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events which occupied public attention from time to time. The indeed there was more than one) appears to have been a clerk cnormous popularity of the subject is shown by the long vogue of Troyes. which it had, and by the empire which it exercised over genera Early Lyric Poetry. -Side by side with these two forms of tions of writers who differed from each other widely in style and literature, the epics and romances of the higher classes, and the temper. Nothing can be farther from the allegorical erudition, fabliau, which, at least in its original, represented rather the the political diatribes and the sermonizing moralities of the feelings of the lower, there grew up a third kind, consisting of authors of Renart le Contre-fait than the sly naiveté of the writers purely lyrical poetry. The song literature of medieval France of the earlier branches. Yet these and a long and unknown is extremely abundant and beautiful. From the 12th to the series of intermediate bards the fox-king pressed into his service, 15th century it received constant accessions, some signed, some and it is scarcely too much to say that, during the two centuries anonymous, some purely popular in their character, some the of his reign, there was hardly a thought in the popular mind work of more learned writers, others again produced by members which, as it rose to the surface, did not find expression in an of the aristocracy. Of the latter class it may fairly be said that addition to the huge cycle of Renart.
the catalogue of royal and noble authors boasts few if any names We shall not deal with the controversies which have been superior to those of Thibaut de Champagne, king of Navarre raised as to the origin of the poem and its central idea. The at the beginning of the 13th century, and Charles d'Orléans, the latter may have been a travestie of real persons and actual father of Louis XII., at the beginning of the 15th. Although events, or it may (and much more probably) have been an much of this lyric poetry is anonymous, the more popular part expression of thoughts and experiences which recur in every of it almost entirely so, yet M. Paulin Paris was able to enumerate generation. France, the Netherlands and Germany have some hundreds of French chansonniers between the 11th and the contended for the honour of producing Renart; French, Flemish, 13th century. The earliest song literature, chiefly known in the German and Latin for the honour of first describing him. It is delightful collection of Bartsch (Altfranzösische Romansen und sufficient to say that the spirit of the work seems to be more Pastourellen), is mainly sentimental in character. The collector that of the borderland between France and Flanders than of any divides it under the two heads of romances and pastourelles, other district, and that, wherever the idea may have originally the former being usually the celebration of the loves of a noble arisen, it was incomparably more fruitful in France than in knight and maiden, and recounting how Belle Doette or Eglantine any other country. The French poems which we possess on the or Oriour sat at her windows or in the tourney gallery, or emsubject amount in all to nearly 100,000 lines, independently broidering silk and samite in her chamber, with her thoughts of mere variations, but including the different versions of Renart on Gerard or Guy or Henry,--the latter somewhat monotonous le Contre-fait. This vast total is divided into four different but naive and often picturesque recitals, very often in the first poems The most ancient and remarkable is that edited by person, of the meeting of an errant knight or minstrel with a Méon under the title of Roman du Renart, and containing, with shepherdess, and his cavalier but not always successful wooing. some additions made by M. Chabaille, 37 branches and about with these, some of which date from the 12th century, may be 32,000 lines. It must not, however, be supposed that this total contrasted, at the other end of the medieval period, the more forms a continuous poem like the Aeneid or Paradise Lost. Part varied and popular collection dating in their present form from was pretty certainly written by Pierre de Saint-Cloud, but he the 15th century, and published in 1875 by M. Gaston Paris. was not the author of the whole. On the contrary, the separate In both alike, making allowance for the difference of their age branches