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249 That may thou here in Str Triatre
long cultivated, were the best rehearsers of the poems already Oper gestes it has the steets, Over all that is or seas,
written, and the most apt and ready composers of new tales and seen it sayd as made Thomas;
songs. It is probably owing to this circumstance, that almost all Bot I here tl no GR say,
the ancient English minstrel ballads bear marks of a northern Thef of some coppie som is away.
origin, and are, in general, common to the Borders of both king So thare fayre saying here beforne,
doms. By this system we may also account for the superiority of Is thare travaile nere forlorne;
the early Scottish
over the early
English poets, excepting always Thai syd it for pride and noblege,
the unrivalled Chaucer. And, finally, to this we may ascribe the That were not saylke as thei.
flow of romantic and poetical tradition, which has distinguished And alle that thal willed overwhere
the Borders of Scotland almost down to the present day. See Alle that ilke will now forsare.
Percy's Reliques, vol. I, p. 118. Complaynt of Scotland, p. 271.
Border Minstrelsy, passim,
It is time to return from this digression to the particular history
of the romance of Sir Tristrem, which, as narrated by Thomas And my wit was oure thynne
seems to have gained such distinguished celebrity So strange apeche to travayle in;
In France, as appears from the author of the French Fragments, And forsooth I couth noght
and from the evidence of Gotfried of Strasburgh, it was in the So strange Inglis as thai wroght,
mouth of every minstrel, and told by each, according to his own And men besoght me many a tyme
particular fancy. But an often-told tale becomes disgusting and To turne it bot in light ryme Thai seyd if I in strange ryme it turn,
tedious; and, accordingly, the language of Sir Tristrem became To here it many cu cald skorne;
at length proverbial among the discute
of France and Normandy. Ti For in it ere names full seleonthe,
In the meantime, a great change was operated on the shape of That ere not need now in mouthe.
romantic fiction. The art of reading had become comparatively And therfore, for the commonalte,
general towards the end of the thirteeth century; the monks, also, That blythely wald listen to me,
had pursued the paths of literature opened by their earlier brethren. On light lange I it began,
To them, chiefly, are to be ascribed the voluminous prose toFor laf of the lewed man."
mances, which began, about this period, to supersedo the metriThas passage requires some commentary, as the sense has been cal tales of the minstrel. These works generally set out
with generally mistaken. Robert de Brunne does not mean, as has disowning and discrediting the sources, from which, in reality, been supposed, that the minstrels, who repeated Thomas's ro
they drew their sole information. As every romance was sup: mance of Sir Tristrem, disguised the meaning, by putting it into posed to be a real history, the compilers of those in prose would greint Laglisz" but, on the contrary, that Kendal and Thomas have forfeited all credit, had they announced themselves
as mere of Exceldoune did themselves use such "quaint Inglis," that copyists of the minstrels. On the contrary, they usually state, make it intelligible to their hearers. Above all, he complains, that, many : lesings," they had been induced to translate the real and by writing an intricate and complicated stanza, as ryme cowee,
true history of such-or-such a knight from the original Latin or reagere, or entrelacé," it was difficult for the diseurs to recol: Greek, or from the ancient British or Armorican authorities lect the poem; and of Sir Tristrem, in particular, he avers, that which authorities existed only in their own assertion.** he never heard a perfect recital, because of some one
The favourite tale of Tristrem was soon transposed, and seemarstanza, a part was always omitted. Hence he argues, at great
ingly more than once. In the King's library is a large MS. folio, length, that he himself, writing not for the mainstrel or harper, nor entitled, Le Romanz de Tristran, containing the adventures of to seguire personal fame, but solely to instruct the ignorant in the
our hero, in a long prose narrative. A work of similar labour, history of their country, does well in choosing a simple structure and which, voluminous as it is, has never been concluded, was in of verse, whieh they can retain correctly on their memory, and a
the library of the late John, Duke of Roxburghe. But the most style which is popular, and easily understood. Besides which he noted of these prose editions of Sir Tristrem (if, indeed,
the hints at the ridicule he might draw on his poem, should be introduce others be aught but various and enlarged copies of it) is thus de
Le Roman de Tristan et Iseult, trathe mouth names of his personages into a courtly or refined scribed by Montfaucon ; strain of serse. They were
duit de Latin en Francois, par Lucas, chevalier, sieur de chas
tel de Gast pres de Salisbiri, Anglois." Cod. 6776. Another “Great games, but hard in verse to stand.”
