תמונות בעמוד

I trowe that ye have dronken wine of ape,
And that is when men plaien at a strawe".

In the old KALEN DRIER DES BERGERs, as Mr. Tyrwhitt has remarked, Vin de singe, vin de mouton, vin de lyon, and vin de porceau, are mentioned, in their respective operations on the four temperaments of the human body. CHAP. clxi. Of a hill in a forest of England, where if a hunter sate after the chace, he was refreshed by a miraculous person of a mild aspect, bearing a capacious horn, adorned with gems and gold", and filled with the most delicious liquor. This person instantly disappeared after administering the draught ; which was of so wonderful a nature, as to dispel the most oppressive lastitude, and to make the body more vigorous than before. At length, a hunter having drank of this horn, ungratefully refused to return it to the friendly apparition ; and his master, the lord of the forest, lest he should appear to countenance so atrocious a theft, gave it to king Henry the elder *. This story, which seems imperfeót, I suppose, is from Gervase of Tilbury. CHAP. clxii. The same author is cited for an account of a hill in Castile, on which was a palace of demons. Whenever our compiler quotes Gervase of Tilbury, the reference is to his OT 1A IMPERIALIA : which is addressed to the emperor Otho the fourth, and contains his Commentarius de regnis Imperatorum Romanorum, his Mundi Descriptio, and his Tračiatus de Mirabilibus Mundi. All these four have been improperly supposed to be separate works. CHAP. clxiii. King Alexander's son Celestinus. CHAP. clxvii. The archer and the nightingale. This fable is told in the Greek legend of BARLAAM AND

* Ver. 16993. Tyrwh: • That is, Henry the First, king of * The text says, “Such a one as is England. “used at this day.”

i 2 Jos APHAT,

Jos APHAT, written by Johannes Damascenus". And in Caxton's GoLDEN LE GEN DE *. It is also found in the CLERICAL is DiscIPLINA of Alphonsus. CHAP. clxviii. Barlaam is cited for the story of a man, who, flying from a unicorn, and falling into a deep and noisom pit, hung on the boughs of a lofty tree which grew from the bottom. On looking downward, he saw a huge dragon twisted round the trunk, and gaping to devour him. He also observed two mice gnawing at the roots of the tree, which began to totter. Four white vipers impregnated the air of the pit with their poisonous breath. Looking about him, he discovered a stream of hony distilling from one of the branches of the tree, which he began eagerly to devour, without regarding his dangerous fituation. The tree soon fell : he found himself struggling in-a loathsome quagmire, and was instantly swallowed by the dragon. This is another of Barlaam's apologues in Damascenus's romance of BARLAAM AND Jos AP HAT : and which has been adopted into the Lives of the Saints by Surius and others'. A MoRALISAT Ion is subjoined, exactly agreeing with that in the GE's T A *. CHAP. clxix. Trogus Pompeius is cited, for the wise legislation of Ligurius, a noble knight. Our compiler here means Justin's abridgement of Trogus; which, to the irreparable injury of literature, soon destroyed its original. An early epitome of Livy would have been attended with the same unhappy consequences. CHAP. clxx. The dice player and saint Bernard. This is from saint Bernard's legend". CHAP. clxxi. The two knights of Egypt and Baldach. This is the story of Boccace's popular novel of TITo AND

[ocr errors]

ut supr. Novembr. 27. pag. 565. And Metrical Lives of SAINTs, MSS. * Fol. ccclxxxxii. b. Bool. 779. f. 293. b. * See Caxton's Golden Legend, fol. * See Caxton's Gold, Lec. f. cxxix. b,

cc.cclxxxxiiii. a. GISIPPo,



[ocr errors]

refers to two pieces of the poet last-mentioned, never enume

rated among his works. In the year 1483, Caxton printed at Westminster, “The PYLGRE MAGE of The Sow LE translated oute of Frensshe into Englishe. Full of devout maters touching the sowle, and many quesyons assoyled to cause a man to lyve the better, &c. Emprinted at Westminster by William Caxton the first “yere of kynge Edward V. 1483.” The French book, which is a vision, and has some degree of imagination, is probably the PELERIN DE L'AME, of Guillaume prior of Chaulis". This translation was made from the French, with additions, in the year 1413. For in the colophon are these words. “ Here “ endeth the dreme of the PYL GRE MAGE of THE Sow Le “ translated out of Frensche into Englisshe, with somwhat of “Addicions, the yere of our lorde M.ccc.c. and thyrteen, and “ endethe in the vigyle of seint Bartholomew.” The translator of this book, at least the author of the Addicions, which altogether confist of poetry in seven-lined stanzas, I believe to be Lydgate. Not to insist on the correspondence of time and style, I observe, that the thirty-fourth chapter of Lydgate's metrical Life of THE VIRGIN MARY is literally repeated in the thirty

