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during their possession of that island, which continued through many monarchies. But Sicily, from its situation, became a familiar country to all the western continent at the time of the Crusades, and consequently soon found its way into romance, as did many others of the Mediterranean islands and coasts, for the same reason. Another of them, Cilicia, has accordingly given title to an antient tale called The King of Tars; from which I shall give some extracts, touched with a rude but expressive pencil.

“ Her bigenneth of the Kyng of Tars, and of the Soudan of Dammias , how the Soudan of Dammias was cristened thoru Godis gras." Herkeneth now, bothe olde and

For Maries love, that swete thyng:

How a werre bigan
Bitwene a god Cristene kyng,
And an hethene heyhe lordyng,

Of Damas the Soudan.
The kyng of Taars hedde a wyf,
The feireste that mighte bere lyf,

That eny mon telle can:
A doughter thei hadde hem bitween,
That heore' rihte heir scholde ben;

White so s fether of swan:

• A passage in Fauchett, speaking of

P Damascus. rhyme, may perhaps deserve attention 9 MS. Vernon. Bibl. Bodl. f. 304. here. “ Pour le regard de Siciliens, je It is also in Bibl. Adv. Edinb. W 4. 1. me tiens presque asseure, que Guillaume Num. iv. In five leaves and a half. Ferrabrach frère de Robert Guischard Never printed. et autres seigneurs de Calabre et Pouille [This romance will be found in Mr. enfans de Tancred François-Normand, Ritson's Collection, vol. ii. from whose l'ont portee aux pais de leur conqueste, transcript the present text has been corestant une coustume des gens de deça rected. On the authority of Douglas's chanter, avant que combattre, les beaux version of the Æneid and Ruddiman's faits de leurs ancestres, composez en Glossary, he interprets “ Tars” to mean vers.” Rec. p. 70. Boccacio's Tancred, Thrace; but as the story is one of pure in his beautiful Tale of TANCRED AND invention, and at best but a romantic leSIGISMUNDA, was one of these Franco- gend, why not refer the Damas and Norman kings of Sicily. Compare Nouv. Tars of the text to the Damascus and Abreg. Chronol. Hist. Fr. pag. 102. Tarsus of Scripture ?-Edit.] edit. 1752.



Chaast heo' was, and feir of chere,
With rodeu red so blosme on brere,

Eyyen w stepe and gray, ,
With lowe schuldres, and whyte swere';
Hire to seo y was gret preyere

Of princes pert in play.
The word of hire sprong ful wyde
Feor and ner, bi vche a syde:

The Soudan herde say;
Him thoughte his herte wolde breke on five
Bot he mihte have hire to wyve,

That was so feir a may;
The Soudan ther he sat in halle;
He sente his messagers faste withalle,

To hire fader the kyng.
And seide, hou so hit ever bifalle,
That mayde he wolde clothe in palle

And spousen hire with his ryng.
“And elles - I swere withouten fayle
I schulló hire winnen in pleyn battayle

With mony an heih lordyng,” &c. The Soldan, on application to the king of Tarsus for his daughter, is refused; and the messengers return without suc

The Soldan's anger is painted with great characteristical spirit

The Soudan sat at his des,
I served of his furste mes;

Thei comen into the halle
To fore the prince proud in pres,
Heore tale thei tolden withouten lees

And on heore knees gunne falle:
And seide, “ Sire, the king of Tars
Of wikked wordes nis not scars,


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Hethene hound e he doth thef calle;
And er his doughtur he give the tille?
Thyn herte blode he wol spille

And thi barouns alle."
Whon the Soudan this iherde,
As a wod man he ferde,

His robe he rente adoun;
He tar the hero of hed and berd,
And seide he wold her wine * with swerd,

Beo his lord seynt Mahoun.
The table adoun riht he smot,
In to the floore foot hot',

He lokede as a wylde lyoun;
Al that he hitte he smot doun riht
Bothe sergaunt and kniht,

Erl and eke baroun.
So he ferde forsothe a pliht,
Al a day, and al a niht,

That no man mihte him chastek:
A morwen whon hit was day liht,
He sent his messagers ful riht,

After his barouns in haste:
[That thai com to his parlement,
For to heren his jugement

Bothe lest and mast.
When the parlement was pleyner,
Tho bispac the Soudan fer,

And seyd to hem in hast.]+
“ Lordynges,” he seith, “what to rede',

Me is don a grete mysdede, • A phrase often applied to the Sara- son “ wive," from whence the reading cens. So in Syr Bevys, Signat. C. ii. b. in the text was too obvious not to be To speke with an hethene hounde.


i struck, stamped.

* check. 8 « Before his daughter is given to + [The lines within brackets were inthee."

serted by Mr. Ritson from the Aachinb« tore the hair."

leck MŠ-Epit.] - (Warton reads "wene," and Rit ! " what counsel shall we take."

f thee.

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Of Taars the Cristen kyng;
I bed him bothe lond and lede
To have his douhter in worthli wede,

And spouse hire with my ryng.
And he seide, withouten fayle
Arst he wolde me sle in batayle,

And mony a gret lordynge.
Ac sertes he schal be forswore,
Or to wrothe hele” that he was bore,

Bote he hit thertoo bryng.
Therefore lordynges, I have after ow sent
For to come to my parliment,

To wite of zow counsayle.”
And alle onswerde with gode entent
Thei wolde be at his comaundement

Withouten eny fayle.
And whon thei were alle at his heste,
The Soudan made a wel gret feste,

For love of his batayle;
The Soudan gedred an oste unrydep,
With Sarazyns of muchel pryde,

The kyng of Taars to assayle.
Whon the kyng hit herde that tyde
He sent about on vche asyde;

Alle that he mihte of seende;
Gret werre tho bigan to wrake
For the mariage ne most be take

Of that mayden heende,
Batayle thei sette uppon a day,
Withinne the thridde day of May,

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m But certainly.

To zow al was a wikke conseile, " Loss of health or safety. Maledic That ze selle se full wrotherheile. tion. So R. of Brunne, Chron. apud o to that issue. Hearne's Rob. Glouc. p. 737. 738. Dunright, wicked (numerous].

9 hend, handsome, (courteous. A Morgan did after conscile, And wrought him selfe to wrotherheile. nal and mental accomplishments.

general term expressive of persoAgain,


Ne longer nolde thei leende'.
The Soudan com with gret power,
With helm briht, and feir baneer,

Uppon that kyng to wende.
The Soudan ladde an huge ost,
And com with muche pruyde and cost,

With the kyng of Tars to fihte.
With him mony a Sarazyn feer",
Alle the feldes feor and neer,

Of helmes leomede lihte.
The kyng of Tars com also
The Soudan batayle for to do

With mony a Cristene knihte;
Either ost gon othur assayle
Ther bigon a strong batayle

That grislych was of siht.
Threo hethene ayein twey Cristene men,
And falde hem doun in the fen,

With wepnes stif and goode:
The steorne Sarazyns in that fiht,
Slowe vr Cristen men doun riht,

Thei fouhte as heo weore woode.
The Soudan ost in that stounde
Feolde the Cristene to the grounde,

Mony a freoly foode;
The Sarazyns, withouten fayle,
The Cristens culdeu in that battayle,

Nas non that hem withstoode.
Whon the king of Tars sauh that siht
Wodde he was for wrathew apliht;

In honde he hent a spere,
And to the Soudan he rode ful riht,
With a dunt* of much miht,

Adoun he gon him bere:

tarry. ' shone.

companion. u killed.

wrappe. Orig. * dint. wound, stroke.

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