copy of the same romance is mentioned, cod. 6956, and some While he arrogates praise to himself for his choice, he excuses books of Gyron le Courtois occur, as translated into French by Thomas of Erceldoune, and Kendale, for using a more ambitious "Hue, seigneur du chateau de Gat." Cod. 6796. These MSS. end ornate kind of poetry. They wrote for pride [fame) and for are in the national library at Paris ; but the book has been printDolls, not such as these my ignorant hearers." Thus, the testi ed; and by a perusal of the printed copy the following remarks mony of this ancient historian, who was a contemporary of Tho have been suggested. mas of Ereeldoaine, establishes at once the high reputation of his The Lue, or Huc, lord of the castle of Gast, near Salishury, Fok, and the particular circumstances under which it was written. who translated the romance of Sir Tristrem from the Latin of While the English minstrels had hardly ventured on the drudgery Rusticien de Puise, seems to be as fabulous as his castle of Gast,
translating the French romances, or, if they did so, were only or his Latin original. Why should a Latin history of Sir Tris. stened to be the lowest of the people, our northern poets were trem have been written during the thirteenth century? Or to unting original gests “for pride and nobleye," in a high style whom was it calculated to convey either amusement or informaand'etaplicated stanza, which the southern harpers marred in tion? The pretended author, as well as the pretended translator, repeating, and which their plebeian audience were unable to com- must rank with Robert de Borron, author of Lancelot du Lac; prebend. In one word, the early romances of England were writ. with Desrains, the lineal descendant of Joseph of Arimathea, Den in French, those of Scotland were written in English.
author of the St. Greal; or, if the reader pleases, with the sage If the Editor has been successful in his statement, two points Cid Hamet Benengeli, who recorded the adventures of Don have been established: 1st, That the minstrels of the south of Quixote de la Mancha. The merit of the prose Tristan, by Scotland, living in or near the British districts of Reged and whomsoever written, is very considerable. Every French antiStrathelwyd, became the natural depositaries of the treasures of quary considers it as the best, as well as about the most ancient Celtie tradition, esteemeil so precious in the middle ages ; adly, specimen of their prose romance.it The Editor begs permission That from the peculiar circumstances under which the English to use the words of the most interesting of their number. "Le language was formed in the Lowlands of Scotland, and north of roman de Tristan, et celui de Lanceloi du Lac, eurent la plus Earzand, it probably was more early fitted for the use of the poet grand reputation de leur naissance ; leur touche est fort, les sentiin that country, than in the more southern parts of the sister king. That of John Dory (Ritson's Ancient Songs) is perhaps a solitary exerpdon, where it was so long confined to the use of the populace. tion to the general rule. Martin Swart and hie Mer, if it could be recovend, Where shall be tempted to pursue this curious subject, will find might be another. Most of the ballads of Robin Hood are very modern. This may account for many anomalous peculiarities in the history of Tristrem was printed at Paris, without a date. Very few French rhyning hat this system, if confirmed upon more minute investigation, more ancient, as the Lytell Geste, seem to be written north of the Hamber, English romance and minstrelsy. In particular, it will show why the Northambrians cultivated a species of music not known to la Rose, are of the last degree of rarity. Dissertation prefized to Ritson's
romances have come under the press; and the copies of all, but Le Roman de fle rest of England, and why the harpers and minstrels of the Metrical Romances, p. liii.
North Countree" are universally celebrated, by our ancient bal See the Fabiau of Sir Hain and Dame Anieuse, where the following nda, ss of unrivalled excellence. If English, or a mixture of lines occur : Sezon, Pietish, and Norman, became early the language of the
"Anieuse, fet-il, bel suer, Scottish court, to which great part of Northumberland was sub
Tu es el paradis Bertran acted the minstrels, who crowded their camps, I must have used
Or pues tu chapter de Tristan it in their songs. Thus, when the language began to gain ground
Ou de plus longue, se ta sez.” in England, the northern minstrels, by whom it had already been ** Thus, in a French prose romance of Charlemagne, the anthor says, that • Warton's Editor (Mr. Price) observes that this line is wrongly quotel-it Hainault, and adds, “ Maintes gens en ont ouy conter et chanter, mais n'est ce
he translated the work from the Latin, at the command of Baldwin, Count of That non were sailk as they."
mensonge non ce qu'ils en disent et chantent cil contenr ne eil jugleor. Nuz
contes rymez n'en est vrai; tot mensonge ce qu'ils disent.” Warton, vol. i. p. dhe interpreta "pride and noblege," dignity and loftiness of expression136. 4to edit. In like manner, the author of La oraye Histoire de Troye thus
concludes : "J'ay ains mene a fin la vraye histoire de Troye, en la maniere Te terlibas quoque majoris Britannia partibus, trans Humberum Ebo-qu'elle fat trouvee escripte en la main de Saint Pierre, en Gregois language, et da eige Brans, Anglorem popali, qui partes illas inbabitant, simul canendo Gregois fat mise en Latin ; et je l'ay translatee en Francois, non pas par Times Euphoria sumar harmonia; binis tamen solummodo tonorum differentiis, ni par vers, ou il convient, par fine force, maintes mensonge ; comme font les
O modelando varietatibus, una inferius, submurmurante, altera vero menestrels, de leur langues pompus, plaire, maintefois ans rois et aux contez." a, den leende pariter et delectante. Nee arte tantum, sed us longavo, In the museum, there is a French version of Turpin, by a translator, who throws als nuram inora diutina jam converso, bec vel illa sibi gens hane the same opprobrious imputation upon the romances in rhyme. Et pour ces
extern coaparavit. Qui adeo apad atramque invaluit, et altas jam que estoire rimee & mble mensiinge, est ceste mis en prose
s pocait, ut nihil hic simpliciter, sed multipliciter, ut apud priores, vel tp In general, they ascribe to it an absurd antiguity, becanse they confonnd tem aplicae, ut apad sequentes, mellite proferri consueverit: pueris etiam, it with the metrical tales on the same subject. Le roman de Tristan I.eonis, as adaírandam, et sere infantibas (cum primum a fletibus in cantum l'un des plus beaux et des mieux faits qui aient jamais ete publie, parut en 1190 Brie Descriptio, eap. xiil. The author adds, that, because the custom of face, p. xxvi. M. de la Ravaillere also falls into this mistake, misled by the
og la parts was peculiar to the northern English, he supposes it to be deriv guotations of Chretien de Troyes and the King of Navarre, which he took do the Door Seandipavians. But it is easily accounted for, if the Bor- for granted alloded to the prose Tristan. Tressan has followed his prede contes were in fact the cradle of English ministrelsy.
