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Petrus Alphonsus introduces a father instructing his son in morals by the recital of histories and fables which, though some of them recur amongst the most popular fabliaux of the middle ages, and a few can hardly have originated in the east, he pretends to have taken from oriental sources. Propterea,' says he, libellum compegi, partim ex proverbiis philosophorum, et suis castigationibus Arabicis, et fabulis, et versibus, partim ex animalium et volucrum similitudinibus.' In this edition, which is a very neat little book, the Latin text is accompanied page by page with an early French prose version, and in a second part by a French metrical version, under the title of le Chastoiement d'un Père à son fils,' differing from, and better and longer than the Castoiement' printed by Barbazan and Méon, and all showing the extreme popularity and influence of Peter Alphonso's work during the middle ages.
Mr. Pickering has also, we believe, received some copies of the valuable work on fables by M. Robert, the keeper of the library of St. Genevieve, which has hitherto been much less known than it merits in England.
M. Achille Jubinal, who published last year a fragment of an early French Mystery on the Resurrection, a sermon in French verse of the thirteenth century, and two pieces of Rutebeuf, of whose works we believe it to be his intention to publish a complete collection, has lately published two very curious poems on the Fall of Pierre de la Broce, the chamberlain of Philip the Bold, who was hanged on the thirtieth of June, 1278.
Two metrical pieces, in black-letter, have been, within two or three weeks, published by Silvestre, the Parisian bookseller, under the editorial care of M. G. S. Trebutien, which are the more interesting as being both very early burlesques. The first, entitled Un dit d'Aventures,' a poem of the thirteenth century, is a satire upon the popular romances of the day, and of the improbable and absurd incidents which they contained, and is a fit companion to the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Some incidents indeed in these two satires are not very dissimilar. A Munchausen of the thirteenth century is in all cases a curiosity. The other of these poems, the Dit de Ménage,' is of the fourteenth century. It is a satire against marriage, and seems to have been in part founded upon the Oustillement au Villain,' which was edited by the learned M. Monmerqué, and which we have formerly had occasion to mention. Le Dit de Ménage,' observes its editor, est une de ces compositions dont les jongleurs amusoient leurs auditeurs de place publique, et sa forme dramatique pourroit même faire supposer qu'elle étoit récitée par plusieurs personnages.' Its plot is very simple-a peasant, or vilain, is desirous of marrying; he asks the counsel of a clerk whom he meets; the clerk had himself been married, had just buried his wife, and he recounts to the vilain the miseries of a married life, and the infinite number of goods and chattels with which, when married, he must furnish his house. The latter circumstance is, more than anything else, discouraging to the peasant. The clerk then declares his determination of becoming priest, and the poem ends in a tirade against the clergy, who are abused by the vilain and defended by the clerk. We quote the concluding lines of the poem, chiefly for the curious expression of resentment against the English, which comes at the end. The language is not sufficiently antiquated to need a translation.
(Vilain.)—Voir, il me desplait trop qu'il faut argent baillier
Des femmes relever veulent avoir loier,
Et quant il portent Dieu il en ont un denier.
(Clerk.) Davoudet, le boucel te puist crever les yex!
Prestres couchent et lievent celui qui est vraiz Diex,
(Vilain.)—Dous mentes mais dampnees en enfer a tourment,
BY SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
MINOR CORRESPONDENCE.-Issue Roll of the Exchequer-Greek letter of
EARLY FRENCH AND NORMAN POETRY..
The Syracusan Gossips.-" Virgilium tantum vidi."
"Life of Lord Keeper Guildford" and "Guy Mannering".
Historical Notices of the Cedars of Mount Lebanon and of England
MEMORIALS OF LITERARY CHARACTERS, No. XI.
Sir George Etherege
Anecdote of Dr. Johnson-Lowe's Picture of the Deluge..
Ancient House at Ightham, Kent (with a Plate)
Beckford's Visits to the Monastery of Batalha
POETRY.-Lines to a Lady singing, 594.-The Glass of Champagne
Cowper's Works by Grimshawe, 601.--Arundell's Discoveries in Asia Minor,
FINE ARTS-Royal Academy-Crosby Hall-New Publications....
and a Representation of the HOLY HAND OF ST. PATRICK.
Issue Roll of Thomas de Brantingham 44th Edward III. Translated by Frederick Deron. 8ro. 1835.-We received this volume too late in the month to notice it in our present Magazine. Its contents, and the manner in which it has been translated and edited, involve a good many questions, and deserve very attentive consideration; and an article upon the subject shall appear in our next number.
We are compelled to postpone our critical notices of the ANNUALS for 1836; but they shall all receive due attention before New Year's Day.
Mr. HENRY ROBERTS observes, "Had your reviewer (p. 511) quoted the paragraph from a contemporary Journal, in reference to the architectural competition for Fishmongers' Hall, instead of commenting on, and inviting attention to it, I should scarcely have thought it necessary to trouble you with a contradiction of so barefaced and gratuitous a tissue of falsehoods as is contained in the article referred to; considering that the high and honourable character of the distinguished architect chiefly impugned, must have prevented any one from giving it the slightest credit; but as there is an ambiguity in your reviewer's allusion, which appears to me calculated to mislead, I trust you will afford me, through the same medium, an opportunity of giving an unqualified contradiction to the whole, and every part of the malicious statement."
