With a few exceptions, to be presently noticed, French literature is not to be found till after the year , that is to say until a greater lapse of time had passed since Caesar's campaigns than has passed from the later date to the present day. Taking the earliest of all monuments, the Strasburg Oaths, as starting-point, we may say that French language and French literature were nine hundred years in process of formation.
The result was a remarkable one in linguistic history. French is unquestionably a daughter of Latin, yet it is not such a daughter as Italian or Spanish. A knowledge of the older language would enable a reader who knew no other to spell out, more or less painfully, the meaning of most pages of the two Peninsular languages; it would hardly enable him to do more than guess at the meaning of a page of French.
The long process of gestation transformed the appearance of the new tongue completely, though its grammatical forms and the bulk of its vocabulary are beyond all question Latin. The history of this process belongs to the head of language, not of literature, and must be sought elsewhere. It is sufficient to say that the first mention of a lingua romana rustica is found in the seventh century, while allusions in Latin documents show us its gradual use in pulpit and market-place, and even as a vehicle for the rude songs of the minstrel, long before any trace of written French can be found.
Meanwhile, however, Latin was doing more than merely furnishing the materials of the new language. The literary faculty of the Gauls was early noticed, and before their subjection had long been completed they were adepts at using the language of the conquerors. It does not fall within our plan to notice in detail the Latin literature of Gaul and early France, but the later varieties of that literature deserve some little attention, because of the influence which they undoubtedly exercised on the literary forms of the new language.
In early French there is little trace of the influence of the Latin forms which we call classical. It was the forms of the language which has been said to have 'dived under ground with Naevius and come up again with Prudentius' that really influenced the youthful tongue. Ecclesiastical Latin, and especially the wonderful melody of the early Latin hymn-writers, had by far the greatest effect upon it. Ingenious and not wholly groundless efforts have been made to trace the principal forms of early French writing to the services and service-books of the church, the chronicle to the sacred histories, the lyric to the psalm and the hymn, the mystery to the elaborate and dramatic ritual of the church.
The Chanson de Geste , indeed, displays in its matter and style many traces of Germanic origin, but the metre with its regular iambic cadence and its rigid caesura testifies to Latin influence. The service thus performed to the literature was not unlike the service performed to the language. In the one case the scaffolding, or rather the skeleton, was furnished in the shape of grammar; in the other a similar skeleton, in the shape of prosody, was supplied.
Important additions were indeed made by the fresh elements introduced. Rhyme Latin had itself acquired. But of the musical refrains which are among the most charming features of early French lyric poetry we find no vestige in the older tongue. The history of the French language, as far as concerns literature, from the seventh to the eleventh century, can be rapidly given. The earliest mention of the Romance tongue as distinguished from Latin and from German dialect refers to , and occurs in the life of St. Mummolinus or Momolenus, bishop of Noyon, who was chosen for that office because of his knowledge of the two languages, Teutonic and Romanic 5.
We may therefore assume that Mummolinus preached in the lingua Romana. To the same century is referred the song of St. Faron, bishop of Meaux 6 , but this only exists in Latin, and a Romance original is inferred rather than proved. In the eighth century the Romance eloquence of St. Adalbert is commended 7 , and to the same period are referred the glossaries of Reichenau and Cassel, lists containing in the first case Latin and Romance equivalents, in the second Teutonic and Romance 8. By the beginning of the ninth century it was compulsory for bishops to preach in Romance, and to translate such Latin homilies as they read 9 ; and to this same era has been referred a fragmentary commentary on the Book of Jonah 10 , included in the latest collection of 'Monuments The text of the MS.
We now come to documents less shapeless. The tenth century itself gives us the song of St.
Eulalie, a poem on the Passion, a life of St. Leger, and perhaps a poem on Boethius. These four documents are of the highest interest. Not merely has the language assumed a tolerably regular form, but its great division into Langue d'Oc and Langue d'Oil is already made, and grammar, prosody, and other necessities or ornaments of bookwriting, are present. The following extracts will illustrate this part of French literature. The Romance oaths and the 'St. Eulalie' are given in full, the 'Passion' and the 'St. Leger' in extract; it will be observed that the interval between the first and the others is of very considerable width.