cessors into the same error. Romans de Chevalerie, tom. 1. 1.1. Fauchet led Vila sred dc Bello Standardi, ap. X. scrip. pp. 311, 312.
the way into this blunder. 2F
ments en sont elevés, les heros sont aussi galans qu'ils sont gin dut l Angevin, and published, at Paris, in 1554, folio. It is braves. Les heroines sont charmantes : nous n'osons trop ré- tar inferior to the original work. Allegory was then the prevailfléchir sur leurs aventures ; mais leurs foiblesses sont soutenues ing taste, and, though it seems hard to wring a moral meaning par un si grand caractère de courage, d'amour, et de constance- out of the illícit amours of Tristrem and Yseult, Jean Maugin le bon Rusticien a si bien l'art de leur prêter des excuses rece has done his best. Sir Tristrem is the emblem of the Christian vables qu'il faudroit etre bien sévère, pour les leur reprocher. La perfection of chivalry, his fair paramour of-heaven knows what! fidèle Brangien, dans Tristan, est le plus parfait modèle des The History of Tristrem was not, so far as I know, translated amies : on s'attendrira pour elle, en voyant jusqu'à quel point elle into English as a separate work; but his adventures make a part porte l'heroisme, pour servir la belle Yseult. Personne ne sera of the collection called the Morte Arthur, containing great part tenté de plaindre le Roi Marc; et peut-être même quelques lec- of the history of the Round
Table, extracted at hazard, and with teurs s'intéresseront-ils au sort du brave Tristan et de la char out much art or combination, from the various French prose folios mante Yseult, en lisant l'histoire de leurs amours et de leurs on that favourite topic. This work was compiled by Sir Thomas malheurs." - Extraits de Romans, tom. i. f. 4.
Malory, or Maleore, in the ninth year of the reign of Edward IV., Such being the merits of the French prose work, it remains to and printed by Caxton. It has since undergone several editions, notice the particulars in which it differs from the metrical romance and is in the hands of most antiquaries and collectors. Those now published. Being changed from a short and simple tale into unaccustomed to the study of romance, should beware of trusting the subject of a large folio, the unity and simplicity of the story to this work, which misrepresents the adventures, and traduces has suffered very much. We often lose sight both of Tristrem the character, of Sir Gawain, and other renowned Knights of the and Yseult, to assist at the exploits of the Varlet de la cotte mal Round Table. It is, however,
a work of great interest, and curitaillee, and other champions, whose deeds have little reference to ously written in excellent old English, and breathing a high tone the main story. The author, finding it difficult, perhaps, to invent of chivalry. an entire dramatis persona, or willing to avail himself of preju Of late years, the romance of Sir Tristrem has been beautidices already deeply founded in the mind of his readers, has asso- fully abridged, from the prose folio, by the late Monsieur le Comte ciated his champion with the chivalry of the Round Table
; so de Tressan, and forms the first article in his Corps d'extraits de that the history of King Arthur and all his knights, became a le- Romans de Chevalerie. To this elegant abridgment all readers gitimate accessary to that of Tristrem. The incidents narrated are referred, who may still wish for farther information, and are by Thomas of Erceldoune, with all the dilation of which they too indolent, or fastidious, to seek
it in the original romance. It have been found susceptible, occupy only in the proportion of 60 is now time to speak of the present publication. folios to about 220 of the prose volume. The discrepancies be III. THE PRESENT EDITION of the Romance of Sir Tristren twixt the poem, and even the relative part of the prose narration, is published from the Auchinleck MS., a large and curious colare occasionally pointed out in the Notes. What is lost in sim lection of such pieces, of which the reader will find an account in plicity is, however, gained in art. The character of Palamedes, the appendix to these observations, (No. IV.) The date of the ihe unfortunate and despairing adorer of Yseult, is admirably con MS. cannot possibly be earlier, and does not seem to be much trasted with that of Tristrem, his successful
rival; nor is there a later, than 1330, at least eighty years after the romance of Sir truer picture of the human mind
than in the struggles betwixt the Tristrem had been composed. The immediate narrator does not hatred of rivalship, and the chivalrous dictates of knightly gene assume the person of Thomas of Erceldoune, but only pretends to rosity, which alternately sway
both the warriors. The character tell the tale upon his authority. of Dinadam, brave and gallant, but weak in person, unfortunate
"I was at Erceldoune: in his undertakings, but supporting his mischances with admira
With Tomas spak Y thare; ble humour, and often contriving a witty and well-managed retort
Ther herd Y rede in roune, on his persecutors, is imagined with considerable art. The friend
Who Tristrem gat and bare," &e. ship of Tristrem and Lancelot, and of their two mistresses, with
« Tomas telles in toun, a thousand details which display, great knowledge of human
This auentoars as thai ware." nature, render Tristan interesting in the present day, in spite of those eternal combats, to which, perhaps, the work owed its The late eminent antiquary, Mr. Ritson, suggested that Tho original popularity.
