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On comparing different portions of the Glossary to Wyntown with corresponding portions of the Glossary to our poem, the proportion of common words of the same spelling and meanings was found to vary. In one instance, out of 122 words in the former 56 were found represented in the latter; which, considering the difference of the two works, is a large proportion. On comparing the words and phrases of the Awntyrs of Arthure and Golagros and Gawane, ascribed to Clerk of Tranent, with those of the Stately Poem, we find the proportion of such as are common and identical to be higher still, almost every word of some stanzas appearing in our Glossary. Very many of these common words appear, as was to be expected, in the Glossaries of Northern works, not so many in that of William of Palerne. It is note-worthy, however, that in not a few of those common in our poem and William of Palerne, there is yet a difference showing the Northern origin of the former. For example, Ayre, an heir, is the word used in our poem, the form to be found in Scottish writers and our city Records, while it is eyre, or eir, in William of Palerne. Similarly, Burde, a table, is borde, and ettle is attle in the latter. Abide and alight, in the latter, have usually the Northern or Scottish forms bide and light in our poem. When the words are precisely the same, as mar, or marre, to harm, the inflection is different-marred in the one being marrit, or mart, in the other. If kepe and keppe are the same, then the latter has in our poem meanings not found elsewhere, viz. to catch, meet, or stop.
If we are correct in the conclusion, already adverted to, viz. that the more carefully written portions of our MS. were copied leisurely from an earlier and, perhaps, the original Scottish one, then we should expect to find that in the portions thus copied more unchanged Scottish words and more of Scottish forms of words would occur than do in those portions more carelessly or hurriedly written to dictation. Such forms, in fact, would be occasionally copied by the transcriber, per incuriam, so to say, even were he minded to modify, change, or modernize his work. The very first passage of the kind, that was tried to discover whether the fact would turn out so, gave precisely the result one would have expected. The passage occurs at the bottom of page 389, and extends to page 396, with perhaps
cccasional breaks. The very common if not peculiar or idiomatic Scottish words, of which there are not a few in this passage, are spelt almost invariably as we find them in the pages of Barbour, Dunbar, Douglas, and other Scottish writers. Such are
Graith, graithet, swithe, dere, walt, dite, dole, ertid, wale (v. and adj.), etlid, stithe, stithely, tene, tenyt, trist, warpit, lak, here, laithis, laithyt, fere, graidly, burd or burde, wode, pyne, fele, speryng, braid, wyn, merk (to devote), gyrd, skath, &c.
Then with respect to Scottish forms and constructions, we meet with
Gedryt and gedrit, hir aune (awne), wan, haldyn, takyn, ffele dayes bedene, tothir or tothyr, lady had leuyt, ordant, thai dang hir to dethe, &c., as in Barbour, yates or yatis, noght, strawet and strenklit, britnet, sterte, on seand, gret, launchand lowes, wroght, soght, thoght, broght, mony, ynogh, saule, lause, noqwere, qwile, beseke, &c. ;
almost all of which are unchanged Scottish to this day. The past tenses and perfect participles almost invariably end, as we have said, in it, yt, or et,-as russhit, disseruyt, murtheret, &c. At the end of 1. 12111 we have wyn to with its peculiar Scottish sense; and at 1. 12056 we have childur, while at 1. 12130 we have brethir, both undeniably Scottish forms. At 1. 12089 we have to an end, but at 1. 12103 the older Scottish form has taken its place, and we read led tell hir last end. The transcriber at 1. 12112 has ho for she, and it occurs twice again within the next three lines, but at 12148 we find the original scho, and twice again within four lines. In "scho bete hom bitturly" we have the past tense of to bite as it is still to be heard pronounced everywhere in Scotland. Strok and lad, that follow, are also yet quite common.
It is curious that, while generally throughout the work we find the adv. and conj. then written "than," in this passage it has been, as if by design, carefully changed into "then." Immediately before, and throughout the passage, we have such expressions as—
No soune herd, light up a lowe, puttyn to dethe, hedit no harme ne no hate thoght, noght dred thai, dungyn doun yatis, ertid his harme, etlid to bide, withouten dyn more, the lovet wele, se hit leme on a lowe, gert for to send, teghit hir hondis, steynyt hir to dethe, graithet a toumbe, myn hit for ever;
Henry, Wyntown, Bellenden, Scot. Burgh Laws, &c.
expressions peculiarly and idiomatically Scottish, to be heard unchanged to this day, while they are to be met with in every page of the undoubted Scottish poems of the period.1
With one of those we have compared portions of our Troy Book, and been still more conclusively satisfied of its Scottish origin. This is the Knightly Tale of Golagrus and Gawane, reprinted in 1827, by Mr David Laing, and of which he thus remarks,
"This very ancient and singular romance belongs to a class of compositions usually regarded as peculiar to Scotland. The language of this romance, which appears to have obtained no inconsiderable share of popularity, is so remarkably uncouth, and the structure of the verse so singular, as to warrant us in assigning it to a very early period of our literature, certainly to some time prior to the middle of the 14th century."
