Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

on his way, it is probable his good in- and the king's licence to build a hostentions cooled a little, and rendered pital, church, and priory upon it. a trifling rub of the memory neces- Rahere's next care was, how to sary to keep him to his vow ; for the clear the ground and procure the monkish writer, quoted by Sir Wil- proper materials for his buildings at liam Dugdale, very gravely assures the least trouble and expence, and us that, as he was on his journey, here tradition relates that he had re“ being one night asleep, he seemed course to his old trade, and effected to be carried by a certain monstrous that by a stratagem which it would creature, that had four feet and two have drained his purse dry to have wings, and placed on a very high attempted in the usual mode. He precipice, where, just under him, he feigned himself to be a merry idiot, saw a horrible pit which had no bot- and collecting a vast rabble about tom,” or, at least, none that Rahere him by his anticks and buffoonery, could espy. Being in a terrible and setting them the example, which fright, and recollecting all his sins, they as readily followed, he cleared from the first he had ever committed, away the rubbish, and brought in its to the time then present, he called room stones and all other the proper out most piteously, and was on the materials for his purpose. Having acvery point of falling into the dismal complished his design, he discovered abyss, when there appeared a gen- who he was, set about building the tleman of wonderfully mild coun- hospital, and afterwards, the church tenance and great beauty, who asked and priory, all which he finished in him what he would give to be deliver- 1123, and dedicated to St. Bartholoed from so great and instant danger? mew. In his priory he placed cer“ Give?” cries Rahere, “all I have tain canons regular, of the order of in the world!” forgetting his hospital, St. Augustin; and, that he might fulfil and all about it, for the moment. St. Bartholomew's intentions to the “ Well,” said the stranger, “I am very letter, constituted himself the Saint Bartholomew; know that I first Prior, and presided over his own have chosen a place at Smithfield, in foundation for two and twenty years. the suburbs of London, where thou In 1133, Henry granted him the privishalt build a church to my name, lege of a fair to be kept yearly for three nor needest thou to regard the cost, days, the eve, the day, and the more seeing that thou shalt, without doubt, row of St. Bartholomew. The oriaccomplish the work, of which I pro- ginal intention of this fair was for the mise thee to be the lord and patron,” sale of English cloths; all the clothiers Rahere, awakened from his dream, of England and drapers of London was in great doubt as to the reality having booths and standings in the of his vision ; however, he resolved, churchyard, the strangers being liin the end, to consider it as an oracle censed for the three days, “ the free sent from Heaven, and to obey the men so long as they would, which command to the utmost of his power. was sixe or seuen dayes:

"* and this Upon his arrival in England, the was the origin of the far-famed Barfirst thing he did was to consult with tholomew fair. his friends how he should commence We have little more to say of our so important an undertaking, and jesting Prior: after continuing supefrom them he learned, that the ground rior of his own house till a good old upon which St. Bartholomew had set age rendered him fit to be gathered his mind, belonged to no less a per- to his fathers, he died in his priory son than the king. Nothing dis- and was buried in the church he had mayed, Rahere petitioned his royal himself erected, where a splendid master for a grant of the scite, which monument was erected to his memory request, backed as it was by the in- with the following inscription, “ Hic terest of the Bishop of London, was jacet Raherus primus Canonicus, et not denied to an old favourite, and he primus Prior istius Ecclesiæ.” obtained a free grant of the ground

Stow's Survey of London. Edit. 410. 1618, p. 714.

PIERRE GRINGORE.