are the work of different authors, hardly any of whom and the state of the language, may be noticed a charming lyrical are known, and, but for their community of subject and to some faculty and great skill in the elaboration of light and suitable extent of treatment, might be regarded as separate poems. metres. Especially remarkable is the abundance of refrains of The history of Renart, his victories over Isengrim, the wolf, an admirably melodious kind. It is said that more than 500 of Bruin, the bear, and his other unfortunate rivals, his family these exist. Among the lyric writers of these four centuries affection, his out wittings of King Noble the Lion and all the whose names are known may be mentioned Audefroi le Bastard rest, are too well known to need fresh description here. It is (12th century), the author of the charming song of Belle perhaps in the subsequent poems, though they are far less known Idoine, and others no way inferior, Quesnes de Bethune, le Bastard, and much less amusing, that the hold which the idea of Renart the ancestor of Sully, whose song-writing inclines had obtained on the mind of northern France, and the ingenious to a satirical cast in many instances, the Vidame de-Chartres, uses to which it was put, are best shown. The first of these Charles d'Anjou, King John of Brienne, the châtelain de Coucy, is Le Couronnement Renari, a poem of between 3000 and 4000 Gace Bruslé, Colin Muset, while not a few writers mentioned lines, attributed, on no grounds whatever, to the poetess Marie clsewhere-Guyot de Provins, Adam de la Halle, Jean Bodel de France, and describing how the hero by his ingenuity got and others—were also lyrists. But none of them, except per himself crowned king. This poem already shows signs of direct Audefroi, can compare with Thibaut IV. (1201-1253), moral application and generalizing. These are still more apparent who united by his possessions and ancestry a connexion Thibaut in Renart le Nouvel, a composition of some 8000 lines, finished with the north and the south, and who employed the in the year 1288 by the Fleming Jacquemart Giélée. Here the methods of both districts but used the language of the personification, of which, in noticing the Roman de la rose, we north only. Thibaut was supposed to be the lover of Blanche shall soon have to give extended mention, becomes evident. of Castile, the mother of St Louis, and a great deal of his verse Instead of or at least beside the lively personal Renart who is concerned with his love for her. But while knights and nobles used to steal sausages, set Isengrim fishing with his tail, or make were thus employing lyric poetry in courtly and sentimental use of Chanticleer's comb for a purpose for which it was certainly verse, lyric forms were being freely employed by others, both of never intended, we have Renardie, an abstraction of guile and high and low birth, for more general purposes. Blanche and hypocrisy, triumphantly prevailing over other and better Thibaut themselves came in for contemporary lampoons, and both qualities. Lastly, as the Roman de la rose of William of Lorris at this time and in the times immediately following, a cloud of is paralleled by Renart le Nouvel, so its continuation by Jean de writers composed light verse, sometimes of a lyric sometimes of a Meung is paralleled by the great miscellany of Renart le Contre- narrative kind, and sometimes in a mixture of both. By far the fait, which, even in its existing versions, extends to fully 50,000 most remarkable of these is Rutebæuf (a name which
Rutebaut, lines. Here we have, besides floods of miscellaneous erudition is perhaps a nickname), the first of a long series of and discourse, political argument of the most direct and im- French poets to whom in recent days the title Bohemian has portant kind. The wrongs of the lower orders are bitterly urged. been applied, who passed their lives between gaiety and misery,
They are almost openly incited to revolt; and it is scarcely too and celebrated their lot in both conditions with copious verse. much to say, as M. Lenient has said, that the closely following Ruteboeuf is among the earliest French writers who tell us their Jacquerie is but a practical carrying out of the doctrines of the personal history and make personal appeals. But he does not anonymous satirists of Renart le Contre-fait, one of whom (if I confine himself to these. He discusses the history of his times,
Adam do la Halle.
