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An incredibly body of work! I bought this entry in the Photo Poche series on a whim, as it was cheap.
Full text of "Handbook of French literature; historical, biographical, and critical"
I didn't know anything about Gilles Caron before other than he was sometimes referred to as 'the French Robert Capa'. In a span of less than five years, concluding with his disappearance in Cambodia in , Caron put together an astonishing body of work covering both domestic issues within France the demonstrations of May and conflicts throughout the world the Six Day War, the civil war An incredibly body of work! In a span of less than five years, concluding with his disappearance in Cambodia in , Caron put together an astonishing body of work covering both domestic issues within France the demonstrations of May and conflicts throughout the world the Six Day War, the civil war in Biafra, the war in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Cambodia.
All of the photographs are shot on 35mm format and in monochrome. McCullin, and Raymond Depardon, can be seen in some of the images shot by Caron in Biafra, and a portrait of Caron by McCullin is also included in the book. A quel gent ferons nos semblans les homes de ceste generation, ou a quel gent ewerons nous ceos cui nos veons estre si ahers et si enracineiz ens terriens solas et ens corporiens, kil de partir ne s'en puyent. This Brutus, after making many a long journey, and lighting; on many an enchanted isle and gorgeous fairy palace, at length discovers England, establishes his family in it, and reigns glo- riously.
Here he finds King Arthur, the chivalric institution of the Round Table, and the enchanter Merlin, one of the most popular personages of the middle ages. Out of this legend arose a series of myths, includin g some of the boldest creations of the human fancy. For instance, the Romance of Merlinj who was said to be the son of the devil by a Breton lady, describes the wars of Uther and Pendragon against the Saxon invaders of Eng- land, the birth and early life of Arthur, the miracles by which the prophet of chivalry consecrated the institution of the Round Table, and his predictions, which have served as well as the gravest chronicles for materials to the romance writers.
It tells how the saint-graal, or holy cup, was carried to England, and came into the possession of Lancelot of the Lake, Galaar his son, Percival of Wales, and Boort, knights of the Round Table, of each of whom the history is given ; and so of the rest, in which the adventures of the different heroes of this illustrious court are recounted with a curious mixture of simplicity and extravagance, gallantry and super- stition.
Many of these, also, have been rendered familiar to the mo- dern reader by the works of later authors, especially Ariosto in the Orlando Furioso. Every one knows that this monarch was never at either place ; but the imagina- tion of the twelfth century having endowed him with all the characteristics of greatness, and knowing none more signal than those connected with Eastern travel, made no difficulty as to the fact that these adventures were not known in the age of Charlemagne.
The monarch with delight his champions viewed, Then turned elated to his youthful queen, Resplendent with her crown and regal sheen. Hast thou e'er seen beneath the solar ray A monarch whom the crown so well became. Or sword so just an emblem of his fame? With this, I warrant, many a town I'll take!
A king who when at court his crown he wears, More graceful and more dignified appears. And this monarch, where bides he? Reveal his name — reveal it instantly! We'll see whose merit bears the palm away, Or his or mine ; let mutual umpires say. Hie to his palace, with thy friends combine ; My knights and faithful Franks to them I'll join : To their decision I will freely bow.
But if thou liest, 'twill cost thee dear, I trow ; I'll doff thy head with this well-tempered blade! She pretended she had forgot the name and country of the hero; but the king would take no denial. At length she mentioned Hugo, King of Byzan- tium ; whereupon Charles summoned his peers, and told them that he required their attendance, with that of their vassals, in the performance of a long-resolved pilgrimage to the Holy Land ; and that, after fulfilling this duty, he intended to seek out a king of whose wealth and prowess wonderful things had been told him.
Hither, by God inspired, I lately came, The cross and holy sepulchre t'adore. On the right hand, upon a mountain's side. Groves of green laurels and of pines they spied ; There the arbutus and the sweet rose bloomed, And fragrant aloes the pare air perfumed. Thousands of knights in silken robes they found. With ermine furred that trailed upon the ground.