mas of Erceldoune might himself assume the character of a third This work was printed at Rouen so early as 1489, under the person, to add a greater appearance of weight to his own autho title of Le Roman du noble et vaillant Chevalier Tristan, fils mity: it must be owned, however, that this finesse is hardly suitdu noble Roi Meliadus de Leonnoys, compile par Luce, cheva- able to the period in which he lived. It seems more reasonable lier, seigneur du Chateau de Gast, one volume folio, black letto conclude, that some minstrel,
having access to the person of ter. The book was reprinted at Paris, by Antoine Verard, with Thomas the Rhymer, had learned, as nearly as he could, the his out date, in two volumes folio ; and a subsequent edition was tory of Sir Tristrem, and, from his recitation, or perhaps after it published in two parts by Denys Janot,
Paris, 1533, also in black had passed through several hands, the compiler of the Auchinletter.
leck MS. committed it to writing. As Thomas certainly survived The same Denys Janot had already published what seems to 1284, betwixt thirty and forty years will, in the supposed case, have been intended as a first part to the history of Sir Tristrem, have elapsed betwixt the time, when the minstrel might have being Le Roman de Melladus de Leonnoys, Chevalier de la Ta | learned the romance, and the date of its being committed to ble Ronde, ou sont contenues, avec les faits d'armes, plusleurs writing; a long interval, doubtless, and in which many corruptions pyroesses de chevalrie faites par le bon Roi Artus, Palamedes, must have been introduced, as well
as a material change in the et autres chevaliers, estant au tems du dit Roi Meliadus : style, which, in poetry preserved by oral tradition, always fluc translate du Latin du Rusticen de Pise, et remis depuis
en tuates, in some degree, with the alterations in language. Aecordnouveau language, Paris, 1532, in folio, black letter. This ro- ingly, those who examine attentively the style of Sir Tristrem, mance is by no meang void of merit ; indeed, from many circum- as now published,
will not find that it differs essentially from that stances, we may conjecture it to have been written by the author of Barbour, who wrote a century after the Rhymer, although some of the prose Tristrem. The translator pretends to have received traces of antiquity may still be observed, particularly in the abtwo castles from King Henry (the first of the name seems to be sence of words of French derivation. On the other hand, if this intimated) for his labours in compiling the St. Greal, and other romance be really the production of Thomas of Erceldoune, we books of chivalry, from original and authentic materials. The must expect to distinguish the peculiarities pointed out by Robert stories of the father and son have little connexion with each de Brunne; that quaint English, which was difficult to compose other, and the History of Melladus is only one instance, among and that peculiarity of stanza, which no minstrel could recite many, of the custom of the romancers to avail themselves of the without omitting some part of the couplet: For, although we renown of any favouri work, by hooking upon it introductions may allow for the introduction of more modern words, and for and continuations without mercy or end.
corruptions introduced frequent recitation, these general cha: Another instance of the same nature is the History of Yeaie racteristics of the original composition of Thomas must still be cret to her lover. This work was published at Paris by Gallyot ingly, the construction of the poem, now given to the public, de Pre, in 1522, and is entitled, Le Roman du vaillant Chevalier bears a very peculiar character. The words are chiefly those of Ysaie le Triste, fils de Tristan de Leonnois,
Chevalier de la the fourteenth century, but the turn of phrase is, either from all Table Ronde, et de la Princesse Yseulte, Royne de Cornor tiquity or the affectation of the time when it was originally writ aille; avec les noble proesses de l'Exille fils du dit Ysaie; te ten, close,
nervous, and concise even to obscurity. In every com, duit du vieil langutge au languige Francois, folio, black position of the later age, but more especially in the popular letter. This is a romance of faerie. Ysaie is under the protection romances, a tedious circumlocutory style is perhaps the most of certain powerful fays, who have assigned him, for his attendant, general feature. Circumstantial to a degree of extreme minute Trone le Nain, a dwarf, whose deformity is only equalled by his wit and fidelity. This page of Ysaie le Triste is subjected to a touch upon an incident without introducing a prolix description Whenever his master was fickle in his amours, and he by no fictions. It was impossible for the imagination of the minstrele means copied the fidelity of his father Tristrem, the dwarf was to introduce the variety demanded by their audience, by the in unmercifully beaten by the fairies, his sovereigns. Upon the vention of new facts, for every story turned on the same feats of whole, the romance is very inferior to that of Sir Tristrem.
