Page images

And thus, I think, I have gone through the several facts and arguments which Dr. W. has advanced in · support of his third position. In support of his two first positions, as I have observed already, he has said nothing; and indeed nothing can be said. The remainder of his note contains another hypothesis concerning the strange jumble of nonsense and religion in the old romances, which I shall not examine. The reader, I presume, by this time, is well aware, that Dr. W.!S information upon this subject is to be received with caution. I shall only take a little notice of one or two facts, with which he sets out:-" 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 Lancelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called The History of Saint Graal.—So is another called Kyrie Eleison of Montauban. For in those days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were supposed to be the names of holy men."-I believe no one who has ever looked even into the common romance of king Arthur, will be of opinion, that the part relating to the Saint Graal was the first romance of Lancelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights. And as to the other, supposed to be called Kyrie Eleison of Montauban, there is no reason to believe that any romance with that title ever existed. This is the mistake which, as was hinted above, Dr. W. appears to have borrowed from Huet. The reader will judge. Huet is giving an account of the romances in Don Quixote's library, which the


.curate and barber saved from the flames. Ceux qu'ils jugent dignes d'étre gardez sont les quatre livres d' Amadis de Gaule,-Palmerin d' Angleterre, Don Belianis ; le Miroir de Chevalerie; Tirante le Blanc, et Kyrie Eleison de Montauban (car. au bon vieux temps on croyoit que Kyrie Eleison et Paralipomenon étoient les noms de quelques sains) où les subtilitez de la Damoiselle Plaisir-de-ma-vie, et les tromperies de la Veuve reposée, sont fort louées."-It is plain, I think, that Dr. W. copied what he says of Kyrie Eleison of Montauban, as well as the witticism in his last sentence, from this passage of Huet, though he has improved upon his original by introducing a saint Deuteronomy, upon what authority I know not. It is still more evident (from the passage of Cervantes, which is quoted below*) that Huet was mistaken in


* Don Quix. Lib. I. c. 6. “ Valame Dios, dixo el Cura, dando una gran voz, que aqui esté Tirante el Blanco! Dadmele aca, campadre, que hago cuenta que he hallado en él un tesoro de contento, y una mina de passatiempos. Aqui está Don Quiricleyson de Montalvan, valeroso Cavallero, y su hermano Tomas de Montalvan, y el Cavallero Fonseca, con la batalla que el valiente Detriante[r. de Tirante*]

* Whether the merit of this correction belong originally to Mr. Tyrwhitt or Mr. Bowles (for the latter has inserted it in the text of his Don Quixote), I will not presume to determine ; but, though there cannot be a doubt of its propriety, the Spanish Academy have retained, in their splendid edition, the old reading.


supposing Kyrie Eleison de Montauban to be the namo of a separate romance. He might as well have made La Damoiselle Plaisir-de-ma-vie, and La Veuve reposée, the names of separate romances. All three are merely characters in the romance of Tirante le Blanc.-And 60 much for Dr. W.'s account of the origin and nature of romances of chivalry.

TYRWHITT. No future editor of Shakspere will, I believe, readily consent to omit the dissertation here referred to., Mr. Tyrwhitt's judicious observations upon it have given it a value which it certainly had not before ; and I think I may venture to foretel, that this futile performance, like the pismire which Martial tells us was accidentally incrusted with amber, will be ever preserved, for the sake of the admirable comment in which it is now inlaid ;

-quæ fuerat vita contempta manente, 6 Funeribus facta est nunc pretiosa suis."


hizo con el alano, y las agudezas de la Donzella Plazer de mi vida, con los amores y embustes de la viuda Reposada, y la Senora Emperatriz, enamorada de Hipolito su escudero."

Aqui está Don Quirieleyson, &c. HERE, i. c. in the rom mance of Tirante el Blanco, is Don Quiricleyson, &c.


« PreviousContinue »