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tons of the eastern people. We have a proof of this in the travels of Gr J. Maundevile, whose exceflive superstition and credulity, together with an impudent monkith addition to his genuine work, have made his veracity thought much worse of than it deserved. This voyager, speaking of the isle of Cos in the Archipelago, tells the following story of an enchanted dragon." And alto a
zonge man, that wiste not of the dragoun, went out of a schipp, “ and went thorghe the ille, till that he cam to the castelle, and " cam into the cave; and went so longe till that he fond a 1 chambre, and there he laughe a damyselle, that kembed hire “ hede, and lokede in a myrour: and fche hadde meche tresoure « abouten bire : and he trowed that fche hadde ben a comoun " woman, that dwelled there to resceyve men to folye. And he " abode, till the damyselle faughe the schadewe of him in the my.
And fche turned hire toward him, and asked him what os he wolde. And he seyde, he wolde ben bire limman or para
And fche aked him, if that he were a knyghte. And o he fayde, nay. And then fche fayde, that he myghte not ben or hire limman. But sche bad him gon azen unto his felowes, “ and make him knyghte, and come azen upon the morwe, and os fche scholde come out of her cave before him ; and thanne come ks and kysse hire on the mowth and have no drede. For I schalle " do the no maner harm, alle be it that thou see me in lykeness of
a dragoun. For thoughe thou see me hideouse and horrible to “ loken onne, I do the to wytene that it is made by enchaunte"ment. For withouten doubte, I am none other than thou seeft
now, a woman; and herefore drede the noughte. And zyf “ thou kysse me, thou schale have all this tresoure, and be my of lord, and lord also of all that ille. And he departed, &c.” p. 29, 30. ed. 1725. Here we see the very spirit of a romance ad
This honest traveller believed it all, and so, it seems, did the people of the isle. "And some men seyne (says he) that " in the ifle of Lango is zit the doughtre of Y pocras in forme and “ lykenesse of a great dragoun, that is an hundred fadme in “ lengthe, as men seyn: for I have not seen hire. And thei of is the ines callen hire, lady of the land.” We are not to think then, these kind of stories, believed by pilgrims and travellers, would have less credit either with the writers or readers of romances : whích humour of the times therefore may well account for their birth and favourable reception in the world.
The other monkish historian, who fupplied the romancers with materials, was our Geoffry of Monmouth. For it is not to be Tupposed, that these ch ldren of fancy (as Shakespeare in the place quoted above finely calls them, infinuating that fancy hath its infoney as well as manhood) should stop in the midst of so extraordinaTy a career or confine themselves within the lists of the terra firma.
From bim therefore the Spanish romancers took the story of the British Arthur, and the knights of his round table, his wife Gueni. ver, and his conjurer Merlin. But stiil it was the same subject, (effential to books of chivalry) the wars of Christians against infidels. And, whether it was by blunder or design, they changed the Saxons into Saracens, I fuipeat by design ; for chivalry without a Saracen was fo very lame and imperfect a thing, that even that wooden image, which turned round on an axis, and served the knights to try their swords, and break their lances upon, was called, by the Italians and Spaniards, Saracino and Sarazino; so closely were these two ideas connected.
In these old romances there was much religious superstition mixed with their other extravagancies; as appears even from their very names and titles. The first romance of Lancelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called the History of Saint Greaal. This faint Greaal was the famous relick of the holy blood pretended to be collected into a veífel by Joseph of Arimathea. So another is called Kyrie Elison of Montauban. For in those days Deutero:lomy and Paralipomenon were supposed to be the names of holy men. And as they made saints of their knights-errant, so they made knights-errant of their tutelary faints; and each nation advanced its own into the order of chivalry. Thus every thing in those times being either a faint or a devil, they never wanted for the marvellous. In the old romance of Launcelot of the Lake, we have the doctrine and discipline of the church as formally delivered as in Bellarmine himself. “ La con“ feflion (says the preacher) ne vaut rien fi le cæur n'est repentant ; “ et si tu es moult & eloigné de l'amour de nostre Seigneur, tu ne “ peus eftra reccordé si non par trois choses : premiere nent par la “confession de bouche ; secondement par une contrition de ceur, •s tiercement par peine de coeur, & par ouvre d aumône & charité. " Telle eit la droite voye d'aimer Dieu. Or va & fi te confesse en “ cette maniere & recois la discipline des mains de tes confesseurs, “ car c'est le signe de merite.---Or mande le roy ses evesques, dont “grande partie avoit en l’oit, & vinrent tous en fa chapelle. Le ray “devant eux tout nud en pleurant & tenant son plein point de vint
menues verges, si les jetta devant eux, & leur dit en soupirant,
qu'ils prisfent de luy vengeance, car je suis le plus vil pecheur, " &c.- Apres primit discipline & d'eux & moult doucement la re“ceut." "Hence we find the divinity-lectures of Don Quixote and the penance of his squire, are both of thein in the ritual of chivalry. Lastly, we find the knight-errant, after much turmoil to himéelf, and diiturbance to the world, frequently ended his course, like Charles V. of Spain, in a monastery; or turned hermit, and became a saint in good earnest. And this again will let us into the spirit of thole dialogies between Sancho and his mal.
ter, where it is gravely debated whether he should not turn saint or archbishop.
There were several causes of this strange jumble of nonsense and religion. As first, the nature of the subject which was a religious war or crusade : secondly, the quality of the first writers, who were religious men ; and thirdly, the end of writing many of them, which was to carry on a religious purpose. We learn, that Clement V. interdicted jufts and tournaments, because he understood they had much hindered the crusade decreed in the council of Vienna. “Torneamenta ipsa & hasiludia five juxtas in regnis “ Franciæ, Angliæ, & Almanniæ, & aliis nonnullis provinciis, in “ quibus ea consuevere frequentiùs exerceri, specialiter interdix• it.” Extrav. de Torneamentis C. unic. temp. Ed. I. Religious men, I conceive, therefore, might think to forward the design of the crusades by turning the fondness for tilts and tournaments into that channel. Hence we see the books of knight-errantry so full of folemn justs and torneaments held at Trebizonde, Bizance, Tripoly, &c. Which wise project, I apprehend, it was Cervantes's intention to ridicule, where he makes his knight propose it as the best means of subduing the Turk, to assemble all the knights, arrant together by proclamation.* WARBURTON.
• See part ii. l. 5. 6. Jo
END OF THE SECOND VOLUME.