صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Scottish Sir Tristrem. His objection spake with Tomas and heard rede in to Scott's supplying the missing word roune (told conversationally) “who in the first line of the poem, he does Tristrem gat and bare.” It is a singunot support by suggesting any word that lar coincidence that all manuscripts in would suit the measure or the rhyme, reference to Thomas should be English and Erceldoune suits both. But the ones, and that they all coincide in speakfact of the first line being used as a catch- ing of him in the third person, and yet line at the bottom of the preceding all agree in making him the author of page is conclusive on this point. that of which the first person is only

The argument from the language not the narrator. Can it be that Thomas' answering to De Brunne's description papers shared the fate of the national of “quainte Inglis,” is equally forcible records at the hands of Edward I.? against an English authorship. It would We find a namesake, John Rymour, remove a difficulty on both sides if we a freeholder of Berwickshire, in the suppose Kendale to be the mysterious list of those who did homage to Edward “Y” who was at Erceldoune, and there l in 1296.


(Constructed from the Romance.]

The writer, or reciter, relates that being his chamber, and to this interview Trisat Erceldoune, he there spake with Thomas, trem owes his birth. Duke Morgan, who and heard read the story of Sir Tristrem's appears to have returned from Cornwall birth, lineage, and adventures. After before Rouland, breaks the truce and inmaking some Nestor-like reflections on the vades Ermonie. Rohand, a faithful vaschanges of the times, he enters upon a sal, writes Rouland of this breach of description of a war between two chiefs faith, and he returns accompanied by whose territories, for convenience' sake, Blaunche Flour, whom he marries on his we may locate in Wales, or what was an arrival at the castle of Rohand. Morgan ciently Cumbria. The one is named advances with a large army, and a sanDuke Morgan, and the other Rouland guinary battle ensues, in which Rouland Rise, Lord of Ermonie. The war in- falls through treachery, after having clines in favour of the latter; however, achieved prodigies of valour. Blaunche they agree to a truce for seven years, and Flour receives tidings of his death at the resolve to visit together the court of Mark, time of Tristrem's birth, and having conKing of Cornwall. Here, at a tourna- signed her child to the care of Rohand, ment in which the Lord of Ermonie dis- along with a ring well known to King tinguishes himself, he captivates the Mark, his uncle, she expires. heart of the fair Blaunche Flour, the sister Morgan seizes Ermonie, and Rohand of the king. She, being skilled in medi- is constrained to yield him a feigned subcine, on pretence of curing a wound of mission ; but, to secure the safety of which he was suffering, visits Rouland in young Tristrem, he brings him up as his

[ocr errors]

own child, and changes his name to Tram- men, furnished him by the king, he sails tris. He is carefully educated and trained for Ermonie, and takes up his residence in all knightly accomplishments, in which at the castle of Rohand. he excels. When he is fifteen years old, After some time he presents himself a Norwegian ship, freighted with hawks disguised at the court of Duke Morgan, and treasure, calls at the port. The captain accompanied by fifteen of his knights. challenges any one to play him a match at Morgan demands his name and business, chess for twenty shillings. Rohand and which leads to an angry altercation, in his sons, and along with them Tristrem which Tristrem throws off his disguise, and his tutor, go on board the vessel. and is struck by Morgan. He draws his Tristrem wins six hawks and a hundred sword, and Rohand having at that inpounds, and continues the game after stant appeared with his followers, an enRohand and his sons have left the ship. | gagement ensues, in which Morgan is To avoid paying his losses, the captain slain and his followers routed. Sir Trisput to sea with Tristrem and his tutor

trem, of course, recovers his paternal on board, but the latter is put ashore in a dominions, and after conferring them on boat. After being at sea for nine weeks, Rohand as his vassal, he returns to Cornthey are overtaken by a violent tempest, wall. On his arrival, he finds Mark in which the sailors considering due to their great perplexity on account of a demand treatment of Tristrem, they restore all his made upon him by the King of Ireland winnings and rich gifts besides, and land for a yearly tribute of three hundred him in an unknown country, which he pounds of gold, silver, and tin, and every soon discovers to be Cornwall. After fourth year three hundred children. Trisseveral adventures, he is presented to the trem advises the king and his council to king, in consequence of his skill in the dismiss the claim, and undertakes to inart of breaking up a stag, with which timate to the Irish ambassador, Moraunt, King Mark is highly delighted. Tristrem's a knight of gigantic size and renown, that skill in hunting, in playing the harp, and no tribute is due. Moraunt gives Trisin other amusements of the court, make trem the lie direct, whereupon they exhim a favourite with Mark, who regards change gages of battle, and retire to a him, under his assumed name, as the son small island to decide the combat. Trisof Rohand.

