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St. Brandan,' and other saints. IIis language is strongly AngloSaxon-ninety-six per cent., according to Mr. Marsh—but he speaks of the prevalence of the French tongue.
England and the Normans about 1300.
For the more that a man knows, the more worth he is. Mr. Ellis, in his ‘Specimens of the Early English Poets, praises Robert of Gloucester's description of the first crusade, but the narralive is generally flat and prosaic. The following is a portion partly modernised :
The Muster for the First Crusade.
And the other Baldwin also, thit noble men were, 1 was called.
2 Passed the mountains-namely, the Alps. 3 Was quickly taken up
5 Since never more. 6 Even women did not remain,
7 To wed, in pledge, in pawn. 8 With,
And kings syth all three of the holy lond.
Of Scotlond and of Greece, of Rome and Aquitain. The good knight Robert Curthose was the bastard son of the Conqueror, and the monk thus describes him :
Thick man he was enow, but he nas well long,
Iu battle him bring adown of his horse none time. ROBERT DE BRUNNE, or more properly ROBERT MANNING, a native of Brunne or-Bourn, in Lincolnshire, in the year 1303, translated, under the name of' Handlyng Synne,' a French work by William de Waddington entitled 'Le Manuel des Pechiez.' He afterwards (bctween 1327 and 1338) translated a French chronicle of England, which had been written by Piers or Peter de Langtoft, a contemporary of his own, and an Augustine canon of Birdlington, in Yorksbire. This chronicle comes down to the death of Edward I. in 1307. The earlier part is translated from Wace's ‘Brut.' Manning has been characterized as an industrious, and, for the time, an elegant writer, possessing, in particular, a great command of rhymes. The verse adopted in his chronicle is shorter than that of the Gloucester monk, making an approach to the octosyllabicstanza of modern times. The language is also nearer modern English: Lordynges, that be now here,
Not for the lerid bot for the lewed, (5) If ye wille listene & lere
For tho that in this land wonn, All the story of Inglande,
That the Latyn no Frankys conn, (6) Als Robert Mannyng wryten it fand,
For to haf solace & gamen & on inglysch has it schewed,
In felawschip when thai sitt samen. (7) Manning, or De Brunne, speaks of disours (Fr. deseurs, reciters) and seggers, or sayers, in his day, who recited metrical compositions, and
1 Beyond reckoning; 2 Square. 3 Seeing his sturdy deeds, 4 Beheid. 5 Not for the learned, but for the laymen aad uulearned.
6 Kuvw 7 When they sit the same-sit together.
took unwarrantable liberties with the text of the poets. He did not write for them; he
Made nought for no disours,
That strange English cannot ken.
* Drinkhail,' smiling on Rowenen. That all were glad, king and knight. Rowen drank as her list, And as they were best in glading, And gave the king, syne him kissed. And well cup-shotten, (1) knight and There was the first wassail in dede, king,
And that first of fame gaed. Of chamber Rowenen so gent,
Of that wassail men told great tale, Before the king in hall she went.
And wassail when they were at ale, A cup with wine she had in hand,
And drinkhail to them that drank, And ho'r attire was well farand. (2)
Thus wag wassail ta'en to thank. Before the king on knee set,
Fell sithes (5) that maideu ying.
Liver () king, wassail !' said she. Of body she was right avenant, (9)
Of fair colour with sweet siinblant.
For of that maideu he wax all mad.
Drunkenness the fiend wrought, What she said told Vortiger.
Of that Paen (11) was all his thought. 'Sir, Birgh said, “Rowen you greets, A mischance that time him led, And king calls and lord you leets. (7) He asked that Paen for to wed. This is their custom and their gest, Hengist would not draw o lite, When they are at the ale or feast,
Bot granted him also tite. (12) Ilk man that loves where him think, And Hors his brother consented soon. Shall say, 'W:ssail !' and to him drink. Her friends said, it were to donc. He that bids shall say, Wassail!
They asked the king to give her Kent, The tother shall say agaili, ‘Drinkhail! In dowery to take of runt. That says Wassail drinks of the cup, Upon that maiden his heart was cast; Kissing his fellow he gives it up.
That they asked the king made fast. Drinkhail he says, and drinks thereof, I ween the king took her that day, Kissing him in bourd and skof.'
And wedded her on Paen's lay. (13) The king said, as the knight gan ken,
Praise of Good Women.-From the ' Tandling of Sins.' Nothing is to man so dear
Of all that a man may neven, (14) A3 woman's love in good manner. That should a man so much glew, (15) A good woman is mau's bliss,
As a good woman that loveth true; Where her love right and steadfast is. Ne dearer is none in God's hurd, (16) There is no solace under heaven,
Thau a chaste women with lovely wurd.