In 1528, was published, at Seville, Libro del esforcado Don dragon, with the acquisition of his mistress's love, continued to
In this, as we have seen, he is supported by the Welsh authorities. But | [Mr. Price, however, while impugning Sir Walter Scoti's theory as to the oral tradition is always apt to lose sight of chronology, and to associate the dis authorship of Sir Tristrem, affords evidence which would, no donbt, have been tinguishel personages whose memory it preserves the tale of Thomas of Er highly acceptable to him, of the oblique and prudish mode in which the authors celdonne, that of Racul de Beauvais, if he was indeed the author of Mr. Douce's of ancient romances sometimes chose to announce themselves. Thus Alessir Fragments, and that of Mademoiselle Marie, are silent concerning the supposed dre de Bernay says: comexion between Tristrem and Arthur. In the romance of Garain and
Alexandre nous dit qui de Bernay fa nes"--Ed.] Gologras, however, Brengwain, the confidante of Ysoude, is mentioned as a Even Chaucer was infected by the fanlt of his age, and, with all his antiperson well known to Queen Guenever:
valled capacity of touching the real point of description, he does not always "Quene was somewbile, brighter of brower
content himself with stopping when he has attained 2 oft has been long since Then Berell or Brangwayn, these burdes so bold.”
remarked, that when he gets into a wood, he usually bewilders both himself and
his reader. But such a work as Sir Guy, or The Squire of Love Degree, wil 1 Meaning, I suppose, the father and son.
best illustrate the diffuse style which characterizes the latter metrical consoas,
procent work, that tho author seems to rely upon the simple and betwixt u and . In the present case, the name of the heroine short narration of incidents, afterwards so hackneyed, as suffi sccms positively to be written Ysonde, and is accordingly so cient in his time to secure the attention of the hearers. We have printed ; yet, nevertheless, every analogy goes to prove, that it only to compare this mode of narration with the circuitous and ought to have been written and printed Ysoude, in order to cordiffuse flourishes of the Anglo-Norman Rimeur. to decide the respond with the Yssilt of the Welsh, the Ysoit of Mr. Douce's Question already agitated, which of these poems was the model Fraginents, the Isolde of Gower, the Yxor of the Fabliaus, the of the other.
Ysult of the French folio, and, finally, the 1sotta of the Italiane. It is not alone in the brevity of the narrative, but also in the In the Temple of Glas, alone, we find Younde. If the Editor Occasional obscurity of the construction, that the style of an age, shall be found in an error in this respect, his eye has misled his much older than that of Barbour, may be casily recognised butter judgment. The late Mr. Rilson, however, authorized the There is an elliplical mode of narration adoptel, which rather present reading by precept and exar ple: Excepting the above fants at, than details the story, and which, to make my meaning particulars, and a very low error of the pen or prese, it is hoped plain by a modern comparison, is the Gibbonism of romance. this edition of Sir Tristrem will be found outliciently accurate. Whoever attempts to make a prose version of this poem will find, The conclusion, necessary to complete the romance, has been that it is possible to paraphrase, but not literally to translate it. attempied by the Editor, in the suna stanza and diction with tho In this peculiar structure of style consister, we may suppose, the original. The Notes contain illustrations of the text, from the quini Inglia, complained of by Robert de Brunne, which nobles romances and history of the middle ages, and purticulur notices of and gentry alone could comprehend, and which, had that annalist the correspondence or discrepancy, occurring het wint Thomas's adopted, the poor and ignorant, whom in charity he laboured to narration, and subsequent works on the same theme. The rearler instruct, could not have comprehended his history.
will also find some miscellaneous observations, naturally introTo answer the description of Robert de Brunne in cvery re duced by the subject, though not immediately connected with it. spect, it is farther necessary, that the romance of Sir Tristrem of the Glossary little necd be said.. The labours of Macphersong should be written in a strange and peculiar stanza. Accordingly, and Sibbald have greatly remorcat the difficulties of such a com A stanza so coinplicated, and requiring so many rhymes, as that pilation. The Editor has seldom attempted to trace any word to of the following poem, is perhaps nowhere employed in a long its rool, convinced that what we suppose a radica!, may be only narrative ; at least it has not been the fortune of the Editor to a synonymous phrase, in a cognate dialect, both referring to some berta romance, written in any which nearly approaches it in common original. The meaning of the words is therefore given diiñculty. The common romances are either in short rhyming as they occur in the pocm, without any pretence to compiling a couplets, or in verses similar to that adopted by Chaucer in Sir dictionary, Thapas, both stanzas of a simple structure. But in Sir Tristran It only remains to acknowledge the kindness and liberality of the ist, ad 5th, and 7th lines of each stanza must rhyme toge. those friends, by whose assistance the Elitor has been enabled to ther; as must the 21, 4th, 6th, gth, and 10th; and, finally, the complete his undertaking. The library of the late John, Duke of 9th and 11th must also correspond in sound. It may be impossi Roxburghe, containing an invaluable collection of books of chiHe to determine whether this be the rime cmidee or strangere, or valry, was open to the Editor at all times, while a short stay in baron, or entrelace, mentioned by Robert de Bruinne ; but every London permitted him to consult its treasures. The modest and dabbler in verses will agree, that