« הקודםהמשך »
Glocester was educated. Provincial barbarisms are naturally the growth of extreme counties, and of such as are situated at a distance from the metropolis; and it is probable that the Saxon heptarchy, which consisted of a cluster of seven independent states, contributed to produce as many different provincial dialects. In the mean time it is to be considered, that writers of all ages and languages have their affectations and singularities, which occasion in each a peculiar phraseology.
Robert of Gloucester thus describes the sports and solemnities which followed king Arthur's coronation.
The kyng was to ys paleys, tho the servyse was y do 8,
& when the service in the church was finished.”
6 “ They kept the antient custom at festivals, of placing the men and women separate. Kay, king of Anjou, brought a thousand noble knights cloathed in ermine of one suit, or secta.'
i“ brought also, on his part, a fair company cloathed uniformly.'
* modesty, decorum (gallantry). 1 thrice.
incre brave. 1 « Soon after this noble feast, which was proper at such an occasion, the knights accoutred themselves."
În feldys and in medys to prove her bacheleryeo.
Many of these lines are literally translated from Geoffry of Monmouth. In king Arthur's battle with the giant at Barbesfleet, there are no marks of Gothic painting. But there is an effort at poetry in the description of the giant's fall. Tho grislych yal the ssrewe tho, that grislych was his bere, He vel doung as a gret ok, that bynethe ycorve were, That it thogte that al hul myd the vallynge ssoķ." That is, “ This cruel giant yelled so horribly, and so vehement was his fall, that he fell down like an oak cut through at the
o chivalry, courage, or youth. In the mean time, it is probable that the
P chess. It is remarkable, that among Saracens introduced it into Spain before the nine exercises, or accomplishments, the Crusades. It is mentioned by G. of mentioned by Kolson, an ancient north- Monmouth, and in the Alexiad of Anna ern chief, one is playing at chess. Bar- Comnena. See Mem, Acad. Lit. v. tholin. ii. c. 8. p. 120. This game was 232. familiarised to the Europeans after the 9 Different ways of playing at chess. Crusades, The romances which followed “ The ladies stood on the walks made those expeditions are full of it. Kolson, within the battlements of the castle." above mentioned, had made a pilgrim F" All the three high or chief days. age into the Holy Land. But from the In halls and fields, of feasting, and turprinciples advanced in the first Intro- neying, &c." DUCTORY DISSERTATION, this game might fourth.
' Pag. 191. 192 have been known in the North before, Pag. 208.
bottom, and all the hill shook while he fell." But this stroke is copied from Geoffry of Monmouth; who tells the same miraculous story, and in all the pomp with which it was perhaps dressed up by his favourite fablers. 6. Exclamavit vero invisus ille; et velut quercus ventorum viribus eradicata, cum maximo sonitu corruit.” It is difficult to determine which is most blameable, the poetical historian, or the prosaic poet.
It was a tradition invented by the old fablers, that giants brought the stones of Stonehenge from the most sequestered deserts of Africa, and placed them in Ireland; that every stone was washed with juices of herbs, and contained a medical power; and that Merlin the magician, at the request of king Arthur, transported them from Ireland, and erected them in circles on the plain of Amesbury, as a sepulchral monument for the Britons treacherously slain by Hengist. This fable is thus delivered, without decoration, by Robert of Glocester. “ Sire kyng,” quoth Merlin tho, “suche thynges y wis Ne bethe for to schewe nogt, but wen gret nede ys, For gefiche seid in bismare, other bute it ned were, Sone from me he wold wende the gost, that doth me lere W;" The kyng, tho non other nas, bod hym som quoyntise Bithinke about thilk cors that so noble were and wysex. “Sire kyng,” quoth Merlin tho, “gef thou wolt here caste In the honour of men, a worke that ever schal ylaste, To the hul of Kylar 2 send in to Yrlond, Aftur the noble stones that ther habbet a lenge ystonde; That was the treche of giandes", for a quoynte work ther ys Of stones al wyth art ymad, in the world such non ys,
" If I should say any thing out of sake of the bodies of those noble and wantonness or vanity, the spirit, or de- wise Britons." mon, which teaches me, would imnie y “if you would build, to their hodiately leave me. “ Nam si ea in deri- nour, a lasting monument. sionem, sive vanitatem, proferrem, tace
z (To the hill of Kildare." ret Spiritus qui me docet, et, cum opus superveniret, recederet." Galfrid. Mon. b“ the dance of giants." The name of viii. 10.
