Page images

quhen it was neir noun, the link appering loune, but) ony din or surd to deny, that Thomas of Erceldoune was a man of consideratempest, the Erlo send for this propheit and reprevit hym that he ble rank, and honoured with the acquaintance of the great and the prognosticat mic wynd to be, and na apperance tharrof. This gallant of the time in which he lived. Thomas maid litil answer, bot said, Noun is not yet gune. And We ure ignorant that he wrote any thing except the romance of incontinent ane man came to the yet 5 schawing that the king Sir Tristrem. His renowned prescience occasioned many verses was slune. Than said the propheit, Yone is the wynd that wall of prophetic import to be imputed to him. One of these rhapso blaw to the gret calamity and truble of all Scotland. "This Tho- dies appears to have been written in the reign of Edward III., and mas wes ane man of gret admiration to the pople; and schaw during his Scottish wars. It is preserved in the Museum, and Bundry thingis ng hay fell, howbeit thay wer ay hid under obscure bears this title: La Countesse de Dondet demendea Thomas de wordis. "--BELLENDEN'S Boece, fol. ccii.

Essedon quand la guerre d'Escoce prenderit fyn E yll'a re Translated from the monkish eloquence of Fordun, the story poundy e dyt. There follows a metrical prophecy. the perform would run simply,-That Thomas prenaged to the Earl of March ance of some person in the English interest, and prsaging the total that the next day would be windy, the weather proved calm ; subjugation of Scotland. The poem is printed at length in Pinkerbut new's arrived of the death of Alexander 10., which gave an tou's Poems, from the Maitland Ms., vol. i., and in the Minstreley allegorical turn to the prediction, and saved the credit of the proof the Scottish Border. A later bard has composed a string of phet. It is thy of notice that some of the rhymes, vulgarly prophecies, not uttered by Thomas the Rhymer himself, but deliver ascribed to Thomas of Erceldoune, are founded apparently on ed him by the Queen of Faery. They are introduced by the folmeteorological observation. And doubtless, before the invention lowing wild and fanciful tale: Thomas of Erceldoune, seated be of baromeiers, a weather-wise prophet might be an important per neath Eildoun-tree, a spol, the veneration for which may perhaps be sonage.-Such were the predictions of a greater bard

traced back to the days of Paganism, saw a most beautiful damsel “Quid faciat lataa segetes, quo sádere terram

riding towards him upon a gray paltrey. The splendour of her dress Vertere - &c.-Georg

and accoutrements could only be exceeded by her personal chams.

The Rhymer hastened to meet this beautiful vision, and, after Barbour, in his Book of the Bruce, composed nbout 1375, te fers to a prophecy of our bard, concerning the exploits and succession

some conversation," prayed her for her love." This boon she re

fuses for some time, alleging that "it would undo all her beauty," of Robert the First. After Bruce had slain the Red Cumin at Dum.

and that he would himsell sorely repent his rash request. The fries, in 1306, the Bishop of Saint Andrews is introduced, saying,

bard despises every warning, ardently presses his suit, and at "Sekyrly

length a mortal is clasped in the arms of the Queen of Faery. I hop Thomas' prophecy Off Hersikloune, soll weryfyd I be

The change which ensues in her person is strikingly painted. Her In him ; for sua our Lorl help me,

bright eyes become dead; her fair locks drop from the naked scalp; I haif gtet hop be saule king,

her rich raiment is changed into rags, and the astonished poet beAnd haid this land all in leding

holds an odious bag, instead of the lovely fay. But repentance The Bruce, b. ii. v. 88.

and terror were alike unavailing: he was compelled to bid adieu Wintoun, who died, according to Mr. Pinkerton, about 1420, also the earth with his supematural conductor. He mounts behind

"to sun and moon, to grass and every green tree," and to leave refers to the prophetic fame of our Thomas Erceldoune. His her on her palfrey, and they journey, with amazing speed, through words are these :-

the realms of utter darkness, hearing only the roaring of waters, "Of this fycht quhilum spak Thomas

through which they sometimes seem to cross. They pass a fair Of Eryklowne, that rayu in derne,

gardeu full of flowers and singing birds, and the most delicious Thare sold inete stalwarly, stark, and sterno.

fruit. Thomas puts forth a rush hand, but is cautioned to beware He sayo it in his prophecy

how he touches the fatal Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Bot how be wist it wex ferly."..

His conductress shown him, successively, the road to heaven, to Leland quotes the following passage from the Scala Chronicon, hell, and to Fairy Land. The last is their route: they arrive at a an old history, apparently written about the reign of Edward VI, splendid castle, filled with lords and ladies, who danced, sung, and translated out of French rhyme into French prose by an

and feasted till midnight. Of all these festivities 'Tbomas partok English gentleman, during his residence at Edinburgh as a prisoner with his fair damsel, who had now recovered all her onginal of war " William Banestre and Thomas Erceldoune, whose beauty. After a time, she told him to prepare to return to midwords were spoken in figure, as were the prophecies of Merlin." dle earth,” since the fiend of hell would next day visit the castle

Henry the Minstrel introduces, as has already been noticed, the to claim a tithe of its inhabitants, and he, being a fair and stately bard of Erceldoune into the history of Wallace We are told by person, would probably be of the number, should be remain till the this romantic biographer, that the Scottish champion, having slain arrival of their infernal sovereign, She adds, that he has already the Lord Percie's steward, was imprisoned in the town of Ayr by remained three years in Fairy Land, and that she loves him 100 the English, then masters of the country. Here Wallace suffered well to permit bim to incur the dreadful risk which is impending. every sort of hardship, till his health sunk under it. His jailer, Arcordingly she conveys him back to th. Eildon-tree, and, before finding bim in a woon, concluded he was dead, and eave orders separating, tells bim, in dark and tigurative language, the fate of that the body should be dragged out of the prison, and thrown the wars betwixt England and Scotland. This tale exists in MS. upon a dungliill. Wallace's nurse removed him from thence, with in the Cotton Library, (Vilell. E. X.,) under this title, Incipit an intention of doing the last honours to his body. She observed, Prophesia Thoma de Arseldoron. The book which contains it however, a palpitation at the heart, and finding life not entirely has unfortunately been damaved by fire, so that much is illenible. extinguished, she carried the champion of Scotland to ber cottage,

I am informed that there exists another imperfect copy in tbe and took measures for his recovery and concealment

library of Lincoln Cathedral, beginning thus : " Thomas Rimour into the t'ailet t was than,

"Lystyns lordynge, both gret and smalle,
With the mynystir, quhilk was a worthi man.