trem turns his boat adrift, saying one Rohand is in the meantime inconsol- would suffice for the return of the victor, able for his loss, and searches for him A terrible combat ensues, in which the through seven kingdoms, but at length | Irishman is slain, and Tristrem wounded traces him to the court of Cornwall. He in the thigh. As a mark of gratitude for informs King Mark of Tristrem's real his having saved the country from so humitory, who is convinced by the production of liating an exaction, Tristrem is declared the ring of Blaunche Flour. Tristrem is his uncle's heir to the crown of Cornwall; then acknowledged as the king's nephew, but his wound, which was inflicted by and for the first inne learns the secret of a poisoned weapon, becomes so offenhis parentage, and the particulars of his sive that no one can abide the stench, father's death. Having been knighted and he is deserted by all save his faithful by his uncle, he determines to recover his servant Gouvernayl. paternal possessions, and with a thousand In this forlorn condition, Tristrem de


termines to leave Cornwall, and for that send him to Dublin to ask the hand of purpose obtains a ship from the king, in Ysonde. Tristrem at first objects ; but to which, with Gouvernayl as his sole com- show the nobility that he is not influenced panion, and his harp as his only solace, by selfish motives as the king's heir in he sets sail from Carlioun, and, after toss- persuading him against the match, he at ing about for nine weeks at sea, he is at length consents. length driven into Dublin harbour. Hav

Accompanied by a chosen body of ing learned that he was in Ireland, and knights, he takes his departure in a vessel knowing that Mourant whom he had slain richly laden with presents for the king, was a brother of the Queen of Ireland, the queen, and the princess Ysonde. But he resolves to assume his disguised name on their arrival at Dublin they find the of Tramtris, and give out that he is a people in the greatest consternation on merchant who had been attacked by account of the ravages of a monstrous pirates at sea, who slew the rest of his dragon. So great is the terror inspired companions, and wounded himself. He by the approach of this monster, that the soon wins the good will and admiration king offers the hand of the beautiful of the Irish by his skill upon the harp | Ysonde to him who shall slay it. Trisand as a chess-player ; and they swore by trem undertakes the perilous adventure, St Patrick, that if he were in health, “He and in the first encounter breaks his were a miri man."

His fame soon spear and loses his horse. Having offered reached the ears of the queen, who re- up a short prayer, he renews the combat solves to pay him a visit. Having satis- on foot with his sword, and after a terrible fied herself of his wonderful dexterity at struggle, in which the dragon vomits forth chess, and his skill in music, she under- flames of fire, Tristrem kills him, and cuts takes to cure his wound (for she is skilled out his tongue, which he puts in his hose. in medicine), and by the use of a medi- But he had not proceeded about ten paces cated bath he is restored to health. He when he falls down insensible from the is then invited to court, and undertakes effects of the poison. The king's steward to instruct the beautiful princess Ysonde chancing to pass that way, cuts off the in minstrelsy and poetry, in which she dragon's head, and, carrying it to court, delighted. He soon makes her so ac- demands the hand of the princess. complished in those elegant arts, and so Ysonde and the queen, distrusting his skilful at chess and other courtly games, story, visit the scene of the encounter, that she excels every person in Ireland and there find the real champion, and except her preceptor. Having remained restore him to his senses by the applicaa year in Ireland, Tristrem returns to tion of treacle. Tristrem vindicates his Cornwall, regretted by the queen, and claim to the victory by producing the loaded with presents, to the great joy and dragon's tongue, and offers to make good astonishment of the Cornish.

his right against the steward in single In giving his uncle an account of his combat. Having again feigned the charreception in Ireland, and his cure by the acter of a merchant, Ysonde regrets that queen, he praises the beauty and accom

he is not a knight ; yet, admiring his plishments of Ysonde so highly that Mark handsome bearing and his bravery, they falls in love with her. His counsellors, conduct him to a bath, and while the jealous of Tristrem's power, urge him to queen is getting a drink of "main,"


Ysonde suspects him to be her old preceptor ing no alternative between becoming a
Tramtris. In trying to satisfy herself of forsworn knight and giving up his wife,
his identity, she happens to examine his Mark decides upon the latter, and the dis-
sword, and finds it to have a piece broken guised earl carries off the queen to his
off corresponding to a fragment found in ship. Tristrem, on his return from the
the skull of her uncle Moraunt, from chase, rates his uncle on his folly; and,
which she concludes that its owner must taking up his ivory rote, repairs to the shore
have slain him. In this belief she rushes near to where the vessel lies ready to sail,
on him with his own sword, but the queen and plays so skilfully that Ysonde is
entering at that instant, she has to ex- overpowered, and feigns sickness in order
plain to her the cause of her resentment, to be put on shore ; which being done,
and both ladies would have despatched Tristrem mounts her on a horse, and,
him then, but for the timely arrival of the mounting another himself, they suddenly
king. Tristrem admits having slain Mor- disappear in a neighbouring forest, leav-
aunt, but contends that it was in fair | ing the earl to reflect that whom he gained
fight, and, smiling upon Ysonde, reminds by the harp he lost by the rote. After a
her of his services to her as her preceptor. seven nights' sojourn in the forest, Tris-
Perceiving that his candour had made a trem restores Ysonde to his uncle, advis-
favourable impression, he explains his ing him in future to give minstrels other
mission, and it is finally arranged that he gifts.
shall escort Ysonde to Cornwall, as the Mark, who is of an easy good-na-
atfianced of his uncle, King Mark. tured disposition, manifests no jealousy