This interval probably represents a century of active change, and of this unfortunately we have no monuments to mark the progress accurately. Pro deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum on per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid nunqua prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit.
Considering the great extent and the political divisions of the country called France, it is not surprising that the language which was so slowly formed should have shown considerable dialectic variations. The characteristics of these dialects, Norman, Picard, Walloon, Champenois, Angevin, and so forth, have been much debated by philologists.
But it so happens that the different provinces displayed in point of literature considerable idiosyncrasy, which it is scarcely possible to dispute. Hardly a district of France but contributed something special to her wide and varied literature. The South, though its direct influence was not great, undoubtedly set the example of attention to lyrical form and cadence.
Britanny contributed the wonderfully suggestive Arthurian legends, and the peculiar music and style of the lai. It is however with the eleventh century that the history of French literature properly so called begins. We have indeed few Romance manuscripts so early as this, the date of most of them not being earlier than the twelfth. But by the eleventh century not merely were laws written in French charters and other formal documents were somewhat later , not merely were sermons constantly composed and preached in that tongue, but also works of definite literature were produced in it.
The Chanson de Roland is our only instance of its epic literature, but is not likely to have stood alone: From this date it is therefore possible to abandon generalities, and taking the successive forms and developments of literature, to deal with them in detail. Before however we attempt a systematic account of French literature as it has been actually handed down to us, it is necessary to deal very briefly with two questions, one of which concerns the antecedence of possible ballad literature to the existing Chansons de Gestes, the other the machinery of diffusion to which this and all the early historical developments of the written French language owed much.
It has been held by many scholars, whose opinions deserve respect, that an extensive literature of Cantilenae 12 , or short historical ballads, preceded the lengthy epics which we now possess, and was to a certain extent worked up in these compositions. It is hardly necessary to say that this depends in part upon a much larger question — the question, namely, of the general origins of epic poetry. There are indeed certain references 13 to these Cantilenae upon which the theories alluded to have been built.
But the Cantilenae themselves have, as one of the best of French literary historians, the late M. No remnant of them survives save the already-mentioned Latin prose canticle of St. Faron, in which vestiges of a French and versified original are thought to be visible, and the ballad of Saucourt, a rough song in a Teutonic dialect In default of direct evidence an argument has been sought to be founded on the constant transitions, repetitions, and other peculiarities of the Chansons, some of which and especially Roland , the most famous of all present traces of repeated handlings of the same subject, such as might be expected in work which was merely that of a diaskeuast 15 of existing lays.
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It is however probable that the explanation of this phenomenon need not be sought further than in the circumstances of the composition and publication of these poems, circumstances which also had a very considerable influence on the whole course and character of early French literature. We know nothing of the rise or origin of the two classes of Trouveurs and Jongleurs. The former which it is needless to say is the same word as Troubadour , and Trobador , and Trovatore is the term for the composing class, the latter for the performing one.
The natural consequence of this irregular form of publication was a good deal of repetition in the works published. We may therefore conclude, without entering further into the details of a debate unsuitable to the plan of this history, that, while but scanty evidence has been shown of the existence previous to the Chansons de Gestes of a ballad literature identical in subject with those compositions, at the same time the existence of such a literature is neither impossible nor improbable.
It is otherwise with the hypothesis of the existence of prose chronicles, from which the early epics and Roland in particular are also held to have derived their origin. But this subject will be better handled when we come to treat of the beginnings of French prose.
For the present it is sufficient to say that, with the exception of the scattered fragments already commented upon, there is no department of French literature before the eleventh century and the Chansons de Gestes , which possesses historical existence proved by actual monuments, and thus demands or deserves treatment here. The chronicler Sigebert confirms the statement that he was made bishop 'quod Romanam non minus quam Teutonicam calleret linguam.
Faron, his predecessor, towards the end of the ninth century. Helgaire uses the words 'juxta rusticitatem,' 'carmen rusticum;' and Lingua Rustica is usually if not universally synonymous with Lingua Romana. It was published in by Holtzmann. The Cassel Glossary, which came from Fulda, was published in the last century Gaston Paris speaks with apparent confidence of the pre-existing chants , and, in matter of authority, no one speaks with more than he: The earliest form which finished literature took in France was that of epic or narrative poetry.
