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Johnson at last denied himself this amusement, from considerations of rigid virtue, saying I'll come no more behind your scenes, David; for the silk stockings and white bosoms of your actresses excite my amorous propensities."-Perhaps the Editor of this work was not aware that the four last words were not Dr. Johnson's, but were substituted for his. Although we do not think it necessary to insert the original words; yet these that now stand in the text should be printed in Italics, or brackets, to separate them from that which is genuine. It is impossible to suppose that Boswell was not acquainted with the genuine expression; which would not have been diluted in the vivid recollection of Garrick.
P. 255. "The style of this work [The Rambler] has been censured by some shallow critics as involved and turgid, and abounding with antiquated and bad words. So ill-founded is the first part of this objection," &c-Enough has been said on the subject; Mr. Croker's note is very judicious it would be as well to add to it what Sir James Mackintosh has written in his sketch of Johnson. "As the mind of Johnson was robust, but neither nimble nor graceful, so his style, though sometimes significant, nervous, and even majestic, was void of all grace and ease, and being the most unlike of all styles to the natural effusion of a cultivated mind, had the least pretensions to the praise of elegance. During the period now near a close, in which he was a favourite model, a stiff symmetry, and tedious monotony, succeeded to that various music with which the taste of Addison diversified his periods, and to that natural imagery which the latter's beautiful genius seemed with graceful negligence to scatter over his composition.'
P. 257. "Some of them (i. e. antiquated and hard words) have been adopted by him (Johnson in his Rambler) unnecessarily, may perhaps be allowed, but in general they are evidently an advantage; for without them his stately ideas would be confined and cramped. He that thinks with more extent than another, will want words of larger meaning."
To these observations of Boswell, Mr. Croker has added the following words:" This is a truism in disguise of a sophism. He that thinks with more extent will,' no doubt, want words of a larger meaning; but the words themselves may be plain and simple; the number of syllables and oro-rotundity (if one may venture to use the expression) of the sound of a word can never add much, and may, in some cases, do injury to the meaning. What words were ever written of a larger meaning than the following, which, however, are the most simple and elementary that can be found: God said, Let there be light, and there was light."-Boswell's language, when he attempts to reason, is so loose and vague, that it is difficult to understand his meaning with precision. However, we do not see in what way Johnson's stately ideas would be confined for the want of sesquipedalian words: those long and learned words quoted by Dr. Burrows, would find synonymous expressions in a more vernacular tongue. 'He that thinks,' says Boswell, with more extent than another, will want words of larger meaning.' We see no reason for agreeing to the truth of this observation. He that thinks with more extent, will, it is true, want more words to express the wide expanse of his knowledge, or use his words with more emphatic propriety, and more skilful combination, than a writer of more confined powers; but why he should want particular words of larger meaning we cannot see. The explication of his thoughts will not depend upon certain words of larger signification, so much as on
his just and logical train of reasoning, expressed in common terms. However great the extent of his thoughts, they must proceed step by step, and language will keep pace with them. It is true that the deep reasoner, or the scientific philosopher, may occasionally want a combination of language that was never called for before, and then new terms will be invented to express new ideas; but that supposition does not lie within the line of our argument. What Johnson also in the Idler calls words of larger meaning, Boswell takes for granted are longer and larger words in size; but when Mr. Croker adds- What words were ever written of a larger meaning than the following, which however are the most simple and elcmentary that can be found,--' God said, Let there be light, and there was light, we must distinguish between the words themselves, and the ideas we associate with them. We might use the very same words, when we told our servant to bring candles (we beg to say, lest we may be mistaken, that we are now speaking argumentatively), and the words-quasi wordswould convey the same meaning- bring light, and light was brought ;' this is all they could convey. The large mcaning in the former case is superadded by our previous knowledge of what that light was, and what sublime and splendid images accompanied the picture which we formed of the creating Deity, and of the elements bursting from chaos into light. In what proportion, and at what time, words of foreign structure, or native to the language, should be used, is a question that must be referred to the finest taste, and the most practised and experienced ear and judgment. Perhaps not a single word in Milton could in this way be substituted for another, without great injury and disadvantage to the work. This fine poetical discrimination must be the result of the most finished taste, and the most delicate feeling, and is the property of Genius alone. We consider in the present case that Mr. Croker has not distinguished between the ideas which the words suggest to us, and the additional ideas which we throw back upon them, but which are only adventitious to them. Undoubtedly Mr. Croker is right in saying that Johnson must be considered as a benefactor to our language. It is supposed that he derived his foreign style from our old writers; but he who goes to those treasure houses of knowledge and eloquence merely to cull their exotic flowers of speech, takes that which is of the least value in them.