upbraids the nobles for their desertion of the Latin empire of romances dealing with the crusades, and entitled Le Chevalier au Constantinople, considers the expediency of crusading, inveighs Cygne. Baudouin de Sebourc dates from the early years of the against the religious orders, and takes part in the disputes 14th century. It is strictly a chanson de geste in form, and also between the pope and the king. He composes pious poetry too, in the general run of its incidents. The hero is dispossessed of and in at least one poem takes care to distinguish between the his inheritance by the agency of traitors, fights his battle with church which he venerates and the corrupt churchmen whom the world and its injustice, and at last prevails over his enemy he lampoons. Besides Rutebeuf the most characteristic figure Gaufrois, who has succeeded in obtaining the kingdom of Fries. of his class and time (about the middle of the 13th century) is land and almost that of France. Gaufrois has as his assistants
Adam de la Halle, commonly called the Hunchback two personages who were very popular in the poetry of the of Arras. The carlier poems of Adam are of a senti- time, - viz., the Devil, and Money. These two sinister figures
mental character, the later ones satirical and somewhat pervade the fabliaux, tales and fantastic literature generally ill-tempered. Such, for instance, is his invective against his of the time. M. Lenient, the historian of French satire, has well native city. But his chief importance consists in his jeux, the remarked that a romance as long as the Renart might be spun out Jeu de la seuillie, the Jeu de Robin et Marion, dramatic composi- of the separate short poems of this period which have the Devil tions which led the way to the regular dramatic form. Indeed for hero, and many of which form a very interesting transition the general tendency of the 13th century is to satire, fable and between the fabliau and the mystery. But the Devil is in one farce, even more than to serious or sentimental poetry. We respect a far inferior hero to Renart. He has an adversary in the
should perhaps except the lais, the chief of which Virgin, who constantly upsets his best-laid schemes, and who
are known under the name of Marie de France. These does not always treat him quite fairly. The abuse of usury at lays are exclusively Breton in origin, though not in application, the time, and the exactions of the Jews and Lombards, were and the term seems originally to have had reference rather to severely felt, and Money itself, as personified, figures largely in the music to which they were sung than to the manner or matter the popular literature of the time. of the pieces. Some resemblance to these lays may perhaps be Roman de la Rose.—A work of very different importance from traced in the genuine Breton songs published by M. Luzel. The all of these, though with seeming touches of the same spirit, subjects of the lais are indifferently taken from the Arthurian a work which deserves to take rank among the most cycle, from ancient story, and from popular tradition, and, at important of the middle ages, is the Roman de la rose, London any rate in Marie's hands, they give occasion for some passionate, one of the few really remarkable books which is and in the modern sense really romantic, poetry. The most the work of two authors, and that not in collaboration but in famous of all is the Lay of the Honeysuckle, traditionally assigned continuation one of the other. The author of the earlier part was to Sir Tristram.
Guillaume de Lorris, who lived in the first half of the 13th century; Saliric and Didactic Works. Among the direct satirists of the author of the later part was Jean de Meung, who was born the middle ages, one of the earliest and foremost is Guyot de about the middle of that century, and whose part in the Roman Provins, a monk of Clairvaux and Cluny, whose Bible, as he calls dates at least from its extreme end. This great poem exhibits in it, contains an elaborate satire on the time (the beginning of the its two parts very different characteristics, which yet go to make 13th century), and who was imitated by others, especially up a not inharmonious whole. It is a love poem, and yet it is Hugues de Brégy. The same spirit soon betrayed itself in curious satire. But both gallantry and raillery are treated in an entirely travesties of the romances of chivalry, and sometimes invades allegorical spirit; and this allegory, while it makes the poem the later specimens of these romances themselves. One of the tedious to hasty appetites of to-day, was exactly what gave it earliest examples of this travesty is the remarkable composition its charm in the eyes of the middle ages. It might be described entitled Audigier. This poem, half fabliau and half romance, is as an Ars amoris crossed with a Quodlibeta. This mixture not so much an instance of the heroi-comic poems which after- exactly hit the taste of the time, and continued to hit it for two wards found so much favour in Italy and elsewhere, as a direct centuries and a half. When its obvious and gallant meaning was and ferocious parody of the Carlovingian epic. The hero Audigier attacked by moralists and theologians, it was easy to quote the is a model of cowardice and disloyalty; his father and mother, example of the Canticles, and to furnish esoteric explanations of Turgibus and Rainberge, are deformed and repulsive. The the allegory. The writers of the 16th century were never tired exploits of the hero himself are coarse and hideous failures, and of quoting and explaining it. Antoine de Baif, indeed, gave the the whole poem can only be taken as a counterblast to the spirit simple and obvious meaning, and declared that “ La rose c'est of chivalry. Elsewhere a trouvère, prophetic of Rabelais, d'amours le guerdon gracieux "; but Marot, on the other hand, describes a vast battle between