the formation of the stanza is retired disposition of the noble proprietor exacted a promise thnt wery intricate, and such as could only be undertaken by one who this benefit should not be publicly acknowleulged,-a promise no beld binnself master of the language, and who wrote for persons longer binding, when, alas! the just debt of gratitude can neither of rank, capable of understanding the merits of the complicated be construed into flattery, nor give pain 10 him to whose me sales to which be had subjected himself. In truth, the present mory it is rendered. To Francis Douce, Eso the Editor owes topy bears a closer resemblance to those which Robert de the communication of those invaluable Fragments, without which Brunne heard recited, than could have been desired by the Editor. it would have been impossible to illustrate the text. Mr. Heber, *** For, as the historian says, he never heard it repeated but what of whose extensive and well-selected collection is dedicated to the gesome coppie (i. e. stanza) part was omitted ; so there are at neral service of literature, as well as to individual enjoyment, has, keast two instances of breaches in the following poem, flowing, with his usual liberality, indulged the Editor with the use of the in all probability, from the same cause.* To conclude, the rules rare French prose folios of Tristan and Meliadur, without which which the poet has prescribed to himself are observed with strict he could not have satisfactorily proceeded in his labours. of Mr. accuracy, and his rhymes, though multiplied and complicated, Ellis'uti kindness it is better to say nothing than too little; the correspond with rigid exactness. Rince, therefore, this more reader may judge, from the beautiful Abstract of the French Metmoderd edition of Tristrem agrees in diction and structure to rical Fragments of the Lay of Marie, communicated by that genthe detailed description of Robert de Brunne, we may safely ad tleman, a part (und it is but a small part) of the Editor's obliganit, that, though the language may have been softened into that tion. To Mr. Owen, as already mentioned, the Editor owes of the fourteenth century, the general texture and form of the much information respecting the Welsh traditions on the subject poem still closely resemble that of Thomas of Erceldouno.
of Sir Tristrem. To those friende mentioned in former editions, It is proper to say a few worls upon the mode in which the I have now to add the name of Mr. Henry Weber, whose exten: Editor has executed his task. The action of the poem scemed sive acquaintance with ancient poetry has been displayed in his maturally to point ont the division into three Fyties, or Cantos, late excellent edition of Metrical Romances. To his kindness I which has now been adopted. To each is prefixed a very full owe some valuable notes, besides the Account of the German arrument, referring to the stanzas which it abridges, and fornung. Romances on the subject of Sir Tristrem, for which I have alreaas it were, a running paraphrase to the poetry. The modern th dy expressed my gratitude. It remains to mention Dr. John has been sustituted uniformly for the Saxon character, which Leyden, a name which will not be soon forgotten in Scottish expresses that sound; in like manner, the z has usually been dis literature, although its owner has been called to a far distant carded for the modern y. or gh; as retaining these ancient cha field of labour. At the commencement of this work, he gave his racters only throws unnecessary embarrassment in the way of active and assiduous assistance; and had he remained in Britain the modera reader. Y, when used for the pronoun 1, is printer till circumstances enabled the Editor to resume his task after a long with a capital, to distinguish it from y, the usual corruption of discontinuanee, it would have been now otlered with more confi. ge, the Saxon preposition. In one respect the Editor is still un dence to the public. 11 Such asit is, the labour whichit bas cost has certain whether he has followed his author. All persons, con been dictated by no other motive, than the laudable, if eflectual versant with ancient Mss., know the difficulty in distinguishing wish, of contributing to the history of early English literature.
• See fytte i . $; fyte iii. st. I, each of which stanzas wants (wo lines, The important national task of a Dictionary of the Scottish language is in tough there is no Aints in the MS.
much better hans. De John Jamieson of Elinburgh has been long toiling in that this worth while to remark, that a complicatent structure of stanza and difficult and laborious modertaking; and surely it is only necessary to say that
y me singel to be a characteristic of the Scottish poetry from this remote auch a work is in agitation, to cure the patronage of every antiquary and phiperod druvard. The reader may see specimens in King James VI.'s Reco- lologist. - Early Edition. This work has now been publishel, and has fully les and Cauties of Scotti: Poesie.' Even in our day, the Band of Ayrshire has realize the expectations generally entertained from "Dr. Jainieson's learning major other of his most beautiful productions by using the jingling #tanza of and industry Be Cherry and the Slee. The acional short verse thrown in towards the 1 (Author of Illustrations of Shakspeare, &c.-F1 ad ach sana, which occur in Christ Kirk on the Green, Pebles to the Richard Heler, Esq., long M.P. for the University of Oxforil. --Fall Play, de, vers borrowal from the area of Si, Triatrom.
11 (George Ellis, Esq., author of the Specimens of Ancient English Ro In printing the word) Rennild, in preference to Riniuild.
mance, &c. &c.-E11 The clitor of Wintoau's Chronicle, executed in a style of unequalled accu 11 so stand the passage in the earlier editions. Unhappily it is now necesna and elegance.
arv to add, that Mr. Ellis, Mr. Weber, and Dr. Leyden, are no more.
CHARTER GRANTED BY THE SON AND HEIR OF THOMAS OF ERCELDOUN,
TO THE CONVENT OF SOLTRA.