Anul takis goute tot what I will saye,
He usyt off to that religious place;

I call yow tell as trewe a tale,
The peple demyt of wilt mekill he can;

As ever was here by myght or daye."
And B he told, thocht at the bliss or ban,
Qubilk hapnyt suth in mony diveres cace,

A copy of this poem, modernized and balladized, preserved by
I can nocht say, he wrang or richtwyenas,

tradition in Scotland, may be found in the Border Minstrelst, In rewlle of wer, quhether thai tynt or wan,

where is also published the beginning of the Cotton MS There It may be demyi be divisioun of grace.”

is reason to think this poem was written by a native of England. The servant of the minister arrives with the heavy tidings, that The Lincoln copy has this couplet : he had seen Wallace's corpae thrown out of the prison :

* But Jhesu Christ that dyd on tre,
" Thomas anserd, Thir tythingis ar noucht gud,!1

Save Inglysche men where so they fare."
And that be suth, my self sall neuir eit bredt.

Some metrical prophecies, vulgarly ascribed to Thomas of Er The servant still affirms that the death of Wallace in certain, celdoune, seem to have been very current in the reigns of James and that a poor woman has taken away his body to be buried : V.. Queen Mary, and James VI. One copy in Latin, and another " Yit Thomas said, 'Than sall I leifi' na mar,

in English, were published, with other things of the same kind, by Gif that below, le Gol, that all has wrocht.',

Andro Hart, at Edinburgh, 1615. Bishop Spottinwoode firmly beThe servant is despatched to the cottage to procure farther in lieved in the authenticity of the prophecies, yet extant in Scot. telligence, and, after taking a solemn oath of secrecy, the nurse

tish rhyme, whereupon Thomas Learmount was commonly called Ahows him the Kright of Ellerslee:

Thomas the Rymer;" and gravely adds," whence or how he had

This knowledge can hardly be affirmed; but sure it is that he did Scho had him up . Wallace by the dem,

divine and answer truly of many things to come." Dempster He spak with him, ayne foal ngayne can prens, With gladbolti, thair myrthis vill amend;

terms the same verres De futuro Scotia siatu libar unu*, Mac, He told to thaim the text tithing was less.

kenzie is at the pains to reprint both the Latin and English: and Than Thomas pul, Popeth, or he dece,

Nisbet gravely laments, that the change of crests and bearings, Mony thousand in feild Imuk thur end,

by which the persons are pointed out in these vaticinations, has Off this regioun he sall the truthron send,

rendered them almost unintelligible. If any of these autlions had And Scotland thriss he call bring to the pess;

looked at the verece in question with moderate attention, they So gud vff band agayne sall neulet kent. »

must have seen, that the author does not assert that they were Wavece, h. i. ch. 3.

composed by Thomas the Rhymes. He only sare, that, walking These are the only anecdotes concerning Thomas of Erceldoune, "upon a land beside a ley," he raw certain emblematical visions. which occur in the more ancient authors. We may collect from They were explained to bim by a person with whom he met, them, that he was in his own time, a distinguished personage, and, When these wonders had all disappeared, the author was left as such, long afterwards remembered. His acupuaintance with

alone with the interpreter: the Earl of March argues some degree of rank and birth, which

" frained fast what was his name? may be also inferred from his witnessing the charter of Petor de

Where that he came, from what countrie? Haga, a powerful baron, along with Oliver, Abbot of Driburgh,

At Erlingtonn I dwell at barne, Williem de Burndun, Hugh do Pereshy, Shirref of Rokysburgh,

Thomas Rymour men calls me.. and will de Haitely, all whose names wutliciently indicate high rank. Although, therefore, we may hesitate to aflirin, with Demp

Thus, it is not even pretended that these verres were the comster, that he was the chieftain of a most illustrious family, or, with position of Thomas of Erceldoune, though the author professes to Nisbet, that he enjoyed the honour of knighthood, it would be ab

have drawn from that venerable bard the information contained in them

Nevertheless, they were not only received as the genu• Lift-Sky Loune-Calm-Bul-Without-yetGate. ine productions of the Rhymer, but continued to animate the ad

herents of the house of Stuart down to the last unfortunate at ft A religioas bouse near Ayr.

Are nouchi gud-Are not true. tempt, in 1745.

[ocr errors]

There are current among the country people, many rhymes the English monarche after the conquest, to some curious and Beenbed to Thomas of Erceldoune. The rader will find several almost anomalous consequences. of them in the Minstrelsy of the Scotlih Border. Thus con Those who have investigated the history of the French poetry, cludes the history, real and fabulous, of the Rhymer, and his sup observe, with surprise, that the earliest romances written in that De productions, exclusive of the romance, now published for language refer to the history of King Arthur and his Round Table, the first time.

a theme, one would have thought, uncongenial to the feelings of IL THE TALE OP TRISTREM was not invented by Thomas of the audience, and unconnected with the country of the minstrel. Ere ldoune. It lays claim to a much higher anuquity; and, il' Mons. de Tressant first gave a hint of the real cause of this extrawe may trust the Welsh authorities, is founded upon authentic ordinary preference, by supposing that the Norman troureurs, or bustory. The following is the account of Tristrem, banded down minstrels, by whom these tales of King Arthur were composed, by the berds.

wrote for the amusement, not of the French, their countrymen, Tryatın, (i, e. the Tumultuous,) the son of Tallwz, was a cele- but of the Anglo-Norm in monarchs of England. This dynasty, bora e chieftain, who flourished in the sixth century. In the his. with their martial nobility, down to the reign of Edward III., contorical Trid., he is ranked with Greidiol and Gu gon, as the three tinued to use, almost exclusively, the Romance or ancient French berals of Britain, superior in the knowledge of the laws of war language ; while the Saxon, although wpoken chietly by the vul. Trystan, with Gwair and Cai, were called the three diadem'd

gar, was gradually adopting, from the rival tongue, those improvePrince of Britain ; with Coll und Pryteri, he commend the mients and changes, which fitted it for the use of Chaucer and Bad of the three mighty swincherds, with Gwair and Eddilig, Gower! But the veil has been more completely removed by the that of the three pubborn chiefs, whom none could turn from Abbe de la Rue, in bis curious essays upon what he aptly terms their purpose; with Caswallon, (Cassivellaunus, the son of Bes, the Anglo-Norman poetry, those compositions, namely, which ardd Cyrion, the son of Clydno, that of the three frithful lovers. were written in French, but for the amusement of the kings and The last euthet he acquired from his passion for Essylt, the wife nobles of England. of Mark Meirzion, bis un le. He wa-cont mporary with Arthur. One consequence of the popularity of the British tales among U on some disgust, be withdrew himself from the court of that the Anglo Norman poets, was, that all those parts of modem monarch, and Gwalzmai with the Golden Tongue (the Gawain France, in which the Romance language prevailed, obtained an of romance) was sent to request his retim. A dialogue passed early and extensive acquaintance with the supposed history of bersit them, for a copy of which, as well as for the above no Arthur, and the other heroes of Wales. The southern provinces, toa. Tam indebted to the learned Mr. Owen, author of a classi in which the dialect of Languedoc prevailed, were the seat of cal Welsh Dictionary ; it is inserted in the Appendix. No. II. Provençal poetry; and it seenis probable, that at an early period,