EARLY FRENCH POETS.

a

I am half inclined to hand over mis en rime Françoise ; par Pierre Pierre Gringore to the lovers of the Gringore; ou Gringoire; et joué par Gothic letter. There are three of personnaiges, aux Halles de Paris, his volumes before me, which would le Mardy gras de l'année, 1511. in probably have great attractions for 16 gotiq. From the account given them. Their titles are as follows. of it, it appears to have been a sort

1. Les Abus du mõde nouvellement of comedy, or rather farce, divided Imprimes a Paris. 8vo. (no date.) into four separate parts. A copy of

2. Contreditz du Prince des Sotsit, preserved in the King's Library autrement dit Songecreux. On les at Paris, is said to be the only one vend a Paris en la rue neufue nostre then known. I have not discovered dame lenseigne sainct Nicolas. The whether a Duessa has since appeared table of contents is wanting at the to dispute the homage paid to this conclusion of this copy; and with Una. "In the Bibliotheca Parisiana, it the date also, which according to No. 252, there is at least a manuDe Bure is 1530.

script copy of it. 3. Notables enseignemēs Adages Besides all these, there is yet et proverbes faitz et composez par another book attributed to Pierre, Pierre Gringore dit Dauldemont He- which is not in black letter, and rault darmes de hault & puissant which in De Bure, No. 3036 with an seigneur monsieur le Duc de Lor- asterisk, is erroneously said to bear raine, Nouvellemēt reveuzetcorrigez. the name of Octavien de St. Gelais Avecques plusieurs austres adjoustez in the title-page, unless indeed the oultre la precedente Impression. On title-pages of all the copies were not les vend a Lyon cheulx Olivier Ar- the same. This is Le Chasteau de Lanoullet. 16mo. 1538.

bour, auquel est contenu ladresse de De Bure gives the titles of twelve richesse, et chemin de pouurete. more of these treasures; and on Les faintises du monde. Imprime a one of them, for its rarity the most Paris pour Galliot du Pre, 1532. precious of all, he expatiates at 8vo. great length. It is No: 3269 in his After a prologue setting forth the catalogue, and is called, Le Jeu du author's design, he thus enters on Prince des Sots et Mere Sotte, his subject.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

En ung beau jardin delectable

Pres de luy estoit Chastiement, Rempli d'arbres, der bes, de fleurs Ung maistre descolle dhonneur, Vis ung jeune enfant amiable

Qui luy remonstroit doulcement Sentir, fleurer, gouster odeurs,

Comme au disciple le recteur, Fleurettes de plusieurs couleurs

Et disoit qui ne prent labeur Luy presentoit dame Jeunesse,

Il vit comme une brute beste. Question nestoit de douleurs,

Le jeune enfant du bon du cueur Mais de tout plaisir et liesse.

Descouter Chastiement sapreste. (Fol. 4.) “ In a fair pleasant garden filled with trees, herbs, and flowers, 1 saw a lovely young child enjoying the sweet odours. Dame Youth presented to him many a floweret of divers hue. Of sorrow there was no thought, but all was pleasure and gladness. Near him was Chastisement, a master of a school of honour, who remonstrated with him gently, as a teacher with his scholar. He told him, that one who labours not, lives like a brute beast. The young child sets himself with good heart to listen to the words of Chastisement.

Jeune Enfant, in spite of this good advice, gets into many difficulties, which are described as allegorical personages, and some of them touched not without spirit.

ac

The dress of Jeune Enfant himself is thus painted:

Il estoit vestu de vert gay
En facon de gorre nouvelle,
Aussi gent comme ung papegay

Est, quant le prin temps renouvelle.-(Fol. 10.)
Yclad in a green mantle gay
Of newly-fangled gore was he,
As gent as is a popingay

That sits in springtide on the tree. Here we have four Chaucerian marriage. Marry, however, he will.; words in as many lines; “ gore," and, as the lady proves a “ Grande “ gent,"

,” “ popingay,” and “ reno- Gorre," "a lady of fashion, velen." The first of these gave Tyr- cording to Franc Arbitre's prediction whitt some trouble to explain. He of her, the difficulties of Jeune Endoes not seem to have been aware of fant are thus completed. When he is the manner in which the old French ready to sink under them, there apwriters used it. It occurs again in pears to him a lady, quite of another this poem.

sort, who delivers him out of them

all. This is no less than the Blessed Vit venir ung homme de nom Abille en gorre nouvelle,

Virgin, whom the author calls also Et tenoit ce gentil mignon

« Reason." Par la main une damoyselle.