P. 279. O Lord! so far as it may be lawful in me, I commend to thy fatherly goodness the soul of my departed wife; beseeching thee to grant her whatever is best in her present state, and finally to receive her to eternal happiness.-Malone's note is as follows:- It does not appear that Johnson was fully persuaded that there was a middle state. His prayers being only conditional, i. e. if such a state existed.This interpretation is surely erroneous; Johnson expresses no doubt of what Malone calls the middle state, in which the soul of his wife existed, but of the lawfulness of his prayers. The arguments on the subject of an intermediate state, in which the soul is supposed to exist after its separation from the body till the day of final judgment, and its reunion to the body, may be found compendiously drawn up, and correctly stated in Dr. Whately's Discourses of a Country Clergyman to his Parishioners.
P. 306. When Warburton's Works are re-published, the interesting and clever letters which were written by him, and first printed in the Garrick Correspondence, should not be omitted. The present writer heard Dr. Parr boast, that Warburton's fame stood on the two pillars of his and Johnson's commendation.
GENT. MAG. VOL. IV.
EARLY FRENCH AND NORMAN POETRY.*
OUR continental neighbours have been of late more than usually diligent in the publication of the remains of their ancient literature, and as their publications on this subject have accumulated on our table, we have come to the resolution of devoting a page or two to the notice of them. We have already, on a former occasion, given an abstract of M. Michel's beautiful edition of the Romance of La Violette, and of his Eustace the Monk, and we have also lately noticed, though briefly, the excellent supplementary volume to the French Renard, edited by M. Chabaille.
Among the novelties before us is an excellent edition of the curious fabliaux of Gaultier d'Aupais, hitherto only known by the abstract given by Legrand d'Aussy, curious as being written in the long Alexandrines, with the oftrepeated rhymes of the earlier romances,-which has been published lately, with another shorter fabliau, by M. Francisque Michel. In its connection with the history of the earlier French and Norman Romances, this fabliau is interesting and valuable, but the story it contains-and in this it differs widely from the general character of the fabliaux of the thirteenth century-is dull and ill-contrived, without ingenuity or interest.
There is not in the world, saith our fabliau, a place where one is so well served and so comfortably lodged as in a tavern
Par foi il le me samble, et si est véritez,
Que il n'est lieus en terre où l'en soit conreez
Si bien comme en taverne où tout est aprestez
as many a traveller has exclaimed when, by its warm fire-side, he rests himself from the fatigues of his day's journey, and listens to the storm without, and which perchance he has but just escaped. So, it seems, thought Gaultier d'Aupais, when he entered the inn at Beauvais, after having sustained many a hard blow in the tournament which had been held there during the day. Gaultier, however, paid dearly for the shelter which the tavern afforded him, for, finding himself destitute of money wherewith to pay his scot, he was induced to join a party who were at play within, and, after losing his horse and every thing he possessed except his shirt, he was obliged to return home with that only for a covering. His father received him with reproaches and blows, and he left the house to wander over the country in poverty and wretchedness, till he fell deeply in love with the beautiful daughter of a vavasour. He obtained employment in the castle of the maiden's father, where he served his master well and faithfully. At length, unable to conceal longer the flame which burns within him, he confides the secret of his love to a minstrel, who at first discourages him, but in the end counsels him to seek a favourable opportunity of
* Specimens of the Early Poetry of France, from the time of the Troubadours and Trouveres to the reign of Henri Quatre. By Louisa Stuart Costello. 8vo. London, W. Pickering, 1835.
Gautier d'Aupais; Le Chevalier à la Corbeille; fablianx du XIII. siècle. Publiés pour la première fois . . . . . par Francisque Michel. 8vo. Paris, Silvestre, London, Pickering, 1835.
Un dit d'Aventures, pièce burlesque et satirique du x111e siècle, publiée G. S. Trebutien. 8vo. Paris, Silvestre, 1835.
Le Dit de Ménage, pièce en vers du XIVe siècle, publiée par G. S. Trebutien. 8vo. Paris, Silvestre, 1835.
Li Romans de Garin le Loherain, publié pour la première fois.... par M. P. Paris. 12mo. Paris, Techener, tome 1. 1833. tome 11, 1835.
Analyse Critique et littéraire du Roman de Garin-le-Loherain, précédée de quelques observations sur l'origine des Romans de Chevalerie, par Leroux de Lincy. 12mo. Paris, Techener, 1835.
Lettre de Philippe de Valois à Alphonse IV. roi d'Aragon; . . . publiée, pour la première fois, sous les auspices de M. Guizot, Ministre de l'Instruction Publique, par Francisque Michel. 8vo. Paris, Silvestre, 1835.
Chronique de Turpin. 4to. Paris, Silvestre, 1235.
making known to the lady his passion. The interest of the story now suddenly falls there are no more difficulties in Gaultier's way, no crosses in his love. He tells the maiden his real condition and rank; when she discovers that his story is true, she falls in love with him, and confides the secret to her mother, who is soon satisfied and repeats it to her lord. He also is satisfied, Gaultier is reconciled to his father, and married, and here the story ends.
The other poem in M. Michel's well-edited little volume is the short and laughable fabliau Du Chevalier à la Corbeille,' which is printed from a manuscript in the British Museum.
