« ForrigeFortsett »
occasion, methinks, than the noise of supplementary or tea-grace
tea-grace was those better befitting organs would waived altogether. With what spirit be, which children hear tales of, at might not Lucian have painted two Hog's Norton. We sit too long at priests, of his religion, playing into our meals, or are too curious in the each other's hands the compliment of study of them, or too disordered in performing or omitting a sacrifice,our application to them, or engross the bungry God meantime, doubtful too great a portion of those good of his incense, with expectant nostrils things (which should be common) to hovering over the two flamens, and our share, to be able with any grace (as between two stools) going away to say grace.
To be thankful for in the end without his supper. what we grasp exceeding our propor- A short form upon these occasions tion is to add hypocrisy to injustice. is felt to be unreverend; a long one, A lurking sense of this truth is what I am afraid, cannot escape the charge makes the performance of this duty of impertinence. I do not quite apso cold and spiritless a service at most prove of the epigrammatic concisetables. In houses where the grace ness with which that eqnivocal wag is as indispensable as the napkin, (but my pleasant school-fellow) who has not seen that never settled C. V. L., when importuned for a question arise, as to who shall say it; grace, used to enquire, first slyly while the good man of the house and leering down the table, “ Is there no the visitor clergyman, or some other clergyman here?”-significantly addguest belike of next authority from ing, “thank G-" Nor do I think years or gravity, shall be bandying our old form at school quite pertiabout the office between them as a nent, when we were used to preface matter of compliment, each of them our bald bread and cheese suppers not unwilling to shift the awkward with a preamble, connecting with burthen of an equivocal duty from his that humble blessing a recognition own shoulders? I once drank tea in of benefits the most awful and overcompany with two Methodist divines whelming to the imagination which of different persuasions, whom it was religion has to offer. Non tunc illis my fortune to introduce to each other erat locus. I remember we were put for the first time that evening. Be- to it to reconcile the phrase "good fore the first cup was handed round, creatures," upon which the blessing one of these reverend gentlemen put rested, with the fare set before us, it to the other, with all due solem- wilfully understanding that expresnity, whether he chose to say any sion in a low and animal sense, till thing. It seems it is the custom with some one recalled a legend, which some sectaries to put up a short told how in the golden days of prayer before this meal also. His Christ's, the young Ilospitallers were reverend brother did not at first quite wont to have smoking joints of roast apprehend him, but upon an expla- meat upon their nightly boards, till nation, with little less importance he some pious benefactor, commiserating made answer, that it was not a cus- the decencies, rather than the palates, tom known in his church ; in which of the children, commuted our flesh courteous evasion the other acqui- for garments, and gave us—horresco escing for good manner's sake, or in referens—trowsers instead of mutton. compliance with a weak brother, the
ON THE SONGS OF THIBAUT, KING OF NAVARRE. Whether Thibaut, King of Na- age are unknown. On the other side varre, was or was not the favoured are to be taken into the account the lover of Blanch, Queen Regent of total silence of Joinville, the contemFrance, and mother of Louis the porary historian on the subject, and ninth, is a question that has been that of several other annalists who much debated. Those, who mains lived at or near the time, the general tain the affirmative, rely chiefly on good character of Blanch, and the the hearsay evidence of Matthew disparity of her years, for she was Paris, and on the assertion of an old nearly old enough to be the mother French chronicler, whose name and of Thibaut. But a scandalous re
port, however improbable, when it song, the candid enquirer ́ owned has been once broached, seldom fails that he had discovered reasons for to spread far and wide ; and the altering his mind. In them, “La “ Fama refert” of Matthew has been blonde colorée" I were the words; eagerly caught at by a host of later which, in Shakspeare's language, may writers,-amongst whom are Du- be rendered, onehaillan, the first of French histori
Whose red and white, ans, who incorporated the annals of Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid his country into the narration; Favin, who wrote the history of Navarre; and the character of the Queen was Mezerai; Rapin ; and the Père again cleared. Daniel.