At chess and trictrac some of them were playing, Others with falcons and tame goshawks straying. Being directed to go forward to a tent which was pointed out, he spurred his beast, and presently, to his great surprise, disco- vered the monarch engaged in ploughing.
The instrument was worthy of a king. The shares, the coulters, wheels, were all of gold. With skill unerring he the ploughshare ruled. Two powerful mules a rich pavilion bore, Where, on a cushion, sat the emperor ; Of eider-down the pillow was composed. Mantled with scarlet where his head reposed ; A silver footstool on the carpet placed.
With flowers and rich enamel was incased. A golden verge the valiant Hugo held, And so unerringly the share impelled. Each furrow was as straight as joiner's rule. Charlemagne, astonished, viewed him from his mule ; Still Hugo urged the plough, for fain was he To finish his day's work, and speedil Charles doffs his cap, and greets him heartily.
Hugh, lost in wonder, marks his warlike mien, His sinewy arms, and body lank and lean. My nephew Roland. If such thy pleasure, here a twelvemonth bide, Gold in abundance shall thy wants provide. Now I'll unyoke my mules, that I may prove How much I long to cultivate thy love. Where serpents, beasts of prey, and birds were traced.
A well-proportioned dome surmounted all. And shed soft radiance o'er the gorgeous hall. One hundred columns, glorious to behold, Girt the saloon ; two statues of pure gold, Or polished brass, in front of each were seen. Children they seemed in body and in mien ; An ivory horn protruded from each mouth, Which, when the breeze, or from the north or south, Entered the palace, like a wheel turned round, When down a hill it hurries to the ground.
Each statue with a smile surveyed the other, Alike in form, as brother to a brother.
Laurence (Lorette) Nobécourt
Just then a gentle breeze began to blow Right from the port, and at that moment, lo! The horns revolved like axle of a mill, And breathed sweet airs, the statues smiling still. Some in high octaves, others soft and clear, Thrilled in melodious accents on the ear. In paradise the listeners seemed to be. Where angels sing in joyous company. Anon the gale increased ; it stormed, it hailed ; The winds in vain the palace walls assailed. Next day, Hugo challenged them to verify their bravadoes, vowing that they should die unless each boaster performed the feat which he had vaunted.
They venture all; and partly by miraculous aid, partly by cunning and opportune accidents, each contrives to perform, or to appear to have performed, his feat : whereupon the Byzantine monarch acknowledges Charles for his superior, and does him homage. Many of the details in this, as in most other tales of chivalry, are quite unfit for perusal.
It would not comport with the limits of the present work to enter on an inquiry into the origin of these wild romances, but it is easy to see how they may have arisen. The popular mind was struck, in the first instance, with the actual view of great men and great actions, as those of Charlemagne, and Alexander the Great, another favorite hero of chivalrous poetry. It is worth remarking, that though an attempt was made to render the prowess of Rollo and his followers the subject of romantic narrative in the poem called the Romance of the Roux, yet it gave birth to no following imitations or amplifications.
The events, pro- bably, were too near and too familiar to be accepted as matter for poetical embellishment. But Charlemagne was a fine sub- ject: his long reign; his prodigious activity; his splendid conquests ; his wars with the Saracens ; his influence in Ger- many, Italy, and Spain ; and his re-establishment of a western empire — naturally rendered him an object of wonder and admi- ration to succeeding generations, who connected his name with all that was brilliant in achievement, even after the precise facts were forgotten.
