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between them, which, according to the well-known story, discovered him in his prison to his faithful minstrel Blondel, the strain begun by the latter having been taken up and finished by the king. But all this, it must be confessed, is not so clear or certain as were to be desired. The song said to have been sung by Richard and Blondel was printed by Mademoiselle l'Héritier in her volume entitled 'La Tour Ténébreuse et les Jours Lumineux,' 12mo. Paris, 1705; it is in mixed Norman and Provençal; but, unfortunately, the manuscript from which it professes to have been extracted is now unknown. Mlle. l'Héritier also prints as the composition of Richard a lovesong in Norman French. But the most celebrated composition attributed to Richard is a poem addressed by him from his prison to his barons of England, Normandy, Poitou, and Gascony, remonstrating with them for suffering him to remain so long a captive. A Provençal version of this poem, one of the stanzas of which only had been previously quoted by Crescimbini in his 'Istoria della Volgar Poesia,' was first printed from a manuscript in the library of San Lorenzo at Florence by Horace Walpole, in his 'Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors,' 1758. It consists of six stanzas of six lines each, with an Envoy of five lines. Two English verse translations of it have been produced; one by Dr. Burney, in his History of Music, the other by the late Mr. George Ellis, which is given in Park's edition of the Royal and


the southern term), was a poem relating to military affairs, from serventagium or sirventagium, the low Latin for servitium, services; according to the definition in Ducange, "Poemata in quibus servientium seu militum facta et servitia referuntur."


Noble Authors.' More recently, the appearance of a version of the same poem in Norman French in Sismondi's 'Littérature du Midi de l'Europe' (vol. i. p. 149) has raised the question in which of the two dialects it was originally written. Meanwhile the Provençal version has been more correctly republished by Raynouard in the fourth volume of his Choix des Poésies Originales des Troubadours.' And the poetical reputation of Richard has been also enlarged by the appearance of another Provençal song claiming to be of his inditing in the 'Parnasse Occitanien,' Toulouse, 1819. It cannot be said, however, that any or all of these effusions, supposing their authenticity to be admitted, tend to give us a high idea of the genius of the lion-hearted king in this line,—even if we should not go the length of Walpole, who declares the particular poem he has printed to be so poor a composition that the internal evidence weighs with him more than anything else to believe it of his majesty's own fabric.


The state of literature in England for the first century and a half after the Conquest may be sufficiently understood from these notices. Though to so great an extent imported, or otherwise of a foreign character, it will be perceived that it was by no means inconsiderable in point of amount. The period indeed was one of extraordinary excitement and activity in this as well as in other respects. Never since, probably, has there been so much Latin and French written among us in the same space of time. But this proves that both these languages, as we have said, were then 'generally read and understood; the

former by all persons who had had anything of a learned education, including in particular the numerous order of the clergy, both regular and secular; the latter by all the upper and probably also by a large proportion of even the middle classes, and of the town population generally.

In fact, the nearly entire absence of any English literature in this period seems to show that every man who could read at all was familiar with another language. The old Saxon, indeed, continued to be written down to the reign of Henry II., but the cessation of the Saxon Chronicle at the accession of that king may be taken as indicating that the language in which it was composed had then become obsolete and generally unintelligible, although in a modified or corrupted form it still subsisted as the common popular speech. The Anglo-Saxon was at this time circumstanced much as the Latin had been on the Continent for some centuries after the breaking up of the old Roman empire. Its original structure dissolved and lost, it was undergoing the process of fermentation which was to convert it into a new language; and in this state it was in truth wholly unfit for the purposes of literature-as much so as was the lingua Romana rustica of France, or Spain, or Italy from about the sixth century to the ninth.

What little besides the Saxon Chronicle, however, is known or conjectured to have been written in the vernacular tongue during this period may be said to be rather in Saxon than in English. Such are the metrical Scriptural paraphrase called Ormulum,' from its supposed author Orm, or Ormin, who probably lived in the reign of Henry II.; and the translation in verse of



Wace's French Brut' by Layamon, a priest of Ernleye upon Severn, as he calls himself, who belongs to the same era. In regard to several other pieces partaking more of the character of modern English, which Warton has given as belonging to this period, the late able and learned editor of the History of English Poetry' has remarked that, "judging from internal evidence, there is not one which may not safely be referred to the thirteenth century, and by far the greater number to the close of that period."†



* A large extract from Layamon's work is given by Ellis, in his Historical Sketch of the Rise and Progress of the English Language,' prefixed to his Specimens of the Early English Poets, vol. i. pp. 60-73 (edit. of 1811); and the entire chronicle is understood to be preparing for publication by Sir Frederick Madden, at the expense of the Society of Antiquaries.

+ Warton's History of Eng. Poet. i. 7 (edit. of 1824).



EVER since the appearance of Peter Lombard's Four Books of Sentences, about the middle of the twelfth century, a struggle for ascendancy had been going on throughout Europe between the Scholastic Theology, or new philosophy, and the grammatical and rhetorical studies with which men had previously been chiefly occupied. At first the natural advantages of its position told in favour of the established learning; nay, an impulse and a new inspiration were probably given to poetry and the belles-lettres for a time by the competition of logic and philosophy, and the general intellectual excitement thus produced: it was in the latter part of the twelfth century that the writing of Latin verse was cultivated with the greatest success; it was at the very end of that century, indeed, that Geoffrey de Vinesauf, as we have seen, composed and published his poem on the restoration of the legitimate mode of versification, under the title of 'Nova Poetria,' or the New Poetry. But from about this date the tide began to turn; and the first half of the thirteenth century may be described as the era of the

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