Towards the middle of the eleventh century certainly, and probably some half-century earlier, poems of regular construction and considerable length began to be written. These are the Chansons de Gestes , so called from their dealing with the Gestes 17 , or heroic families of legendary or historical France. It is remarkable that this class of composition, notwithstanding its age, its merits, and the abundant examples of it which have been preserved, was one of the latest to receive recognition in modern times.
The matter of many of the Chansons, under their later form of verse or prose romances of chivalry, was indeed more or less known in the eighteenth century. But an appreciation of their real age, value, and interest has been the reward of the literary investigations of our own time.
It was not till that the oldest and the most remarkable of them was first edited from the manuscript found in the Bodleian Library Since that time investigation has been constant and fruitful, and there are now more than one hundred of these interesting poems known. The origin and sources of the Chansons de Gestes have been made a matter of much controversy.
We have already seen how, from the testimony of historians and the existence of a few fragments, it appears that rude lays or ballads in the different vernacular tongues of the country were composed and sung if not written down at very early dates. According to one theory, we are to look for the origin of the long and regular epics of the eleventh and subsequent centuries in these rude compositions, first produced independently, then strung together, and lastly subjected to some process of editing and union.
It has been sought to find proof of this in the frequent repetitions which take place in the Chansons, and which sometimes amount to the telling of the same incident over and over again in slightly varying words. Others have seen in this peculiarity only a result of improvisation in the first place, and unskilful or at least uncritical copying in the second. This, however, is a question rather interesting than important.
What is certain is that no literary source of the Chansons is now actually in existence, and that we have no authentic information as to any such originals. At a certain period — approximately given above — the fashion of narrative poems on the great scale seems to have arisen in France. It spread rapidly, and was eagerly copied by other nations. The definition of a Chanson de Geste is as follows. It is a narrative poem, dealing with a subject connected with French history, written in verses of ten or twelve syllables, which verses are arranged in stanzas of arbitrary length, each stanza possessing a distinguishing assonance or rhyme in the last syllable of each line.
The assonance, which is characteristic of the earlier Chansons, is an imperfect rhyme, in which identity of vowel sound is all that is necessary. Thus traitor , felon , compaingnons , manons , noz , the first, fourth, and fifth of which have no character of rhyme whatever in modern poetry, are sufficient terminations for an assonanced poem, because the last vowel sound, o, is identical.
There is moreover in this versification a regular caesura, sometimes after the fourth, sometimes after the sixth syllable; and in a few of the older examples the stanzas, or as they are sometimes called laisses , terminate in a shorter line than usual, which is not assonanced.
This metrical system, it will be observed, is of a fairly elaborate character, a character which has been used as an argument by those who insist on the existence of a body of ballad literature anterior to the Chansons. We shall see in the following chapters how this double definition of a Chanson de Geste , by matter and by form, serves to exclude from the title other important and interesting classes of compositions slightly later in date.
The period of composition of these poems extended, speaking roughly, over three centuries. In the eleventh they began, but the beginnings are represented only by Roland , the Voyage de Charlemagne , and perhaps Le Roi Louis. Most and nearly all the best date from the twelfth.
The thirteenth century also produces them in great numbers, but by this time a sensible change has come over their manner, and after the beginning of the fourteenth only a few pieces deserving the title are written. They then undergo transformation rather than neglect, and we shall meet them at a later period in other forms.
Before dealing with other general characteristics of the early epics of France it will be well to give some notion of them by actual selection and narrative. For this purpose we shall take two Chansons typical of two out of the three stages through which they passed. Roland will serve as a sample of the earliest, Amis et Amiles of the second. Of the third, as less characteristic in itself and less marked by uniform features, it will be sufficient to give some account when we come to the compositions which chiefly influenced it, namely the romances of Arthur and of antiquity.
The Chanson de Roland , the most ancient and characteristic of these poems, though extremely popular in the middle ages 19 , passed with them into obscurity. The earliest allusion to the Oxford MS. Conybeare forty years later dealt with it in the Gentleman's Magazine of , and by degrees the reviving interest of France in her older literature attracted French scholars to this most important monument of the oldest French.
