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Ant toggen o the harpe
4 In another part of the poem he is table. See a curious account of the introduced playing on his harp.
goods in the palace of the bishop of
Nivernois in France, in the year 1287, Horn sette him abenche,
in Montf. Cat. MSS. ii. p. 984. col. 2. Is harpe he gan clenche, He made Rymenild a lay
According to the rules of chivalry, Ant hue seide weylaway, &c.
every knight before his creation passed
through two offices. He was first a In the chamber of a bishop of Winches- page: and at fourteen years of age he ter at Merdon castle, now ruined, we was formally admitted an esquire. The find mention made of benches only. esquires were divided into several deComp. MS. J. Gerveys, Episcop. Win- partments; that of the body, of the
“ Iidem red. comp. de ii. chamber, of the stable, and the carving mensis in aula ad magnum descum. esquire. The latter stood in the hall at Et de iü. mensis, ex una parte, et ii. dinner, where he carved the different mensis ex altera parte cum tressellis in dishes with proper skill and address, aula. Et de i. mensa cum tressellis in and directed the distribution of them camera dom. episcopi. Et v. formis in among the guests. The inferior offices eadem camera. Descus, in old English had also their respective esquires. Mom. dees, is properly a canopy over the high Anc. Cheval. i. 16. seq.
And thah hue ne dorste at borde
To speke with Rymenyld stille,
For Horn nis nout her ynne," &c. At length the princess finds she has been deceived, the steward is severely reprimanded, and prince Horne is brought to her chamber; when, says the poet,
Of ys fayre syhte
U MSS. ibid. f. 83. Where the title. There is a copy, much altered and mois written, " pe zeste of kynge Horne.” dernised, in the Advocates library at
It is the force of the story in these pieces that chiefly engages our attention. The minstrels had no idea of conducting and describing a delicate situation. The general manners were gross, and the arts of writing unknown. Yet this simplicity sometimes pleases more than the most artificial touches. In the mean time, the pictures of antient manners presented by these early writers, strongly interest the imagination: especially as having the same uncommon merit with the pictures of manners in Homer, that of being founded in truth and reality, and actually painted from the life. To talk of the grossness and absurdity of such manners is little to the purpose; the poet is only concerned in the justness and faithfulness of the representation.
Edinburgh, W. 4. i. Numb. xxxiv. (and evidence are too slight to be generally in Ritson's Romances, vol. 3.) The title received, except in the rear of more obHorn-childe and Maiden Rimnild. The vious authority. However, to those beginning,
who with Mr. Kitson persist in believing Mi leve frende dere,
the French fragment of this romance, to Herken and ye shall here.
be an earlier composition than “ The [The text of this romance has been ta- Geste of Kyng Horn,” the following ken from Mr. Ritson's edition; whose ac- passage is submitted, for the purpose of curacy, by the way, though unimpeach- contrasting its highly wrought imagery able in the specimens quoted above, with the simple narrative, and natural is not equally conspicuous throughout allusion, observed throughout the En
In fact, he seems neither to glish poem : have been master of the language nor
Lors print la harpe a sei si commence a the subject. His glossary will afford
temprer sufficient evidence of the former asser
Deu ki dunc lesgardast, cum il la sot tion—to which much might be added
manier! from his omissions and misprints-and his notes will amply bear out the latter. Cum les cordes tuchot, cum les feseit
trebler, The bishop of Dromore, considered A quantes faire les chanz, a cuantes this production “ of genuine English growth;" and though his lordship may Del armonie del ciel lie prureit remembrer
organer, have been mistaken in ascribing it, in Sur tuz ceus ke i sunt fait cișt à merveiller its present form, to so early an æra as “ within a century after the Conquest;" Kuant celes notes ot fait prent sen yet the editor has no hesitation in express- E par tut autre tuns fait les cordes soner: ing his belief, that it owes its origin to a period long anterior to that event. The It remains to observe, that “ The noble reasons for such an opinion cannot be Hystory of Kynge Ponthus of Galyce" entered upon here. They are too de- printed by De Worde, and quoted by tailed to fall within the compass of a Mr. Ritson, is but a more enlarged vernote; and though some of them will be sion of the same story, with some slight introduced elsewhere, yet many perhaps change of circumstance, and an almost are the result of convictions more easily total change of names, countries, &c. felt than expressed, and whose shades of Erit.]
HITHERTO we have been engaged in examining the state of our poetry from the Conquest to the year 1200, or rather afterwards. It will appear to have made no very rapid improve'ment from that period. Yet as we proceed, we shall find the language losing much of its antient barbarism and obscurity, and approaching more nearly to the dialect of modern times.
In the latter end of the reign of Henry the Third, a poem occurs, the date of which may be determined with some degree of certainty. It is a satirical song, or ballad, written by one of the adherents of Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester, a powerful baron, soon after the battle of Lewes, which was fought in the year 1264, and proved very fatal to the interests of the king. In this decisive action, Richard king of the Romans, his brother Henry the Third, and prince Edward, with many others of the royal party, were taken prisoners.
Sitteth alle stille, ant herkneth to me:
And so he dude more.
Tricthen shall thou never more.
Richard of Alemaigne, whil that he was kyng,
He spende al is tresour opon swyvyng, * The king of the Romans.
• The barons made this offer of thirty o loyalty.
thousand pounds to Richard. peace.