Those who may be mclined to doubt the high antiquity cluimed the Troubadours were more welcome at the court of France, than for the Triads, by Welsh antiquaries, must admit, that in this in: the Norman minstrels, who resided on the territories of the sovostance, probability seems to warrant their authority. Tristrem is reigns of England, and tuned their harps to the fame of the ancient upormly represented as a natjie of Comwall, in which, and in beroes of Britain. In process of time, when Normandy wus acthe countries of Wales, Ireland, and Brittany, all inhabited by the quired by the kings of France, the minstrels prudently changed C-lue rice, the scene of his hi-tory is laid. Almost all the names their theme, from the praises of Arthur and his Round Table, to of the persons in the romance are of genuine British origin; as

the more acceptable subject of Charlemagne and his Paladins. Moza, Roland Risa, Urgan, (Urien.) Brengwain. Ganhardin, This, at least, seems a fair conjecture ; since the romances of Belarce. Mark, Tristrem, and Isounde. Y soude, or Yksylt. The this latier class, founded upon the unnals of the Pseudo-Turpin, fev names which are of Norman extraction, belong to persons of are allowed, by the French literati, to be inferior in antiquity to infe or importance, whose proper Batista appellations may have those relating to British story. been enknown tu) Thomas, and on whom, therefore, he bestows Among the tales imported into France from Britain, and which james peculiar to the Norman English dialect, in which he com

obtained an early and extensive popularity, the history of Tristrem Such are Gouvernail, Blancheflour, Triamour, and Flo is early distinguished $ Chrestien de Troyes, who wrote many ten'in

The little kingdom of Cornwall was one of the last romances, is said to have composed one upon this subject, which fun's of refuse to the alwriginal Britons, beyond the limits

of the he inscribed to Philip, Count of Flanders, who died in 1191. As modern Wales. It yielded to the Saxon invaders betwixt 927 and this poet also composed the history of Le Cheralier d' Epee. (proSil, when the Bntish were driven, by Athelstan, beyond the Ta

bably the story of The Knight and the Sicord, versified in Way's mar, and a colong establ shed at Exeter by the conqueror. Pro Fabliau.r,) Le Cheralier de la Charrette, (the history of Sir Lan. vus to this event, and probably for a considerable time after celor) and Le Chevalier a Lłon, ( Yırain and Gawain) it is perFurds, the Comish retained the manners and habits of the indi haps to him that we may ascribe the association of Triatrem into geno is native of Britain. In these manners, an enthusiastic at the chivalry of the Round Table; if «o. he was not followed, in tacament to poetry and music was a predominating feature. The this respect, by later authors. It is ditficult to ascertain whence Barts, the surviving branch of the ancient Drunds, claimed and Chrestien de 'Troyes procured his subjects. The tales may have rereted a sacred homage from the bearers; and to their son passed to him from Armonica ; but, as the union between Britain celebrating the struggles of the Britons against the Saxons, may and Normandy was, in his days, most intimate, it seems fully as be referred one principal source of the side of romantic fiction probable that he himself collected in England, or from English wheb overtowed Europe during the m ddle ages; I mean the authority, the ancient British truditions which he framed into Rotale, which, in esaggerating, have disguised, and almost obliter.

mances. There is some uncertainty as to his actually writing the eted the trie + plouts of King Arthur and his followers. In the history of Tristrem ; but at any rute, in one of his songs, he alludes minth century, Geoffrey of Monmouth compiled partly from British

to the story, as generally known : Orrials, communicated to him by the learned Walter, Archdeacon of Orford, and partly from the stores of his own imagination,

"Ainques dou barvraige ne bai a splendit history of King Arthur. This enticing tale soon drew

Dont Tristan fut impoisoner; into its sortex whatever remained of Brush history or tradition ; and all the beroes, whose memory had been preserved by song, † Ertraits des Romans, tom. I. p. 1. Tressan is treating of this very romance Wete represented as the associates and champions of the renowned or Sir Tristret, but hems to be ignorant of the existence of a metrical copy in

the Romance language. Anbar. Amunz this splendid group we have seve that Sir Tristrem tuds a distinguished place. Whether he really was a con

From the following introxluction to the metrical romance of Arthur and

Merlin, written during the minority of Elwand IL, it appears that the English tenorary of Arthur, or whether that honour way ascribed to him

language was then gaining ground. The anthor says, he has even seen many on account of his high renown, and interesting adventures, it is gentlemen who could speak no French, (though generally used by persons or DOW dificult to determine, The Welsh authorities affirm the their rank.) while persons of every quality understood English. He exwls the fort: bui ta tistory, by Thomas of Erceldoune, and the ancient advantages of children who are sent to school :poems on the subject, in the Romance language, give no counteranor to this supposition. That Tristrem actually flourished

"Avauntages thai haven thare, during the stormy independence of Cornwall, and experienced

Freynhand Latin ever aye where;

Of Freynah no Latin nil Y tel more, Some of those adventures, which have been so long the subject of

Ac on Inglishe Ichil tel therefore, Ib- bard and the minstrel, may, I think, be admitted, without in

Right is that Inglimhe, Ingliske understond, carring the charge of credulity.

That was born in Inglund; There accurs here an interesting point of discussion. Thomas

Freynebe in this gentilman, of Erceldo ne, himself probably of Saxon origin, wrote in the

Ac iverich Inglistat can: lezius, or English langage; yet the subject he close to celebrate

Mani noble I have y-nighe, was the hiatury of a British chieftain. This, in a general point of

That no t'rrynshe couth seye; View, De not surprising. The invaders have, in every country,

Bigiu lehil for her love, adopted. Doner or later, the traditions, soroetimes even the gene

By Jesus love, that will above,

On Inglische tel my tale, aksis of the original inhabitants; while they have forgotten,

God 008 en Boule hale " afic a law generations, those of the country of their forefathers. One mason sems to be, that tradition depnds upon locality, Trevisa tells us, that in 1385, "in all the grammar scoles of England, children The scene of a relebrated battle, the niin of an ancient tower, leveth French, antennatruth and learnrth in English." the "bistoric stone' over the grave of a hero, the hill and the § I Warton's Falilor questes some lines of Rambaud d'Orange, a Troubadour Falley inhabited of old by a particular tribe, remind posterity of of Provence, whose death is placed about A. D. 1173, in which that part of the Events wlach are sometimes recorded in their very names. Even story of Triatrem ani Isolt, which is given in the stanza, race of strangere, when the lapse of years has induced them no

Greteth well my leved, longer to ae aunt themselves such, welcome any fiction by which

That ac trewe hath been; they can associate their ancestors with the srenes in which they

Srockes had she and Y," &c. themelves live, as transplanted trees push forth every fibre that is distinctly alluded 10.may connect them with the soil to which they are transferred. Thus, every tradition failed, among the saxons, which related to

"Sobre totz aurai grand valor,

S'aital camis à m'es data, their fornet habitations on the Elbe ; the Normans forgot, not

