« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
ferred even to the Norman conquest, when the victors brought with them all their original opinions and fables ; which could not fail to be adopted by the English Minstrels and others, who solicited their favour. This interchange, &c. between the Minstrels of the two nations, would be afterwards promoted by the great intercourse produced among all the nations of Christendom in the general Crusades, and by that spirit of chivalry which led Knights and their attendants the Heralds and Minstrels, &c. to ramble about continually from one court to another, in order to be present at solemn turnaments, and other feats of arms.
(v 2) Is not the only instance, &c.] The constant admission granted to Minstrels was so established a privilege, that it became a ready expedient to writers of fiction. Thus, in the old romance of Horn-Child, the Princess Rymenyld being confined in an inaccessible castle, the prince her lover and some assistant knights with concealed arms assume the minstrel character, and approaching the castle with their “ Gleyinge” or Minstrelsy, are heard by the lord of it, who being informed they were “harpeirs, jogelers, and fythelers,"* has them admitted, when
“ Horn sette him abenche [i. e. on a bench]
Is [i. e. his] harpe he gan clenche
He made Rymenild a lay.” This sets the princess a-weeping, and leads to the catastrophe ; for he immediately advances to "the Borde” or table, kills the ravisher, and releases the lady.
(v 3) . . assumed the dress and character of a Harper, &c.] We
* JOGELER (Lat. Joculator) was a very ancient name for a Minstrel. Of what pature the performance of the Joculator was, we may learn from the Register of St. Swithin's Priory at Winchester (T. Warton, i. 69). “ Et cantabat JOCULATOR quidam nomine Herebertus Canticum Colbrondi, necnon Gestum Emme regine a judicio ignis liberate, in aula Prioris." His instrument was sometimes the FYTHELE, or Fiddle, Lat. Fidicula: which occurs in the Anglo-Saxon Lexicon. On this subject we have a curious passage from a MS. of the Lives of the Saivts in metre, supposed to be earlier than the year 1200, (T. Warton's Hist. i. p. 17,) viz.
“ Christofre him served longe
have this curious Historiette in the records of Lacock Nunnery, in Wiltshire, which had been founded by this Countess of Salisbury. See Vincent's Discovery of Errors in Brooke's Catalogue of Nobility, &c. folio, page 445, 6, &c. Take the following extract, (and see Dugdale's Baron. i. p. 175.)
“Ela uxor Gullielmi Longespee primi, nata fuit apud Ambresbiriam, patre et matre Normannis.
“ Pater itaque ejus defectus senio migravit ad Christum, a.d. 1196. Mater ejus ante biennium obiit ..... Interea Domina charissima clam per cognatos adducta fuit in Normanniam, et ibidem sub tutâ et arctâ custodiâ nutrita. Eodem tempore in Anglia fuit quidam miles nomine Gulielmus Talbot, qui induit se habitum Peregrini [Anglice, a Pilgrim) in Normanniam transfretavit et moratus per duos annos, huc atque illuc vagans, ad explorandam dominam Elain Sarum. Et illâ inventâ, exuit habitum Peregrini, et induit se quasi Cytharisator et curiam ubi morabatur intravit. Et ut erat homo Jocosus, in Gestis Antiquorum valde peritus, ibidem gratanter fuit acceptus quasi familiaris. Et quando tempus aptum invenit, in Angliam repatriarit, habens secum istam venerabilem dominam Elam et hæredem comitatus Sarum; et eam Regi Richardo præsentavit. Ac ille lætissime eam suscepit, et Fratri suo Guillelmo Longespee maritavit ..
“ A.D. 1226, Dominus Guill. Longespee primus nonas Martii obiit. Ela vero uxor ejus 7 annis supervixit .... Una die Duo monasteria fundavit primo mane xvi Kal Maii, A.D. 1232, apud Lacock, in quo sanctæ degunt Canonissæ . . . Et Heuton post nonam, Anno vero ætatis suæ xlv." &c.