Anachronisms might be expected under the circumstances, and errors in geography occurred almost as matters of course. The feats of this hero were probably con- founded with the earlier ones of Charles Martel, and supple- mented, perhaps, with some Eastern lore and a few classic reminiscences of the west. Then the institutions of chivalry, when they appeared, formed a beautiful ideal amidst the hard- ness of feudal despotism; and the Crusades aff'orded such splendid examples of knightly devotion, that even as Alex- ander the Great was dubbed a knight, so the redoubtable Charlemagne made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The super- natural was easily added under these circumstances. In the infancy of nations, as of individuals, the love of the marvellous seems to be inherent, and Divine or Satanic interference affords the easiest and most agreeable explanation of every difiiculty. We are not to suppose that these fictions were the inven- tions of some master-minds of singular ingenuity. The poets seem only to have versified what every one believed, and hence, perhaps, it is that their biographies are obscure as compared with those of the troubadours.
For it is to be ob- served, that though we now use the word romance as synony- mous with a fictitious composition, yet originally it only meant a work in the Romance or modern dialect, as distinguished from the scholastic Latin ; and there is little doubt that the knights who listened to the songs of the minstrel, '' held each strange tale devoutly true. The mind of man invents very little incident in an absolute sense, even when it frames the most chimerical fables; and fiction is but composed of fragments of truth fancifully put together.
There is no doubt that chivalry was a real institution, and that the moral features, the details of costume, the social usages, even the adventures so far as they are human and natural, are a faithful and exact expression of the age. This literature would not be worthy to occupy so much attention, did it not present the only picture of life in those days that it is now possible for us to attain.
In the north of France, as in the south, princes and nobles lent their patronage to the minstrels or jongleurs, who, espe- cially after the intercourse with the East, united the functions of musician and story-teller, mountebank and conjuror. Ac- cording to a custom which may be traced to the highest anti- quity, these professors of the art of pleasing were invited to table even in the kingly palace, and largely rewarded for the amusement they afforded. But whatever the charm which an extended romance was calculated to lend to the private cham- ber, the festive meeting required still lighter compositions, whose sallies of wit were rendered more piquant by brevity of style.
Hence the fabliaux — which seem to have owed their origin to the patronage of the great — and the laysy which occupy an intermediate position between these and the romances. Marie of France, who flourished in the middle of the thirteenth century, bears the palm in this species of composi- tion. She was a classical scholar, and had spent some time in Britain, where she had conversed in their own language with the Welsh bards, to whom she confesses herself indebted for the matter of her lays.
They are embodied in an easy, graceful, conversational style, without the tedious episodes and digressions which occur in the romances. In Britanny ycleped Lanval. He scorned to complain, however, and resolved to seek his fortune in other lands. Mounting his steed, and leaving the town, he reached a verdant meadow, watered by a streamlet clear as crystal : — Here he ungirt his panting steed, And left to pasture on the grass; A pillow of his cloak he made, For wearied nature claimed repose, But sad reflections sleep forbade — Sleep flies a breast o'ercharged with woes.
He marked the stream ; and as he gazed, Beheld two beauteous maids advance; He saw, and at their charms amazed, Stole many a longing, lingering glance. Richly attired the damsels seemed ; Close to their shapes each bodice laced ; Their vermil scarfs at distance gleamed. And well displayed the forms they graced. The elder bore a golden ewer. Richly enamelled, quaintly wrought — I merely tell the truth, be sure — The younger a fair napkin brought. Directly towards the knight they sped ; And he, well versed in courtesy. Sprang from the sward and bent his head ; They smiled and curtsied graciously.
After they had plighted their mutual faith, she bestowed on him a talisman, by virtue of which he should be able to pro- cure wealth at pleasure. Only one condition she imposed upon him — he was never to reveal the secret of their attachment ; if he did, he was to lose the wealth-giving power. Trusting him to find some spot where they might meet without obser- vation, she dismissed him for the present, and he returned straight to Cardiff, where he freely indulged his taste for gene- rous profusion, making presents to his friends, assisting the necessitous, and still finding his purse always replenished.
