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Sore him of thought the earlë’s death, and in other half he found
Joy in his heart, for the countess of spousehed was unbound,
When he had that he would, and paysed1 with his son,
To the countess he went again, me let him in anon.
What balta it to tale longë? but they were set at one,
In great love long enow, when it n'oldë other gon;
And had together this noble son, that in the world his pere n'as,
The king Arthur, and a daughter, Anne her namë was.
The next name of note is Robert, commonly called De Brunne. His real name was Robert Manning. He was born at Malton in Yorkshire; for some time belonged to the house of Sixhill, a Gilbertine monastery in Yorkshire; and afterwards became a member of Brunne or Browne, a priory of black canons in the same county. When monastical writers became famous, they were usually designated from the religious houses to which they belonged. Thus it was with Matthew of Westminster, William of Malmesbury, and John of Glastonbury—all received their appellations from their respective monasteries. De Brunne's principal work is a Chronicle of the History of England, in rhyme. It can in no way be considered an original production, but is partly translated, and partly compiled from the writings of Maistre Wace and Peter de Langtoft, which latter was a canon of Bridlington in Yorkshire, of Norman origin, but born in England, and the author of an entire History of his country in French verse, down to the end of the reign of Edward I. Brunne's Chronicle seems to have been written about the year 1303. We extract the Prologue, and two other passages :
In fellowship when they sit samen,
And it is wisdom for to witten
The state of the land, and have it written,
What manner of folk first it
And of what kind it first began.
And good it is for many things,
For to hear the deeds of kings,
Whilk were fools, and whilk were wise,
And whilk of them couth most quaintise ;
And whilk did wrong, and whilk right,
And whilk maintained peace and fight.
Of their deedës shall be my saw,
In what time, and of what law,
I shall you from gre to gre,
Since the time of Sir Noe:
From Noe unto Eneas,
And what betwixt them was,
And from Eneas till Brutus' time,
That kind he tells in this rhyme.
For Brutus to Cadwallader's,
The last Briton that this land lees.
All that kind and all the fruit
That come of Brutus that is the Brute;
And the right Brute is told no more
Than the Britons' timë wore.
After the Britons the English camen,
The lordship of this land they namen ;
South and north, west and east,
That call men now the English gest.
When they first among the Britons,
That now are English then were Saxons,
Saxons English hight all oliche.
They arrived up at Sandwiche,
In the kings since Vortogerne
That the land would them not werne, &c.
One Master Wace the Frankës tells
The Brute all that the Latin spells,
From Eneas to Cadwallader, &c.
And right as Master Wacë says,
I tell mine English the same ways,' &c.
KING VORTIGERN'S MEETING WITH PRINCESS ROUWEN.
Hengist that day did his might,
That all were glad, king and knight,
1.Couth:' knew.—2 «Gre:' step.
And as they were best in glading,
And wele cop schotin 1 knight and king,
Of chamber Rouewen so gent,
Before the king in hall she went.
with wine she had in hand,
And her attire was well-farand.2
Before the king on knee set,
And in her language she him gret.
Lauerid 3 king, Wassail, said she.
The king asked, what should be.
In that language the king ne couth.4
A knight the language lered 6 in youth.
Breg hight that knight, born Bretoun,
That lered the language of Sessoun.
This Breg was the latimer,
What she said told Vortager.
"Sir, Breg said, ' Rowen you greets,
And king calls and lord you
This is their custom and their gest,
When they are at the ale or feast.
Ilk man that louis quare him think,
Shall say Wosseil, and to him drink.
He that bidis shall say, Wassail,
The other shall say again, Drinkhail.
That says Wosseil drinks of the cup,
Kissing his fellow he gives it up.
Drinkheil, he says, and drinks thereof,
Kissing him in bourd and skof.'9
The king said, as the knight'gan ken,10
Drinkheil, smiling on Rouewen.
Rouwen drank as her list,
And gave the king, sine 11 him kist.
There was the first wassail in deed,
And that first of fame gede.12
Of that wassail men told great tale,
And wassail when they were at ale,
And drinkheil to them that drank,
Thus was wassail tane 13 to thank.
Fele sithës 14 that maiden ying,15
Wassailed and kist the king.