all the nations of the world, gives us the choice of four mystical interpretations,-the rose the quarrel being suddenly atoned by the arrival of a holy man being either the state of wisdom, the state of grace, the state of pearing a huge flagon of wine. Again, we have the history of a eternal happiness or the Virgin herself. We cannot here analyse solemn crusade undertaken by the citizens of a country town this celebrated poem. It is sufficient to say that the lover meets against the neighbouring castle. As erudition and the fancy for all sorts of obstacles in his pursuit of the rose, though he has for allegory gained ground, satire naturally availed itself of the a guide the metaphorical personage Bel-Accueil. The early part, opportunity thus afforded it; the disputes of Philippe le Bel which belongs to William of Lorris, is remarkable for its gracious with the pope and the Templars had an immense literary and fanciful descriptions. Forty years after Lorris's
Jean de influence, partly in the concluding portions of the Renart, partly death, Jean de Meung completed it in an entirely
Meung. in the Roman de la rose, still to be mentioned, and partly in other different spirit. He keeps the allegorical form, and satiric allegories of which the chief is the romance of Fauvel, indeed introduces two new personages of importance, Nature and attributed to François de Rues. The hero of this is an allegorical Faux-semblant. In the mouths of these personages and of personage, half man and half horse, signifying the union of bestial another, Raison, he puts the most extraordinary mixture of degradation with human ingenuity and cunning. Fauvel (the erudition and satire. At one time we have the history of classical name, it may be worth while to recall, occurs in Langland) is heroes, at another theories against the hoarding of money, about a divinity in his way. All the personages of state, from kings and astronomy, about the duty of mankind to increase and multiply. popes to mendicant friars, pay their court to him.
Accounts of the origin of loyalty, which would have cost the poet But this serious and discontented spirit betrays itself also his head at some periods of history, and even communistic ideas, in compositions which are not parodies or travesties in form. are also to be found here. In Faux-semblant we have a real
One of the latest, if not absolutely the latest (for creation of the theatrical hypocrite. All this miscellaneous
Cuvelier's still later Chronique de Du Guesclin is only a and apparently incongruous material in fact explains the success Sebourg, most interesting imilation of the chanson form adapted of the poem. It has the one characteristic which has at all times
to recent events), of the chansons de geste is Baudouin secured the popularity of great works of literature. It holds de Sebourc, one of the members of the great romance or cycle of the mirror up firmly and fully to its age. As we find in Rabelais
Artificial forms of verso
the characteristics of the Renaissance, in Montaigne those of frequent and popular. The same century, moreover, which the sceptical reaction from Renaissance and reform alike, in witnessed these developments of well-intentioned if not always Molière those of the society of France after Richelieu had tamed judicious erudition witnessed also a considerable change and levelled it, in Voltaire and Rousseau respectively the two in lyrical poetry. Hitherto such poetry had chiefly aspects of the great revolt,-so there are to be found in the Roman been composed in the melodious but unconstrained de la rose the characteristics of the later middle age, its gallantry, forms of the romance and the pastourelle. In the its mysticism, its economical and social troubles and problems, 14th century the writers of northern France subjected themselves its scholastic methods of thought, its naive acceptance as science to severer rules. In this age arose the forms which for so long of everything that is written, and at the same time its shrewd a time were to occupy French singers,--the ballade, the rondeau, and indiscriminate criticism of much that the age of criticism the rondel, the triolet, the chant royal and others. These has accepted without doubt or question. The Roman de la rose, received considerable alterations as time went on. We possess as might be supposed, set the example of an immense literature of not a few Artes poëticae, such as that of Eustache Deschamps allegorical poetry, which flourished more and more until the at the end of the 14th century, that formerly ascribed to Henri Renaissance. Some of these poems we have already mentioned, de Croy and now to Molinet at the end of the 15th, and that some will have to be considered under the head of the 15th of Thomas Sibilet in the 16th, giving particulars of them, and century. But, as usually happens in such cases and was certain these particulars show considerable changes. Thus the term to happen in this case, the allegory which has seemed tedious to rondeau, which since Villon has been chiefly limited to a poem of many, even in the original, became almost intolerable in the 15 lines, where the 9th and 15th repeat the first words of the first, majority of the imitations.
was originally applied both to the rondel, a poem of 13 or 14 We have observed that, at least in the later section of the lines, where the first two are twice repeated integrally, and to the Roman de la rose, there is observable a tendency to import into triolet, one of 8 only, where the first line occurs three times
the poem indiscriminate erudition. This tendency is and the second twice. The last is an especially popular metre, Early now remote from our poetical habits; but in its own and is found where we should least expect it, in the dialogue
day it was only the natural result of the use of poetry of the early farces, the speakers making up triolets between them.