At the beginning of the French

Revolution, the philosophers thought
Gorrierement le saluerent
Et il leur rendit leur salut.—(Fol. 8.) all their old superstitions when they

they were freeing themselves from La femme met l'homme a raison,

worshipped, in the person as it is said Il luy fault riches paremens,

of a common woman, the Goddess of En gorre selon la saison._(Fol. 19.)

Reason; though they were, in fact, Favin, in his Théatre d'Honneur, relapsing into a very old superstition, tom. i. p. 714, (as quoted by Roque- only stripped of all that was decofort, in the Glossary of the Romance rous and affecting to the imagination. tongue) gives the name of Grande The Virgin, or Reason, gives Jeune Gorre to Isabeau, of Baviere, “ pour Enfant some excellent advice; which se bobander en habits à l’Allemande,” is further enforced by the admo“ from her flaunting in clothes made nitions of a grave old man, called after the German fashion.”

“ Entendement,” “ Understanding; The last verses I have cited “are in but all is like to prove of no avail, in the description which Franc Arbitre, consequence of the arrival of one Free-Will, gives the Jeune Enfant of who comes up dressed in the garb of a wife, when he is obstinately bent on a lawyer.

Ce seigneur que je diz, estoit
Vestu comme ces advocatz;
Ung Chapperon forre pourtoit,

Robbe trainante jusque en bas..(Fol. 51.)
This lord of whom I spake was clad
In likeness of an advocate ;
On head a cope of fur he had,

And trail'd behind a robe of state. This is “ Barat,” “ Barrateria,” of the same stock with this. This Ital. “ Baratry” in our old law goodly trio are endeavouring to selanguage, accompanied by his clerk duce Jeune Enfant from his duty, - Tricherie “ Treachery,” and his but their ill intentions are defeated varlet "Hoquellerie Chicanery." by “ Reason, who is reinforced by « Hoker” and “ Hokerly a man and woman in plain garb, the words in Chaucer, which, as well as one named " Bon Cueur,” the other our word “ Huckster,” are probably “ Bonne Voulente ;” “Good Heart,"

[ocr errors]

are

9

[ocr errors]

and “Good Will;" bringing with hears most dreadful cries, uttered by them “ Tallent de bien faire “ De many“ honourable persons;” and sire of Well-doing.” These lead him a gay spirit,” named “ Entendeto the castle of Labour. “ Peine ment,” « Understanding" appears, and “ Pain,” the lady of the castle, in- furnishing him with pen, ink, and paquires of “ Soing."

;" “ Carefulness," per, bids him commit to writing the the porter, who the new comer is, visions he sees. A church then rises and from whence.

before him, built in strange guise; Vient il d'Angleterre ou de Romme ? through the door of which a cruel

Fol. 77. and dangerous man is thrusting himComes he from England or from Rome ?

self by force. He holds a spit

“ broche with crosses, mitres, abHe declares his willingness to be beys, and bishoprics on it, which two employed; and “ Peine tells him women are endeavouring by force or that her husband “Travail” “Work” sleight to drive into the church. “Enwill see how he executes his task, tendement launches forth into an and reward him accordingly. He has invective against the abuses of the much to do, and fares hard; but is clergy. This is followed by a satire well satisfied with his lot, till, at last, on the other vices of the time. At finding his hunger grow importunate, length, Louis XII. appears to him he is told by “Work” that he may with Justice at his side; and he sees go for a while to “ Repose," who in a vision the conquest obtained by will feed him better, and allow him a that monarch over the Venetians in little pastime. “Soing”

and “Cure," 1509; and is proceeding to enlarge « Carefulness” and fleed,” let him on the affairs of Italy, when Enout of the castle, not without some tendement says to him properly good advice, and a pluck of the ear enough: from each. He tells his wife of all Laisse ses guerres et puissantes victoires that had befallen him, speaking of it Aux croniqueurs pour mettre par histoire. as if it were a dream. She would fain dissuade him from his good reso