It was first published as a whole by M. Michel in , and since that time it has been the subject of a very great amount of study. Its length is decasyllabic lines, and it concludes with an obscure assertion of authorship, publication or transcription by a certain Turoldus The date of the Oxford MS. There are other MSS. The argument of the poem is as follows: Charlemagne has warred seven years in Spain, but king Marsile of Saragossa still resists the Christian conqueror.
Unable however to meet Charlemagne in the field, he sends an embassy with presents and a feigned submission, requesting that prince to return to France, whither he will follow him and do homage.
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Roland opposes the reception of these offers, Ganelon speaks in their favour, and so does Duke Naimes. Then the question is who shall go to Saragossa to settle the terms. Roland offers to go himself, but being rejected as too impetuous, suggests Ganelon — a suggestion which bitterly annoys that knight and by irritating him against Roland sows the seeds of his future treachery. Ganelon goes to Marsile, and at first bears himself truthfully and gallantly.
The heathen king however undermines his faith, and a treacherous assault on the French rearguard when Charlemagne shall be too far off to succour it is resolved on and planned. Then the traitor returns to Charles with hostages and mighty gifts. The return to France begins; Roland is stationed to his great wrath in the fatal place, the rest of the army marches through the Pyrenees, and meanwhile Marsile gathers an enormous host to fall upon the isolated rearguard.
There is a long catalogue of the felon and miscreant knights and princes that follow the Spanish king. The pagan host, travelling by cross paths of the mountains, soon reaches and surrounds Roland and the peers. Oliver entreats Roland to sound his horn that Charles may hear it and come to the rescue, but the eager and inflexible hero refuses. Archbishop Turpin blesses the doomed host, and bids them as the price of his absolution strike hard. The battle begins and all its incidents are told. The French kill thousands, but thousands more succeed.
Peer after peer falls, and when at last Roland blows the horn it is too late. Charlemagne hears it and turns back in an agony of sorrow and haste. But long before he reaches Roncevaux Roland has died last of his host, and alone, for all the Pagans have fallen or fled before him. The arrival of Charlemagne, his grief, and his vengeance on the Pagans, should perhaps conclude the poem.
There is however a sort of afterpiece, in which the traitor Ganelon is tried, his fate being decided by a single combat between his kinsman Pinabel and a champion named Thierry, and is ruthlessly put to death with all his clansmen who have stood surety for him. Episodes properly so called the poem has none, though the character of Oliver is finely brought out as contrasted with Roland's somewhat unreasoning valour, and there is one touching incident when the poet tells how the Lady Aude, Oliver's sister and Roland's betrothed, falls dead without a word when the king tells her of the fatal fight at Roncevaux.
The following passage will give an idea of the style of this famous poem. It may be noticed that the curious refrain Aoi has puzzled all commentators, though in calling it a refrain we have given the most probable explanation: As Roland is by far the most interesting of those Chansons which describe the wars with the Saracens, so Amis et Amiles 21 may be taken as representing those where the interest is mainly domestic.
Amis et Amiles is the earliest vernacular form of a story which attained extraordinary popularity in the middle ages, being found in every language and in most literary forms, prose and verse, narrative and dramatic. This popularity may partly be assigned to the religious and marvellous elements which it contains, but is due also to the intrinsic merits of the story. The Chanson contains lines, dates probably from the twelfth century, and is written, like Roland , in decasyllabic verse, but, unlike Roland , has a shorter line of six syllables and not assonanced at the end of each stanza.
Its story is as follows: Amis and Amiles were two noble knights, born and baptized on the same day, who had the Pope for sponsor, and whose comradeship was specially sanctioned by a divine message, and by the miraculous likeness which existed between them. They were however brought up, the one in Berri, the other in Auvergne, and did not meet till both had received knighthood. As soon as they had joined company, they resolved to offer their services to Charles, and did him great service against rebels.
Here the action proper begins. The latter declares that Amis deserves her better, and to Amis she is married, bearing however no good-will to Amiles for his resignation of her and for his firm hold on her husband's affection.
