« הקודםהמשך »
when any province was meditating a revolt, the statue, or idol, of that country struck his bello. This fiction is mentioned by the old anonymous author of the MIRABILIA ROMÆ, written in the thirteenth century, and printed by Montfaucon'. It occurs in Lydgate's Bochas. He is speaking of the Pantheon.
Whyche was a temple of old foundacion,
Every ymage had in his hande a bell,
Whan any kingdom fil in rebellion, &c h. This fiction is not in Boccace, Lydgate's original. It is in the above-cited Gothic history of Virgil. Gower's Virgil, I think, belongs to the fame romance.
And eke Virgil of acqueintance
Of the emperour whilom of Rome'. CHAP. lviii. King Asmodeus pardons every malefactor condemned to death, who can tell three indisputable truths or maxims.
• SPECUL. HISTOR. Lib. iv. cap. 61.
f. 66. a.
f Diar. ITAL. cap. xx. p. 288. edit. 1702. Many wonders are also related of Rome, in an old metrical romance called THE STACYONS OF Rome, in which Ro. mulus is said to be born of the duches of
Troye. MSS. Cotton. CALIC, A. 2. fol. 81. & Fulgentius.
Tragedies of BOCHAS, B. ix. ch. i. ft. 4. Compare supr. vol. ii. p. 69.
i Confess. AMANT, L. viii. f. clxxxix. a. col. 2.
CHAP. lix. The emperor Jovinian's history.
On this there is an antient French MORALITE, entitled, L'Orgueil et presomption de l'Empereur JovINIAN". This is also the story of ROBERT king of Sicily, an old English poem, or romance, from which I have given copious extracts'.
Chap. IX. A king has a daughter named Rofimund, aged ten years ; exceedingly beautiful, and so swift of foot, that her father promises her in marriage to any man who can overcome her in running. But those who fail in the attempt are to lose their heads. After many trials, in which she was always victorious, she loses the race with a poor man, who throws in her way a filken girdle, a garland of roses, and a filken purse inclosing a golden ball, inscribed, “ whoso plays with me will « never be satiated with play.” She marries the poor man, who inherits her father's kingdom.
This is evidently a Gothic innovation of the classical tale of Atalanta. But it is not impossible that an oriental apologue might have given rise to the Grecian fable.
CHAP. Ixi. The emperor Claudius marries his daughter to the philosopher Socrates.
CHAP. Ixii. Florentina's picture.
CHAP. Ixiii. Vespasian's daughter's garden. All her lovers are obliged to enter this garden before they can obtain her love, but none return alive. The garden is haunted by a lion; and has only one entrance, which divides into so many windings, that it never can be found again. At length, she furnishes å knight with a ball or clue of thread, and teaches him how to foil the lion. Having achieved this adventure, he marries the lady.
Here seems to be an allusion to Medea's history.
CHAP. lxiv. A virgin is married to a king, because she makes him a shirt of a piece of cloth three fingers long and broad.
CHAP. Ixv. A cross with four inscriptions.
* See EMEND. and ADD, to vol. i. at p. 197
I Vol. i. p. 184.
CHAP. Ixvi. A knight offers to recover a lady's inheritance, which had been seized by a tyrant; on condition, that if he is Nain, she shall always keep his bloody armour hanging in her chamber. He regains her property, although he dies in the attempt; and as often as she was afterwards sued for in marriage, before she gave an answer, she returned to her chamber, and contemplating with tears her deliverer’s bloody armour, resolutely rejected every sollicitation.
CHAP. lxvii. The wise and foolish knight.
CHAP. Ixviii. A woman understands the language of birds. The three cocks.
CHAP. lxix. A mother gives to a man who marries her daughter a Thirt, which can never be torn, nor will ever need washing, while they continue faithful to each other.
CHAP. lxx. The king's daughter who requires three impossible things of her lovers.
CHAP. Ixxii. The king who refigns his crown to his son.
CHAP. lxxv. A king's three daughters marry three dukes, who all die the same
year. CHAP. lxxvi. The two physicians. Chap. lxxix. The fable of the familiar ass.
CHAP. lxxx. A devout hermit lived in a cave, near which a shepherd folded his fock. Many of the sheep being stolen, the shepherd was unjustly killed by his master as being concerned in the theft. The hermit seeing an innocent man put to death, began to suspect the existence of a divine Providence ; and resolved no longer to perplex himself with the useless feveties of religion, but to mix in the world. In travelling from his retirement, he was met by an angel in the figure of a man ; who said, “I am an angel, and am sent by God to be your “ companion on the road.” They entered a city; and begged for lodging at the house of a knight, who entertained them at a splendid supper. In the night, the angel rose from his bed, and strangled the knight's only child who was alleep in the
cradle. The hermit was astonished at this barbarous return for so much hospitality, but was afraid to make any remonstrance to his companion. Next morning they went to another city, Here they were liberally received in the house of an opulent citizen; but in the night the angel rose, and stole a golden cup of inestimable value. The hermit now concluded, that his companion was a Bad Angel. In travelling forward the next morning, they passed over a bridge; about the middle of which they met a poor man, of whom the angel asked the way to the next city. Having received the desired information, the angel pushed the poor man into the water, where he was immediately drowned. In the evening they arrived at the house of a rich man; and begging for a lodging, were ordered to sleep in a shed with the cattle, In the morning the angel gave the rich man the cup which he had stolen.
which he had stolen. The hermit, amazed that the cup which was stolen from their friend and benefactor should be given to one who refused them a lodging, began to be now convinced that his companion was the devil ; and begged to go on alone. But the angel said, “ and depart. When you lived in your hermitage a shepherd “ was killed by his master. He was innocent of the supposed “ offence : but had he not been then killed, he would have “ committed crimes in which he would have died impenitent. “ His master endeavours to atone for the murther, by dedicating " the remainder of his days to alms and deeds of charity. I “ strangled the child of the knight. But know, that the father “ was so intent on heaping up riches for this child, as to ne
glect those acts of public munificence for which he was be“ fore so diftinguished, and to which he has now returned. I “ stole the golden cup of the hospitable citizen. But know, “ that from a life of the strictest temperance, he became, in “ consequence of pofseffing this cup, a perpetual drunkard « and is now the most abstemious of men.
I threw the poor man into the water. He was then honest and religious. But “ know, had he walked one half of a mile further, he would
« Hear me,
« have murthered a man in a state of mortal fin. I gave the
golden cup to the rich man who refused to take us within his " roof. He has therefore received his reward in this world ; " and in the next, will suffer the pains of hell for his inhospi
tality.” The hermit fell prostrate at the angel's feet; and requesting forgiveness, returned to his hermitage, fully convinced of the wisdom and justice of God's government.
This is the fable of Parnell's HERMIT, which that elegant yet original writer has heightened with many masterly touches of poetical colouring, and a happier arrangement of circumstances. Among other proofs which might be mentioned of Parnell's genius and address in treating this subject, by reserving the discovery of the angel to a critical period at the clofe of the fable, he has found means to introduce a beautiful description, and an interesting surprise. In this poem, the last instance of the angel's seeming injustice, is that of pushing the guide from the bridge into the river. At this, the hermit is unable to suppress his indignation.
Wild sparkling rage inflames the Father's eyes,
The same apologue occurs, with some flight additions and variations for the worse, in Howell's LETTERS ; who professes to have taken it from the speculative fir Philip Herbert's Con.