(w) For the preceding account, Dugdale refers to Monast. Angl. i. [r. ii.] p. 185, but gives it as enlarged by D. Powel, in his Hist. of Cambria, p. 196, who is known to have followed ancient Welsh MSS. The words in the Monasticon are,—“Qui accersitis Sutoribus Cestriæ et Histrionibus, festinanter cum exercitu suo venit domino suo facere succursum. Walenses vero vi. dentes multitudinem magnam venientem, relictâ obsidione fugerunt
Et propter hoc dedit Comes antedictus .... Constabulario dominationem Sutorum et Histrionum. Constabularius vero retinuit sibi et hæredibus suis dominationem Sutorum : et Histrionum dedit vero Seneschallo.” (So the passage should apparently be pointed ; but either et or vero seems redundant.)
We shall see below, in note (2), the proper import of the word Histriones : hut it is very remarkable that this is not the word used in the grant of the Constable De Lacy to Dutton, but “ Magis
terium omnium Leccatorum et Meretricium totius Cestreshire, sicut liberius illum [sic] Magisterium teneo de Comite,” (vid. Blount's Ancient Tenures, p. 156.) Now, as under this grant the heirs of Dutton confessedly held for many ages a magisterial juris. diction over all the Minstrels and Musicians of that county, and as it could not be conveyed by the word Meretrices, the natural inference is that the Minstrels were expressed by the term Lecca
It is true, Du Cange, compiling his Glossary, could only find in the writers he consulted this word used in the abusive sense, often applied to every synonyme of the sportive and dissolute Minstrel, viz. Scurra, vaniloquus, parasitus, epulo, &c. (This I conceive to be the proper arrangement of these explanations, which only express the character given to the minstrel elsewhere : see Du Cange passim, and notes (c) (E) (F) (1) vol. iii. 2, &c.) But he quotes an ancient MS. in French metre, wherein the Leccour (Lat. Leccator) and the Minstrel are joined together, as receiving froin Charlemagne a grant of the territory of Provence, and from whom the Provençal Troubadours were derived, &c. See the passage above in note (c) p. Ixv.
The exception in favour of the family of Dutton is thus expressed in the Statute, Anno 39 Eliz, chap. iv. entitled “ An Act for punishment of Rogues, Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggars.”
§ II. ... All Fencers, Bearwards, Common Players of Enterludes, and Minstrels, wandering abroad, (other than Players of Enterludes belonging to any Baron of this Realm, or any other honourable Personage of greater degree, to be authorised to play under the hand and seal of arms of such Baron or Personage): all Juglers, Tinkers, Pedlers, &c. ... shall be adjudged and deemed Rogues, Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggars, &c.
♡ X. Provided always that this Act, or any thing therein contained, or any authority thereby given, shall not in any wise extend to disinherit, prejudice, or hinder John Dutton of Dutton, in the county of Chester, Esquire, his heirs or assigns, for, touching or concerning any liberty, preheminence, authority, jurisdiction, or inheritance, which the said John Dutton now lawfully useth, or hath, or lawfully may or ought to use within the County-Palatine Chester, and the County of the of Chester, or either of them, by reason of any ancient Charters of any Kings of this Land, or by reason of any prescription, usage, or title whatsoever.'
The same clauses are renewed in the last Act on this subject, passed in the reign of Gev. III.
(x) Edward I.... at the knighting of his son, &c.] See Nic. Triveti Annales, Oxon. 1719, 8vo. p. 342.
“ In festo Pentecostes Rex filium suum armis militaribus cinxit, et cum eo Comites Warenniæ et Arundeliæ, aliosque, quorum numerus ducentos et quadraginta dicitur excessisse. Eodem die cum sedisset Rex in mensa, novis militibus circumdatus, ingressa Ministrellorum Multitudo, portantium multiplici ornatu amictum, ut milites præcipue novos invitarent, et inducerent, ad vovendum factum armorum aliquod coram signo.”
(v) By un express regulation, &c.] See in Hearne's Append. ad Lelandi Collectan, vol. vi. p. 36, A Dietarie, Writtes published after the Ordinance of Earles and Barons, Anno Dom. 1315."