He at once accuses Amiles of treason, and the knight is too conscious of the dubiousness of his cause to be very willing to accept the wager of battle. From this difficulty he is saved by Amis, who comes to Paris from his distant seignory of Blaivies Blaye , and fights the battle in the name and armour of his friend, while the latter goes to Blaye and plays the part of his preserver.
Both ventures are made easier by the extraordinary resemblance of the pair. This embroglio is smoothed out, and Amiles and Bellicent are happily united. The generous Amis however has not been able to avoid forswearing himself while playing the part of Amiles; and this sin is punished, according to a divine warning, by an attack of leprosy. His wife Lubias seizes the opportunity, procures a separation from him, and almost starves him, or would do so but for two faithful servants and his little son.
At last a means of cure is revealed to him. If Amiles and Bellicent will allow their two sons to be slain the blood will recover Amis of his leprosy. The stricken knight journeys painfully to his friend and tells him the hard condition. Amiles does not hesitate, and the following passage tells his deed: No sooner has the blood touched Amis than he is cured, and the knights solemnly visit the church where Bellicent and the people are assembled. The story is told and the mother, in despair, rushes to the chamber where her dead children are lying.
But she finds them living and in full health, for a miracle has been wrought to reward the faithfulness of the friends now that suffering has purged them of their sin. This story, touching in itself, is most touchingly told in the Chanson. No poem of the kind is more vivid in description, or fuller of details of the manners of the time, than Amis et Amiles. Bellicent and Lubias, the former passionate and impulsive but loving and faithful, the latter treacherous, revengeful, and cold-hearted, give perhaps the earliest finished portraits of feminine character to be found in French literature.
Amis and Amiles themselves are presented to us under so many more aspects than Roland and Oliver that they dwell better in the memory. Not even the immolation of Ganelon's hostages is so striking as the calm ferocity with which Charlemagne dooms his wife and son as well as his daughter to pay with their lives the penalty of Bellicent's fault; while the sudden lapse of Amis from his position of feudal lordship at Blaye to that of a miserable outcast, smitten and marked out for public scorn and ill-treatment by the visitation of God, is unusually dramatic.
Amis et Amiles bears to Roland something not at all unlike the relation of the Odyssey to the Iliad. Its continuation, Jourdains de Blaivies , adds the element of foreign travel and adventure; but that element is perhaps more characteristically represented, and the representation has certainly been more generally popular, in Huon de Bordeaux.
Of the remaining Chansons, the following are the most remarkable. Aliscans twelfth century deals with the contest between William of Orange, the great Christian hero of the south of France, and the Saracens. This poem forms, according to custom, the centre of a whole group of Chansons dealing with the earlier and later adventures of the hero, his ancestors, and descendants. The series formed by these and others 22 is among the most interesting of these groups. Le Chevalier au Cygne is a title applied directly to a somewhat late version of an old folk-tale, and more generally to a series of poems connected with the House of Bouillon and the Crusades.
Antioche , the first of these, which describes the exploits of the Christian host, first in attacking and then in defending that city, is one of the finest of the Chansons, and is probably in its original form not much later than the events it describes, being written by an eye-witness. The variety of its personages, the vivid picture of the alternations of fortune, the vigour of the verse, are all remarkable. This group is terminated by Baudouin de Sebourc 24 , a very late but very important Chanson, which falls in with the poetry of the fourteenth century, and the Bastart de Bouillon La Chevalerie Ogier de Danemarche 26 is the oldest form in which the adventures of one of the most popular and romantic of Charlemagne's heroes are related.
Fierabras had also a very wide popularity, and contains some of the liveliest pictures of manners to be found in these poems, in its description of the rough horse-play of the knights and the unfilial behaviour of the converted Saracen princess. This poem is also of much interest philologically Garin le Loherain 28 is the centre of a remarkable group dealing not directly with Charlemagne, but with the provincial disputes and feuds of the nobility of Lorraine. Raoul de Cambrai 29 is another of the Chansons which deal with 'minor houses,' as they are called, in contradistinction to the main Carlovingian cycle.