On their departure, the queen entrusts of his nephew's attachment to the queen
Brengwain, Ysonde's maid, with a love for a long time; but at length his suspi-
potion, to be given to the king and his bride cions are excited through the repeated
on the evening of their marriage; but in instigations of Meriadock, a companion
consequence of adverse winds on the knight of Tristrem's. Ysonde, to prove
voyage, they are forced to use their oars, her innocence, consents to undergo the
and Tristrem being fatigued with rowing, fiery ordeal, and Tristrem takes to flight.
Ysonde calls for a drink to refresh him, The trial by fire is appointed to be held
when Brengwain, inadvertently, presents at Westminster; and when about to cross
the fatal potion, and Tristrem and Ysonde the Thames, the queen recognises her
unwittingly partake of it. In consequence, lover in the disguise of a peasant, and
a violent passion seizes them, which proves requests that he may carry her from the
the source of all their after misfortunes. shore to the vessel in which they are to cross
The vessel at length arrives, and Ysonde the river. When the oath, preparatory to
and Mark are married ; but not long the ordeal, is administered, she swears that
after, an Irish earl, a former lover of no other man than her husband had used
Ysonde's, appears at court disguised as a greater familiarity with her than the peasant
minstrel, bearing a harp of curious work- who bore her from the shore to the ves-
manship, on which he refuses to play un-sel. Mark, who does not see the equivo-
less Mark grant him a boon. The king cation, is satisfied, forgoes the application
rashly pledges his knighthood to grant his of the test, and again receives her into
request, and the cunning harper demands favour.
Ysonde in fulfilment of his promise. See- Meanwhile, Tristrem retires into Wales,

[ocr errors]

where he enters the service of King Tria- his separation from her, engages in the mour, whose daughter, Blaunche Flour, most desperate enterprises-travels into is sought in marriage by a gigantic knight Spain where he kills three giants, and named Urgan, the brother of Duke then returns to Ermonie, where the sons Morgan, whom Tristrem defeated and of Rohand offer to restore his paternal slew. Urgan's suit being rejected, he re- domains, but this he declines, and seeks sents the affront by seizing Triamour's new adventures in Brittany, the duke of dominions and besieging him in his castle. which country was then at war. By the Triamour offers Tristrem his possessions assistance of Tristrem he soon overcomes if he can recover them from the enemy. his enemies. The duke has a lovely The champions meet in single combat, daughter of the same name with the Queen and after a dreadful encounter, in which of Cornwall, but distinguished from the Urgan, upon being pierced through the latter as Ysonde with the White Hand. body, springs over a bridge in his agony. Tristrem having made a song in praise Tristrem generously resigns his claim to of his mistress, Ysonde with the White Triamour's dominions in favour of Hand, from the identity of their names, Blaunche Flour, but accepts of a beauti- concludes that she herself is the object of ful dog called Peticrewe, coloured red, his affections, and informs her father, green, and blue, which he sends as a pre- who thereupon offers Tristrem the hand sent to Ysonde. His uncle, having heard of his daughter. After considering the of his exploits in Wales, recalls him, and unlikelihood of his ever again obtaining confers on him the office of high steward. the object of his desires, and the improBut nothing could eradicate the effects of priety of their past intercourse, he decides the spell that bound Tristrem and the queen on accepting it. The marriage takes place to one another, and their old relations accordingly; but while he is being led to being resumed, Mark's forbearance be- the bridal chamber, Tristrem drops from came at length exhausted, and they are his finger the ring given him by the Queen banished from his presence. They take of Cornwall. This incident awakens his up their residence in a cave in the forest, suppressed attachment to his former misand live upon the produce of the chase. tress, and the remembrance of her fidelity

About a twelvemonth after their banish- to him, and he resolves to leave his marment, Mark, while hunting in the forest, riage with the Princess of Brittany unconis directed by his attendants to the cave summated. The duke is satisfied with where the lovers are found fast asleep, Tristrem's explanation of his conduct, and with Tristrem's unsheathed sword laid bestows upon him extensive territories between them. From this circumstance near the castle of a savage giant called Mark infers their innocence, and, leaving Beliagog, said to be a brother of those his glove, departs without disturbing three knights Morgan, Moraunt, and them. They are soon after recalled and Urgan, whom Tristrem slew. As might again received into royal favour ; but be expected, Tristrem was not long in nothing could break the force of the seeking an encounter with such a neighspell, and Tristrem is again banished, this bour. Following his hounds one day time alone, for Ysonde is reconciled to into Beliagog's grounds, he is observed the king

by the giant, who, learning his name, Tristrem, to drown the anguish of threatens to avenge upon him the death

« السابقةمتابعة »