It is quite lamentable to think how It is well known that the curtail- slight an accident may destroy or ment of one word, which a hasty impeach the reputation of a virtuous scribe had reduced to the unlucky princess in the eyes of posterity: I consonants prtins, has thrown the could wish that the old Punic lanwhole life and character of Petrarch's guage were recovered, and that some Laura into confusion and perplexity. Carthaginia, manuscripts could be Did he mean it for parturitionibus ?- disinterred, which should equally He did, says the Abbé de Sade, at the rescue the fame of Dido from the assame time claiming for himself the ho- persions cast upon it by Virgil, who, nour to derive his parentage from one it is to be feared, though a modest of these ill-omened throes; and im- man on the whole, was yet, as a demediately the modest nymph of the termined bachelor, somewhat free in Sorga is transformed into a married his opinions on certain points, and coquette, with as large a litter about besides much corrupted by his intiher as the boon goddess in Mr. macy with Horace. The vindication Hilton's picture has, and the little which Ercilla, the heroic poet of biographer straining after his own Spain, (in this instance so truly debubble at the top. Shall we sub- serving of the title,) has undertaken stitute perturbationibus with Lord of her cause, might then be triumWoodhouselee?-It is quite another phantly established. story : Laura is not only reinstated Without thus clearing the way, I in her “single blessedness," but is could not have reconciled it to myself rendered an object of interest and to say a word about the Chansons of compassion by her numerous and un- Thibaut. But having so far satisfied deserved sufferings.
my conscience, of which I hold it Something of the same sort has the duty of every critic on such ochappened in the case we are now casions to be very tender, I have the considering. In the first of his less scruple in laying before my songs, according to one of the ma- readers an imitation of one of these nuscripts in the Royal Library at songs, together with the original. Paris,* the King of Navarre calls his First, however, I shall premise a mistress « La blonde couronnée,". few remarks on the origin and nature - The crowned fair." “ On reading of French song-writing, which I this,” says the editor of the Chan- have gleaned out of a learned dissersons, + (to whose account of the tation by the editor before mentioned. matter I am indebted for my infor- It appears that abusive ballads, (the mation,) “ I had no doubt but that first species of songs that are known to Thibaut was enamoured of Blanch.” have been composed in that language,) But the inadvertence of a transcriber were made as early as the expedihad again thrown an unmerited sus- tion of Godfrey of Bouillon, on the picion on the innocent. On consulta occasion of Arnulf, chaplain to the ing other written copies of the same Count of Normandy, being appointed
* No. 7222.
+ Les Poesies du Roy de Navarre, avec des Notes et un Glossaire François, &c. Paris, 1742. 2 Tom. 8vo.
# The same combination of words occurs elsewhere in these songs, and in the Romant de la Rosc:
La face blanche colorée,
Patriarch of Jerusalem, after he had ten-syllable, with a pause on the disgraced himself by some irregu- fourth. The rhymes are very exact, larities of conduct during his march not only to the eye but to the ear; to the holy city. Gautier de Coincy, but an indispensable alternation of a monk of St. Medard de Soissons, the masculine and feminine rhymes composed a large number of Songs, was not adopted till the age of Marot yet remaining in manuscript, toge- and Ronsard ; though one or two inther with his other poems. He was stances of it may be found in Thiin the time of Philip Augustus. The baut's songs. next to Coincy, were those writers of The following is one that was comsongs contained in the manuscripts posed by him as an encouragement of which the King of Navarre's form to the Crusaders. I had intended to a part. Of these, Chrétien de Troyes entertain my readers with one of his and Aubion de Sezane wrote at the love ditties; but the subject of this end of the twelfth century. Thibaut, was so much more uncommon, and King of Navarre, who was born in it seemed to bear so strongly the 1201, and died in 1253, is said to marks of a deep and solemn feeling, have been distinguished from the that I have selected it in preference rest not more by his high station to the rest. Thibaut was not one of than by the superior elegance and re- those “ who reck not their own finement of his style.
rede;" for he himself served in the The first French songs were called holy wars; and it might be for this, Lais, from the Latin lessus, a com- amongst his other worthy deeds, that pluint; though they had often no the great Italian poet, who was very more pretensions to the name than near his time, has given him the the nightingale has to the title of name of the “ buon ré Tebaldo," * “ the melancholy bird." Like the “ The good king Thibault.” It may Provençal, they have in general five be supposed to have been written stanzas, with an envoi at the end. about the year 1236, at the time The measure is most commonly the when he joined the Crusaders.
Take him, O Lord, who to that land shall go,
Where he did die and live who reigns with Thee :
Who will not bear his cross beyond the sea.
And freedom for his land and his countrie.
Who love not God, nor truth, nor loyalty.
“ I would not leave my friends for any fee.”
Did hang for us upon the holy tree.
That loves his God, and holds his honour dear,
But drivellers, skulking at their hearths for fear,
And for so little lose their glory here.
To all their doom in that great day shall tell:
Ye to that place shall go where angels dwell,
Down shall ye sink into the deep of hell.”
* Dante Inferno, c. xxii.
their life away,
Whoso in weal would
As have nor sense, nor hardihood, nor might.
Pray for us, Virgin, in thy love;
Signor, saciez,' ki or ne s'en ira
En cele terre, u Diex fu mors et vis,
A paines? mais: ira en paradis:
Et déliverer sa terre et son païs.