for all literary purposes. It was many centuries As these three forms are closely connected, so are the ballade before prose became recognized as the proper vehicle for instruc- and the chant royal, the latter being an extended and more tion, and at a very early date verse was used as well for educa- stately and difficult version of the former, and the characteristic tional and moral as for recreative and artistic purposes. French of both being the identity of rhyme and refrain in the several verse was the first born of all literary mediums in modern Euro- stanzas. It is quite uncertain at what time these fashions were pean speech, and the resources of ancient learning were certainly first cultivated, but the earliest poets who appear to have pracnot less accessible in France than in any other country. Dante, tised them extensively were born at the close of the 13th and the in his De oulgari cloquio, acknowledges the excellence of the beginning of the 14th centuries. Of these Guillaume de Machault didactic writers of the Langue d'Oil. We have already alluded (c. 1300-1380) is the oldest. He has left us 80,000 verses, to the Bestiary of Philippe de Thaun, a Norman trouvère who never yet completely printed. Eustache Deschamps (c. 1340lived and wrote in England during the reign of Henry Beauclerc. c. 1410) was nearly as prolific, but more fortunate as more Besides the Bestiary, which from its dedication to Queen Adela meritorious, the Société des anciens Textes having at last provided has been conjectured to belong to the third decade of the 12th a complete edition of him. Froissart the historian (1333-1410) century, Philippe wrote also in French a Liber de creaturis, both was also an agreeable and prolific poet. Deschamps, the most works being translated from the Latin. These works of mystical famous as a poet of the three, has left us nearly 1200 ballades and apocryphal physics and zoology became extremely popular and nearly 200 rondeaux, besides much other verse all manifestin the succeeding centuries, and were frequently imitated. ing very considerable poetical powers. Less known but not less A moralizing turn was also given to them, which was much noteworthy, and perhapsthe earliest of all, is Jehannot de Lescurel, helped by the importation of several miscellanies of Oriental whose personality is obscure, and most of whose works are lost, origin, partly tales, partly didactic in character, the most cele- but whose remains are full of grace. Froissart appears to have brated of which is the Roman des sept sages, which, under that had many countrymen in Hainault and Brabant who devoted title and the variant of Dolopathos, received repeated treatment themselves to the art of versification; and the Livre des cent from French writers both in prose and verse. The odd notion ballades of the Marshal Boucicault (1366-1421) and his friends of an Ovide moralisé used to be ascribed to Philippe de Vitry, C. 1390 shows that the French gentleman of the 14th century bishop of Meaux (1291?-13917), a person complimented by was as apt at the ballade as his Elizabethan peer in England Petrarch, but is now assigned to a certain Chrétien Legonais. was at the sonnet. Art, too, soon demanded exposition in verse, as well as science. Early Drama.-Before passing to the prose writers of the The favourite pastime of the chase was repeatedly dealt with, middle ages, we have to take some notice of the dramatic notably in the Roi Modus (1325), mixed prose and verse; the productions of those times--productions of an exDeduils de la chasse (1387), of Gaston de Foix, prose; and the tremely interesting character, but, like the immense Mystories Tresor de Venerie of Hardouin (1394), verse. Very soon didactic majority of medieval literature, poetic in form. The