1 Well advanced in convivialities. 2 Of good appearance. This phrase is still used in Scotland. 3 Greeted. 4 Lord. 5 Had n Koowledge. 6 Interpreter. 7 Esterm 8 Many times. 9 Graceful, beautiful.
11 Pagan. 1? Would not draw off a little, but granted all quickly. 'Tite, soon, is connected with tiir, time.'!'oris
13 According to pagan law. 14 Name, 15 Delight (Ang. -Sax. gleo, gliu,glee, music.) 16 tisti, herve, erul, citrii,
The death of
Edward I.— the greatest of the Plantagenets '- July 7, 1307, called forth an elegy, preserved among the Ilarleian MSS. The following are two of the stanzas (spelling simplified):
All that beeth of heart true
A stound (i) hearkeneth to my song,
That maketh me sick and sorrow among,
Of whom God hath done his will,
That he (the king) so soou shall liggé (2) still.
The flower of all chivalry,
Alas! that he yet should die!
Our banners that haeth (4) brought to ground;
Ere we such a king ban y-foud!
LAWRENCE MINOT-RICHARD ROLLE— WILLIAM LANGLAND. LAWRENCE MINOT, about 1350, composed a series of ten poems on the victories of Edward III.-beginning with the battle of Halidon Hill, (1333), and ending with the siege of Guines Castle (1352). His works were in a great measure unknown until the beginning of the present century, when they were published by Ritson, who praised ihem for the ease, variety, and harmony of the versification. Professor Craik considered Minot to be the earliest writer of Englislı subsequent to the contest, who deserved the name of a poet. IIis dialect is Northumbrian :
God that schope (6) both se and sand For mani men to him er wroth,
For he defendes fast his right,
How Edward the King came in Brabant. Edward, oure comely king,
Thus in Braband has he been, In Braband has his woning (7)
Where he before was seldom seen With many comely knight;
For to prove their japes;(11) And in that land, truely to tell,
Now no langer will he spare, Ordains he still for to dwell
Bot unto France fast will he fare To tiine (4) he think to fight.
To comfort him with grapes. Now God, that is of mightés mast, (9) Furth he fared into France; Grant him Grace of the Holy Ghast God save him fro mischance, His heritage to win;
And all his company! And Mary Moder, of mercy free,
The noble Duke of Braband Save our king and his menzé (10)
With him went into that land, Fro sorrow, shame, and sin.
Ready to live or die. 1 A little while, a moment.
5 Call, 6 Di posed, ordered (Ang. -Sax, scapan, to shape to form). 7 Abode, dwelling. & Till the time. 9 Most of maight,
10 Company, host. 11 Jeers, dovices,
Then the rich flower de lice (1)
Ile brought folk full great w01, (5) Wan there fuil little prize;
Aye seven agains one, Fast he fied for feared:
That full well weaponed were, The right her of that countree
Bot icon when he heard asery (C) 1: come'), (2) with all his knightes free, That King Edward was near thercly, To shake him by the beard.
Then durst he bought come rear. Sir Philip the Valays (3)
In that mornirg fell a mist, With his men in tho days
Aud when ow Engli-imen it wist, To battle had he thought :(4)
It changed all their cheer; ile bade his men them purvey
Our king unto God made his boon, (7) Withouten langer delay;
And God sent him good comfort soon : But he ne held it nought.
The weather wex full clear. RICHARD ROLLE, a hermit of the order of St. Augustine, and doctor of divinity, lived a solitary life near the priory of Hampole, four miles from Doncaster. He died in 1349. Rolle wrote metrical paraphrases of certain parts of Scripture, and an original poem of a moral and religious nature, entitled. The Pricke of Conscience,
' an elaborate "work in seven books and nearly ten thousand lines. It was pulilisher for the Philological Society, edited by Ir. Morris, in 1863. This poem is also in the Northumbriam dialect, many words of which are still in use in Scotland-as ihole, to bear; greeting, weeping; tin“, luse; auld, old; fae, foe; Frae, from ; &c. What is in lIeaven- From the ‘Pricke of Conscience.'
Thcris lyf withonte ony deth,
In wham resteth all inannero grace. WILLIAM LANGLAND, author of "The Vision concerning Piers the Plouman,' was the most vigorous, truly English, and popular of all the poets preceding Chaucer. He was born about 1332, supposed to he a native of Cleobury Mortimer, in Shropshire, and the son of a franklin or freeman. He wore the clerical tonsure, probably as having taken minor orders, anıl earned a precarious living by singing the I Fleur de lis. 2 To come.
3 Philip VI, de Valois, king of France. 4 Silved, 5 Number,
6 Alarm, outcry (Swedish Unser). 7 Petitivo, request (Ang. - Sax, ven, prayer.