Hugues Capet 31 , though very late, is attractive by reason of the glimpses it gives us of a new spirit supplanting that of chivalry proper. In it the heroic distinctly gives place to the burlesque. Macaire 32 , besides being written in a singular dialect, in which French is mingled with Italian, supplies the original of the well-known dog of Montargis. Huon de Bordeaux 33 , already mentioned, was not only more than usually popular at the time of its appearance, but has supplied Shakespeare with some of the dramatis personae of A Midsummer Night's Dream , and Wieland and Weber with the plot of a well-known poem and opera.
Jourdains de Blaivies , the sequel to Amis et Amiles , contains, besides much other interesting matter, the incident which forms the centre of the plot of Pericles. Les Saisnes 35 deals with Charlemagne's wars with Witekind. Doon de Mayence 37 , though not early, includes a charming love-episode. In these numerous poems there is recognisable in the first place a distinct family likeness which is common to the earliest and latest, and in the second, the natural difference of manners which the lapse of three hundred years might be expected to occasion. There is a sameness which almost amounts to monotony in the plot of most Chansons de Gestes: The agents of this treachery are commonly of the blood of the arch-traitor Ganelon, and are almost invariably discomfited by the good knight or his friends and avengers.
The part 40 which Charlemagne plays in these poems is not usually dignified: In the earliest Chansons the part played by women is not so conspicuous as in the later, but in all except Roland it has considerable prominence. Sometimes the heroine is the wife, daughter, or niece of Charlemagne, sometimes a Saracen princess. But in either case she is apt to respond without much delay to the hero's advances, which, indeed, she sometimes anticipates. The conduct of knights to their ladies is also far from being what we now consider chivalrous.
Blows are very common, and seem to be taken by the weaker sex as matters of course. The prevailing legal forms are simple and rather sanguinary. The judgment of God, as shown by ordeal of battle, settles all disputes; but battle is not permitted unless several nobles of weight and substance come forward as sponsors for each champion; and sponsors as well as principal risk their lives in case of the principal's defeat, unless they can tempt the king's cupidity.
These common features are necessarily in the case of so large a number of poems mixed with much individual difference, nor are the Chansons by any means monotonous reading. Their versification is pleasing to the ear, and their language, considering its age, is of surprising strength, expressiveness, and even wealth. Though they lack the variety, the pathos, the romantic chivalry, and the mystical attractions of the Arthurian romances, there is little doubt that they paint, far more accurately than their successors, an actually existing state of society, that which prevailed in the palmy time of the feudal system, when war and religion were deemed the sole subjects worthy to occupy seriously men of station and birth.
In giving utterance to this warlike and religious sentiment, few periods and classes of literature have been more strikingly successful. Nowhere is the mere fury of battle better rendered than in Roland and Fierabras. Nowhere is the valiant indignation of the beaten warrior, and, at the same time, his humble submission to providence, better given than in Aliscans. Nowhere is the devout sentiment and belief of the same time more fully drawn than in Amis et Amiles.
The method of composition and publication of these poems was peculiar. The poet was commonly a man of priestly or knightly rank, the performer who might be of either sex was probably of no particular station. The Jongleur, or Jongleresse, wandered from castle to castle, reciting the poems, and interpolating in them recommendations of the quality of the wares, requests to the audience to be silent, and often appeals to their generosity.
Some of the manuscripts which we now possess were originally used by Jongleurs, and it was only in this way that the early Chanson de Geste was intended to be read. The process of hawking about naturally interfered with the preservation of the poems in their original purity, and even with the preservation of the author's name. In very few cases 41 is the latter known to us. The question whether the Chansons de Gestes were originally written in northern or southern French has often been hotly debated. The facts are these. Two of these 42 are admitted translations or imitations of Northern originals.
The third, Girartz de Rossilho , is undoubtedly original, but is written in the northernmost dialect of the Southern tongue. The inference appears to be clear that the Chanson de Geste is properly a product of northern France. Such a hypothesis is evidently unreasonable, and would probably never have been started had not some of the earliest students of Old French been committed by local feeling to the championship of the language of the Troubadours.