That year — 'twas past the Baptist's day — The barons, in pure idleness, Repaired to where an orchard lay Skirting a tower, a lone recess, Where Queen Genevra took delight. The queen, escorted by thirty of her maidens, left the tower to join them ; and perceiving Lanval standing pensively apart from the rest — he was thinking of his absent love — she ap- proached and accosted him, avowing a long- cherished attach- ment, and soliciting its return. That was refused.
The queen, enraged, declared to her lord that she had been insulted by Lanval. He was accordingly apprehended by order of the monarch, and brought to trial. We pass by the preparations for this solemnity, and the distress of Lanval at finding that his indiscretion in revealing the secret had deprived him of the fairy's assistance. The critical moment arrives, and while the barons are considering their verdict, two beautiful dam- sels, on white palfreys, closely followed by two more, announce to the king a visit from their mistress : — Anon, just as the court prepare To render judgment, through the town A lady, most surpassing fair — In Christendom no such was known — LAY OF LANVAL.
The beast was of the noblest breed : His head and neck he bears with grace, Rich are the trappings of the steed ; A king who would the like acquire, Must sell or pledge his lands, I ween. Now mark her beauty and attire : A tissue of transparent sheen. On either side by clasps confined, Did partly veil and partly show A form unmatched in womankind. Whiter her neck than new-fallen snow ; Her eyes were blue, complexion fair.
Her mouth and nose in symmetry, Her eyebrows dark thou mightst compare To bows just bent for archery ; Light auburn locks her shoulder graced, Her purple mantle loosely flowed, A falcon on her hand was placed, A greyhound followed where she rode In all the city was not one, Master or valet, young or old. But left his wonted task undone, Her wondrous beauty to behold. And all who view admire the dame. Her mantle she lets fall behind. Her form the better to display. The king in courtesy refined, Rises to greet her sans delay ; The courtiers make obeisance due, Eager to serve her to their best.
From lip to lip her praises flew. And every heart her power confessed. At length she spake : " I here resort To plead for one I love, Lanval. He was neglected at tby court, Alone forgot when guerdoned all ; His innocence I come to prove ; The queen hath wronged thy best in arms He never sought nor wished her love. Touching his boast — compare our charms. If mine deserve the preference, Then, barons, ye're in duty bound To judge him guiltless of offence. To Avalon, 'tis said, they went — So sing the Britons in their lays ; There in each other's love content, Remote from strife, they passed their days.
Besides lays, France owes to Marie a collection of fables, not indeed original as to the invention, but new in the mode of exhibition. They are in substance the same which have been repeated in all ages, from Esop to La Fontaine. Tant de loin que de prez n'est laide La mors. La clamoit a son ayde Tosjors ung povre hosquillon Que n'ot chevance ne sillon : " Que ne viens, disoit, 6 ma mie. Finer ma dolorouse vie V Tant brama qu'advint ; et de voix Terrible : " Que veux-tu? There is a personification, not of the lower animals, but of virtues, vices, political and religious principles, concealing bitter sarcasm, and generally a good moral inference.
It is a dream, in which a host of allegorical personages appear to conduct the incidents of a tedious love affair. The object of attraction is the rose ; Dame Oiseuse inspires the lover with a desire of finding it; Male-Bouche and Dangler mislead his search; while Felonie, Bassesse, Haine, and Avarice, throw obstacles in the way. The imagination is invited to wander thus among crowds of fictitious beings, the representatives of abstract ideas, in whom it is impossible to feel the interest that would have been excited by the most trivial display of human feeling and action.
Then, unlike any previous poetry that we know of, the Romance of the Rose contains a great deal of learned lore ; scholastic subtleties and scraps of ancient his- tory mingle freely with abstractions and allegories : we meet, for instance, with the cruelties of Nero and the death of Se- neca, as well as that of Lucretia; here a passage on alchemy; there a digression on Boethius and his book ; now a chivalrous episode ; and again a eulogium on St.
