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« dearest brother : and never ask me again why I am sad at " a feast."

Gower, in the Confessio AMANTIs, may perhaps have copied the circumstance of the morning trumpet from this apologue. His king is a king of Hungary.

It so befell, that on a dawe
There was ordeined by the lawe
A Trompe with a sterne breathe,
Which was cleped the Trompe of deathe :
And in the court where the kyng was,
A certaine man, this trompe of brasse
Hath in kepyng, and therof serveth,
That when a lorde his deathe deserveth,
He shall this dredfull trompe blowe
To fore his gate, to make it knowe,
Howe that the jugement is yeve
Of deathe, whiche shall not be foryeve.
The kyng whan it was night anone,
This man assent, and bad him

To trompen at his brothers gate;
And he, whiche mote done algate,
Goth foorth, and doth the kyng's heste.
This lorde whiche herde of this tempest
That he tofore his gate blewe,
Tho wist he by the lawe, and knewe

That he was schurly deade, &c. But Gower has connected with this circumstance a different story, and of an inferior caft, both in point of moral and imagination. The truth is, Gower seems to have altogether followed this story as it appeared in the SPECULUM HISTORIALE of Vincent of Beauvais ", who took it from Damafcenus's romance of BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT'. Part of it is thus

& Lib. i. fol. xix. b. col. i.

Ubi supr. p. xlix.

i Opp, ut fupr. pag. 12.


told in Caxton's translation of that legend k. “ And the kynge “ hadde suche a custome, that whan one sholde be delyvered to “ deth, the kynge fholde fende hys cryar wyth hys trompe that " was ordeyned therto. And on the euen he sente the cryar

wyth the trompe tofore hys brother's gate, and made to foune “ the trompe. And whan the kynges brother herde this, he “ was in despayr of fauynge of his lyf, and coude not llepe of “ alle the nyght, and made his testament. And on the morne erly, he cladde hym in blacke : and came with wepyng

with hys wyf and chyldren to the kynges paleys. And the kynge “ made hym to com tofore hym, and fayd to hym, a fooll " that thou art, that thou hast herde the messager of thy bro“ ther, to whom thou knowest well thou hast not trespaced “ and doubtest so mooche, howe oughte not I then ne doubte " the messageres of our lorde, agaynste whom I haue foo ofte

fynned, which signefyed unto me more clerely the deth then “ the trompe ?"

CHAP. cxlv. The philosopher Socrates thews the cause of the insalubrity of a passage between two mountains in Armenia, by means of a polished mirrour of steel. Albertus is cited ; an abbot of Stade, and the author of a Chronicle from Adam to 1256.

CHAP. cxlvi. Saint Austin's City of God is quoted for an answer of Diomedes the pirate to king Alexander.

CHAP. cxlviii. Aulius Gellius is cited.

Aulus Gellius is here quoted, for the story of Arion', throwing himself into the sea, and carried on the back of a dolphin to king Periander at Corinth”. Gellius relates this story from Herodotus, in whom it is now extant"

CHAP. cliii. The history of Apollonius of Tyre.
This story, the longest in the book before us, and the ground-

* See Caxton's GOLDEN LEGENDE, fol. cccixxxxiii. b. See allo METRICAL LIVES. OF

THE SAINTS, MSS. BODL. 779. f. 292. a.

1 It is printed Amon.
m Noct. Artic. Lib. xvi. cap. xix.
· Lib. viii,



work of a favorite old romance, is known to have existed before the year 1190.

In the Prologue to the English romance on this subject, called KYNGE APOLYNE of THYRE, and printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1510, we are told. My worshypfull mayster Wyns6 kyn de Worde, havynge a lytell boke of an auncyent hystory “ of a kynge fomtyme reygnyne in the countree of Thyre “ called Appolyn, concernynge his malfortunes and peryllous " adventures right espouventables, bryefly compyled and pyteous “ for to here ; the which boke, I Robert Coplande' have me “ applyed for to translate out of the Frensshe language into our “ maternal Englysthe tongue, at the exhortacyon of my for“ fayd mayster, accordynge dyrectly to myn auctor : gladly fol“ lowynge the trace of my mayster Caxton, begynnynge with “ small storyes and panfletes and so to other.” The English romance, or the French, which is the same thing, exactly corresponds in many passages with the text of the Gesta. I will instance in the following one only, in which the complication of the fable commences. King Appolyn dines in disguise in the hall of king Antiochus.--" Came in the kynges daugh“ ter, accompanyed with many ladyes and damoyselles, whose

splendente beaute were too long to endyte, for her rosacyate " coloure was medled with


favour. She dranke unto hir « fader, and to all the lordes, and to all them that had ben at “ the play of the Shelde P. And as she behelde here and there, “ fhe efpyed kynge Appolyn, and then she sayd unto her fader, “ Syr, what is he that fytteth so hye as by you, it semeth by

hym that he is angry or sorrowfull? The kynge fayd, I never “ fawe fo nimble and pleasaunt a player at the shelde, and ther

LAUNFAL, MSS. Cott. Calig. A. 2.

fol. 37

• The printer of that name. He also translated from the French, at the desire of Edward duke of Buckingham, the romance of the KNYGHT OF THE SWANNE. See his PROLOGUE.