Cum Ysus det a l'amador, merely their ancient dwellings in Scandinavia, but even their

Que mais non era portata, " &c. p. 191.) Nostran posee@bons: and both adopted, with greedy ardour, the fah alas history of Arthur and his chivalry, in preference to the | La Combe observes, " Le roman de 'Trietan Leonis, l'un de plus beaux better authenticated and more splendid achievements of Hengist, des mieux faits qui aient jamais et publies, parut en 1190. C'est le plus ancien a of Rolf Gangr, the conqueror of Normandy. But this natural de nos comuns en prose. L'auteur eloit encore de la cour du Duc de Normandisposition of the conquerors to naturalize themselves, by adopt die, Roi d'Angleterre." Protaco, p. xxvi. In this friasage the learnel gentle ing the traditions of the patives, led, in the particular situation of man make a mistake, in which he is followed by Nons. l'Eveque de la Ravil.

liere. If Chrestien de Troyes actually wrote a history of Tristrem, it certainly • Warton's Edius of coarse considers these Frencb dames as copied from a was in verve, like all his other compositions, and it is inerally impossible to point French Trstrem, older than that of the Rhymer)

out a prose romance, upon that or any other subject, previous to 1190.

(s plus ma fait aimer qui lui

supposed that the favourite traditions of Arthur and his knights Mon cuera et bon volupte.".

retained their ground for a length of time among a people thus

descended. Accordingly, the scene of many of their exploite is
I need not, I, the drink of force,
Which druge'd the valiant Tristrem'a bowl;

laid in this frontier country: Bamborough Castle being pointed out
My passion claims a uobler source,

as the Castle Orgullous of romance, and Berwick as the Joyeuse The free-will offering of my soul.

Garde, the stronghold of the renowned Sir Lancelot. In the days Nor does the celebrity of the tale rest solely upon the evidence of Froissart, the mountains of Cumberland were still called Wales; of Chrestien de 'Troyes. It is twice alluded to by the King of and he mentions Carlisle (so famous m romantic song) as a city

beloved of King Arthur." Even at this day, the Celtic traditions Navarre, who wrote in 1226, or very near that period.

of the Border are not entirely obliterated, and we may therefore *Douce dame, s'il vos plaisoit, un soir,

reasonably conclude, that in the middle of the 13th century they M'auriez plus de joie dooee

flourished in full vigour. Conques Irislatia, qui en fit son pooir," &c.

If the reader casts his eye upon the map, he will see that Ercel.

doune is situated on the borders of the ancient British kingdom of
"De mon pencer, aim inieux la comprignie,

Strathclwyd ; and I think we may be authorized to conclude, that
Qu'oucques Tristan ne fu Yseul s'omie."

in that country Thomas the Rhymer collected the materials for The ingenious Mons. de la Rue informs us, that the lith Lay of his impressive tale of Sir Tristrem. The story, although it had the celebrated Mademoiselle Marie, called Chevrefeuille, is found already penetrated into France, must have been preserved in a

more pure and authentic state by a people, who perhaps had hardly ed on an incident taken from the amours of Tristrem with the wife of King Marc. Marie flourished about the middle of the 12th cen: siderations which strongly tend to confirin this supposition

ceased to speak the language of the hero. There are some contury. Archeologia, vol. xiii. p. 43. This lay, of which the reader

In the first place, we have, by a very fortunate coincidence, Rwill find an abstract in the Appendix. No. III., begins thus :

tisfactory proof that the romance of Sir Tristrem, as composed “Asez me pleat, e bien le voil,

by Thomas of Erceldoune, was known upon the continent, and Dilai ke hum name chevrefoil ;

referred to by the French minstrels, as the most authentic mode Q'la verise yon encant,

of telling the story. This is fortunately established by two Met-
Por quoi il fu fet e dunt:

rica! Fragments of a French romance, preserved in the valuablo
Plasur ne le unt cunte e dit,
E je l'ai trove en eserit,

library of Francis Douce, Esq. FAS, of which the reader will
De Tristreme de la reine,

find a copious abstract, following the Poen. The story told in De lur amur, qui tant in fine,

those Fragments, will be found to correspond most accurately with Dunt ilz eurent ineinte dolor,

the tale of Sir Tristrem, as narrated by Thomas of Erceldouce, Puis toururent en un jour."

while both differ essentially frorn the French prose romance, afterThis celebrated lady avowedly drew her materials from Armo- wards published. There seems room to believe that these frag. ria, the scene of several of Tristrem'y exploits, and finally of his ments were part of a poem, composed (as is believed by Raoul death.

de Beauvais who flourished in 1257, about the same time of Thus, the story of Tristrem appears to have been popular in Thomas of Erceldoune ; and shortly after we suppose the latter to France, at least thirty years before the probable date of Thomas have composed his grand work. As many Normans hard settled of Erceldoune's work. A singular subject of inquiry is thus intro in Scotland about this period, it is probable that Thomas's tale duced. Did Thomas translate bis poem from some of those which was early translated, or rather imitated in the Romance language were current in the Romance language? Or did he refer to the The ground for believing that this task was performed by Raoul original British authorities, liom which his story had been versified de Beauvais, is his being the supposed author of a romance on the by ihe French minstrels? The state of Scotland, at the period subject of Sir Perceralpreserved in the library of Foucault. when he tourished, may proballs throw some light on this curious The writer announces himself as the author of several other poems. point.

particularly upon the subject of King Mark and Uselt la Blonde Although the Saxons, immediately on their landing on the east.

"Cil qui fit d'Euce et d'Enide, ern coast of England, obtained settlements, from which they were

Et les commandemens d'Ovide, never finally dislodged, yet the art of union among the inva

Et l'art d'aimer en Roman mist, ders, the comparative smallness of their numbers, and a variety of

Del Roy Marc, et il' selt la Blonde, other circumstances, rendered the progress of their conquest long

Et de la Hupe, et de l'Eronde,

Et del Rossignol la muence, and uncertain. For ages after the arrival of Hengist and Horsa,

Un autre coute commence the whole western coast of Britain was possessed by the abori

D'un vallet qui en Grene su ginal inhabitants, engaged in constant ware with the Saxons; the

Del linage le Roy Artu."'1 slow, but still increasiug tide of whose victories still pressed on. ward from the east, These western Britons were, unfortunately The author professes to have found the original of the history, for themselves, split into innumerable petty sovereignties; but

" Et un des livres de l'aumaire we can distinguish four grand and general divisions. Ist, The

Monsigner S. Pierre a Biauvais." county of Cornwall, with part of Devonshire, retained independenco, on the west extremity of the island. 2dly, Modern Wales of Perceval to Raoul de Beauvais.