"It would be a fruitless endeavour to enter into any discussion with regard to its author, since we possess no direct evidence bearing on the subject. Two of the ancient Scottish poets-Clerk of Tranent, and Hucheon of the Aule Ryale, are celebrated as having written the Adventures of Gawane; but whether the present romance be that which is alluded to, must remain, we fear, a matter of conjecture." "The only thing," says Dr Leyden, "which can be affirmed with certainty is that Sir Gawan was a favourite character with the Scottish poets; a circumstance accounted for by his northern origin, and his reputation for ancient courtesy, especially among the Welsh, by whom he is denominated Gwalchmai, the golden-tongued."
Very many lines from this poem of Golagrus and Gawane, such "And he gudly furth gaes, and graithet his geir, And buskit hym to battell without mair abaid'
might with a very slight change take their place in the Troy Book, and not be distinguished from others; while similarly not a few lines of the Troy Book might be transferred to Golagrus and Gawane with the same result. In both poems we find the same words, the same forms, and the same phrases or expressions-the same peculiar character of verse, and the same alliterations. The Glossary of the Troy Book is, so far as we have tried it, quite sufficient for the Knightly Tale, and with all these in common, we
1 The various other similar passages doubtless, if carefully gone over, will yield the same results; and that these purer Scottish portions, if we may so call them, may be compared with others, they will be indicated at the end of the Notes.
do not see how the conclusion can be avoided that, if Golagrus and Gawane is Scottish, the Stately Poem must be Scottish also.
Having referred to Glossaries, we may farther here remark that, just as the Glossary of Sir F. Madden's volume, containing Syr Gawayne and the Grene Knight, with the two poems named before, &c., serves as a Glossary for Morte Arthure, very few words excepted, and the words in both occurring very much in the same proportion, so also will that Glossary be found to serve, in a great measure, for the Stately Poem. More words in the latter are not to be found in Sir F. Madden's volume, but that arises from the greater extent and variety of the work. Not a few, however, of those awanting may be supplied from Barbour's Bruce, or Jamieson. And in this case too the same proportion obtains in the marked occurrence of certain peculiar words, and their use in connection with others.
Independently of mere words, expressions, or language, Scottish and idiomatically Scottish too, which may be found with the least possible trouble, as occurring in common in all the four works that we have ascribed to the same author, there are very many whole lines to be found in almost every page of each, which have their parallels or counterfeits in some one or other of the rest. These lines are manifestly produced by the same mind-they are medals struck in the same mint, and from the same dies. These similar and almost identical common lines are found sometimes in two, sometimes in three, and occasionally in all four of these works. We might give specimens of these lines, but this head of proof labours under a perfect embarras de richesses, and the difficulty is to select, as our notes and scraps are quite covered with them. It is not necessary here, however, to go very largely or exhaustively, or indeed at all, into this branch of proof; as Mr Donaldson, at a very early period, made a selection of these parallel lines occurring in our author's works, and embodied them in an Introductory Essay, which it is intended shall follow this Preface.
That Huchowne was the author of the Stately Poem, our Troy Book, most satisfactorily accounts for the various references to Troy, and to Trojan and Greek leaders, which we meet with in Morte
Arthure, Syr Gawayne and the Grene Knight, &c. In the opening lines of Syr Gawayne we almost seem to meet with a quotation from the conclusion of the Stately Poem:
"Sithen the sege and the assaut was sesed at Troye,
These lines, and similar ones at the end of that poem, seem the natural outpouring of a mind that had been, or was still, engaged with such a subject as the Destruction of Troy.
While quite at sea as to everything else regarding the MS., except that it was partly a translation and partly an amplified paraphrase of Guido, one passage especially drew my attention, as giving no uncertain sound with respect to the nationality, if not to the authorship, of the work, and to that passage we may now advert at some length. It occurs on page 53 of the Gest Hystoriale, at line 1580, and thus commences,
"There were stallis by the strete stondyng for peopull,
Both to selle and to se as thaim selfe lyked,
Of all the craftes token as there course ask it," &c.
In the description of the rebuilding of Troy by Priam, Guido de Colonna has a similar passage, to which there is nothing corresponding in the Roman de Troie of Benoit de St-More, whom he translates or paraphrases. This passage contains an enumeration of the various artists, mechanics, and tradesmen who had their "stationes" in the streets of the new city. Guido enumerates 41 or 42 classes of these artists and tradesmen, of whom, while several have classical designations, so to say, the great majority are manifestly the craftsmen and mechanics of Italy in his time. In the corresponding paraphrase of our author there is also a list of 40 different craftsmen, but the two lists of names have very few in common. With the names of several given by our author I was especially struck, as very obviously and undeniably Scottish. Indeed, the whole list looked like the counter