A few lines will give an idea of the state of the language at this time. This poem excited unbounded admiration in its day ; it was considered as a master-piece of wit, a splendid moral concep- tion, a fine display of philosophy in the garb of poetry. The most general belief was, that it veiled the deepest theological mysteries from the merely sensuous reader, and, accordingly, learned commentaries were written to supply the key to these treasures of divine wisdom.
Truth is, that every class of visionaries might find its own prototype in one or other of these allegorical personages ; and the mystic Rose might be either the golden dream of the alchemist, the occult science of the astrologer, or the beatific vision of the fanatic. The preachers of the day seem, in the first instance, to have been divided in their opinions as to its merits : some fulminated their censures of it as a corrupting volume ; others mingled quotations from it with those of holy writ.
This amorous dream of De Lorris being afterwards used by Jean de Meun as the framework for a satire on all classes of society, and the clergy coming in for a large share, they made it the object of persecution enough to render it immortal. The imitations of this poem were almost endless. One of the earliest was that of the Trois Pelerinages — a dream of most appalling length, as each pilgrimage occupies 10, or 12, verses.
The first is the pilgrimage of man, or human life on earth ; the second, the pilgrimage of the soul, or the life to come ; the third, the pilgrimage of Jesus Christ, or the life of our Lord. Qu'il nous soit ades en un point, Et s'il ne s'y arreste point, Ains ne fine de trespasser. These allegories, then, served as riddles to stimulate the wit of the company, who speculated on the author's pri- mary design, and ever and anon discovered new applications of his symbolic details.
It consists of a series of rambling and unconnected episodes, each of which is a satire upon some class of individuals, or some point in the political system which was a subject of popular complaint. Traces of the story are met with as early as the twelfth century ; and it is difficult to assign it a particular date. It would appear that the cunning and unscrupulous character of the fox had been from a very early period employed in fables of political satire 3 and this is perhaps a collection of such productions thrown into the form of a regular narrative.
Some of the adventures of Keynard exhibit the general rapacity and injustice of the times — every man watching an opportunity to cheat his fellow; others satirize particular classes and orders of general society ; others, again, describe the disorders of the ecclesiastics, and expose the hypo- crisy of religious professors ; while the confession and pilgrim- age are bitter enough satires on the two great instruments of the clergy for abusing the credulous confidence of the laity, and turning it to their own advantage.
Naylor, London, But nearly all are so coarse in their details — the most spirited being the worst in this respect — that it is diflScult to give a resume of any without conveying a false impression. The jongleurs, like Shakspeare's fools, had license to say anything with impu- nity : no class either of men or of women escaped their satire monarchs and nobles, bishops and priests, monks, philosophers and dancers, even saints and devils, were castigated in turn and while we cannot forgive their impiety, we must award them the palm for being the monopolists of truth.
Certainly their satire does not generally present, as in the case of the trou- badours, the interesting character of mental and literary free- dom in individual opposition to feudal oppression ; and yet it were gross injustice to consider the fabliers as mere retailers of scandal.
Some of them, at least, had a higher mission. In an age when the crown and the commons were alike held in subjection by an insolent and powerful aristocracy, when the king was but the puppet, and the people the chattels of the barons, while both were the dupes of the clergy, the fabliers had the courage to combat the arrogance of the one and expose the vices of the other.
They were the first, so far as appears, to give the sovereign the hint that he might deliver himself from his shackles by making common cause with the people. Though abounding with puerilities and ill-assorted metaphors, this fabliau is so good a specimen of the literature of the thirteenth century, that we venture to introduce it more particularly by analysis and translation : — At Whitsunday, I chanced to be At court, and heard the history Of war between two potentates, Which for your mirth my Muse relates. Equal in wealth and lands were they, And numerous vassals owned their sway.