This seems to be the principal reason for ascribing the romance

But it is probable that the land formed the kingdom of the Cunraig Britons, which extended author of that romance, whoever he was also wrote Mr. Douce's northward to Solway Frith 4thly, Beyond the Scottish Border lay down to his second retreat to Brittany, there occurs the following

Fragments. After narrating the adventures of Sir T'risirem, part of Scotland, betwixt the Solway' Frith and Frith of Clyde. most curious passage, concerning the different modes of telling

the story: With the inhabitants of the Highlands we have, at present, no concern. This western division of the island being peopled by tribes Seignurs, cest cunte est molt divers ; Lordings, this tale is very differently told; of a kindred origin and languuge, it is natural to conceive, even E, pur co, sum par mes nert,

And therefore lar" (unintclligte) were the fact dubious, that the same traditions and histories were Edis en tant cum est mestier,

And tell as much as is necesary, current among these tribes. Accordingly, the modern Welsh are E le surplus voil relesser.

And will leave the remainder. as well versed in the poetry of the Cumraig and the Strathclwyd

Ne voil pas trup emmi dire.

I will not say too much about it.
Ici diverse la matvere,

So diverse is the matter,
Britons, as in that of their native bards; and it is chiefly from

Entre ceas qui solent cunter,

Among those who are in habit of telling them that we learn the obscure contentions which these north

E se le cunte Tristran parler. western Britons maintained against the Saxon invaders. The il en content diversement.

Ati reluting the story of Tristran;

They tell it very differently ; divpuited frontier, instead of exiending across the island, as the Oi en ai de plusur gent

I hate heard it from many, more modern division of England and Scotland, appears to have Aber sai que chercun en dit,

I know well enough how each tellit, run longitudinally, from north to south, in an irregular line, begin. Et coqu'il unt mis en escrit.

And what they have put in writing. ning at the mountains of Cumberland, including the high grounds Me, selur ce que ja' ois,

But, according to what I have heard. of Liddesdale and Teviotdale, together with Ettrick forest and Nel dient pas sulun Breri,

They do not te'l it as Breri dons,

Ki solt lee gestes et les contes, Tweeddale ; thus connecting a long tract of mountainous country

Who knew the grate and the tales

Of all the kings and all the earls, with the head of Clydesdale, the district which gave name to the De tus les reis, de tus les cuntes,

Ki orent este en Bretagne,

Who had been in Britany. petty kingdom. In this strong and defensible country the natives

Apd about the whole of this story (ou were long able to maintain their ground. About 850, the union of E sur que tut de cebl ouraingne.

rage) the Scols and Picts enabled Kenneth and his successors to attack, Plneurs de nos granter ne volent Many of us (minatrels) will not allow and, by degrees, totally to subdue, the hitherto independent king: Ce gue del naim dire se solent What others lell of(Thismuth) de arl, doms of Strathclwyd and Cumbria, Put although they were thius Ki femme Kaherdin dut aimer, Who is said to have been in love with the made to constitute an integral part of what has since been called

wife of Kaherdin. Scotland, it is reasonable to conclude, that their manners and Li Daim redut Tristran nairer, That dwarf caused Tristan to be customs continued, for a long time, to announce their British de.


E entusche pas grant engin scent. In these districts had flouri-bed some of the most distin

And poisoned, by great artifice, guished British bards; and they had witnessed many of the me. See Essay prefixed to Poeme from Maitland MS, by Mr. Pinkerton, pirtii; murable events which decided the fate of the island. It must be

Complaynt of Scotland, Introduction, p. 196 The elitor met with a curious in

stance of what is stated in the text Being told of a tradition of a hunter who rais • La Ravilliere, Revolutions de la Langue Francoise, Poesies du Roi de ed a mighty boar, and pursued him, from tris lair on the Yarrow, np to St. Navarre, tom. I. p. 168

Mary's Lake, where he was slain, at a place called Muichra, he had the curt † Pocstes du Roi de Nararre, pp. 7. 145.

Onity to examine the derivation of this last name. It signifies, in Gaelic, The The vertices of a huge ditch may be traced from the junction of the Gala place of the Boar, and seems to attest the truth of the tradition. Indeed, most and the Tweed, and running thence south westward through the orper part of of the names of places in the south-west of Scotland are of British derisation, Roxburghahire, and into Liddesilue It is called the Cat-Rael, or Cat-rail, and and are sometimes found to refer to popular traditions yet current, while the has certainly been a landmark hetwixt the Gothic invaders, who posarissed the narrators are totally ignorant of the evidence thus affonled to the truth of their lower country, and the indigenous Cells, who were driven to the mountains story Tradition says, that it was dug to divide the Peghts and Brells, ie Picts and The late ingenious Mr. Ritson was lel to ascribe the romance above quoted, Britons

and, consequently, the poem, Del Roy Marc £! d' Yseult la Blonde, to Chres $ or the former was Meriwinn Wyllt, or Merlin the Savage, who inhabited tien de Troyes, who lived long before Thomas of Erceldoune. Aneren. Met the woods of Tweeddale, ani was buried as Drummelziar, (Tumulus Merlini) cal Romances Introductory Diarration, p. xliii. But that industriais antinear Peebles; algo Anewrin, who celebrates the bloody combat betwixt the quary was led into the error, by Chrestien being the author of a yet more ar porth-western Britons, and the Saxons of Deiria Themen of Edinburgh, in par. cient romance upon the same subject of Perceval, but different from that menticular, were all cut off, and it is more than probable, that the strong fortresses

tioned in the text. This work is mentioned by Fauchet, who seme dever to of that city first yielded to the Saxous, from whom it was afterwards taken by have been it, and is quoted in Galland's Essay, as totally distinct from that the Scots and Picts, when united into one people. Lothian keemis finally to

which is ascribed to Raoul de Beauvais, and considerably more ancient. More base rubmitted to them about 970.

de l'Acad. de Inscriptions, tom. il. fl. 675, 680.

[ocr errors]

grow mad.

Qusal oi afele Kahardin.
When he had occasioned Kaherdin to translation. An account of these German romances, which the

Editor owes to the friendship of Mr. Henry Weber, is subjoined to Per cent plaie, e par sest mal, On account of this wound and this dis- the analysis of the French fragments. The references which they

ease, Egreind Tristran Gavernal,

contain to the authority of Thomas of Britannia, serve to ascer Tristran sent Gouvernail

tain his original property

in the poem of Sir Tristrem. En Engleterre pur Ysoit

Into England for Ysoll
Thomse, ton, granter ne volt: Thomse, however, will not admit this ;

In the second place, it Thomas of Erceldoune did not translate Es volt, par raisin, mustier Anil undertakes to prove, by argu: from the French, but composed an original poem, founded upon


Celtic tradition, it will follow, that the first classical English roQa'ico ne pat pas esteer. That this could not be.

mance was written in part of what is now called Scotland; and Cast fast par tut la part concus, He (Gouvernail) was known all over the attentive reader will find some reason to believe that our lan

those parta, E parfat k regne sius,

guage received the first rudiments of improvement in the very And throughout the kingdom,

comer where it now exists in its most dobased state. Qui de l'amor ert parjagers, As being privy to the love (of Triatran and Ysolt)

