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In the Library of Bennet Coll. Cambridge, No. 351, is a MS. intitled in the Catalogue Acta Arthuris Metrico Anglicano, but I know not its contents.
9. In the Editor's folio MS. are many Songs and Romances about King Arthur and his Knights, some of which are very imperfect, as King Arthur and the king of Cornwall, (pag. 24.) in stanzas of 4 lines, beginning,
Come here', my cozen Gawaine so gay. The Turke and Gauain (p. 38.), in stanzas of 6 lines, beginning thus :
Listen lords great and small *. but these are so imperfect that I do not make distinct articles of them. See also in this Volume, Book I. No. I. II. IV. V.
In the same MS. p. 203, is the Greene Knight, in 2 Parts, relating a curious adventure of Sir Gawain, in stanzas of 6 lines, beginning thus :
List : wen Arthur he was k:
10. The Carle of Carlisle is another romantic tale about Sir Gawain, in ihe same MS. p. 448, in distichs:
Listen : to me a litle stond.
In all these old poems the same set of knights are always represented with the same manners and characters : which seem to have been as well known, and
as distinctly marked among our ancestors, as Homer's Heroes were among the Greeks: for, as Ulysses is always represented crafty, Achilles irascible, and Ajax rough ; so Sir
* In the former editions, after the above, followed mention of a fragment in the same MS. intitled, Sir Lionel, in distichs (p: 32.); but this being only a short ballad, and not relating to King Arthur, is here omitted.
Gawain is ever courteous and gentle, Sir Kay rugged and disobliging, &c. “Sir Gawain with his olde curtesic" is mentioned by Chaucer as noted to a proverb, in his Squire's Tale. Canterb. Tales, Vol. ii. p. 104.
11. Syr Launfal, an excellent old Romance concerning another of King Arthur's Knights, is preserved in the Cotton Library, Calig. A. 2. f. 33. This is a translation from the French*, made by one Thomas Chestre, who is supposed to have lived in the reign of Hen. VI. [See Tanner's Biblioth.] It is in stanzas of 6 lines, and begins,
Be douzty Artours dawes.
The above was afterwards altered by some Minstrel into the Romance of Sir Lambewell, in 3 Parts, under which title it was more generally knownt. This is in the Editor's folio MS. p. 60, beginning thus :
Doughty in King Arthures dayes.
12. Eger and Grime, in 6 Parts (in the Editor's folio MS. p. 124.) is a well invented tale of chivalry, scarce inferior to any of Ariosto’s. This which was inadvertently omitted in the former editions of this list, is in distichs, and begins thus :
It fell sometimes in the Land of Beame.
13. The Romance of Merline, in 9 Parts (preserved in the same folio MS. p. 145.), gives a curious account of the birth, parentage, and juvenile adventures of this famous British prophet. In this poem the Saxons are called Sarazens ; and the thrusting the rebel angels
* The French original is preserved among the Harl. MSS. No. 978, $ 112, Lanval.
+ See Laneham's Letter concern. Q. Eliz. entertainment at Killingworth, 1575, 12mo. p. 34.
out of Heaven is attributed to distichs, and begins thus :
oure Lady.” It is in
He that made with his hand.
There is an old Romance Of Arthour and of Merlin, in the Edinburgh MS. of old English Poems: I know not whether it has any thing in common with this last mentioned. It is in the volume numbered XXIII. and extends through 55 leaves. The two first lines are,
Jesu Crist, heven king,
14. Sir Isenbrus, (or as it is in the MS copies, Sir Isumbras) is quoted in Chaucer's R. of Thop. v. 6. Among Mr. Garrick's old plays is a printed copy; of which an account has been already given in Vol. I. Book III. No. VIII. It is preserved in MS. in the Library of Caius Coll. Camb. Class A. 9. (2.) and also in the Cotton Library, Calig. A. 12. (f. 128.) This is extremely different from the printed copy, E. g.
God þat made both erbe and hevene,
15. Emarè, a very curious and ar
ent Romance, is preserved in the same vol. of the Cotton Library, f. 69. It is in stanzas of 6 lines, and begins thus :
Jesu þat ys kyng in trone.
16. Chevelere assigne, or, The Knight of the Swan, preserved in the Cotton Library, has been already described in Vol. ii. Essay on P. Plowman's Metre, &c. as hath also
17. The Sege of J&rlam, (or Jerusalem) which seems to have been written after the other, and may not im
properly be classed among the Romances; as may also the following, which is preserved in the same volume : viz.
18. Owaine Myles, (fol. 90.) giving an account of the wonders of St. Patrick's Purgatory. This is a translation into verse of the story related in Mat. Paris's Hist. (sub ann. 1153.)—It is in distichs beginning thus :
God þat ys so full of myght.
In the same Manuscript are three or four other narrative poems, which might be reckoned among the Romances, but being rather religious Legends, I shall barely mention them : as, Tundale, f. 17. Trentale Sci Gregorii, f. 84. Jerome, f. 133. Eustache, f. 136.
19. Octavian imperator, an ancient Romance of Chivalry, is in the same vol. of the Cotton Library, f. 20.-Notwithstanding the name, this old poem has nothing in common with the history of the Roman Emperors. It is in a very peculiar kind of stanza, whereof 1, 2, 3, and 5, rhyme together, as do the 4 and 6. It begins thus :
Ihesu þat was with spere ystonge.
In the public Library at Cambridge*, is a poem with the same title, that begins very differently:
Lyttyll and mykyll, olde and yonge.
20. Eglamour of Artas (or Artoys) is preserved in the same vol. with the foregoing, both in the Cotton Library, and public Library at Cambridge. It is also in the Editor's folio MS. p. 295, where it is divided into 6 Parts.-A printed copy is in the Bodleian Library, C. 39. Art. Seld. and also among Mr. Garrick's old plays, K. vol. X. It is in distichs, and begins thus :
* No. 690. (30.) Vid. Oxon. Catalog. MSS. p. 394.
Ihesu Crist of heven kyng. 21. Syr Triamore (in stanzas of 6 lines) is preserved in MS. in the Editor's volume, p. 210, and in the public Library at Cambridge, (690, § 29. Vid. Cat. MSS. p. 394.) —Two printed copies are extant in the Bodleian Library, and among Mr. Garrick’s plays, in the same volumes with the last article. Both the Editor's MS. and the printed copies begin,
Nowe Jesu Chryste our heven kynge.
The Cambridge copy thus :
Heven blys that all shall wynne.
22. Sir Degree (Degare, or Degore, which last seems the true title) in 5 Parts, in distichs, is preserved in the Editor's folio MS. p. 371, and in the public Library at Cambridge, (ubi supra.)—A printed copy is in the Bod. Library, c. 39. Art. Seld. and among Mr. Garrick's plays, K. vol. IX.-The Editor's MS. and the printed copies begin,
Lordinge, and you wyl holde you styl.
The Cambridge MS. has it,
Lystenyth, lordyngis, gente and fre.
23. Ipomydon, (or Chylde Ipomydon) is preserved among the Harl. MSS. 2252, (44.) It is in distichs,