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“ of golde furred with ermyns, valued at two hundred frankes. “ This dinner endured four houres”.” Froissart, who was entertained in this castle for twelve weeks, thus describes the earl's ordinary mode of supping. “ In this estate the erle of « Foiz lyved. And at mydnyght whan he came out of his “ chambre into the halle to supper, he had ever before hym “ twelve torches brennyng, borne by twelve varlettes (valets]
standyng before his table all supper ° : they gave a grete light, and the hall ever full of knightes and squyers ; and
many other tables dressed to suppe who wolde. Ther was “ none Thulde speke to hym at his table, but if he were called. “ His meate was lightlye wylde foule.—He had great plesure “ in armony of instrumentes, he could do it right well hym“ selfe: he wolde have longes fonge before hym. He wolde
gladlye se conseytes (conceits] and fantasies at his table. And or when he had sene it, then he wolde send it to the other • tables.-There was sene in his hall, chambre, and court,
knyghtes and squyers of honour goyng up and downe, and “ talkyng of armes and of amours, &cp.” After supper, Froissart was admitted to an audience with this magnificent earl ; and used to read to him a book of sonnets, rondeaus, and virelays, written by a gentyll duke of Luxemburgh!.
And mykell 5 he loved hem thoo
It appears that candles were borne by Then the lordes that wer grete
domestics, and not placed on the table, at Whesshen azeyn?, aftyr mete,
a very early period in France. Gregory And then com spycerye.
of Tours nientions a piece of savage merThe chyld, that was of chere swete, riment practised by a feudal lord at fupOn hys kne downe he sete",
per, on one of his valets de chandelle, in And served hem curteyllye.
consequence of this custom. Greg. Turon, The kynge called the burgeys hym tyll, Hist. Lib. v. c. iii. fol. 34. b. edit. And sayde, Syr, yf hyt be thy wyll, 1522. It is probable that our proverbial Zyf me this lytyll body '°;
scoff, You are not fit to hold a candle to him, I shall hym make lorde of town and took its rise from this fashion. See Ray's towre,
Prov. C. p. 4. edit. 1670. And Shakesp. Of hye halles, and of bowre,
ROMEO AND JULIET, i. 4.
I'll be a Candle-holder, and look on. n CRON. vol. ii. fol. xxxvi. a. Transl.
P Ibid. fol. xxx. a. col. 2.
9 Ibid. col. 1. s Greatly 6 Then, 7 Washed again. 8 Spicery, Spiced Wine, 9 Bowed his knee. 10 Give me this boy,
In this age of curiosity, distinguished for its love of historical anecdotes and the investigation of antient manners, it is extraordinary that a new translation should not be made of Froissart from a collated and corrected original of the French. Froissart is commonly ranked with romances : but it ought to be remembered, that he is the historian of a romantic age, when those manners which form the fantastic books of chivalry were actually practised. As he received his multifarious intelligence from such a variety of vouchers, and of different nations, and almost always collected his knowledge of events from report, rather than from written or recorded evidence, his notices of persons and places are frequently confused and unexact. Many of these petty incorrectnesses are not, however, to be imputed to Froissart: and it may seem surprising, that there are not more inaccuracies of this kind in a voluminous chronicle, treating of the affairs of England, and abounding in English appellations, composed by a Frenchman, and printed in France. Whoever will take the pains to *compare
this author with the coeval records in Rymer, will find numerous instances of his truth and integrity, in relating the more public and important transactions of his own times. Why he should not have been honoured with a modern edition at the Louvre, it is easy to conceive: the French have a national prejudice against a writer, who has been so much more complaisant to England, than to their own country. Upon the whole, if Froissart should be neglected by the historical reader for his want of precision and authenticity, he will at least be valued by the philosopher for his striking pictures of life, drawn without reserve or affectation from real nature with a faithful and free pencil, and by one who had the best opportunities of observation, who was welcome alike to the feudal castle or the royal palace, and who mingled in the bustle and business of the world, at that very curious period of society, when manners are very far refined, and yet retain a considerable tincture of barbarism. But I cannot better express my sentiments on this subject, than in the words of Montaigne. J'ayme les Historiens
“ ou fort simples ou excellens. Les fimples qui n'ont point de “ quoy y mesler quelque chose du leur, et qui n'y apportent que “ le soin et la diligence de ramasser tout ce qui vient a leur “ notice, et d'enregistrer a la bonne foy toutes choses fans chois “ et sans triage, nous laissent le jugement entier pour la conois« fance de la verité. Tel est entre autres pour example le bon “ Froissard, qui a marché en son enterprise d'une fi franche
naïfueté, qu'ayant fait une faute il ne craint aucunement de “ la reconnoistre et corriger en l'endroit, ou il en a esté adverty: “ et qui nous represente la diversité mesme des bruits qui cou“ roient, et les differens rapports qu'on luy faisot. C'est la • matiere de l'Histoire nuï et informe ; chacun en peut faire “ fon proffit autant qu'il a d'entendement'."
CHAP. clxxviii. A king is desirous to know how to rule himself and his kingdom. One of his wise men presents an allegorical picture on the wall ; from which, after much ftudy, he acquires the desired instruction.
In the original eastern apologue, perhaps this was a piece of tapestry. From the cultivation of the textorial arts among the orientals, came Darius's wonderful cloth abovementioned ; and the idea of the robe richly embroidered and embossed with stories of romance and other imageries, in the unprinted romance of EMARE, which forms of one the finest descriptions of the kind that I have seen in Gothic poetry, and which I shall therefore not scruple to give at large.
Soon after, yn a whyle,
To the Emperour gan wende 8 ;
He welcomed hym as the hende'.
Syr Tergaunte, that nobyll knyzt,
And sette hym on hys knek,
As thykke as hyt myght be :
That semely wer to se;
For fothe as y say the '.
And myght hyt " not se;
And sayde, how may this be ?
Or ellys a vanyte.
In all crystyante.
He presented it kneeling. 1 I tell thee. m Could not it. * Certainly. . An illufion, a piece of enchantment. PJ e wel was antiently any pretious thing.
9 The daughter of the Amerayle of the Saracens, AMIRAL in the eastern languages was the governor, or 'prince, of a province, from the Arabic Emir, Lord. In This sense, AMRAYL is used by Robert of
Gloucester. Hence, by corruption the word ADMIRAL, and in a restricted sense, for the commander of a fleet; which Milton, who knew the original, in that sense writes AMMIRAL. PARAD. L. i. 294. Dufresne thinks, that our naval Amiral, i.e. Admiral, came from the crusades, where the Chris. , tians heard it used by the Saracens (in consequence of its general fignification) for the title of the leader of their fleets : and that from the Mediterranean states it was propagated over Europe. * Lying.
And wrozte hyt all wyth pryde ;
And stones on ylka * syde.
Sowzt" they wer full wyde :
In hert ys not to hyde.
Wyth love that was so trewe ;
Of stones bryght of hewe.
And menstrellys wyth her gle?.
That femely wer to se;
As thykke as they may be.-
Sought. * On one corner, or fide, was embroi. dered the history of Idonia and Amadas. For their Romance, fee fupr. vol. ii. p. 24.
1 Loved each other.
Figures of minstrels, with their mu. fic, or musical instruments.
a Sir Tristram and Bel Isolde, famous in king Arthur's Romance.