this wonderful assembly of immense * “bade him use his cunning, for the
Ne ther nys nothing that me scholde myd strengthe adoune cast. Stode heo here, as heo doth there ever a wolde last." The kyng somdele to lyghed, tho he herde this tale, “ How mygte,” he seyde, “suche stones so grete and so falec, Be ybrogt of so fer lond? And get mist of were, Me wolde wene, that in this londe no ston to wonke nere." “Syre kyng," quoth Merlyn, “ne make nocht an ydel such
lyghyng For yt nys an ydel noght that ich tell this tythyng*. For in the farreste stude of Affric giands while fette 8 Thike stones for medycyne and in Yrlond hem sette, While heo wonenden in Yrlond to make here bathes there, Ther undir forto bathi wen thei syk were. For heo wuld the stones wasch and ther enne bathe ywis. For ys no ston ther
that of gret vertu nysh."
c" Grandes sunt lapides, nec est ali- testimony of the British bards be alquis cujus virtuti cedant. Quod si eo loved on this occasion ? For they did modo, quo ibi positi sunt, circa plateam not invent facts, so much as fables. In locabuntur, stabunt in æternum. Gal- the present case, Hengist's inassacre is frid. Mon. viii. x. 11.
an allowed event. Remove all the ap& somewhat laughed.
parent fiction, and the bards only say, so great and so many.
that an immense pile of stones was i tyding.
raised on the plain of Ambresbury in 84 Giants once brought them from the memory of that event. They lived too farthest part of Africa, &c."
near the time to forge this origin of h « Lavabant namque lapides et infra Stonehenge. The whole story was rebalnea diffundebant, unde ægroti cura cent, and, from the immensity of the bantur. Miscebant etiam cum herba- work itself, must have been still more rum confectionibus, unde vulnerati sa notorious. Therefore their forgery would nabantur. Non est ibi lapis qui medica- have been too glaring. It may be obmento c:reat." Galfrid. Mon. ibid. jected, that they were fond of referring irode (advised or counselled]. every thing stupendous to their favourite
Pag. 145. 146. 147. That Stone- hero Arthur. This I grant : but not henge is a British monument, erected in when known authenticated facts stood memory of Hengist's massacre, rests, I in their way, and while the real cause believe, on the sole evidence of Geoffry was reinembered. Even to this day, the of Monmouth, who had it from the Bri- massacre of Hengist, as I have partly uish bards. But why should not the hinted, is an undisputed piece of history.
If any thing engages our attention in this passage, it is the wildness of the fiction; in which however the poet had no share.
I will here add Uther's intrigue with Ygerne.
sonde. That he by levede at ys parlemente, for nede of the londe. The kyng was, tho he nolde nogt, anguyssous and wroth. For despyte he wolde a wreke be he swor ys oth, Why should not the other part of the etymology of the word Simehenge the story be equally true? Besides the si- name of Hengist has been properly or lence of Nennius, I am aware that this sufficiently considered. hypothesis is still attended with many [The etymology referred to by Mr. difficulties and improbabilities. And so Ritson is evidently the most plausible are all the systems and conjectures ever that has been suggested: Saan-hengeyet framed about this amazing monu- hanging stone : Observations, &c. In ment. It appears to me to be the work addition to this it is supported by an auof a rude people who had some ideas of thority of high antiquity: art: such as we may suppose the Romans left behind them among the Bri
Stanheng ont non en Anglois,
Pierres pendues en François. tons. In the mean time I do not re
Wace's Brul.-EDIT.) member, that in the very controverted