Bishop Andrews.-Walton, in his Life of George Herbert, states "that there fell to be a modest debate betwixt them two (Bishop Andrews and Herbert), about Predestination and Sanctity of Life; of both which, the Orator did not long after send the Bishop some safe and useful aphorisms, in a long letter written in Greek; which letter was so remarkable for the language and reason of it, that, after the reading it, the Bishop put it into his bosom, and did often show it to many scholars, both of this and foreign nations; but did always return it back to the place where he first lodg'd it, and continued it so near his heart, till the last day of his life." If any of your readers can point out where the above letter can be found, it will oblige
In answer to our Correspondent, p. 450, on the Unicorn, J. M. begs to remark, that when Mr. Logan observes, "The existence of that noble animal has never been satisfactorily proved,"-it never has been proved, or seen, or known at all. He goes on to say,-"Some travellers
ive averred that the race was not an ginary one, nor yet entirely extinct,
they either having caught a glimpse of the creature, or heard of some one that did.” What can be more unscientific, more unlike the language of a naturalist, than the above-"Some travellers ;" who are they? we know not." Caught a glimpse of the creature"-we never heard this fact, and totally disbelieve it: indeed, we can aver to its utter incorrectness. It is true that some of the natives north of the Cape have said that there exists a species of animal, of the antelope tribe, and supposed to answer to the unicorn, among the mountains in that part of Africa: but no such animal was ever seen. In some caves (we believe in the Caffre country,) were discovered rude drawings of some native animals, among which was one representing the head of a kind of antelope, or deer, with one horn; but this arose without doubt from the ignorance of the artist: who, attempting to give a side view of an antelope or deer, drew one horn only, as children would do, in their first rude essays; and this explanation at once dissolves the mystery of the unicorn being found represented in the African cares. But the subject wants no explanation of this kind: it can be decided at once on the principles of science. The horn of the fabulous unicorn, which requires for its basis or foundation a strong layer of bone to support it, is absolutely placed on the very suture of the skull, which would give way instantly beneath its violent pressure. Nature, who is ever true and consistent in her principles, would never have placed the instrument of defence on a part which could not have supported it, no more than she would give the horse the power to kick, without a powerful muscle in the thigh, which would impart its effective influence to the blow. The animal is entirely fabulous, like the sphinx, the chimæra, and the griffin. The long twisted horn which is commonly seen, is the weapon of defence of the sea-unicorn. The fish possesses two horns, though they are seldom found perfect, being liable to be destroyed by accidents.
LL.D. of Cambridge is referred to p. 338, where we have already inserted his inquiries respecting Degrees in Law; and also to the Gent. Mag. for 1817 and 1818, vol. 87, ii. 200, 487-88, vol. 88, i. 306, 388, 496, where the subject was formerly discussed. We may mention, however, that the result of that discussion is rather to prove that D.C.L. is correct at Oxford, than to explain the authority or accuracy of LL.D. being used for the degree conferred at Cambridge.
NOTES ON BOSWELL'S JOHNSON, VOL. I.
P. 61. Boswell.-" He was asked by Mr. Jordan to translate Pope's Messiah into Latin verse as a Christmas exercise. He performed it with uncommon rapidity, and in so masterly a manner, that he obtained great applause for it. It is said that Mr Pope expressed himself concerning it in terms of strong approbation.-I am not ignorant that critical objections have been made to this and other specimens of Johnson's Latin poetry. I acknowledge myself not competent to decide on a question of such extreme nicety."-As Mr. Boswell has declared his incompetence, we shall transcribe the opinion of Doctor Joseph Warton on the subject, which will come with greater weight than our own.
"Dr. Johnson, in his youth, gave a translation of this piece, which has been praised and magnified beyond its merits. It may justly be said (with all due respect to the great talents of this writer), that in this translation of the Messiah are many hard and unclassical expressions, a great want of harmony, and many unequal and un-Virgilian lines. I was once present at a dispute on this subject, betwixt a person* of great political talents, and a scholar who had spent his life among the Greek and Roman classics. Both were intimate friends of Johnson. The former, after many objections had been made to this translation by the latter, quoted a
line which he thought equal to any he ever had read.
juncique tremit variabilis umbra.
The green reed trembles.
The scholar (pedant if you will) said, 'there is no such word as variabilis in any classical writer.' 'Surely,' said the other, ‘in Virgil; variabile semper fœmina.' 'You forget,' said the opponent, it is varium et mutabile.'
They only who are such idolaters of the Rambler, as to think he could do every thing equally well, can alone be mortified at hearing that the following lines in his Messiah are reprehensible :
Coelum mihi carminis alta materies-
Mittit aromaticas vallis saronica nubes-
juncique tremit variabilis umbra-
Artificis frondent dextræ
Membra viatoris recreabunt frigore linguæ."
P. 94. "Huet, bishop of Avranches, wrote Memoirs of his own Time, in Latin, from which Boswell has extracted this scrap of pleasantry."— Croker.--Huet's Memoirs is one of the most agreeable and elegant works that we possess in modern Latinity. It is written with ease and correctness, and contains much curious anecdote, and many delightful reminiscences of the scholars contemporary with him. The title page runs thus, "Pet. Dan. Huetii Episcopi Abrincensis Commentarius de rebus ad eum pertinentibus. Amst. 1718'.'
The use of the word 'ad eum,' for ad se,' has been generally considered as a solœcism but that is not the case; for, though the Memoirs were written by Huet, they were not published till after his death by his executors. P. 94. "For a full account of Politian and his poems see Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo of Medici." We must beg leave to differ from the writer of this
* Perhaps W. Windham and Thomas Warton are the persons alluded to.-ED.