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lykenesse of a gret dragoun, that is an hundred fadme in lengthe, as men seyn : for I have not seen hire. And they of the illes callen hire, lady of the land." We are not to think then, these kind of stories, believed by pilgrims and travellers, would have less credit cither with the wriiers or readers of romances : which humour of the times therefore may well account for their birth and favourable reception in the world.
The other monkiih historian, who supplied the romancers with materials, our Geoffry of Monmouih. For it is not to be supposed, that these children of fancy (as Shakspeare in the place quoted above, finely calls them, insinuating that fancy hath its infancy as well as manhood, ) should stop * in the midst of so extraordinary a career, or confine themselves within the lifts of the terra firma, From him therefore the Spanish romances took the story of the British Arthur, and the knights of his round table, bis wife Gueniver, and his conjurer Merlin. But still it was the same subje&; ( essen. tial to books of chivalry,) the wars of Christians against Infidels. And, whether it was by blunder or design, they changed the Saxons into Saracens, I susped by design; for chivalry without a Saracen was fo very l. me and imperfe& a thing, that even the wooden image, which turned round on an axis, and served the knights to try their swords, and break their lances upon, was called by the Italians and Spaniards, Saricino and Sarazino ; so closely were these two ideas connected.
In these old romances there was much religious superstition mixed with their other extravagancies; as appears even from their very names and titles. The first romance of Launcelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called the History of Saint Greaal. This faint Greaal was the famous relick of the holy blood pretendo ed to be colle&ed into a veilel by Joseph of Arimathea. So another is called Kyrie Eleison of Montauban. For in those days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were supposed to be the names of holy
And as ihey made faints of the knights-errant, so they made knights-errant of their tutelary saints; and each nation advanced its own into the order of chivalry. Thus every thing in those times being either a faint or a devil, they never wanted for the marvellous. In the old romance of Launcelot of the Lake, we have the doario: and discipline of the church as formally delivered as in Bellarmine himself. “ La confession (says the preacher) ne vaut rien fi le cæur
*" For it is not to be fupposed, that these Children of Fancy, as Shakspeare calls them, infinuating thereby that fancy hate its infancy as well as manhood, should stop, &c.]
I cannot conceive how Shakspeare, by calling Armado the Child of Tancy, infinuates that fancy hath its infancy as well as manhood. The showing that a woman had a child, would be a ftrange way of proving her in her infancy.---By calling Armado the Child of Fancy, Shakipeare means only to describe him as fantastical. M. MASON.
n'est repentant; & fi tu es moult & eloigné de l'amour de noftre Seigneur, tu ne peus eftre recordé fi non par trois choses : premierement par la confeflion de bouche ; secondement par une contricion de cæur; tiercement par peine de cæur, & par oeuvre d'aumône & charité. Telle eft la droite voye d'aimer Dieu. Or va & si te confefse en cette manière & reçois la difeipline des mains de tes confeffeurs, car c'est le signe de merite. Or mande le roy ses everques, dont grande partie avoit en l'oft, & vinrent lous en fa chapelle. Le roy vint devant eux tout nud en pleurant, & tenant son plein point de vint menuës verges, si les jetta devant eux, & leur dit en soupirant, qu'ils prifsent de luy vengeance, car je suis le plus vil pecheur, &c. Après prinst discipline & d'eux & moult doucement la receut. Hence we find the divinity lectures of Don Quixote and the pedance of his 'squire, are both of them in the ritual of chivalry. Lastly, we find the knight-erraut, after much turmoil to himself, and disturbance to the world, frequently ended his course, like Charles V. of Spain, in a monastery; or turned hermit, and became a saint in good earneft. And this again will let us into the spirit of those dialogues between Sancho and vis master, where it is gravely debated whether he should not turn faint or archbishop.
