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esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckow ? it should have follow'd in the end of our show.
King. Call them forth quickly, we will do so.
Enter all, for the song.
The S O N Ĝ.
S PRI N G.
And lady finocks all filver whité,
Do paint the meadows with delight;
Cuckow! cuckow !--O word of fear,
: Whin, &c.] The first lines of this song that were transposed, have been replaced by Mr. Theobald. JOHNSON.
+ --cuckow-bud.) Miller says, thát lady-smocks and cuckcoflowers are only different names of the same plant. Steevens.
s Dopaint the meadows with delight ;] This is a pretty rural song, in which the images are drawn with great force from nature. But this senseless expletive of p«inting with delight, I would read thus,
Do paint the meadows much bedight, i.e. much bedecked or adorned as they are in spring-time. The epithet is proper, and the compound not inelegant. WARBURTON. Much less elegant than the present reading. Johnson.
When faepherds pipe ox oaten straws,
And merry larks are plowmens' clocks:
And maidens bleach their summer smocks;
Cuckow ! cuckow ! O word of fear,
WIN TE R.
When isicles bang by the wall,
And Dick The Mepherd blows his nail;
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
A merry note,
And coughing drowns the person's faw ;
Aud Marian's nose looks red and raw;
-A merry 10:1,
- doth keel ib. por.) This word is yet used in Ireland, and fignifies to jcum ibe por. Dr. GOLDSMITH.
So in Marlton's Dumb Knight, 1607.-“ Faith, Doricus, thy se brain boils, keel it, keel it, or all the fat's in the fire." STEEVENS.
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo: You that way; we this way.
7 In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed, that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not io have been exhibited, as we are cold they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius ; nor is there any play that has more cvident marks of the hand of Shakespeare. JOHNSON.
ACT I. SCENE I. Page 350
THIS child of fancy, that Armado bight, &c.] This, as I have Mewn in the note in its place, relates to the stories in the books of chivalry. A few words, therefore, concerning their origin and nature, may not be unacceptable to the reader. As I don't know of any writer, who has given any tolerable account of this matter: and especially as monsieur Huet, the bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal treatise of the Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of these in that super ficial work. For having brought down the account of romances to the later Greeks, and entered upon those composed by the barbarous western writers, which have now the name of Romances almost appropriated to them, he puts the change upon his reader, and inftead of giving us an account of these books of chivalry, one of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject he promised to treat of, he contents himself with a long account of the poems of the provincial writers, called likewise romances : and so, under the equivoque of a common term, drops his proper subject, and entertains us with another, that had no relation to it more than in the name.
The Spaniards were of all others the fondest of these fables, as suiting beft their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery ; which in time grew fo excesive, as to need all the efficacy of Cere vantes's incomparable satire to bring them back to their senses, The French suffered an easier cure from their doctor Rabelais, who enough discredited the books of chivalry, by only using the extravagant stories of its giants, &c. as a cover for another kind of satire against the refined politicks of his countrymen ; of which they were as much pollessed as the Spaniards of their romantit bra
A bravery our Shakespeare makes their characteristic, in this description of a Spanish gentieman :
A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate.
Indeed, the wars of the Chriftians against the Pagans were the general subject of the romances of chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground-work in two fabulous monkish historians: the one, who, under the name of Turpin, archbishop of Rheims, wrote the History and Atchievements of Charlemagne and his twelve Peers ; to whom, instead of his father, they assigned the talk of driving the Saracens out of France and the south parts of Spain : the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth.
Two of those peers, whom the old romances have rendered most famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Shakespeare makes Alenson, in the first part of Henry VI. say; “ Froyfard, a coun“ tryman of ours, records, England all Olivers and Rowlands “ bred, during the time Edward the third did reign.” In the Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of Roncesvalles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of Roldan el encantador; and in that of Palmerin dil Oliva,* or simply Oliva, those of Oliver : for Oliva is the same in Spanith as Olivier is in French The account of their exploits is in the highest degree monstrous and extravagant, as appears from the judgment palled upon them by the priest in Don Quixote, when he delivers the knight's library to the secular arm of the house-keeper, “ Eccetu“ando à un Bernardo del Carpio que anda por ay, y à otro llma“ do Roncesvalles ; que ellos en llegando a mis manos, an de "estar en las de la ama, y dellas en las del fuego sin remission al
Ds. Warburton is quite mistaken in deriving Oliver from (Palmerin de) Oliva, which is utterly incompatible with the genius of the Spanish language 'The old romance, of which Oliver was the hero, is entitled in Spanish, “ Historias de los nobles Cavalleros de Castilla, y Artus de Algarbe, in fol. en ValladoJid, 1501, in fol. en Sevilla, 1507;" and in French thus, “ Hiftoire d'Olivier de Caftille, & Artus d’Algarbe lon loyal compagnon, & de Heleine Fille au Roy d'Angleterre, &c. tranllarée du Lacin par Phil. Camus, in fol. Gothique." It bas also appeared in English. See Ames's Typograph. p. 94, 47. Percy,
“ guna.”+ And of Oliver he says, “essa Oliva fe haga lueçoito “jas, y se queme, que aun no queden della las cenizas.”! The reasonableness of this sentence may be partly seen from one itory in the Bernardo del Carpio, which tells us, that the cleft called Roldan, to be seen on the summit of an high mountain in the kingdom of Valencia, near the town of Alicant, was made with a single back-stroke of that hero's broad sword. Hence came the proverbial expression of our plain and sensible anceitors who were much cooler readers of these extravagances than the Spaniards, of giving one a Rowland for his Oliver, that is, of matching one impoflible lye with another : as, in French, faire le Roland means, io swagger. This driving the Saracens out of France and Spain, was, as we say, the subject of the elder romances. And the first that was printed in Spain was the famous Amadis de Gaula, of which the inquisitor priest says: “ segun he oy do dezir, este libro fué el “ primero de Cavallerias que se imprimió en Espana, y todos los « demás an tomado principio y origen deste ;” | and for which he humouroully condemns it to the fire, coma à Dogmatazador de una fitta tan mala. When this subject was well exhausted, the affairs of Europe afforded them another of the same nature. For after that the western parts had pretty well cleared themselves of these inhospitable guests : by the excitements of the popes, they carried their arms against them into Greece and Afia, to support the Byzantine empire, and recover the holy fepulchre. This gave birth to a new tribe of romances, which we may call of the second race or class. And as Amadi: de Gaula was at the head of the first, fo, correspondently to the subject, Amadis de Gracia was at the head of the latter. Hence it is, we find, that Trebizonde is as celebrated in these romances as Roncesvalles is in the other. It may be worth observing, that the two famous Italian epic poets, Ariofo and Tatto, have borrowed, from each of these classes of old romances, the scenes and subjects of their several stories : Ariosto choosing the first, the Saracens in France and Spain; and Tasso, the latter, toe Crusade against them in Afia: Ariosto's hero being Orlando, or the French Roland: for as the Spaniards, by one way of tranfpofing the letters, had made it Roldan, fo the Italians, by another, make it Orlando.
The main subject of these fooleries, as we have said, had its oria ginal in Turpin's famous History of Charlemagne and his twelve Peers. Nor were the monstrous embellishments of enchantments, &c. the invention of the romancers, but formed upon eastern tales, brought thence by travellers from their crusades and pilgrimages; which indeed have a cait peculiar to the wild imagina