On the other hand, almost all the dialects of Northern French are represented, Norman and Picard being perhaps the commonest The language of these poems, as the extracts given will partly show, is neither poor in vocabulary, nor lacking in harmony of sound. It is indeed, more sonorous and stately than classical French language was from the seventeenth century to the days of Victor Hugo, and abounds in picturesque terms which have since dropped out of use. The massive castles of the baronage, with their ranges of marble steps leading up to the hall, where feasting is held by day and where the knights sleep at night, are often described.
Dress is mentioned with peculiar lavishness. Pelisses of ermine, ornaments of gold and silver, silken underclothing, seem to give the poets special pleasure in recording them. In no language are what have been called 'perpetual' epithets more usual, though the abundance of the recurring phrases prevents monotony.
The 'clear countenances' of the ladies, the 'steely brands' of the knights, their 'marble palaces,' the 'flowing beard' of Charlemagne, the 'guileful tongue' of the traitors, are constant features of the verbal landscape. From so great a mass of poetry it would be vain in any space here available to attempt to arrange specimen 'jewels five words long. Before quitting the subject of the Chansons de Gestes, it may be well to give briefly their subsequent literary history. They were at first frequently re-edited, the tendency always being to increase their length, so that in some cases the latest versions extant run to thirty or forty thousand lines.
As soon as this limit was reached, they began to be turned into prose, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries being the special period of this change. The art of printing came in time to assist the spread of these prose versions, and for some centuries they were almost the only form in which the Chansons de Gestes, under the general title of romances of chivalry, were known. The verse originals remained for the most part in manuscript, but the prose romances gained an enduring circulation among the peasantry in France. From the seventeenth century their vogue was mainly restricted to this class.
His versions were executed entirely in the spirit of the day, and did not render any of the characteristic features of the old Epics. But they drew attention to them, and by the end of the century, University Professors began to lecture on old French poetry. The exertions of M. Paulin Paris, of M. Francisque Michel, and of some German scholars first brought about the re-editing of the Chansons in their original form about half a century ago; and since that time they have received steady attention, and a large number have been published — a number to which additions are yearly being made.
Rather more than half the known total are now in print. Each of these is composed of many poems. Contrasted with these are the 'petites gestes,' which include only a few Chansons. Another, of much later date in point of writing but representing the same text, exists at Venice. Of later versions there are six manuscripts extant.
The Chanson de Roland has since its editio princeps been repeatedly re-edited, translated, and commented. The most exact edition is that of Prof. Stengel, Heilbronn, , who has given the Bodleian Manuscript both in print and in photographic facsimile. The most convenient edition is that of Kroeber and Servois, Paris, There is an English fourteenth-century version published by Mr. Herrtage for the Early English Text Society, This is scarcely the fact, unless by 'later' we are to understand all except Roland.
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A Short History of French Literature / George Saintsbury
So simple and yet so classic. There is one time I dress a similar look like you, not only my friends, even my grandma said she likes it. I don't know if you can see these but thank you so much! Do you know where can I buy one? More inspiration ready to shop in the blog! And in a few weeks, we will definitely be in the This is my unchanging uniform. I mean, can you think of anyone more qualified to tell you what to buy? Who and what are we really inspired Despite having three sisters, divorced parents, and a three year old nephew, I love holiday shopping.
Amid all of the stress, emotional taxation, and Owning a pair of leather gloves feels like a passageway to adulthood you know, the real kind. That said, I have never owned a pair of leather The long coat and I go way back. No really, how does one wear a dress in winter? This is a question which not only perplexed Garance, but the whole team. We spend months gleefully That moment when you can no longer carry your handbag Ok, see you guys on Snapchat!!! Garance The Next Chapter. Beauty Aaaaaaand…I cut my hair again!
Garance, I waited till midnight, purchased it and read it. Your story so reminds me of Sex and The City! But who is your Big? Creating and authorizing users Chapter 4: Creating a key database and certificates Chapter 5: Sharing Certificates Chapter 7: Defining queue policy Chapter 8: Basic testing of the setup Chapter 9: Testing encryption Chapter Advanced testing Scenario A: User bob is not authorized by AMS to read messages signed by bob Chapter Testing performance improvement of new feature in MQ 9.