· Edward by the grace of God, &c. to Sheriffes, &c. greetyng. Forasmuch as .......
many idle persons, under colour of Mynstrelsie, and going in messages, and other faigned busines, have ben and yet be receaved in other mens houses to meate and drynke, and be not therwith contented yf they be not largely consydered with gyftes of the Lordes of the houses, &c. . . . We wyllyng to restrayne such outrageous enterprises and idlenes, &c. have ordeyned .... that to the houses of Prelates, Earles, and Barons, none resort to meate and drynke, unlesse he be a Mynstrel, and of these Minstrels that there come none, except it be three or four Minstrels of Honour at the most in one day, unlesse he be desired of the Lorde of the House. And to the houses of meaner men that none come unlesse he be desired, and that such as shall come so, holde themselves contented with meate and drynke, and with such curtesie as the Maister of the House wyl shewe unto them of his owne good wyll, without their askyng of any thyng. And yf any one do agaynst this Ordinaunce, at the firste tyme he to lose his Minstrelsie, and at the second tyme to forsweare his craft, and never to be receaved for a Minstrel in any house. . . . Yeven at Langley the vi. day of August, in the ix yere of our reigne.'
These abuses arose again to as great a beight as ever in little more than a century after, in consequence, I suppose, of the licentiousness that crept in during the civil wars of York and Lan
This appears from the Charter 9 E. IV., referred to in
Ex querulosâ insinuatione... Ministrallorum nostrorum accepimus qualiter nonnulli rudes agricolæ et artifices diversarum misterarum regni nostri Angliæ, finxerunt se fore Ministrallos, quorum aliqui Liberatam nostram eis minime datam portarent, seipsos etiam fingentes esse Minstrullos nostros proprios, cujus
quidem Liberatæ ac dictæ artis sive occupationis Ministrallorum colore, in diversis partibus regni nostri prædicti grandes pecuniarum exactiones de ligeis nostris deceptive colligunt,” &c.
Abuses of this kind prevailed much later in Wales, as appears from the famous Commission issued out in 9 Eliz. (1567,) for bestowing the Silver Harp on the best Minstrel, Rythmer, or Bard, in the principality of North Wales ; of which a fuller account will be given below in note (B B 3).
(z) It is thus related by Stow.] See his Survey of London, &c. fol. 1633, p. 521. [Acc. of Westm. Hall.] Stow had this passage from Walsingham’s Hist. Ang.... “ Intravit quædam mulier ornata Histrionali habitu, equum bonuin insidens Histrionaliter phaleratum, quæ mensas more Histrionum circuivit ; et tandem ad Regis mensam per gradus ascendit, et quandam literam coram rege posuit, et retracto fræno (salutatis ubique discumbentibus) prout venerat ita recessit,” &c. Anglic. Norm. Script. &c. Franc. 1603, fol. p. 109.
It may be observed here, that Minstrels and others often rode on horseback up to the royal table, when the kings were feasting in their great halls. See in this vol. p. 74, &c.
The answer of the porters (when they were afterwards blamed for admitting her) also deserves attention. “ Non esse moris dumus regiæ Histriones ab ingressi quomodolibet prohibere,” &c. Walsingh.
That Stow rightly translated the Latin word Histrio here by Minstrel, meaning a musician that sung, and whose subjects were stories of chivalry, admits of easy proof : for in the Gesta Romanorum, chap. cxi. Mercury is represented as coming to Argus in the character of a Minstrel ; when he “ incepit, more Histrionico, fabulas dicere, et plerumque cantare.” (T. Warton, iii. p. li.) And Muratori cites a passage in an old Italian chronicle, wherein mention is made of a stage erected at Milan :-"Super quo Histriones cuntabant, sicut modo cantatur de Rolando et Oliverio." —Antich. Ital. ii. p. 6. (Observ, on the Statutes, 4th edit. p. 362.)
See also (E) page lxvii. &c. (F) p. lxviii. &c.
(A a) There should seem to have been women of this profession.] This may be inferred from the variety of names appropriated to them in the middle ages, viz. Anglo-Sax. Glipmeden, [Gleemaiden,] &c, zlýpiendemaden, zlýpbýdenestra. (vide supra, p. lxxii.) Fr. Jengleresse, Med. Lat. Joculatrix, Ministrulissa, Fæmina Ministerialis, &c. (Vide Du Cange, Gloss and Suppl.)