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mances were. 7. Historye of Kyog Richard Ceur de Lyon. [Impr. W. de Worde, 1528.] His exploits were a favourite subject, and many legends were written about him, partly on account of his fondness for chivalry; for he was the first king of England that ever published a precept or permission for holding public tournaments in England. His first instrument of this kind I have * printed above, [pag. 42. vol. i.] by which it
appears, that these institutions brought in a considerable revenue to the crown. 8. Syr Bevis of Southampton t; in the same verse as Syr Degore, &c. viz.
• It is also printed in Selden's England's Epinomis, op. vol. iii. p. 35. fol. 1726. And Kennet's Paroch. Antiq. pag. 153. It is in MSS. Bib. Bodl. James, No. 27. But Gul. Neubrigiensis says, that the first use, though not royal permission, of these exercises, was in the reign of Stephen. Hist. Lib. v. C. 4. See Matth. Par. 237 post Hoveden. p.
424. + The French have also this romance, which they call Beuves de Hanton. He was Earl of Southampton, about the Norman invasion. His sword was kept in Arundel castle.
Such a stroke was not sene in no land
But I have given a long passage from it, above; [pag. 70. seq. vol. i.] 9. The Battayl of Egyngcourte. [Agincourt.] 10. The Wyf lapped in Morells Skin, Or, The Taming of a Shrew. Hence we perceive,
* This metre came from the French; but they called the French language Romance. This is what Robert de Brunne means, in his translation of Peter Langtoft's French Chronicle, published by Hearn.
Peres of Langtoft, a chanoun
Pag. 36. v. 1. Pref. i. e. he wrote it in French.
See an account, and many specimens, of French Ro. mans, in a curious Memoir, viz. “ Discours sur quelques anciens Poetes, et sur quelques Romans Gaulois, peu connus; par M. Galland.” Mem. de Lit. Amsterdam, 1719. 12mo. tom. iii. pag. 424. These are pieces not mentioned by La Croix du Maine and Fauchet. Among others there is the Roman of Troy, and the Roman of (Syr] Percivall, one of Spenser's knights. There is also, Le Roman de Fortune et de Felicitè, which is a translation of Bæthius, De Consolatione, into verse.
how Shakespeare adopted the titles of pieces which were popular and common in his time. This too shews his track of reading. 11. Thirteen merry Jests of the Wydow Edyth. 12. The Temple of Glass. [of Lydgate.] Spenser, I believe, might have this piece in his eye,
where he describes the lovers in the Temple of Venus. 4. 10. 43. &c. There are several other pieces of the same sort in this collection.
We learn from the following passage in Skelton, who wrote in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. what books and stories were then the delight of English readers, and the fashion of the times.
I can rede and spell
And tell can & grete peco
• The entire history of Charlemagne was first imported into England by Caxton, who printed the Hystory and Lyf of the most noble and cristen prince, Charles the Great, Kyng of Fraunce, and Emperor of Rome, &c. 1485. In this book, besides those of Charlemagne, we have the achievements of Richard of Normandy, Row. land and Oliver, the Four Sons of Aymon, &c. It consists of three parts; and was compiled by the transla
And how they rode eche one,
tor, Caxton, from two French books, by the advice of Henry Bolounyer, canon of Lausanne. The first and third part were drawn from a book which he calls Myrrour Historyall; the second from an old French ro
Lewis, in his Life of Caxton, pag. 97. mentions a history of Charlemagne, written in Freuch, by Christiana of Pisa, 1404.
* A horse famous in romance, belonging to Reynaldo of Montauban.
† A romance printed by Caxton, viz. Thystorye of the noble, right valyant, and worthy Knight Parys, and of the fayre Vyenne, the Daulphyns Doughter of Vyennoys; the which suffered many adversyties, because of their true love, &c. fol. 1485. It is translated from the French The Dauphin is Sir Godfrey of Alaunson, cousin to Charles, King of France, 1271.