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Another copy, of equal, if not greater, antiquity, but imperfect at the end, is preserve'd in the Au. chinleck MS. in the Advocates library, Edinburgh. Scarcely two lines together are exactly alike; but it is not, upon the whole, a better copy, except as it, in one place, supplys an omission. The title of the Bodleian MS. is in rime:
“ Her bigenneth of the kyng of Tars,
That it has been translateëd from the French is evident from the poets repeated referenceës to his original :
" In stori as we rede :
" As ich finde in my fawe." *** Damas is Damascus, and Tars, Thrace. See bishop Douglases Virgile, and Ruddimans glossary.
V.11. That hoore rihte heir scholde ben.] : The Edinburgh MS. reads,
“Non fairer woman mizt ben,” and contains variations, more or less important, in allmost every line.
V. 85. The foudan sat at his des. 7
" As the foudan sat at his des."
That the christians of former ageës eutertain'd an inveterate antipathy to the Mahometans (who, certainly, would not have been much less intolerant) is apparent from the ancient romanceës of chivalry, French or Engleish, in which this equally polite and religious appellation, frequently occurs. Thus, in Syr
Beuys, that gallant knight, as we learn from the right reverend editour of The Reliques of ancient English poetry, is so ful of zeal for his religion, as to return the following message to a Paynim kings fair daughter, who had fall’n in love with him, and sent two Saracen knights to invite him to her bower:
“ I. wyll not ones stirre of this grounde,
Or i your harte bloude shal fe.” Indeed, he ads, they return the compliment, by calling him elsewhere “ A christen hounde."
V. 114. This half of the stanza hath been borrow'd from the advocates copy, being omited in the Oxford one, and being of itsself, apparently, not perfectly correct. ' V. 446. Bi Jovin and Plotoun.]
« Sire Jovin," a few lines below, is a different deity from “ Jubiter," and, as Warton suggests, may mean the Roman emperour Jovinian, against whom St. Jerom wrote, and whos history is in the Gesta Romanorum, C. 59. Plotoun is Pluto,
V. 468. Appolin.] Apollo. “ Quel dieu," says a Saracen to Joseph of Arimathea, “ croyez vous ? Nous ne avons que quatre dieux, Mahom, Tervagant, Apolin, & Jupin.” (Lancelot du lac, tome 2, fo. 46.) One of these Saracen deitys occurs in Syr Bevys :
“ And if thou wylt thy god forsake,
And to Apolyne, our god, the betake,” &c. 1.469. Astrot.] A shtaroth, the godess of the Zidonians, occasionally worship'd by the children of Israel, See I Kings, X1, 5, 33.
: The immediate French original of this ancient and excellent romance (here giveën from a unique copy in the Cotton manuscript, Caligula, A. II.) is not known to be preserve’d, though so frequently refer'd to in the poem itsself; for instance: .
“ As i here fynge in fonge." V.2. The story, however, is relateëd, at great length, though with some variations, and under different names, by the poet Gower, in the second book of his Confesfio amantis, and, after him, by Chaucer, in his Man of lawes tale, * The former, who makes the lady, whom he calls Constance, or Custen, daughter to Tiberius Constantyn, a fabulous Christian emperour of Rome, refers to “ the cronike," as his authority; and may, therfor, seem to have been indebted to some work in the nature of the Gesta Romanorum, in which it is not to be now found. It, likewise, occurs (much alter'd, and very concisely abridge'd) in Il Pecorone de fer Gio
* This imitation affords a convinceing proof that Gower i a poet anteriour to Chaucer, though many of the latters pieceës hapen to appear with an earlyer date than his own. He, in fact, expressly calls Chaucer his “ disciple, and poete,” for that, “ in the flowres of his youth," he had made for his fake “ ditees and songes glade." There could not, however, be much difference in their ageës; as Chaucer was “ nowe in his daies olde;" and Gower himself, in 1396, both old and blind; though he survive'd Chaucer about two years, which Tort period he made use of to damn his own reputation to all eternity
vanni Fiorentino, say'd to have been composed in the
Or ellys a vanytè.]
- Sone, thys ys a fende,
In this wordy wede." Gower, in his legend of Constance (the Emare of the present poem), makes Domilde, the kings mother, write, in the forge'd letter to her son,
“ Thy wife, which is of fairie,
Fro kinde, whiche ftant all amis."
“ The god of hir hath made an ende,
Hath taken hir into companie :" but what he means, by “ this worldes fayrie," is not easey to surmise.
V. 122. Idoyne and Amadas. ]
The story of these loveërs is mention'd by Gower (Confesho amantis, fo. 133):
“ Myn ere with a good pitance
That whilome were in my cas.”
“ Men lykyn jestis for to here,
Of king John, and of Isenbras,
Of Ydoine and Amas." Their names allso occur in the old fabliau of Gautier d'Aupais (Fabliaux ou contes, C, 335). The adven. tures of " la belle Y doyne" are contain'd, according to M. De Bure (Cata. de la bib. du D. de la Valliere: addi. tions, 53), in the last part of the MS. Roman d'Aymeri de Narbonne : but this is a mistake ; " Le viel [not La belle] Ydoine," being actually, in that romance, a king of Arabia :
« Le fils Guyon suz le vair iert asfs,
(MS$. Reg. 20 D XI.) Another instance has been allready mention'd of a. knights name in one romance being a ladys in another.
V. 134. Trystram and Isowde.]
Two famous loveërs; the subject of many an ancient romance. A valuable fragment of one in French verse is in the possession of Francis Douce esquire; and another, very curious, and, possiblcly, stil older, but