“ Leave his wars and mighty conlutions, but he determines not to quests for chroniclers to record.” listen to her, and concludes with a He then goes on to satirize the hyprayer that he may have firmness to pocrites (or bigots as he calls them) persevere.

of both sexes; and, from them, passes The style is of the homeliest to the barbers, physicians, apothethroughout; but there is the good caries, dancers, mummers, astrolomeaning of the writer, worthy the gers, gamesters, chemists, searchers age of Louis the Just, and here and after the philosopher's stone, forgers, there an arch phrase, or a quaint old priests, notaries, &c. &c. In the last word, cunningly set, to repay the leaf, the book is presented to Jaques reader for his trouble.

nomme de Touteville, counsellor and Much the same may be said of his chamberlain to the king. three other books which I mentioned The next, the Contrcditz du Prince before.

des Sots, &c. consists of arguments The first, « Les Abus du Mode for and against the different trades, Nouvel,” is a strange farrago. Near professions, and modes of life. These the beginning, indeed, (leaf the third, are introduced by Fantasy's conducta for the book is not paged) there is ing him to the forgery of Pallas, something better. It is the descrip- where he sees the apparatus that had tion of his musing himself to sleep at been used for fabricating all the great a little village, lulled by the song of writings in ancient times ; among the a nightingale ; and is quite in the rest, the Speculum Vitæ of Roderic taste of Chaucer. At waking, he Zamora.

Oultreplus je trouvay encore
Ce feu tout chault ou puis naguere
Avoit fait Roderic Zamore
Ce mirouer humain par sainct pere
De lespaignol je prins matiere
Si parfond et si largement
Que jen ay faict le fondement.--(F'ol. 4.)

And furthermore still there I found
The fire all hot, where not long since
Roderic of Zamora did found
His human mirror: by heaven's prince,
Matter so large and so profound
I from that Spaniard's learning took,
That I thereon have wrought my book.

There were no less than five edi- adages and proverbs: all of these are in tions of the Speculum Vitæ Humanæ, quatrains. I should take this edition to besides a French translation of it, be scarce: for De Bure has only the first before the conclusion of the fifteenth (No. 3028 with an asterisk, in his Bibcentury.

liographie) printed at Paris, without The arguments on Merchandise, date : but this has many additions. fol. 37, are in prose ; as is great part There is much wisdom in these, as of the second book, de l'Estat civil

. there is in most sayings of this kind ; The tyranny of fashion over the but few readers I doubt are now Courtier's life is one of the most en- willing to be at the trouble of “untertaining things in this work: derstanding a proverb, and the interFol. 171.

pretation; the words of the wise and Towards the end, there is a brief their dark sayings." A scantling of 'eulogy on Saint Louis, and on the these therefore will suffice, and they reigning monarch, Louis XII. shall be such as, to make them the

The last of the above-mentioned more palatable, contain some curious books, the Notables enseignemēs, &c. intimation of the manners and cusis, as the title imports, a collection of toms of those times.

[ocr errors]

Aucuns plaisirs prenent de estre servilles
Par trop aymer champs villages et bourgs
Autres desir ont frequenter les cours

Mais benistz sont les habitans es villes.--(Not ged.
Some choose the lowly villain's servile state,
Their love of fields, and thorps and burghs so great;
Others prefer the court: but blest are they
Who safe in towns do pass their lives away.

Aucuns y a sans raison ne propos
Qui es maisons escrissvent leurs devises
Noms et surnons en differentes guises ;
Murailles sont paintes des mains des sots.

There are who fondly do their houses paint
With signs armorial trick'd in colours quaint,
And names and surnames mark'd in divers scrolls;
These are walls pictured by the hands of fools.

Limprudent meine et tient dessus ses mains
Chiens et dyseaux oyant messe a leglise
En ce faisant dieu servir ne se advise
Devotion trouble aux autres humains.

Unwise the man who heareth mass, I wist,
With hound in leash, or hawk upon his fist;
He comes not into church to worship there,
But to disturb his neighbours at their prayer.

« PreviousContinue »