One of the twain was Carnage hight, Esteemed a valiant, generous knight By king and people. T' other's name, Dear to the barons, was Careme ; A felon, as all those can tell, Who 'neath his sordid empire dwell. Poor folks he loathed, the rich adored, And gave them freely of his board. I'll tell you how the battle rose T'wixt these exasperated foes ; The day they called their levies out ; The issue of the deadly rout. As King Louis was holding his court at Paris, this Careme appeared with proud distinction, attended by Salmon, Plaice, and other knights of the ocean ] while Carnage, finding him- self scorned and neglected, vowed vengeance against his rival.
Wouldst thou with me provoke the fray? Nor thou, nor all thy race Can rival me in right or place. Hence from the palace with thy rabble! We'll soon appease thy senseless gabble. Sir Herring, the herald on one side, commands the attendance of the fish from the whale downward — E'en to the minnows news he brings Of war between the rival kings.
Cock-swans came last, a precious race, Worthy a monarch's board to grace. And mustard, keen provocative! How could Careme behold and live? Hot tarts and custard in round dishes, Came menacing the saucy fishes, Squadrons of cream were seen to sally "With lance in rest, from hill and valley ; Fresh cheeses from another part Advanced, each brandishing a dart ; Curds followed close ; but who can tell What hosts of milk the legions swell!
Behold a chief of high degree, A solid cheese, no coward he! To succor Carnage at his need He comes well mounted on a steed.
Numéros en texte intégral
Not steel the visor; it was made Of tench, without the smithy's aid; Of a fresh salmon his cuirass ; His coat-of-mail a lamprey was ; Two flat impenetrable skates Composed his ample shoulder-plates ; His casque, a pike to guard his head, With roasted eels encompassed ; A long broad sole composed his blade; His spurs of pointed fishbones made; The grooms a huge gray mullet bring, No common courier suits the king. With polished tusks, for helm he wore; A peacock on the helmet beamed, In sooth, the king of kings he seemed. An eagle's beak his spurs supplied ; He wore them with a knightly pride ; Girt on his thigh a spit was seen, Which erst a butcher had made clean; It had been sharpened by a cook ; A large round tart for shield he took ; Hot cheese-cakes, pasties, omelets, bound it; The whole with rim of paste surrounded.
But of the stag which he had mounted, 'Tis meet a little be recounted. With larks, that fair Aurora greet, With nightingales and linnets sweet His horns were garnished high and low. Sprightly he was, and nothing slow, His feet were shod before, behind, On every shoe were birds designed ; The nails were pepper-corns ; the seat Was of blanc-manger, soft and sweet, To ladies dear, and men of taste ; The pannels were of solid paste ; His banner was a new-made cheese. Or milk just curdled, if you please. Not less elate. Whitings and haddocks, urged by fate, The battle waged. Astounding sight, When fish and fowl for honor fight!
Mackerel and flounders, nothing quailed. Huge sirloins of roast-beef assailed ; And eggs, a formidable levy, Quickly dispersed the herring bevy. Just then a salmon, fresh and strong, Spurring his steed the ranks among, Fiercely attacked a roasted chief, The noblest of the race of beef, And mauled him so, that consternation Had spread a panic o'er the nation. Had not undaunted Carnage seen, And rushed the combatants between ; Spurring his stag, he dealt a blow So vigorous on the exulting foe, It soon composed the salmon's mettle ; Down popped the champion in a kettle That hissed beneath unhappy fish — There lacked but pepper for a dish.
O then 'twas wondrous to behold Beans, peas, and lentils rushing bold T' avenge their comrade in the caldron. Yes, beans and peas advanced in squadron. Pepper had raised their courage high ; The king had rued his victory, But that a host of sausages Arrived and checked their ravages. Both beans and peas had routed been, But new assailants intervene ; Eels just emerging from the mud Compel the sausages to scud ; Carnage remains in jeopardy.
Skate, haddocks, monsters of the sea, Dabs, oysters, congers, pilchards, bream, Flukes, sauced with fennel, join Carcme. Oy Assails a pasty ; stuffing, crust, And gravy welter in the dust. Fierce raged the battle far and wide, And fish and fowl promiscuous died ; 'Twas terrible to either host, But thine, Careme, had suffered most.
