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where no man was to fit but one : an honour reserved for fir Galaad, the son of Lancelot du lake. “ King Arthur,” according to the history, “ stablish'd all his knights, and gave them lands that were not rich of land, and charge'd them never to do outrage nor mur. der, and alway to Ale treason. Also, by no means, to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asked mercy, upon paine of forfeiture of their worship, and lordship of king Arthur, for evermore, and alway to do ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen, succour upon paine of death. Also that no man take no battailes in a wrong quarell for no law, nor for worldly goods. Unto this were all the knights sworne of the round table, both old and young.” Mort d'Arthur, Part 1, C. 59. It is not once mention’d by Geoffrey of Monmouth, though master Wace, not twenty years after the time of that unworthy prelate, thus speaks of it:
“ Fis Artúr la ronde table, .. Dunt Breton dient meinte fable.” V. 19. And for love of hys fayr vyys,
Hys modyr clepede hym Bewfys,
And no nothyr name.] V. 69. Giglan, the natural son of Gawain and the fairy Blanchevallee, appears at the court of king Arthur; and, being alk'd his name, says that his mother (who had carefully conceal’d it) had never call’d him any thing but Beaufils; in consequence of which the queen gives him that of Le bel inconnu. (Histoire de Giglan, n. d. 4to. g. 1.) In this romance the lady is call’d Helen ; but the main incidents bear little or no resemblance to those of Lybeaus. See allso the episode or adventure of Beaumains, in fir Thomas Malorys Mort d'Arthur.
In the Promptorium parvulorum (Har. MS. 221) Befyce, is explain'd filius.
V.99. Whesch and yede to mete.]
It was a constant custom, in former times, to wash the hands before siting down to, and after riseing up from, table. Thus, in Emare, V. 217:
“ Then the lordes that wer grete,
And folk hem served swyde."
“ Then the lordes, that wer grete,
And then com spycerye."
« The steward wasched and wente to mete." Again, in Le bone Florence of Rome, V. 1009:
“ Then they wysche, and to mete be gone." Thus, allso, in Robyn Hode and the potter, the serif fays,
“ Let os was, and go to mete.” - V. 259. Beaumains, in his expedition to relieve the lady Liones, is treated in a similar manner by her sister Linet : it is a very entertaining adventure. See Mort d'Arthur, P. 1, C. 122, &c. See, allso, that of the damsel Maledisaunt, and the young knight nickname'd La cote male tailé, P. 2, C. 44. i V. 1240. Yle dore.] L'ile d'or, The ile of gold, or golden iland; but whether design'd for French or Engleish seems rather doubtful.
V. 1301. That levede in Termagaunt.] So, after. ward, in the King of Tars :
« Of Tirmagaunt and of Mahoun." "TERMAGAUNT,” says doctor Percy, “is the name given in the old romances to the god of the Saracens ; in which he is constantly linked with MAHOUND or Mahomet." (i, 76.) “ This word,” he ads, « js de. rived by the very learned editor of Junius from the Anglo-Saxon Týn very, and Magan mighty. As this word had so sublime a derivation, and was so applica. ble to the true ged, how fhall we account for its being fo degraded ? Perhaps Tyr-mazan or Termagant had been a name originally given to some Saxon idol, before our ancestors were converted to christianity; or had been the peculiar attribute of one of their false deities; and 'therefore the first christian missionaries rejected it as profane and improper to be implied [r. applied] to the true god. Afterwards, when the irruptions of the Saracens into Europe, and the cru. fades into the east, had brought them acquainted with a new species of unbelievers, our ignorant ancestors, who thought all that did not receive the christian law were necessarily pagans and idolaters, supposed the Mahometan creed was in all respects the same with that of their pagan forefathers, and therefore made no scruple to give the ancient name of Termagant to the god of the Saracens: just in the same manner as they afterwards used the name of Sarazen to express any kind of pagan idolater." (77.) “ I cannot,” says he, afterward, “ conclude this short memoir, without ob. serving that the French romancers, who had borrowed the word Termagant from us, and applied it as we in their old romances, corrupted it into TERVÅGAUNTE.* This may be added to the other proofs adduced in these volumes of the great intercourse that formerly subsisted between the old minstrels' and 'legendary writers of both nations, and that they mutually bor. rowed each others romances” '(78). In a note, at
P. 379, he, likewise, observes that “ The old French romancers, who had corrupted TERMAGANT into TERVAGANT, couple it with the name of Mahomet as constantly as ours. As TERMAGANT," he says, “ is evidently of Anglo-Saxon derivation, and can only be explained from the elements of that language, its being corrupted by the old French romancers proves that they borrowed some things from ours.” In another note (III, xxii), in order to support his hypothesis, that “ The stories of king Arthur and his round table, of Guy and Bevis, with some others, were probably the invention of English minstrels,” he has the following words : " That the French romancers borrowed some things from the English, appears from the word TERMAGANT, which they took up from our minstrels, and corrupted into TERVAGAUNTE... What is singular, Chaucer, who was most conversant with the French poets, adopts their corruption of this word. See TYRWHITT's edit."
In this pursuit the venerable prelate (though he might not be one at that time) has suffer'd himself to be misled by an ignis-fatuus. All that he has say'd, about Tyr-mazan or Termagant being the name of a Saxon deity, remains to be prove'd. The learned edi. tour of Junius impose'd upon him: the combination Týr mazan, is not to be found even in his own Saxon dictionary, neither, according to that authority, is Týr very; and maga, not magan, is mighty: and, after all, this is onely in effect the ter-magnus of former etymologists. As little foundation is there for sup. poseing that the French romanceërs not onely bor. row'd the word Termagant from the Engleish, but, likewise, corrupted it into TerVAGAUNTE: which is contrary to every authenticateëd fact. The Engleisla romanceërs not onely servilely follow'd the French, but even themselves corrupted the word TERVAGANTE, after they had got it. This corruption, however, must have takeën place before the time of Chaucer, who, notwithstanding what doctor P. has asserted, even in mister Tyrwhitts edition, gives the Engleish CORRUP. Tion, and not the French ORIGINAL:
« He fayde, Child, by TERMAGAUNT.” (II. 235; and see IV, 318.) A much greater mistake than the present editour made, by inadvertently quoteing his own book, by which the worthy doctor (forgetful of his own hallucinations) was please'd to say “ all confidence [had] been destroyed.”
But, in the King of Tars, a romance, in all proba. bility, anteriour to Chaucers time, as preserve'd in the Edinburgh MS. we find
« Be Mahoun and TERVAGANT :". and had we more copys of that age, we should, doubt. less, recover many other instanceës of the word; as, in fact, there may be in that identical MS.
With respect to the etymology of the original name TERVAGANTE (for it is perfectly ridiculous to seek for that of the corruption Termagant), it may, possiblely, be refer'd to the two Latin words ter and vagans, i.e. the action of going or turning thrice round, a very ancient ceremony in magical incantation. Thus Medea, in Ovids Metamorphosis (L.7, V. 189):
"Ter se convertit ; ter fumtis flumine crinem