In England, it is now generally admitted, that, after the Norman Leavers Ysolt mesagers. And often employed on messages to conquest, while

the Saxon language was abandoned to the lowest Ysoll.

of the people, and while the conquerors only deigned to employ Li rai len brietmalt forment; The king hated him for it mortally; their native French, the mixed language, now called English, only Gouter le feseit a sa gent

And caused him to be watched by his existed as a kind of lingua franca, to conduct the necessary in people.

tercourse between the victors and the vanquished. It was not till E eament put a dunc venir

How ihen could be come
Sen service a la curt offrir,
To offer his service to the court,

the reign of Henry III. that this dialect had assumed a shape fit A le re, as baruns, al jerjans, 'To the king, to the barons, and ser

for the purposes of the poet ;t and even then, it is most prohable

that English poetry, if any such existed, was abandoned to the

jeants, Cam fast estrange marchant ? As if he had been a stranger merchant ?

peasants and menials, while all, who aspired above the vulgar, Qae habe issi conclas That a man so known there

listened to the la's of Marie, the romances of Chretien de Troyes, Ni fai cult toet apereens,

Should not have been immediately per. or the interesting fabliaux of the Anglo-Norman trouveure. The ceived,

only persons who ventured to use the native language of the Se sei coment 1 se gardas, I do not know how he could have pre-country in literary compositions, were certain monkish annalists,


who usually think it necessary to inform us, that they condescendNe enment Y scit amemast.

Nor how he could carry over Ysolt. want del ennle furneise, They are involved in a very foolish tale,

ed to so degrading a tusk out of pure charity, lowliness of spirit, Ede la vrea ealiange. And far distant from the truth

and love to the "lewd men who could not understand the Latin E sees te volent granter, And if they will not admit this,

of the cloister, or the Anglo-Norman of the court. Even when Ne vol vers euas estriser. I will not strive with them.

the language was gradually polished, and becarne fit for the purGeoget le lur, e jo le men: Let them keep their opinion, and 1 poses of the minstrels, the indolence or taste of that race of poeta Inine :

induced them, and those who wrote for their use, to prefer transLarawon a provera ben.

The reason of the thing will prove itself. lating the Anglo-Norman and French romances, which had stood I think that the reader will be disposed to admit the Thomas, original composition. It is the united opinion of Warton, Tyr

the test of years, to the more pri carious and laborious task of mentioned in this passage, to be our bard of Erceldoune. It is whylt, and Ritson, that there exists to English romance, prior to sient, and might, were other evidence wanting, incline

us to refer the days of Chaucer,

which is not a translation of some earlier it ratber to the 12th than the 13th century. But the French language, as spoken in England, seems to have adopted few improve of the English language in England itself, there is great reason to

While these circumstances operated to retard the improvement ments from the continent. In fact, it remained stationary, or was believe,

that in the Lowlands of Scotland its advances were more retrograde ; for words were adopted from the English, and, con rapid. The Saxon kingdom of Bernicia was not limited by the sequently, even at its latest period, the Anglo-Norman had an antigiated and barbarous cast. Thus it has become difficult for the the Frith of Forth. The fertile plains of Berwickshire, and the

Tweed, but extended, at least occasionally, as far northward as best judges to point out any very marked difference betwixt the Lothians, were inhabited by a race of Anglo-Saxons, whose lanstyle of Marie and some parts of Wace's translation, though a rentury occurs betwixt the date of their poems : consequently, the cage resembled

that of the Belgic tribes whoin they had conquer.

ed, and this blended speech contained, as it were, the original author of our Fragments may have only written a rude and unimproved, instead of an obsolete dialect. Chaucer seems to allude of

Tay, was the principal seat of the Picts, a Gothic tribe, $ if we materials of the English tongue. Beyond the Friths of Forth

and to the difference of the proper French and the Anglo-Norman, when be tells us of his prioresse (a lady of rank)

can trust the best authorities, who spoke a dialect of the Teuto.

nic, different from the Anglo-Saxon, and apparently more allied ** And Frenche she spake full fayre and festily,

to the Belgic. This people falling under the dominion of the After the role of Stratford atte Bow :

Kings of Scots, the united forces of those nations wrenched from For French of Parish was to hire unknowe."

the Saxons, first, the province of the Lothians; finally, that of The reference to style being thus uncertain, that evidence on the Berwickshire, and even part of Northumberland itself. But, as other side must be allowed to countervailit. For, that Thomas of the victors spoke a language similar to that of the vanquished, it Ereeldoune wrote the romance of Sir 7'rlatrem, a work of most is probable that no great alteration took place in that particular, extended reputation, is ascertained by Robert de Brunne: That the natives of the south-eastern border continuing to use the he flourisher in the 13th century, is proved by written evidence : Anglo-Saxon, qualified by the Pictish dialect, and to bear the name That the tale, as told in the Fragments. corresponds exactly with of Angles. Hence, many of our Scottish monarchs' charters are the edition now published, while they both differ widely from every

addressed Fidelibus suis Scottis et Anglis, the latter being the other work upon the same subject, is indisputable. As the one,

inhabitants of Lothian and the Merse. See Macpherson's exceltherefore, is affirmed to be the work of Thomag, and the other relent Notes on Wintoun, vol. i. p. 474, Diplomata, pp. 6, 8, Indefers to a Thomas who composed such a work, the connexion bependence, Appnedix 2d. The Scots, properly and restrictively. teist them is completely proved, and the ascertained period of meant the Northern Caledonians, who spoke Gaelic ; but gener Thomas's existence may be safely held as a landmark for fixing ally used, as in these charters, that name includes the Picts, with the date of the fragments, notwithstanding the obsolete language whom they were now united, and all inhabitants of Scotland in which they are written.

north of the Friths of Clyde and Forth. In Strath Clwyd, and Assuming, therefore, that Thomas of Erceldoune is the person in the ancient Reged, the Britons were gradually blended with to give any other reason for the high authority which the minstrel their language. Here, therefore, was a tract of country inreferred to by the contemporary French author, it will be difficult the Scoto-Angles

of Lothian and Berwickshire, and adopted assigns to him, than his having had immediate access to the Celtic cluding all the south of Scotland, into which the French or Ro traditions concerning Sir Tristrem, with which the Anglo-Nor

mapce language was never so forcibly introduced.

oppresments quotes the authority of Breri, apparently an Armorican, to drove, it is true, many of their nolility into exile in Scotland: man romancers were unacquainted. The author of the Frag. sion of the Norman monarchs, and the frequency of civil wars, wborn were known all the tales of the Kings and Earls of Brit- and, upon other occasions, the auxiliary valour of these warlike tany; and with equal propriety he might refer to Thomas of Ercel. strangers was invoked by our Scottish kings, to aid their restoracaune, as living in the vicinity of what had been a British king. tion, or secure their precarious dominions. Twice within three com, where, perhaps, was still spoken the language in which the years, namely, in 1094 and 1097, the forces of the Anglo-Normans feats of Sir Trisitem were first sung. But it is plain, that, had aided Duncan and Edgar, the sons of Malcolm, to expel from the Thomas translated from the French, the Anglo-Norman minstrel Scottish throne the usurper Donald Bain. In the War of the world have had no occasion to refer to a translator, when the standard, most of David's, men at arms are expressly stated to origical was in his own language, and within his immediate reach.