miracles verse extended itself to all the arts and sciences. Vegetius and origin or the revival of dramatic composition in France his military precepts had found a home in French octosyllables has been hotly debated, and it has been sometimes contended as early as the 12th century; the end of the same age saw the that the tradition of Latin comedy was never entirely lost, but ceremonies of knighthood solemnly versified, and napes (maps) was handed on chiefly in the convents by adaptations of the du monde also soon appeared. At last, in 1245, Gautier of Metz Terentian plays, such as those of the nun Hroswitha. There translated from various Latin works into French verse a sort is no doubt that the mysteries (subjects taken from the sacred of encyclopaedia, while another, incongruous but known as writings) and miracle plays (subjects taken from the legends of L'Image du monde, exists from the same century. Profane the saints and the Virgin) are of very early date. The mystery knowledge was not the only subject which exercised didactic of the Foolish Virgins (partly French, partly Latin), that o poets at this time. Religious handbooks and commentaries on Adam and perhaps that of Daniel, are of the 12th century, the scriptures were common in the 13th and following centuries, though due to unknown authors. Jean Bodel and Ruteboeuf, and, under the title of Castoiements, Enseignements and Doctri- already mentioned, gave, the one that of Saint Nicolas at the naux, moral treatises became common. The most famous of confines of the 12th and 13th, the other that of Théophile later these, the Costoiement d'un père à son fils, falls under the class, in the 13th itself. But the later moralities, soties, and farces alrcady mentioned, of works due to oriental influence, being seem to be also in part a very probable development of the derived from the Indian Penchatantra. In the 14th century the simpler and earlier forms of the fabliau and of the tenson or jeuinfluence of the Romon de la rose helped to render moral verse parti, a poem in simple dialogue much used by both troubadours
and trouvères. The fabliau has been sufficiently dealt with | disease, or anything else of the kind, which does not figure in already. It chiefly supplied the subject; and some miracle these compositions. There is Bien Advisé and Mal Advisé, the plays and farces are little more than fabliaux thrown into good boy and the bad boy of nursery stories, who fall
Moralities. dialogue. Of the jeux-partis there are many examples, varying in respectively with Faith, Reason and Humility, and from very simple questions and answers to something like regular with Rashness, Luxury and Folly. There is the hero Mangedramatic dialogue; even short romances, such as Aucassin et Tout, who is invited to dinner by Banquet, and meets after Nicolette, were easily susceptible of dramatization. But the dinner very unpleasant company in Colique, Goutte and HydroJeu de la feuillic (or feuillée) of Adam de la Halle seems to be pisie. Honte-de-dire-ses-Péchés might seem an anticipation of the earliest piece, profane in subject, containing something more Puritan nomenclature to an English reader who did not rethan mere dialogue. The poet has not indeed gone far for his member the contemporary or even earlier personae of Langland's subject, for he brings in his own wife, father and friends, the poem. Some of these moralities possess distinct dramatic merit; interest being complicated by the introduction of stock characters among these is mentioned Les Blasphémateurs, an early and re(the doctor, the monk, the fool), and of certain fairies—personages markable presentation of the Don Juan story. But their general already popular from the later romances of chivalry. Another character appears to be gravity, not to say dullness. The Enfans piece of Adam's, Le Jeu de Robin el Marion, also already alluded sans Souci, on the other hand, were definitely satirical, and to, is little more than a simple throwing into action of an ordinary nothing is not amusing. The chief of the society was entitled pastourelle with a considerable number of songs to music. Never- Prince des Sots, and his crown was a hood decorated
Soties. theless later criticism has seen, and not unreasonably, in these with asses' ears. The sotie was directly satirical, and two pieces the origin in the one case of farce, and thus indirectly only assumed the guise of folly as a stalking-borse for shooting of comedy proper, in the other of comic opera.