Carnage, of his achievements proud, Sounded a horn so dire and loud, That hill and dale re-echoed round ; His vassals heard and knew the sound. On these conditions we agree To cease our just hostility. Eggs, milk, and cheese might eat on Fridays, As freely as on feasts and high days. Thus was Careme declared to be Liegeman to Carnage' seigneury.
Satan and satanic agents were often introduced into tte fab- liaux. It was the merit of the Italian poets first to invest Satan with a lofty spirit, and render him an object of respect- ful terror instead of ridicule and disgust ; while to Milton it was reserved to complete the splendors of satanic majesty. The poetry of the trouveres is a mine of gold, though so largely mixed with alloy that it is difficult to extract the pure metal. Its romances, apologues, lays, fabliaux, and chronicles contributed to every species of subsequent literature, unless tragedy be excepted.
They contained the germs of most of those rich productions of genius, which gradually matured and attained their highest perfection in the age of Louis XIY. Nor in France alone. It was to the troubadours and trouveres that Italy owed a large part of the materials which Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio clothed with new forms ; while Eng- land, somewhat later, gathered largely from both. Lyric poetry, in the style of the troubadours, received some cultivation at this time, but chiefly among the sovereign princes and more powerful barons.
Thibaud III. Posterity would perhaps never have heard of them, but for the author's supposed attachment to Blanche of Castile, the mother of St. Died An account of liis attachment to Blanche of Castile may bo found in Mrs. Bush's Lives of the Queens of France, vol. These were not, as we have already said, the invention of single indivi- duals, but a collective imagination like that which created the beautiful fables of antiquity. Religion, no less than feudality, had its chivalry, for igno- rance had rendered the worship of saints a species of pagan- ism, full of fabulous stories, such as the Golden Legend of Pierre de Voragine; and on the other hand, they had coun- terparts of the profane fabliaux in comic tales of an edifying character, in which the outwitting of the devil formed the burlesque of the Christian marvellous.
SimjDle et franco sans orgoil Quidai ma dame trover : Molt me fut de bel acoil, Mes ce fut pour moi grever; Si sont a. The personification of virtues, vices, and abstract ideas, formed the allegorical, which, as we have seen, appeared first with the Romance of the Rose, and was perpetuated through a long series of similar works. This is the class of mytho- logical personages that caught the fancy of our earliest English poets.
It mingles in the tales of Chaucer, who treated chival- rous poetry with contempt, and almost entirely fills the tedious poem of Spenser's Faery Queene. Lyric poetry, as we have seen, had not been sufficient to perpetuate the Provencal, but north of the Loire the epic fur- nished a broad and solid base for a national language, as had been the case in ancient Greece and Italy.
Nor only so ; the inexhaustible repertory of trouvere poetry has supplied to an almost unknown extent the bards of other countries through- out Europe. The sublime imaginings of Dante were evidently suggested by their allegories. The tales of Boccaccio are little more than a repetition of their fabliaux ; Ariosto's materials were their romances of chivalry; the Portuguese Amadis da Gaula probably originated in the same school ; and as for our own country, to say nothing of Chaucer and Spenser, our minor poets have been more indebted in this direction than they have had the candor to acknowledge.
Parnell, for instance, does not tell, but it has been discovered, that his celebrated poem of The Hermit is almost a literal translation of one from the trouveres, entitled The Hermit and the Aiigel. The University of Paris was a fortress raised in the twelfth century by intellect against ecclesiastical dogmatism; and hither resorted from all parts of Europe men greedy of know- ledge, and aspiring after intellectual independence.
