis, and served the knights to try their fwords, and break their lances upon, was called by the Italians and Spaniards, Saricing and Sarazino; so closely were these two ideas connected.
In these old romances there was much religious superstition mixed with their other extravagancies; as appears even from their very names and titles. The first romance of Launcelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called the History of Saint Greaal. This saint Greaal was the famous relick of the holy blood pretended to be collected into a vessel by Joseph of Arimathea. So another is called Kyrie Eleison of Montauban. For in those days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were supposed to be the names of holy men, And as they made faints of the knights-errant, so they made knights-errant of their tutelary saints; and each nation advanced its own into the order of chivalry. Thus every thing in those times being either a faint or a devil, they never wanted for the marvellous. In the old romance of Launcelot of the Lake, we have the doctrine and discipline of the church as formally delivered as in Bellarmine himself. “ Là confeffion (says the preacher) ne vaut rien si le cœur
« For it is not to be supposed, that there Children of Fancy, as Shakspeare calls them, infinuating thereby tbat fancy batb its infancy as well as manbood, thould stop," &c.]
I cannot conceive how Shakspeare, by calling Armado the Child of Fancy, infinuates that fancy hath its infancy as well as manhood. The showing that a woman had a child, would be a strange way of proving her in her infancy.-By calling Armado the Child of Fancy, Shakspeare means only to describe him as fantaitical. M. Mason.