wit. It was more Aristophanic than any other modern form of For a long time, however, the mystery and miracle-plays comedy, and like its predecessor, it perished as a result of its remained the staple of theatrical performance, and until the political application. Encouraged for a moment as a political 13th century actors as well as performers were more or less taken engine at the beginning of the 16th century, it was soon absolutely from the clergy. It has, indeed, been well pointed out that the forbidden and put down, and had to give place in one direction offices of the church were themselves dramatic performances, to the lampoon and the prose pamphlet, in another to forms of and required little more than development at the hands of the comic satire more general and vague in their scope. The farce, mystery writers. The occasional festive outbursts, such as the on the other hand, having neither moral purpose nor political Feast of Fools, that of the Boy Bishop and the rest, helped on intention, was a purer work of art, enjoyed a wider range of subthe development. The variety of mysteries and miracles was ject, and was in no danger of any permanent extinction. Farcical very great. A single manuscript contains forty miracles of the interludes were interpolated in the mysteries themselves; short Virgin, averaging from 1200 to 1500 lines each, written in octo- farces introduced and rendered palatable the moralities, while syllabic couplets, and at least as old as the 14th century, most the sotie was itself but a variety of farce, and all the kinds were of them perhaps much earlier. The mysteries proper, or plays sometimes combined a sort of tetralogy. It was a short taken from the scriptures, are older still. Many of these are composition, 500 verses being considered sufficient, while the exceedingly long. There is a Mystère de l'Ancien Testament, morality might run to at least 1000 verses, the miracle-play to which extends to many volumes, and must have taken weeks nearly double that number, and the mystery to some 40,000 or to act in its entirety. The Mystère de la Passion, though not 50,000, or indeed to any length that the author could find in his quite so long, took several days, and recounts the whole history heart to bestow upon the audience, or the audience in their of the gospels. The best apparently of the authors of these patience to suffer from the author. The number of persons and pieces, which are mostly anonymous, were two brothers, Arnoul societies who acted these performances grew to be very large, and Simon Gréban (authors of the Actes des apôtres, and in the being estimated at more than 5000 towards the end of the 15th first case of the Passion), 6. 1450, while a certain Jean Michel century. Many fantastic personages came to join the Prince des (d. 1493) is credited with having continued the Passion from Sots, such as the Empereur de Galilée, the Princes de l'Étrille, 30,000 lines to 50,000. But these performances, though they and des Nouveaux Mariés, the Roi de l'Epinette, the Recteur held their ground until the middle of the 16th century and des Fous. Of the pieces which these societies represented one extended their range of subject from sacred to profane history-only, that of Maitre Petelin, is now much known; but many legendary as in the Destruction de Troie, contemporary as in the are almost equally amusing. Patelin itself has an immense Profano
Siège d'Orléans-were soon rivalled by the more profane number of versions and editions. Other farces are too numerous drama,
performances of the moralities, the farces and the to attempt to classify; they bear, however, in their subjects,
soties. The palmy time of all these three kinds is as in their manner, a remarkable resemblance to the fabliaux, the 15th century, while the Confrérie de la Passion itself, the their source. Conjugal disagreements, the unpleasantness of special performers of the sacred drama, only obtained the licence mothers-in-law, the shifty or, in the earlier stages, clumsy valet constituting it by an ordinance of Charles VI. in 1402. In order, and chambermaid, the mishaps of too loosely given ecclesiastics, however, to take in the whole of the medieval theatre at a glance, the abuses of relics and pardons, the extortion, violence, and we may anticipate a little. The Confraternity was not itself sometimes cowardice of the seigneur and the soldiery, the corthe author or performer of the profaner kind of dramatic perform-ruption of justice, its delays and its pompous apparatus, supply ance. This latter was due to two other bodies, the clerks of the the subjects. The treatment is rather narrative than dramatic Bazoche and the Enfans sans Souci. As the Confraternity was in most cases, as might be expected, but makes up by the livelichiefly composed of tradesmen and persons very similar to Peterness of the dialogue for the deficiency of elaborately planned Quince and his associates, so the clerks of the Bazoche were action and interest. All these forms, it will be observed, are members of the legal profession of Paris, and the Enfans sans directly or indirectly comic. Tragedy in the middle ages is Souci were mostly young men of family. The morality was the represented only by the religious drama, except for a brief period special property of the first, the sotie of the second. But as the towards the decline of that form, when the "profane "mysteries moralities were sometimes decidedly tedious plays, though by referred to above came to be represented. These were, however, no means brief, they were varied by the introduction of farces, rather “histories,” in the Elizabethan sense, than tragedies of which the jeux already mentioned were the early germ, and of proper. which L'Avocal Patelin, dated by some about 1465 and certainly Prose History.--In France, as in all other countries of whose about 200 years subsequent to Adam de la Halle, is the most literary developments we have any record, literature in prose famous example.
is considerably later than literature in verse. We have The morality was the natural result on the stage of the immense certain glosses or vocabularies possibly dating as far Early literary popularity of allegory in the Roman de la rose and its back as the 8th or even the 7th century; we have the imitations. There is hardly an abstraction, à virtue, a vice, a Strassburg oaths, already described, of the 9th, and a commentary