have been Normans; and the royal charters, as well as the names What attached authenticity to Thomas's work seems, therefore, of our peerage and baronage, attest the Norman descent of most to have heen the purity of his British materials, by which be of our principal families. But these foreigners, though they brought back to its original simplicity, a story, which had been brought with them talents, civil and military, which recommendaltered and perverted into a thousand forms, by the discurs of ed them to the favour and protection of the Scottish monarchs, Normandy.

and though they obtained large possessions and extensive privile But what may be allowed to put our doubts at rest, is the evidence • (The words are,of Gotfried von Strasburgh, a German minstrel of the 13th century,

"Begonde ich sere suchen who compiled a prodigiously long metrical romance on the subject

In beider hande buchen of Sir Tristrem. This author, like the French discur, affirms,

Welschin und Latinen," &c. thet many of his profession told the celebrated tale of Sir Tristrem And Warton's Editor renders Weachin by foreign-books in any vernaculas imperfectly and incorrectly; but that he himself derived his au

tongue not German, p. 192. In the modern usage of Germany, Walsh means thority from Thomas of Britannia, master of the art of romanceCelúc of our Wales.

Italian, i.e. the language of Cisalpine Gaul, wherever it does not mean the who had read the history in British books, and knew the lives of all the lords of the land, and made them

known to us.

† [The carious old English Romance of Harelok the Dane has been recently

Gotfried recovered, and its learyed editor, Mr. Macken, appears to have proved it to be adds, that he sought Thomas's narrative diligently, both in French as old as the reigu of Edward I, and written by a monk of Lincoln. 1833. and Latin books, and at length fortunately discovered it. In an EA) other place he appeals to the authority of Thomas concerning the

1 See Ellis's Specimens, vol. i. chap. iii. domstions of Raveline, (the Roland of Thomas.) which he says

Since the first pablication of this romance, the Gothic descent of the Pictish consisted of Parmenie, (Armenie,) and of a separate territory held nation has been very ably combated in the Caledonia

of Mr. Chalmers. So of Duke Morgan, to whom the Scots were then subject. Heinrich callat upon to discuss a question

of each obecurity against so able an opponent. von Fribere, the continuator of Gotfried's narrative, also quotes

The famous charter of David I, addressed Omnibus fidelibus suis totius the authority of Thomas of Britannia, whose work seems to have regni ne, Francis, et Anglicis, e Scottis, e Geleinnibris, altesis the variety been known to him through the medium of a Lombard or Italian le tribes who inhabited his dominions.

ges, were neither so numerous nor so powerful as to produce a I every name, whether of place or person, attests an origin purely change in the language of the country even among persons of Saxon, there seems no reason why he muy not be identified with their own eminent rank. Accordingly, although French was doubt. Thomas of Erceldoune, a celebrated Border poet to whom every less understood at the court of Scotland, it seems never to have tradition respecting Deiria and Bericia must have been intimatebeen adopted there; the Inglis remaining the ordinary language: ly familiar. If the apparent antiquity of the language of the But the succeeding influx of Norman barons, although they could French king Horn be alleged against this opinion, we may opnot change the language of Scotland, introduced into it a variety pose the difficulty and apparent impossibility of ascertaining the of alien vocables, and gave it probably the same tinge of French chronology of French poetry, considering how widely it was exwhich it acquired in England at a later period. Thus the language, tended, and into how many dialects it must necessarily have been now called English, was formed under very different circumstan. divided. Even in our own literature, did we not know the age of ces in England and Scotland; and, in the latter country, the Teu. Gawain Douglas, we should certainly esteem his language older tonic, its principal component part, was never banished from than that of Chaucer, when, in fact, it is nearly two centuries court, or confined to the use of the vulgar, as was unquestionably later. It is impossible, when other evidence fails, to distinguish. the case in the former.

from the circumstance of style alone, that which is provincial, It may be thought that the British, spoken, as we have seen, by from that which is really ancient. But whatever may be thought the tribes of Cumbria and Strath Clwyd, as well as by the proper of Thomas of Erceldoune's claim to be held the author of this roScuts, ought to have entered into the composition of the new lan. mance, it does not appear less certain, that it has originally been guuge. But, although possessing beauties of its own, the Celtic written in or near the country, which is described with so much has every where been found incapable of being amalgamated with


It is not sufficient to answer, with a late ingenious the Gothic dialects, from which it is radically and totally distinct. antiquary, that the names and refirences are all porthern, because The Scottish kings appear soon to have disused it although, while the story is predicted of the Saxons and Danes in England and the recollection of their original descent and language continued, Ireland. We know how totally indifferent tha minstrels and a Celtic bard, or sennache, was sometimes heard to deliver a their bearers were to every thing allied to costume, which their rhapsody in honour of the royal descent, like the Duan composed ignorance would have disabled tbein from preserving, bad their by the court-bard of Malcolm III. But as their language became carelessness permitted them to strive after such an excellence unintelligible, the respect paid to them was diminished and at When, therefore, we find a romance. like that of Horn, without length, though still admitted upon grent festivals, their Earse gene. the least allusion to Nomian names and manners, we may. I think, alogies became the object rather of derision than admiration. Such safely concludle, that, although it exists in both languages, it must a bard is well described in the Houlat, a poem writtın during the have been originally composed in that of the country where the reign of James Il., and containing some curious traits of manners. * scene is laid, and from which the actors are brought. See Reliques Allenuth, by statute 1457, ch. 79, the wandering Celtic bards are of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. p. lxxviii, $ 2. It may finally be reranked with sornares, (persons taking victuals by force,) master: marked, that althongh the more modern romance of Hornchild ful bestars, and foigned fools, all to be imprisoned, or banished in the Auchinleck MSS. has some phrases, as "in boke we read," the country. Meanwhile, the minstrels, who used the English "in rime, as we are told." generally supposed to imply a translalanguage, and had, in fact, founded many of their tales upon the tion from the French! yet nothing of the kind occurs in the older traditions of the neglected and oppressed bards, were ranked with tale, published by Mr. Ritson, which bears every mark of origiknights and heralds, and permitted to wear silk rols, a dress nality. limited to persons who could spend a hundred pounds of land rent, The romance of t'nde, twice alluded to by Chaucer, but now