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

*R, Edwards has a play on this story, 1582. * See supr. vol. ii. p. 120. words.

words. And if we suppose that the Translation, or its Addicions, were written by Lydgate before he wrote his LIFE of THE VIRGIN, the proof will be the same *. Another piece probably written by Lydgate, yet never supposed or acknowledged to be of his composition, is a poem in the očtave stanza, containing thirty-seven leaves in folio, and entitled LABERous AND MARVEY Lou's Worke of SAPIENCE. After a long debate between Me RCY and TRUTH, and Justice and PE Ace, all the produćts of nature and of human knowledge are described, as they stand arranged in the palace and dominions of WIs Dom. It is generally allowed to have been printed by Caxton: it has not the name of the printer, nor any date. Had it been written by Caxton, as I once hastily suspected, or by any of his cotemporaries, the name of Lydgate would have appeared in conjunction with those of Gower and Chaucer, who are highly celebrated in the Prologue as erthely gods expert in poesie: for these three writers were constantly joined in panegyric, at least for a century, by their successors, as the distinguished triumvirate of English poetry. In the same Prologue, the author says he was commanded to write this poem by the king. No poet cotemporary with Caxton was of consequence enough to receive such a command : and we know that Lydgate compiled many of his works by the direction, or under the patronage, of king Henry the fifth. Lydgate was born in Suffolk: and our author from the circumstance of having lived in a part of England not of a very polished dialeót, apologises for the rudeness of his language, so that he cannot delycately endyte. It is much in the style and manner of Lydgate : and I believe it to have been one of his early performances'. CHAP. clxxii. A king of England has two knights, named

* Stowe mentions Lydgate’s “ Pil- * See supr. vol. ii. p. 194. I know not “c Rim Age of the World by the com- if this is the poem recited by Stowe and “ maundement of the earle of Salisburie, called, “The Courte of Sapience in hea“ 1426.” But this must be a different “ven for redemption of mankind,” Ubi work. Ad calc. Opp. Chauc. fol. 376. supr. col. i. col. 1.

Guido and Tirius. Guido having achieved many splendid exploits for the love of a beautiful lady, at length married her. Three days after his marriage he saw a vision, which summoned him to engage in the holy war. At parting she gave him a ring; saying, “as often as you look on this ring, remember “ me.” Soon after his departure she had a son. After various adventures, in which his friend Tirius has a share, at the end of seven years he returned to England in the habit of a pilgrim. Coming to his castle, he saw at the gate his lady fitting, and distributing alms to a croud of poor people; ordering them all to pray for the return of her lord Guido from the holy land. She was on that day accompanied by her son a little boy, very beautiful, and richly apparelled ; and who hearing his mother, as she was distributing her alms, perpetually recommending Guido to their prayers, asked, if that was his father Among others, she gave alms to her husband Guido, not knowing him in the pilgrim's disguise. Guido, seeing the little boy, took him in his arms, and kissed him: saying, “O my sweet son, may “ God give you grace to please him " For this boldness he was reproved by the attendants. But the lady, finding him destitute and a stranger, assigned him a cottage in a neighbouring forest. Soon afterwards falling fick, he said to his servant, “ Carry this “ ring to your lady, and tell her, if she desires ever to see me “ again, to come hither without delay.” The servant conveyed the ring; but before she arrived, he was dead. She threw herself on his body, and exclaimed with tears, “Where are now “my alms which I daily gave for my lord? I saw you receive “ those alms, but I knew you not.—You beheld, embraced, “ and kissed your own son, but did not discover yourself to “ him nor to me. What have I done, that I shall see you no “ more ?” She then interred him magnificently. The reader perceives this is the story of Guido, or Guy, earl of Warwick; and probably this is the early outline of the life and death of that renowned champion. Many romances were at first little more than legends of de- votion,

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »