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SECTION XII.

Page.

General view of the character of Chaucer. Boccacio's Teseide.

A Greek poem on that subject. Tournaments at Constanti-

nople. Common practice of the Greek exiles to translate the

popular Italian poems. Specimens both of the Greek and

Italian Theseid. Critical examination of the Knight's Tale. . 176

SECTION XIII.

The subject of Chaucer continued. His Romaunt of the Rose.

William of Lorris and John of Meun. Specimens of the French

Le Roman de la Rose. Improved by Chaucer. William of

Lorris excells in allegorical personages. Petrarch dislikes this

poem

204

Section XIV.

Chaucer continued. His Troilus and Cresseide. Boccacio's

Troilo. Sentimental and pathetic strokes in Chaucer's poem.

House of Fame. A Provencial composition. Analysed.

Improperly imitated by Pope .

.. 220

Section XV.

Chaucer continued. The supposed occasion of his Canterbury

Tales superior to that of Boccacio's Decameron. Squire's Tale,

Chaucer's capital poem. Origin of its fictions. Story of Patient

Grisilde. Its origin, popularity, and characteristic excellence.

How conducted by Chaucer

232

SECTION XVI.

Chaucer continued. Tale of the Nun's Priest. Its origin and

allusions. January and May. Its imitations. Licentiousness

of Boccacio. Miller's Tale. Its singular humour and ridi.

culous characters. Other Tales of the comic species. Their

origin, allusions, and respective merits. Rime of Sir Thopas.

Its design and tendency ....

253

Section XVII.

Chaucer continued. General view of the Prologues to the Can-

terbury Tales. The Prioresse. The Wife of Bath. The Fran-
kelein. The Doctor of Physicke. State of medical erudition
and practice. Medicine and astronomy blended. Chaucer's
physician's library. Learning of the Spanish Jews. The
Sompnour. The Pardonere. The Monke. Qualifications of

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Page.

an abbot. The Frere. The Parsoune. The Squire. English

crusades into Lithuania. The Reeve. The Clarke of Oxen-

ford. The Serjeaunt of Lawe. The Hoste. Supplemental

Tale, or History of Beryn. Analysed and examined. ....... 270

Section XVIII.

Chaucer continued. State of French and Italian poetry : and

their influence on Chaucer. Rise of allegorical composition in

the dark ages. Love-courts, and Love-fraternities, in France.

Tales of the troubadours. Dolopathos. Boccacio, Dante, and

Petrarch. Decline of Provencial poetry. Succeeded in France

by a new species. Froissart. The Floure and the Leafe.

Floral games in France. Allegorical beings...

292

Section XIX,

John Gower. His character and poems. His tomb. His Con-

fessio Amantis. Its subject and plan. An unsuccessful imi-

tation of the Roman de la Rose. Aristotle's Secretum Secre-

torum. Chronicles of the middle ages. Colonna. Romance

of Lancelot. The Gesta Romanorum. Shakespeare's caskets.

Authors quoted by Gower. Chronology of some of Gower's

and Chaucer's poems. The Confessio Amantis preceded the

Canterbury Tales. Estimate of Gower's genius

305

SECTION XX.

Boethius. Why, and how much, esteemed in the middle ages.

Translated by Johannes Capellanus, the only poet of the reign

of king Henry the Fourth. Number of Harpers at the coro-

nation feast of Henry the Fifth. A minstrel-piece on the

Battayle of Agynkourte. Occleve. His poems. Egidius de

Regimine Principum, and Jacobus of Casali De Ludo Scacco-

Chaucer's picture. Humphrey duke of Gloucester.

Sketch of his character as a patron of literature. Apology for

the gallicisms of Chaucer, Gower, and Occleve..

342

Section XXI.

Reign of Henry the Sixth. Lydgate. His life and character.

His Dance of Death. Macaber a German poet. Lydgate's

poem in honour of Saint Edmund. Presented to Henry the

Sixth, at Bury-abbey, in a most splendid manuscript, now re-

maining. His Lyf of our Lady. Elegance and harmony of his

stile and versification ....

361

Section XXII.

Page.

Lydgate continued. His Fall of Princes, from Laurence Pre-

mierfait's French paraphrase of Boccace on the same subject.

Nature, plan, and specimens of that poem. Its sublime alle-

gorical figure of Fortune. Authors cited in the same. Boc-

cace's opportunities of collecting many stories of Greek original,

now not extant in any Greek writer. Lydgate's Storie of

Thebes. An additional Canterbury Tale. Its plan, and ori-

ginals. Martianus Capella. Happily imitated by Lydgate.

Feudal manners applied to Greece. Specimen of Lydgate's

force in description. ..

371

Section XXIII.

Lydgate's Troy-Boke. A paraphrase of Colonna's Historia

Trojana. Homer, when, and how, first known in Europe.

Lydgate's powers in rural painting. Dares and Dictys. Feudal

manners, and Arabian imagery, ingrafted on the Trojan story.