1 Schotin:' sending about the cups briskly. —% Well-farand:' very rich.3 Lauerid:' lord.—4 •Ne couth :' knew not.-5 Lered:' learned.—6 •Sessoun :' Saxons.—7. Latimer:' for Latiner, or Latinier, an interpreter.—8. Leets:' esteems. 9.Skof:' sport, joke.—10 • Ken:' to signify.—11 Sine;' then.—12 • Gede:' went. _13 «Tane;' taken. 14 Sithës:' many times.—15 · Ying: young.
Of body she was right avenant,
Of fair colour, with sweet semblant.2
Her attire full well it seemed,
Mervelik3 the king she quemid.4
Out of measure was he glad,
For of that maiden he were all mad.
Drunkenness the fiend wrought,
Of that paen 6 was all his thought.
A mischance that time him led,
He asked that paen for to wed.
Hengist wild not draw a lite,
But granted him, allë so tite.?
And Hors his brother consented soon.
Her friendis said, it were to don.
They asked the king to give her Kent,
In douery to take of rent.
Upon that maiden his heart so cast,
That they asked the king made fast.
I ween the king took her that day,
And wedded her on paien's lay.
Of priest was there no benison
No mass sungen, no orison.
In geisine he had her that night.
Of Kent he gave Hengist the right.
The earl that time, that Kent all held,
Sir Goragon, that had the sheld,
Of that gift no thing ne wist
To he was cast out with 10 Hengist.
THE ATTACK OF RICHARD I. ON A CASTLE HELD BY THE SARACENS.
The dikes were fullë wide that closed the castle about,
And deep on ilka side, with bankis high without.
Was there none entry that to the castle 'gan ligg,
But a strait kaucë ;12 at the end a draw-brig,
With great double chainës drawen over the gate,
And fifty armed swainës porters at that gate.
With slingës and mangonels they cast to king Richard,
Our Christians by parcels casted againward.
Ten sergeants of the best his targe 'gan him bear
That eager were and prest 13 to cover him and to were 14 1'Avenant:' handsome.—2 «Semblant:' countenance.—3 Mervelik:' marvellously.—4 «Quemid:' pleased.—5 Paen:' pagan, heathen.—6 • Wild not draw a lite:' would not fly off a bit.—7 Tite:' happeneth.–8. On paien's lay:' in pagan's law; according to the heathenish custom.—9. To:' till.—10 «With:' by.—116 Ligg:' lying.–12 · Kaucë:' causey.–13 Prest:' ready.—14 • Were:' defend.
Himself as a giant the chainës in two bew,
The targe was his warant, that none till him threw.
Right unto the gate with the targe they yede,
Fighting on a gate, under him they slew his steed,
Therefore ne would he cease, alone into the castele
Through them all would press ; on foot fought he full wele.
And when he was within, and fought as a wild lión,
He fondred the Sarazins otuynne, and fought as a dragon,
Without the Christians 'gan cry, ‘Alas! Richard is taken;'
Then Normans were sorry, of countenance 'gan blaken,
To slay down and to 'stroy never would they stint,
They left fordied? no noye,4 ne for no wound no dint,
That in went all their press, maugre the Sarazins all,
And found Richard on dais fighting, and won the hall. Of De Brunne, Warton judiciously remarks–Our author also translated into English rhymes the treatise of Cardinal Bonaventura, his contemporary, De coena et passione Domini, et pænis S. Mariæ Virginis. But I forbear to give more extracts from this writer, who appears to have possessed much more industry than genius, and cannot at present be read with much pleasure. Yet it should be remembered that even such a writer as Robert de Brunne, uncouth and unpleasing as he naturally seems, and chiefly employed in turning the theology of his age into rhyme, contributed to form a style, to teach expression, and to polish his native tongue. In the infancy of language and composition, nothing is wanted but writers;—at that period even the most artless have their use.'
Here we may allude to the introduction of romantic fiction into English poetry. This had, as we have seen, reigned in France. There troubadours in Provençe, and men more worthy of the name of poets in Normandy, had long sung of Brutus, of Charlemagne, and of Rollo. And thence a class, called sometimes Joculators, sometimes Jongleurs, and sometimes Minstrels, issued, harp in hand, wandering to and fro, and singing tales of chivalry and love, composed either by themselves, or by other poets living or dead. (We refer our readers to our first volume of Percy's 'Reliques,' for a full account of this class, and of the poetry they produced.) These wanderers reached England in due