P The tournament. To tourney is often called simply to play. As thus in Syr

Hym thozte he brente bryzte
But he myate with Launfal pleye
In the felde be tweene ham twey

To justy or to fyzte.
And in many other places.

66 fore

“ fore have I made hym to come and soupe with my knyghtes. And yf ye wyll knowe what he is, demaunde hym; for per“ adventure he wyll tell you sooner than me. Methynke that “ he is departed from some good place, and I thinke in my

mynde that somethynge is befallen hym for which he is

sorry. This fayd, the noble dameysell wente unto Appolyn “ and said, “ Fayre Syr, graunt me a boone. And he graunted “ her with goode herte. And she fayd unto hym, albeyt that

your vysage be tryst and hevy, your behavour theweth noblesse « and facundyte, and therefore I pray you to tell me of your

affayre and estate. Appolyn answered, Yf ye demaunde of my rychesses, I have lost them in the sea.

The damoysell sayd, I pray you

tell me of your

adventures ?." But in the GESTA, the princess at entering the royal hall kisses all the knights and lords present, except the stranger'. Vossius says, that about the year 1520, one Alamanus Rinucinus a Florentine, translated into Latin this fabulous history; and that the translation was corrected by Beroaldus. Vossius certainly cannot mean, that he translated it from the Greek original '.

Chap. cliv. A story from Gervase of Tilbury, an Englishman, who wrote about the year 1200, concerning a miraculous statue of Christ in the city of Edessa.

CH’Ap. cly. The adventures of an English knight named Albert in a subterraneous passage, within the bishoprick of Ely.

This story is said to have been told in the winter after supper, in a castle, cum familia divitis ad focum, ut Potentibus moris eft, RECENSENDIS ANTIQUIS Gestis operam daret, when the family of a rich man, as is the custom with the Great, was fitting round the fire, and telling ANTIENT Gests. Here is a traite of the private life of our ancestors, who wanted the diverfions and engagements of modern times to relieve a tedious evening. Hence we learn, that when a company was assembled, if a

4 Cap. xi.

Fol. lxxii. b. col. 2.

• Hist. Lat. Lib. iii. c. 8. pag. 552. edit. 1627. 4to.


jugler or a minstrel were not present, it was their custom to entertain themselves by relating or hearing a series of adventures. Thus the general plan of the CANTERBURY TALES, which at first sight seems to be merely an ingenious invention of the poet to serve a particular occasion, is in great measure founded on a fashion of antient life: and Chaucer, in fuppofing each of the pilgrims to tell a tale as they are travelling to Becket's shrine, only makes them adopt a mode of amusement which was common to the conversations of his age. I do not deny, that Chaucer has shewn his address in the use and application of this practice.

So habitual was this amusement in the dark ages, that the graver sort thought it unsafe for ecclesiastics, if the subjects admitted any degree of levity. The following curious injunction was deemed necessary, in a code of statutes assigned to a college at Oxford in the year 1292. I give it in English. “ Ch. xx.-“ The fellows shall all live honestly, as becomes Clerks.

They shall not rehearse, sing, nor willingly hear, BALLADS or TALES of LOVERS, which tend to lasciviousness and idle“ ness ?." Yet the libraries of our monasteries, as I have before observed, were filled with romances. In that of Croyland-abbey we find even archbishop Turpin's romance, placed on the same shelf with Robert Tumbeley on the Canticles, Roger Dymock against Wickliffe, and Thomas Waleys on the Pfalter. But their apology must be, that they thought this a true history: at least that an archbishop could write nothing but truth. Not to mention that the general subject of those books were the triumphs of christianity over paganismo

CHAP. clvi. Ovid, in his TROJAN WAR, is cited for the story of Achilles disguised in female apparel.

Gower has this history more at large in the CONFESSIO AMANTIS: but he refers to a Cronike, which seems to be the BOKE OF TROIE, mentioned at the end of the chapter".

See fol.

+ CANTILENAS VEL FABULAS DE AMA$115, &c. MS. Registr. Univ. Oxon. D. b. f. 76. See fupr. vol. i. 92.


u Leland. Coll. iii. p. 30.

w Lib. v. fol. 99. b. col. 2.
101, a. col. 1. 2.


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