Anecdotes of antient Gothic architecture displayed in the

structure of Troy. An ideal theatre at Troy so described, as

to prove that no regular stage now existed. Game of chess

invented at the siege of Troy. Lydgate's gallantry. His

anachronisms. Hector's shrine and chantry. Specimens of

another Troy-Boke, anonymous, and written in the reign of

Henry the Sixth...

390

SECTION XXIV.

Reign of Henry the Sixth continued. Hugh Campeden translates

the French romance of Sidrac. Thomas Chestre's Sir Launfale.

Metrical romance of the Erle of Tholouse. Analysis of its

Fable. Minstrels paid better than the clergy. Reign of Edward

the Fourth. Translation of the classics and other books into

French. How it operated on English literature. Caxton.

Anecdotes of English typography ..

408

Section XXV.

Harding's Chronicle. First mention of the king's Poet Laureate

occurs in the reign of Edward the Fourth. History of that office.

Scogan. Didactic poems on chemistry by Norton and Ripley. 437

SECTION XXVI.

Poems under the name of Thomas Rowlie. Supposed to be spu-

rious

451

Appendix (by the Editor)

481

THE HISTORY

OF

ENGLISH POETRY.
E Ꮲ

SECTION V. THE romance of Sir Guy, which is enumerated by Chaucer among the “Romances of pris,” affords the following fiction, not uncommon indeed in pieces of this sort, concerning the redemption of a knight from a long captivity, whose prison was inaccessible, unknown, and enchanteda. His name is Amis of the Mountain.

* The Romance of Sir Guy is a consi- riage of the fond couple. To this it derable volume in quarto. My edition should seem was afterwards tacked on a is without date, “Imprinted at London series of fresh adventures, invented or in Lothburye by Wyllyam Copland.” compiled by some pilgrim from the Holy with rude wooden cuts. It runs to Land; and the hero of this legend was Sign. S. ii. It seems to be older than then brought home for the defence of the Squyr of love degree, in which it is Athelstan, and the destruction of Colquoted. Sign. a. iii.

brand.' Mr. Ritson in opposition to Or els so bolde in chivalrie

Dugdale, who regarded Guy as an un

deniably historical personage, has laAs was syr Gawayne or syr GIE.

boured to prove that “no hero of this The two best manu

anuscripts of this ro name is to be found in real history," mance are at Cambridge, MSS. Bibl. and that he was “no more an English Publ. Mor. 690. 33. and MSS. Coll. hero than Amadis de Gaul or PercefoCaii, A. 8.

rest."

Mr. Ellis, on the other hand, (An analysis of this romance will be conceives the tale “may possibly be found in the “ Specimens" of Mr. Ellis, founded on some Saxon tradition," and who is of opinion that “the tale in its that though the name in its present form present state has been composed from be undoubtedly French, yet as it bears the materials of at least two or three if some resemblance to Egil, the name of not more romances. The first is a most an Icelandic warrior, who “contributed tiresome love story, which, it may be pre- very materially to the important victory sumed, originally ended with the mar- gained by Athelstan'over the Danes and VOL. II.

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“ Here besyde an Elfish knyhteb
Has taken my lorde in fyghte,
And hath him ledde with him away
In the Fayry', Syr, permafay.”
“ Was Amis," quoth Heraude, “your husbond?
A doughtyer knygte was none in londe.”
Then tolde Heraude to Raynborne,
How he loved his father Guyon:
Then sayd Raynburne, “For thy sake,
To morrow I shall the

way

take,
And nevermore come agayne,
Tyll I bring Amys of the Mountayne.”
Raynborne rose on the morrow erly,
And armed hym full richely.-
Raynborne rode tyll it was noone,
Tyll he came to a rocke of stone;
Ther he founde a strong gate,
He blissed hym, and rode in thereat.
He rode half a myle the waie,
He saw no light that came of daie,
Then cam he to a watir brode,
Never man ovir suche a one rode.
Within he sawe a place greene
Suche one had he never erst seene.

their allies at Brunanburgh ;" he thinks Guyon, and Guido, are the representa“it is not impossible that this warlike tives of the Teutonic W, and clearly foreigner may have been transformed by point to some cognomen beginning with some Norman monk into the pious and the Saxon Wig, bellum.-Edit.) amorous Guy of Warwick.” This at + In Chaucer's Tale of the Chanon best is but conjecture, nor can it be con- Yeman, chemistry is termed an ELFISH sidered a very happy one. Egil himself art, that is, taught or conducted by Spi(or his nameless biographer) makes no rits. This is an Arabian idea. Chan. mention of a single combat on the oc Yem. T. p. 122. v. 772. Urry's edit. casion in which he had been engaged ;

Whan we be ther as we shall exercise and the fact, had it occurred, would have

Our ELVISHE craft. been far too interesting, and too much in unison with the spirit of the times, to have

Again, ibid. v. 863. been passed over in silence. In addition Though he sit at his boke both daie to this, the substitution of Guy for Egil

and night, is against all analogy, on the transforma In lerning of this ELVISH nicè lore. tion of a Northern into a French ap C« Into the land of Fairy, into the pellation. The initial letters in Guy, region of Spirits.”

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