There were several causes of this strange jumble of nonsense and religion. As first, the nature of the subjed, which was a religious war or crusade: secondly, the quality of the first writers, who were religious men; and thirdly, the end of writing many of them, which was to carry on a religious purpose. We learn, that Clement V. interdided justs and tournaments, because he understood they had much hindered the crusade decreed in the council of Vienna. • Torneamenta ipfa & haftiludia five juxtas in regnis Franciæ, Angliæ, & Almanniæ, & aliis nounullis provinciis, in quibus ea consuevere frequentiús exerceri, specialiter interdixit. Extrav. de Torneamentis C. unic. temp. Ed. I. Religious men, I conceive, therefore, might think to forward the design of the crusades by turning the fondness for tilts and tournaments into that channel. Hence we see the books of knight-errantry fo full of solemn justs and torneaments held at Trebizonde, Bizance, Tripoly, &c. Which wise project, I apprehend, it was Cervantes's intention to ridicule, where he makes his knight propose it as the best means of subduing the Turk, to assemble all the knights-errant together by proclamation. * WARBURTON.
It is generally agreed, I believe, that this long note of Dr. Warburton's is, at least, very much misplaced. There is not a single passage in the character of Armado, that has the least relation to any Mory in any romance of chivalry. With what propriety therefore a
om See Part II. 1. 5. c. 1.
dissertation on the origin and nature of those romances is here intro. duced, I cannot see; and I should humbly advise the next editor of Shakspeare to omit it. That he may have the less scruple upon thai head, I lhall take this opportunity of throwing out a few remarks, which, I think, will be sufficient to show, that the learn. er writer's hypothesis was formed upon a very hasty and imperfe& view of the subjed.
At setting out, in order to give a greater value to the information which is to follow, he tells us, that no other writer has given any tolerable account of this matter; and particularly, - that
Monheur Huet, the bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal treatiso of the Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of these ( books of chivalry) in that superficial work.” – The fad is true, that Monsieur Hiet has said very little of Romances of chivalıy; but the imputation, with which Dr. W. proceeds io load him, of - putting the change upon his reader, and " dropping his proper subje&t” for anoilier, " that had no relation to it more than in the name," is uufounded.
It appears plainly from Huet's introdu&ory address to De Segrais, that bis objed was to give some account of those romances which were then popular in France, such as the dfirée of D'Urfé, the Grand Cyrus of De Scuderi, &c. He defines the Romances of which he means to treat, to be “ fictions des avantures amoureuses;" and he excludes epic poems from the number, because
Enfin les poëm s ont pour sujet une action militaire ou politique, & ne traitent d'amour que par occasion; les Romans au contraire ont l'amour pour sujet principal, & ne traitent la politique la guerre que par incident. Je parle des Romans réguliers; car la plî part des vieux Romans François, Italiens, dor Espagnols sont bien moins amoureux que militaires." After this declaration, surely no one has a right to complain of the author for not treating more at large of the old romances of chivalry, or to stigmatise his work as superficial, upon account of that omillion. I shall have occasion to remark below, that Dr. W who, in turning over this superficial work, (as he is pleased to call it, ) seems to have frui his eyes against every ray of good sense and juft observation, has condescended to borrow from it a very gross mistake.
Dr. W's own positions, to the support of which his subsequent fa&s and arguments might be expe&ed to apply, are two; 1 That Romances of chivalry being of Spanish original, the heroes and the scene were generally of that country; 2. That the subje&t of these romances were the crusades of the European Chriflians against the Saracens of Apa and Africa. The first position, being complicated, should be divided into the two following ; 1. That romances of chivalry were of Spanish original; 2. That the heroes and the scene of them were generally of that country.
Here are therefore three positions, to which I shall say a few words in their order; but I think it proper to premise a sort of definition of a Romance of Chivalry. If Dr. W. had done the fame, he must have seen the hazard of systematizing in a subject of such extent, upon a cursory perusal of a few modern books, which indeed ought not to have been quoted in the discussion of a question of antiquity.
A romance of chivalry therefore, according to my notion, is any fabulons narration, in verse or prose, in which the principal characters are knights, conduâing themselves in their several situations and adventures, agrecably to the institutions and customs of Chivalry. Whatever names the characters may bear, whether historical or fi&itious, and in whatever country, or age, the scene of the adion may be laid, if the adors are represented as knights, I should call such a fable a Romance of Chivalry.