FROM THE CHARTULARY OF THE TRINITY HOUSE OF SOLTRA, ADVOCATES' LIBRARY, W. 4. 14.
dence at Earlatoun, it may be noticed, that there is a stone in the
wall of the church of that village, bearing this inscription :OMNIBUS nas literas visuris vel audituris Thomas de Ercildoun
" Aukl Rymer's race filius et heres Thomæ Rymour de Ercildoun salutem in Domino.
Lies in this place.” Noveritis mo per fustem et baculum in pleno judicio resignasse ac per presentes quietem clainasse pro me et heredibus meis Ma According to tradition, this stone was transferred from the old gistru domus Sanctæ Trinitatis de Soltre et Fratribus ejusdem do- church, which stood some yards distant from the more modern mus totam terram meam cum omnibus pertinentibus suis quam edifice. In 1762, this ancient inscription was defaced by an idle in tenemento de Ercildoun hereditarie tenui renunciando de toto boor, in a drunken frolic. The present clergyman, with great pro mo et heredibus meis omni jure et clameo quæ ego seu ante propriety, compelled him to replace it at his own expenge, in the Cessores mei in eadem terra alioque tempore de perpetuo ha same words as formerly. The new inscription is, of course, in buimus sive de futuro habere possumus. In cujus rei testimonio modem characters; those which were defaced are said to have presentibus his sigillurn meum apposui data apud Ercildoun die been very ancient. The spelling, also, is probably modemized. Martis proximo post festum Sanctorum Apostolorum Symonis et A right of sepulture is still claimed there by persons named LEARJude Anno Domini Millesimo cc. Nonagesimo Nono.
MONT ; which seems to confirm the popular tradition, that the
Rhymer did either himself bear that name, or that it was adopted In addition to what has been said concerning Thomas's resi- | by some of his descendants.
APPENDIX, No. II.
Yno gynt, Gwalionai noc ymdrin, Gralzmai rab Groyar, gwedi bod of Tallioz, and Goalzmai, son of
O bai armat ti orthria, Trystan dair blynez allan o ly: Ar. Gryaz, after Trystan had been three
Mia wpawn waad hyd zeulin. thur ar soriant, a gyru o Arthur 28 oc yents out of the court of Arthur under e rilwyr i geistaw d zal, ac e zwyn displeasure, and the sending of Ar
Gtoalzmai. at Arthur, ac e uroricez Trystan thur 23 of his warriora to nitenpt to
Trystan, obonot u y pwyllwn truynt i lawr bob un yn ol ei gilyn, ac lay hold of him, and bring him to Ar Oni ym gomezai yr arzwrn, hut zaeth er neb ond er Gualzinai y thur; and Trystan threw them all to
Minnau a wnawn goreu ag allwn.
the ground, one after the other; and he
Pwy y milwyr syz o'm blaen ?
Trystan gynnervau hynod,
Teulu Arthur sy yn dy vod.
Tumultuous be a wave and a thunder Arthur ni ymogelas, Cyd bont brwystyl eu gwahan,
Naw cant cad ni tyngedar: Yn nyz trin mi yw Trystan
While they be tumultuous in their O'm llezir minnau a lazav.
Trystan gyvaill rhianer,
C'yn myned yn ngwaith gorwez, Trystan barabyl divai,
Trystan, of faultless conversation, Goreu dim yw tangnevez. Yn nyz irin nid ymgiliai,
In the day of conflict that would not
O car vy nghlez ar vy nghlan,
A'm llaw zeau i'm dilyn,
Aigwaeth vinnau nog undyn? Mi a wnawn er Gwalzmai yn nyz, I wonld perform, for the sake of Gwalz
Gronzmini. O bai waith cozw yz ya rhy?, mal, in a day of action,
Tryetan gynnezyau eghir, Nu gwnai y brawd er ei gilyz. Shoulil there be the work of recklening Cyu cynnawa llaws Ilavur, presently going on,
Na wrthod yn gar Arthur.
Gwalzmai, ohonot ti y pwyllav,
Ac o'm pen y llavuriav:
Trystan, of conspicuous talents, Val ym carer y carav.
I am Gwalzinai, the nephew of Arthur.
I will act :
Gorwlyzed cawod can tai:
Be drenched by shower a hundred oaks;
Trystan wyn bendevig llu,
Car dy genedyl, cred a vu, Galinai atebion gwrthryl, Gwalumni, with answers resisting tur.
A minnau yn benteula. Golyud cawod can rhys :
Tryalan bendevig cadau,
Be drenched by shower a bundred fur- Cyminer gystal a'r gorau,
Ac yn gywir gad vinnau.
then will go where thou mayest desire. Trystan bendevig mawr call, Ac yna death Thysten gyda Groale. And then came Trystan along with Cardy Renedyl nich zwe gwall: Fai et Arthur.
Gual maito Arthur.
Nid oera rwng car a'r llall.
Be drenched by shower a hundred beads: Arthar, ohonot a pwyllav,
Ac i'th ben y cyvarra;
Ac a vypy z mi ai gwnay.
Gwalumai, of anewers without fault,
Be drenched by shower a hundred
hold of thee:
APPENDIX, No. III.
TRANSLATION OF THE LAI DEE CHEVREFOIL,
BY MADEMOISELLE MARIE.