Here Brunetto, Latini, and Dante improved themselves. Here the scholastic system of dialectics was culti- vated, and through its influence the literature took such a turn as ever after to incline more to eloquence than poetry. From this stronghold, too, there issued, contemporaneously with the fabliaux, a host of satires in Latin verse, directed against the usurpations of the ecclesiastical body, and so much to its an- noyance as to render it little matter of wonder that churchmen found no rest till they obtained a footing in this establishment themselves, and kept its wit and learning under their own influence.
It is among this people, and during this period, that we are to trace the first rude efforts for the revival of the most difii- cult of the arts ; that which had been carried to such perfec- tion in ancient Greece, and which was destined to appear with renewed splendor in modern Europe. The aneieut theatre had received its death-blow from Ohris- tianity. It had, indeed, too well deserved the anathemas which were hurled at it by the early Christian preachers, having become so indecorous as even to be reckoned by Julian, the apostate, unlit for the attendance of his pagan priests.
The histrionic profession, which had been so honored in Greece, had been placed under the ban of both church and state, and its ruin was completed by the invasion of the northern barba- rians, some feeble remains only lingering at Constantinople. But it would seem to be the natural tendency of the human mind to demand the excitement inspired by spectacles of this nature, especially at a certain stage of its progress towards maturity ; and so it happened that a new theatre arose in the very midst of the church which had annihilated the ancient one.
The ceremonies of religion became themselves dramatic exhibitions, and that of the most profane and licentious cha- racter. He had collected a company of disreputable characters, and had placed at their head one Euthymes, whom he also appointed over the choir. And he instructed them to mingle with the divine service Satanic dances, vulgar cries, and songs taken from the streets and the lowest haunts of vice. Hroswithe, for instance, a German nun of the eleventh cen- tury, having read Terence, conceived the idea of writing little dramas in the same language on religious themes.
She pro- duced six, which were acted by the young sisters of the con- vent, and probably often repeated. Of course such efforts in a dead language, in the seclusion of a cloister, and on subjects remote from modern interest, could exercise but little influence on the world without. It is certain that, about the end of the fourteenth century, a company of pilgrims re- presented such a spectacle at the nuptials of Charles VL and Isabella of Bavaria ; and that they soon afterwards formed an establishment in Paris for the regular performance of dramatic entertainments.
They acted over the whole public life of the Saviour from his baptism to his death, but their chef-d'oeuvre was that of his last sufferings, and hence they were denomi- nated the Fraternity of the Passion. In the notes appended to that work may be found'descriptlons of recent repre- sentations of Miracle Plays. It introduces eighty-seven characters, among whom are the three persons of the Trinity, six angelic beings, six devils, the twelve apostles, Herod and his court, Pilate and his soldiers, besides a number more, the offspring of the poet's fancy.
Some of these characters are well drawn, and the scenes occasionally display no small degree of tragic power. Extravagant ma- chinery appears to have been employed, and many parts to have been sung in recitative to music. The following is part of the scene in which John the Baptist is interrogated by the messens-ers of the Pharisees : — Though fallen be man's sinful line, Holy prophet! Wherefore, seeing now the force Of thy high deeds, thy grave discourse. And virtues shown of great esteem, That thou art he we surely deem.
- Creatures of Habit;
- The British Bulldog And His French Cousin!
I am not Messiah! At the feet of Christ I bow. Why, then, wildly wanderest thou Naked in this wilderness? And to whom thy service paid? Thou assemblest, it is said. In these lonely woods a crowd To hear thy voice proclaiming loud, Like that of our most holy men. Art thou a king in Israel, then? Know'st thou the laws and prophecies? Who art thou? Thou dost advise Messiah is come down below. Hast seen him? She was educated in an Ursuline convent and, before turning to writing, studied theatre, business and journalism.
The central character is a young woman who has suffered with psoriasis since early infancy. The disease, while being an individual affliction, also comes to symbolize the making visible of hidden hatreds and hypocrisies in groups related to the narrator, including her family and the wider society. Her texts lay bare the ways in which unacceptable bodies are removed from society, to hospitals or ultimately to death camps.