From this short statement it follows, that, while the kings and lost, was probably a Border composition. The castle of this hero nobles of England were anised by tales of chivalry, composed in stood near the Roman Wall, which he is supposed to have sur the French or Romance language, those which were chanted in mounted, and it was long inhabited by his realor fancied descenat the court of Scotland must have been written originally in Juglis. ants. It is absurd to suppose', thal Norman minstrels came into The English did not begin to translate these French poems till these remote corners of the kingilom to collect or celebrate the about 1300. nor to compose original romances in their own lan obscure traditions of their inhabitants : although, finding them alguage until near a century luter. But Thomas of Erceldoune, ready versified, they might readily translate them into their own Kendal, (whose name seems to infer a Cunabrian descent.) Hut language. cheson of the Awle Royal, and probably many other poets, whose These general oberrvations on the progress of romantic fiction names and works have now perished, bud already flourisheel in in the Border counties, lead us to consider the evidence given by the court of Scotland. Besides Sir Tristrem, there still exist at Robert de Brunne, concerning the poetry of Thomas of Erceldoune least two Srottish romances, which, in all probability, were com which is thus expressed in the Introduction to his Annals: posed long before the conclusion of the 13th century. These are

" Als thai I haf uryten and sayd entitled Garcen and Gologras, and Galoran of Galmray. This

Hail alle in myn Inglis layd, opinion is not founded merely upon their extreme rudeness and

In symple peche as I conthe, unintelligibility; for that may be in some degree owing to the

That is lightear in manne's mouthe. superabundant use of alliteration, which required many words to

I made might for no discurk, be used in a remote and oblique sense, if indeed they were not in

Nefer nos rour, no har pours, vented for the nonce." But the comparative absence of French

Bot for the lot of symple bien, words and French phraseology, so fashionable in Scotland after the

That strange Inglis cannot ken; time of Robert Bruce, when the intercourse of the countries became

For many it ere that strange Inglis,

In ryme wate never what it is; more intimate, and, above all, evident allusions tu the possession of

And to thai ist what it mente, part of Scotland by the British tribes, seem to indicate sufficiently

Ellis methanght it were all schente. their remote antiquity. Even the alliteration is a proof of the coun

I made it not for to be prou, try in which they were composed. Chaucer tells us, that the com

Bot at the lowed men were aysed. position of gestes, or romances, and the use of alliteration, were, in

If it were me te inryme couwee, his time, peculiar attributes of the nortbern poets. His Personne

Or in stranstre, or enteriace,

That reele Inglis it freinowe
But trueth wel, I am a sotherne man,

That couthe not have cappled a kowe.
I cannot geste, Tem, ran, ruf, by my letter,

Thal onther in cowet or in baston,
And, God wote, rime hoki I but litel better."

Sum Nili hathen fordion:

So that fele men that it herde In these romances there does not appear the least trace of a

Suld not witte how that it ferde. French original; and it seems probable, that, like Sir Trixtrem,

Trein ong, interne tale, they were compiled by Scottish authors from the Crltic traditions,

Of Ereddoune and of Kendale, which still floated among their countrymen. To this list. We

Nonthain sarie as thai thaim wroghi, might perhaps be authorized in adding the History of Sir Edgar

And in ther seying it serez noghi, anul Sir Grime; for, although only a modernized copy is now

cremad, son to Horn and Regmenil, who conquered Alfriche, and avenged an known to exist, the language is unquestionably scottish, and the

his relations upon the Pagane : scene is laid in Carrick, in Ayrshire.

"Cum cl pnrat mustrer qui la storie saurat, The very early and well-known romance of Horuchild seems

Joest laia a muu fiz Gilimet, k'il durat, also to be of Border origin : nay, there is some room to conjecture,

Kila rine, apres mei, hien coutroverat, that it may have been the composition of Thomas of Erceldoune

Controveurs est ten et de meil." himself. The French MS. of the romance, in the Museum, begins

It is incertain whether this Gilimot be the son of the author Thomas, ar thus:-"Seignurs oi avez le vers del parchemin,

the French rimeur, whe, occording to the hypothesis of the text, la Only the Chule Bem Aalufest vennz à la fin;

translator of the story. Tincline to the latter epinion because these necessary Mistre 'Thomas ne volt qu'ilseit meen declin,

continuations were doin composed by the author if the enginal songs K'il ne die de Horn le vaillant orphalin."

V'ers del Parchemin, and the history of the Baron Aaluf be ever discoverai,

it may throw wme light upon the subject And it ends with the following odd couplet :

: The Elite's opinion in only stated hypothetically, por will be be surprised Thomas n'en dirrat plus; tu autem, chanterat,

at any one inelining to believe that the Thomas of the French Hors-olid is 7 cutem, dornine, miserere, nostri."

in fact, the rim hituself, and not the Bani of Ercelone : bullie carn

allow that such Anglo-Norman Thomas, supusing him to exist, (which, A poet named Thomas, being thus referred to as the author of all, ie mater of supposium) shall lie itemtitime with the Tomas in the traga a tale, the scene of which is laid in Northumberland, and in which ments of Sir Trition. In that pent, the ground taken in thew remake the ti • " The Ruke, calle! the Bard.

much stronger; for we kuuw certainly the existince of Thomas of Ertek! Sa come the Ruke, with a renle and a rane-roch,

who did write a romance of Sir Tristram, highly esteemet by his coutenore A bard out of Ireland, with Banachadee,

ries; we have also seen reamins why his authority shoukl be referred 10 ty Said, 'Gluntou guk dynydroch hala myachty doch,

French rinteur, who, at the same time, and probably for the same ressure Reke hir a rug of the roll, orecho all ryve thee;

quotes that of an Armorican mineurel. But, granting ibe French rent, The Misch makmory ach mach momitir, noch loch,

mas, to have existedl, we can see no natural cane xion betwix; him the colo Sathir doun, git bir drink ; quhat deillayles ye?

of Sir Triatrem, and no reason why, supposing him to have written mich a 0Dermyn, O Donnal, O Doriardy Droch,

tale, (which, ugal, ia malier of gratuitous supposition) bis atitorily nami1 Thir or the Irrland kingis of the Erechirye,

hare in related to as irrefragablelig posterior narrators of the theory O'Knerlyn. O'Conochar, 0 Grrgre, Mac Grane,

In one view of the case, we have inchimputable fucim the other, mere hytta The Chenchy, the Clarshach,

siz. Alwre all, the reference seema conclusive to the correspondence betwixt The Berex henr, the Bausch, The krekrye, the Corach,

ş'Dissertation on Romance, prefixed to Ritson's Metrical Romances, p. Scho kennis them ilk one."

xcix. The Bard, for troubling the company with this dissonant jargon, is at length Even this circumstance by no means decidedly infers reference to a Freneta rolled in the mure by two buffoons. -Pinkerton's Scoutish Poema, vol. 10. original. Barbour calls his own poem a romance, though it never exjatent in 1 In the conclusion, mention is made of a certain Glitnot, a son of the nar.

Tator, on whom he devolves the task to tell, in rhyme, the adventures of Hod 1 His Latin and French authoritica

the prins

« PreviousContinue »