Ki n'aiment Dieu, bien, ne honor, ne pris,
Je ne lairoie à nul fuer mes amis :
Ki pour nos fu en la vraie crois mis.
Ki aiment Dieu, et l'onour de cest mont,
Et li morveus, li cendreus& demourront:
Et por si pot pert la gloire del mont.
Et nous dira au jour, ou tuit'o venront,
Vos en irez là, ou li Angele sont,
Descendez tuit en infer le parfont.” 12
Et que jamais ne doive mal avoir,
Que ils n'ont sens, hardement, ne pooir:
Proiez pour nos, Virge bien eurée, 16
1 Saciez-sacar (Spanish), to take. * A paines--a peine, scarcely. 3 mais-mai (Italian), ever. 4 Querre-quærere (Latin), to seek. 3 Demorer-demeurer, to stay. 6 Lairoie--for laisserois. 7 Dotance doubt, fear. 8 Cendreus cineraceus (Latin), one who cowers over the embers. 9 Mie_a jot. 10 Tuit-all. 11 Aie-aid. 15 Parfont-profound. 13 Quide-credit (Latin), thinks. 14 Toz-all. 15 Haitiez-healthy. 16 Bien curée-bienheureuse. 17 Mescheoir--to fall out ill.
ON PARTIES IN POETRY. If the Muse would not be scandaó if by nature we mean reality, but lized to find herself in company with an abstraction, an Apotheosis of nathe Demon of politics, our most con- ture. Yet they were by no means siderable writers, with a few excep- alike. Milton is the most ideal, tions, might be classed as Constitu- Spenser the most visionary of poets. tionalists, Legitimates, and Revolu- Neither of them was content with tionists.
the world as he found it: but The great excellence to which our Spenser presents you with a magic political constitution approximates, picture to exclude it from your sight, is the fair and balanced representa- Milton produces a pattern
to mend it tion of all the great interests of so- by. After labouring in vain to stamp ciety, and, as resulting from thence, perfection on an earthly republic, he the due subordination of every part embodied it in a new world of Gods of the body politic to the whole. ` An and God-like men. His boldest imaanalogous excellence is discoverable ginations have the solemnity, the conin the writings of our great drama- scious grandeur, of moral truths; his tists, and dramatic poets (under ideals seem more substantial, more which title Chaucer may be fairly in- real than any actual reality. Herouses cluded), up to the age of Milton. the mind to more than common These, therefore, we call the uphold- wakefulness, while-Spenser enchants ers of our poetical Constitution. They it into an Elysian dream. were the elect of nature; and ut- If, however, these mighty spirits tered, as it were, the common voice were not Constitutionalists, they were of mankind. They preserve the ba- quite as good. If they do not reprelance between the various elements sent nature as it is, they show us a of humanity ; between those simple glorified likeness of it. That which energies, and primary impressions, was earthy is become celestial; but which it has been the fashion of late still it retains its due proportions. to call exclusively natural, and the
But there were some,
and those too complex regards that arise from of no common genius, who fell into artificial society. The grave and the fatal error of representing partithe gay, the rustic and the re- cular parts: a race, who might justfined, the town and the coun- ly be called 'metaphysical poets, try, are adequately represented in set the example by giving an undue their writings. They never intro- preponderance to the speculative induce characters, as corrupt ministers tellect. Ben Jonson is not wholly are said to have sometimes appoint- free from this fault; Lord Brooke, ed members of parliament, merely in the most obscure of all poets, was a order to utter their own opinions, far more glaring offender; and some their likes and dislikes, through many of the imitators of Spenser are almost mouths; nor do they dispose inci- equally guilty. Those whom Dr. dents so as to maintain their pe- Johnson calls metaphysical poets,subculiar theories. There is no self, no stituting conceits and witticism for idiosyncracy, in their writings. They the profound thoughts of the first speak, in short, for the whole estate commencers of this corruption, preof human nature, not for that parti- pared the way for the epigrammatic cular plot of it which themselves in- versifiers of the French school, by herit. This praise belongs to Shaks- teaching their readers to expect perpeare pre-eminently, yet in large petual surprizes. Thus, the first semeasure it is due to his predecessors, rious inroad on our poetical consticontemporaries, and immediate suc- tution was effected by the head
obtaining more than its share in the Spenser and Milton, admirable representation. A contrary abuse has poets as they were, were not so pro- prevailed in later times. perly Constitutional as their great The civil wars upset Church and compeers. They rather resemble the State; and poetry shared the fall: framers of ideal common-wealths, Milton survived the deluge; and, than citizens of any actually existing after tossing a weary while on the state. They do not represent nature, waves of controversy, was safe landed,