I am not aware that this definition is more comprehensive that it ought to be: but, let it be narrowed ever so much; let any other be substituted in its room; Dr. W's first position, that roa mances of chivalry were of Spanish original, cannot be maintained. Monsieur Huet would have taught him better. He fays very truly, that “ les plus vieux," of the Spanish romances, “ font pofterieurs à nos Tristans @ à nos Lancelots, de quelques centaines d'années." Indeed the fad is indisputable. Cervanies, in a passage quoted by Dr. W. speaks of Amadis de Gaula (the first four books) as the firf book of chivalry printed in Spain. Though he says only printed, it is plain that he means written. And indeed there is no good reason to believe that Amadis was written long before it was printed. It is unnecessary to enlarge upon a system, which places the original of romances of chivalry in a nation, which has noue to produce older than the art of printing.
Dr. W.'s second position, that the heroes and the scene of these romances were generally of the country of Spain, is as unfortunate as the former. Whoever will take the second volume of Du Fresnoy's Bibliothèque des Romans, and look over his lists of Romans de Chevalerie, will see that not one of the celebrated heroes of the old ro. mances was a Spaniard. With resped to the general scene of such irregular and capricious faions, thc writers of which were used, literally, to "give 10 airy nothing, a local habitation and a name, I am fenfible of the impropriety of asserting any thing positively, without an accurate examination of many more of them than have fallen in my way.
I think, however, I might venture to affert, in dired contradidion to Dr. W. that the scene of them was not genea rally in Spain. My own notion is, that it was very rarely there : except in those few romances which treat expressly of the affair at Roncesvalles,
His lafi pofition, that the subje&t of these romances were the crum fades of the European Christians, against the Saracens of Asia and Vol. VII.
Africa, might be admitted with a small amendment. If it flood thus; the subje&t of some, or a few, of these romances were the cruJades, &c. the position would have been incontrovertible; but then it would not have been either new, or fit to support a system.,
After this state of Dr. W.'s hypothesis, one must be curious to fee what he himself has offered in proof of it. Upon the two first positions he says not one word: I suppose he intended that they should be received as axioms. He begins his illustration of his third pofition, by repeating it ( with a liitle change of terms, for a reason which will appear. )
" Indeed the wars of the Christians against the Pagans were the general subjeđt of the romances of chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground-work in two fabulous monkish hiftorians, the one, who, under the name of Turpin, archbishop of Rheims, wrote tbe History and Atchievements of Charlemagne' and his twelve Peers ; — the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth." Here we see the reason for changing the terms of crusades and Saracens into wars and Pagans; for, though the expedition of Charles into Spain, as related by the Pseudo-Turpin, might be called a crusade against the Saracens, yet, unluckily, our Geoffry has nothing like a sade, nor a fingle Saracen in his whole history; which indeed ends before Mahomet was born. I must observe too, that the speaking of Turpin's history under the title of " the History of the Atchievements of Charlemagne and his twelve Peers," is inaccurate and unscholarlike, as the fidion of a limited number of twelve peers is of a much later date than that history.
However, the gronnd-work of the romances of chivalry being thus marked out and determined, one might naturally expect some account of the firit builders and their edifices; but instead of that we have a digreflion upon Oliver and Roland, in which an attempt is made to say fome:hing of those two famous characters, not from the old romances, but from Shakspeare, and Don Quixote, and some modern Spanish romances. My learned friend, the dean of Carlisle, lias taken notice of the strange mistake of Dr. W. in supposing that the feats of Oliver were recorded under the name of Palmerin de Oliva ; a mistake, into which no one could have fallen, who had read the first page of the book. And I very much fufpe& that there is a mistake, though of less magnitude, in the assertion, that " in the Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of Roncesvalles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of Roldan el Encantador. ' Dr. W.'s authority for this assertion was, I apprehend, the following paffage of Cervantes, in the first chapter of Don Quixote. Mejor ejlava con Bernardo del Carpio, porque e". Roncesvalles avia muerto á Roldan el Encantado, valiendo fe de la induftria de Hercules, quando ahogó á Antcon el hijo de la Tierra entre
Where it is observable, that Cervantes does not appear to speak of more than one romance; he calls Roldan el encantado, and not al encantador; and moreover the word encantado is not to