Taxmuch pleased with the Lay which is called Chevrefoil. Let the stick, she will suspect it to belong to her lover. This was tno me relate to you truly on what occasion it was made, and by whom purport of the characters traced on it :-" That he had long been Many persons have narrated the story to me; and I have also found waiting at a distance, in hopes of being favoured with some exit in writine, in the work which treats of Tristran, and of the Queen;pedient which might procure him a meeting, without which he and of their love, which was so constant, from which they suffered could no longer exist. "It was with those twn as with the cherre. a thousand sorrows; and then both expired on the same day * foil and the codre. When the honey. Buckle has caught hold of
King Marke had been much offended with his nephew Tristran ; the codre, and encircled it by its embraces, the two will live toand hard banisheni ham on account of his attachment to the Queen gether and flourish; but if any one resolve to sever them, the The knight retired into his own country, into South Wales, codre suddenly dies, and the honey suckle with it. Sweet fnend, Wiere be was born ; spent there a whole year of affliction; and so it is with us; I cannot live without you, nor you without me. being still fortridden to return, became careless of life. Do not The Queen, slowly riding on, perceives the stick, and recogwooder at this ; for a true lover, when his wishes are crossed by nises the well-known characters. She orders the knights who insuperable obstacles, can set no bounds to his grief. Tristran, accompany her to stop. She is tired; she will get off her horse therefore, this driven to despair, left his home: passed into Corn for a short time, and take some repose. She calls to her only wall, the abode of the Queen ; and concealed himself in the her maid, her faithful Brenguein ; quits the road; plunges into trket part of the forest: from whence he issued only at the the thickest part of the forest; and finds him whom she loved close of the day, at which time he took up his lodgings among the more than all the world. Both are delighted beyond measure at pearagus and the poorest of mankind. After frequent questions this meeting, which gives them full leisure to concert their future to those his lasta, concerning the public news of the court, he at projects. She tells him that he may now be easily reconciled to length leamed that the King had convoked his barons, and sum his uncle : That the King has often regretted his absence, and moned them to attend him at Pentecosté, at the castle of Tinta- attributes to the malicious accusations of their common enemies PL Thatran was rejoiced at this newg; because it was impos. the gevere measure of his banishment. After a long conversation, sible that the Queen could arrive at the meeting without giving the Queen tears herself from him; and they separate with muham an opportunity of getting a sight of her during the journey, tual grief. Tristran returned to South Wales, from whence he On the appainted day, therefore, he took his station in that part was soon recalled by his uncle; but, in the meantime, he had reof the wood through which the road passed, cut down a branch peated to himself, over and over again, every word of his mis of codre, Thazel) smoothed it, wrote his name on it with the tress's late conversation ; and, while full of the joy he felt at point of his knife, together with other characters, which the Queen having seen her, he composed being a perfect master of the harp) woald well know how to decipher. He perceives her approach. a new lay, describing his stratagem, its success, his delight, and ing: he sees her examine with attention every object on her road. the very words uttered by the Queen. I will tell you the name of In frimer times they had recognised cach other by means of a the lay: It is called Goal-leaf in English, and Chevrefoil in fanilar device ;' and he trusts that, should she cast her eyes on French. I have now told you the whole truth.
• Marie, who drew all her materials frorn Bretagne, probably refers to some This seems to allude to their secret communications by means of chips of Tariann echiciou of the history of these ill-fated lovers.
wood thrown into a river.
APPENDIX, No. IV.
ACCOUNT OF THE AUCHINLECK MS.
ADVOCATES' LIBRARY, (W. 4. 1.)
AND A CATALOGUE OF ITS CONTENTS.
This valuable record of ancient poetry forms a thick quarto | 44, seems rather in an older hand than the others, and may be an volume, containing 334 leaves, and 44 different pieces of poetry; exception to the general rule. Some mere fragments, and others, works of great length. The The MS, was presented to the Faculty of Advocates, in 1744, heanning of each poim has originally been adorned with an illu- by Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck, a Lord of Session, by the minaton, for the sake of which the first leaf has, in many cases, tile of Lord Auchinleck, and father to the late James Boswell, bern tom out, and, in others, cut and mutilated. The MS. is Esq. the biographer of Dr. Johnson. Of its former history nothing written on parchment, in a distinct and beautiful hand, which is known. the most able antiquaries are inclined to refer to the earlier part Many circumstances lead us to conclude, that the MS. has been of the 14th century. The pages are divided into two columns, written in an Anglo-Norman convent. That it has been com unless where the verses, being alexandrine, occupy the whole piled in England there can be little doubt. Every poem which breadth of the quarto. In two or three instances there occurs a has a particular local reference, concerns South Britain alone. Fariation of the hand-writing ; but as the poems regularly follow Such are the satirical verses. No. 21, in the following catalogue ; each other, there is no reason to believe that such alterations in the Liber Regum Anglia, No. 40; the Satire against Simonie. drate an earlier or later date than may be reasonably ascribed No. 44. On the other hand, not a word is to be found in the col to the rest of the work; although the Satire against Simonie, No. I lection relating particularly to Scottish affuirs.