M. Michel, who has, we understand, been chosen by the Minister a member of the Commission Historique,' has just published an extremely curious letter from the French king, Philippe de Valois, to Alphonso the Fourth, King of Arragon, which has been discovered among the criminal registers of the parliament of Paris. The subject of this letter is the ill-treatment which an envoy of Charles the Fourth of France (the predecessor of Philippe) to the Sultan of Egypt, had experienced from certain men, subjects of the King of Arragon, who are accused, amongst other things, of having used expressions extremely derogatory to the King of France. For instance, these men told the Sultan of Egypt-" quod rex Francie non erat verus in fide Christiana Catolicus, imo pocius hereticus, eo quod contra fidem christianam matrimonium contraxerat et cum sua consanguinea germana jacebat; dixit eciam quod papa, qui dicebatur super dicto matrimonio dispensasse, erat eciam hereticus ; quodque omnes reges Francie a xxxa annis citra fuerant factores false monete, et idcirco omnes mortui fuerant mala morte." This letter is dated Sept. 3, 1335. Among the works which M. Michel has at present in the press, we may notice, as the most interesting, the 4to. edition of the long and valuable Chronicle of Normandy, by Benoît de Sainte-More, which will make two volumes, and will be printed at the royal press; two volumes of inedited pieces relating to the conquest of England by the Normans, of which the first is just ready for publication by Frere of Rouen; an edition of the curious poem of Walter de Bibblesworth, which was used at the end of the thirteenth and during the fourteenth centuries to teach the French language to Englishmen ; and an Anglo-Saxon Biblio. graphy; the latter preceded by an essay on the study of Anglo-Saxon in England, by our excellent Saxonist Mr. Kemble, the editor of Beowulf. At present there appears some little inclination among the French savans to study our primitive tongue, and the accomplished M. de Larenaudière has in the press at Paris a translation of an essay on the Anglo-Saxon language and poetry, which appeared in Frazer's Magazine of July last, with some few additions and corrections which have been communicated by the writer.
We are delighted to hear that M. Michel has put in the press the very early metrical romance of Roncevaux, which he has transcribed from the original MS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and that he is preparing for publication the French romance of Horn. A fit companion to the romance of Roncevaux, is the valuable fac-simile edition of the very rare French version of the Chronicle of Turpin, which has lately been published by that enterprising bookseller, Silvestre. It is printed from the only known edition of the French version, that printed at Paris, in 1527, by Pierre Vidone for Regnault Chauldière, with the type which has been made in exact imitation of that of the ancient French printers, at the expense of the Prince d'Essling. The curious romance of Charlemagne's voyage to Jerusalem and Constantinople, which M. Michel has edited from a manuscript in the British Museum, is nearly ready, and his invaluable collection of the French Romances of Tristram, with his learned preface, and a reprint of the Greek poem on King Arthur's heroes, which was edited by Von der Hagen, from a MS. in the Vatican, is just published, both by Mr. Pickering.
While speaking of romances, we must not forget the copy we have just received of a notice of a hitherto unknown romance, in Provençal verse, preserved among the manuscripts of the library of Carcassonne, and described by the learned Raynouard, in the thirteenth volume of the Notices des Manuscrits.' M. Raynouard has given an abstract of this romance (which he enti
tles Flamenca, from the name of the heroine), as far as it is preserved, for it is imperfect, with copious extracts. We are tempted to quote, as extremely curious and interesting, the description of the performances of the jongleurs, who were assembled at the grand court held by the Count Archambaud, at Bourbonles-Bains.
Apres si levo li juglar ;
E l'autre cel de Tintagoil;
L'us estiva, l'autre frestella;
L'us mandura, e l'autr' accorda
L'autre balet ab sa retomba;
Afterwards the jongleurs arose;
Each tried to make himself heard;
He who knew a new tune upon the viole,
Or song or discort or lay,
Put himself forward as much as he could.
And another that of Tintagoil;
Then follows a long and, for the history of middle age poetry, valuable enumeration of the subjects on which the poets of those days rhymed, and by the recital of which the jongleurs delighted their hearers, and gained for themselves wherewith to live merrily and without care. Another passage informs us, that in the thirteenth century, for this seems to be the age of the poem, it was one of the accomplishments of a Parisian scholar, to be acquainted with the English tongue. William of Nevers, one of the chief heroes of the romance,—
From the list of the works of the French and Norman bards, as sung by the jongleurs at festivals, which is given by the writer of this romance, we see how largely in his time they had borrowed from the mythologies and histories of Greece and Rome. Another little book, which has just come to hand, and of which Mr. Pickering has a few copies on sale, shows us clearly that not a few of the fabliaux of the same period had an eastern origin. This book, the Disciplina Clericalis' of Petrus Alphonsus, was printed, in 1824, by the Société des Bibliophiles Français,' whose publications are generally as difficult of access as those of our own Roxburghers. Petrus Alphonsus was a Spanish Jew, born in 1062 at Huesca, in Arragon, distinguished at an early period for his learning, who in 1106 was converted to the Christian faith, and afterwards wrote against the tenets of his former associates. In the Disciplina Clericalis,'