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In the Roman du St. Graal, vol. ii. f. cxli., may also be found an account of Gawayne's winning the famous sword with which John the Baptist was decollated, which is afterwards presented to king Pescheor, the professor of the holy vessel. And the reader may now decide for himself which sword it is that the author of the poem alludes to.
Six out of the eight names here mentioned are taken out of the number of the nine worthies. The remaining three are Charlemagne, Godfrey of Boulogne, and king Arthur. They are separately enumerated in the metrical Morte Arthure, MS. Linc., A. 1. 17, f. 89, and "Ane ballet of the Nine Nobles," printed in Laing's Popular Poetry of Scotland, 4to, 1822. They made a figure not only in poetry, but in pageantry and tapestry.
I presume the allusion here refers to the fatal scene of Charlemagne's overthrow at Roncevalles.
Syre Gawene and the Carle of Carelyle.
HIS romantic tale is here printed for the first time from an unique copy discovered in one of the MSS. of the Porkington Library, No. 10, belonging to William Ormsby Gore, Esq., M.P., written at the close of the reign of Henry the Sixth. It is more particularly interesting from its being the original from which
the modernised copy in the Percy MS. was taken. The question, therefore, of the genuineness and antiquity of the romance-poems (as distinguished from the longer and better known romances,) in this celebrated MS. would seem to be decided, for as two of these poems, namely, The Grene Knight and The Carle of Carlile, have been preserved in MSS. of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it is not too much to suppose, that the rest of the tales in the volume of a similar description, although written at so late a period as the latter half of the seventeenth century, were derived from ancient texts, which may yet be lurking in the unexplored treasures of some cathedral, collegiate, or private library.
The original of this story must be sought for in the literature of the continent, and we find it in the beautiful fabliau of Le Chevalier à l'Epée, printed in Meon's Recueil, tome i. p. 127, 8vo, 1823, and previously analysed by Le Grand. Both works are so well known as to render any repetition of it here unnecessary.
P. 188, 1. 34. Syre Mewreke.
See previous note, p. 335.
Ibid. 1. 35. Syre Key Cantocke.
I do not understand the meaning of this appellation added to the name of Kay. In Malory, we have "Kay the Straunger," vol. ii. p. 403, but this is a corruption of Keux d'Estraux, who repeatedly occurs in the French romances, and who was a different personage from the Seneschal.
Ibid. 1. 38. Syre Percivalle.
The nephew of king Pescheor, guardian of the Sangreal, whose adventures occupy a quarto volume, printed in 1530. In the Thornton MS. at Lincoln is an English metrical abridgement of this romance, but so indifferently executed, as scarcely to be worth printing.
Ibid. 1. 39. Lanfalle
Is the hero of a lay by Marie de France, printed in Roquefort's Edition, tome i. p. 202, of which an English translation, made in the fifteenth century, is inserted in Way's Fabliaux, vol. iii. p. 233, 8vo, 1815, and Ritson's Metrical Romances, vol. i.
Ibid. 1. 40. Syre Eweyne the Vytt yan.
There is some blunder here. Perhaps we should read Wytt hand, which would express the epithet given to Ywain as Blanches Mains. See Morte d'Arthur, i.
Ibid. 1. 41. Syre Lot of Laudyane.
The father of Gawayne, and king of Lothian and Orkney. Geoffr. Monm.b. ix.
Ibid. 1. 43. Syre Gaytefere and Syre Galerowne.
The first of these is probably the Gaudifeir, previously mentioned, p. 342, and the latter is the Galeron of Galloway, whose exploits are commemorated in the Awntyrs of Arthure.
Ibid. 1. 44. Syre Costantyne, and Syre Raynbrowne,
The knyzt of armus grene.
Sir Constantyne has occurred before, p. 331. Of the latter I know nothing as one of Arthur's knights, but it would appear from 1. 68, that he was the son of Iroune-syde by the maiden of Blauncheland. A knight of the same name occurs in the romance of Guy of Warwick.
Ibid. 1. 49. The kyngus vncull Syre Mordrete.
For uncle we should read nephew. In the modern version of this romance, p. 257, and in the Marriage of Sir Gawaine, p. 289, he is called Arthur's cousin, but this is a general term of relationship.
Ibid. 1. 52. Syre Yngeles.
Of this personage, any more than of Syre Grandone, or Syr Ferre-unkowthe=
1. 61, I have found no record.
Ibid. 1. 55. Syre Le Byus Dyskonus was thare.
This is no less a person than Giglan, the son of Gawayne, who received the surname of Le Beau Desconu from king Arthur, on his first arrival at that monarch's court. According to the Roman de Perceval he was the illicit offspring of an amour between Gawayne and Guinalorete, the sister of Brandelys; and an inter
esting scene occurs, in which the mother interposes her child between her brother and lover, whilst struggling in mortal combat, fol. cxi. He is committed to the care of the Pucelle Envoisie, and achieves various adventures, from one of which he obtains the surname of Lyoncel. At length he encounters his father (who is unknown to him,) and after a fierce combat, Gawayne recognises his son, and yields himself. The young hero is then taken to Arthur's court at Caerleon, and receives instructions in all chivalrous exercises from Ywain. Ibid. ff. cxxiv, cxxv. The adventures of Giglan form the subject of a very rare distinct prose French romance, which was printed at Paris without date, and afterwards at Lyons, in 1530. In this he is said to be the son of Gawayne by the fairy Blanchevallée. There is also an English romance, on the same subject, expressly stated to be borrowed from the French, but differing almost entirely from the prose work. It is printed by Ritson in vol. ii. of his Metrical Romances, and many of the incidents seem to have been supplied by the romance of Erec et Enide, composed by Chrestien de Troyes. That there existed, however, a French metrical romance as early as the twelfth century on the exploits of Giglan, is proved by the German romance of Wigolais mit dem Rade, translated from the French by Wirnt von Gravenberch, about the year 1212. In this poem the name of Wigolais is intended to represent Gui le Galois, l. 1574. In the English romance (1. 7) his name is written Geynleyn, and in Malory's Morte d'Arthur, vol. i. p. 337, ii. pp. 383, 392, Gyngalyn. For further information concerning the versions of this romance, see Benecke's preface to his edition of Wigolais, 12mo, Berl. 1819.
P. 189, 1. 58. Syr Petty-pas of Wynchylse
Is mentioned in the Morte d' Arthur, vol. ii. p. 383, and elsewhere, and occurs also in the list of knights given in Robinson's "Auncient ordre of Prince Arthur,” etc., 4to, 1583, No. 54.
Ibid. 1. 64. Syr Blancheles and Iron-side.
In the modern version, p. 257, Blanch Faire is substituted for Blancheles, but as no knight of that name occurs, in all probability we should read Brandelys, of whom more hereafter. The second knight is mentioned in Malory's compilation as "Syre Ironsyde, that was called the noble knyzte of the reed laundes, that Syre Gareth [brother of Gawayne] wanne for the loue of dame Lyones," vol. ii. p. 384. The narrative of the combat may be read in vol. i. p. 211.
Ibid. 1. 71. Blanche-londe.
The Seigneur de la Blaunche londe is noticed as one of Arthur's knights, in the Roman de Perceval, f. lxxi. Cf. f. clxxib. See in regard to this territory a note of M. Michel on Tristan, ii. 173.
P. 205, 1. 631. A knyghte of the Table Rownde.
No knight of this name occurs in the French romances of the Round Table, nor in the Morte d'Arthure of Malory.
P. 206, l. 655. And there yn monkys gray.
A house of Gray or Franciscan friars existed at Carlisle before the year 1390. See Tanner's Notit. Monast. edit. Nasmith, fol. 1787.
The Jeaste of Syr Gawayne.
HIS imperfect poem is taken from a small quarto MS. which was purchased at the Fairfax sale at Leeds castle in 1831, and subsequently came to the hands of Mr. Douce, who bequeathed it with the rest of his books to the Bodleian Library. The volume was written in 1564, as appears by a date at the end, and contains several other romances, all unfortunately more or less imperfect, and all, apparently, transcribed from early black-letter editions. Each romance is illustrated with rude drawings, and from their style, as well as the age of the MS. it is evident that the collection was made by the same hand which transcribed the romance of Roberte the Deuyll, printed by J. Herbert in 1798. No copy of the original, from which the present poem was copied, is now known to exist; but it appears from the Stationers books, that in 1557 or 1558 John Kynge had a license to print "A