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a work on abstract thought. A view of him as an ethical thinker naturally suggests a comparison with his great contemporary, Butler. We have already pointed how they differ with regard to the true foundation of moral obligation. But in almost every particular of method, and in their general conception of the subject, these eminent men are dissimilar. Berkeley, in his ethics, is, we think, a Platonist. Thus he evolves the idea of a Deity all-wise and all-good from a consideration of the elements of the universe, but he touches slightly upon man's relations with Him. Thus he proves the dependence of happiness upon virtue, rather by contemplating the place of man in the order of creation, than by analysing his nature to find out his proper work. Butler is eminently original, but in ethical method is, we think, an Aristotelian. Starting almost where Berkeley stops, with the assumption of a Creator, he investigates man's position towards Him, and proves that the actual state of things in which we live, and the future state of things which has been revealed to us, are phases of the same government; that each, as a whole, is incomprehensible, and open to similar objections ; but that in each man is under a moral ruler. From this he draws the conclusion, that, as regards man, in Milton's language

• Earth is the shadow of heaven, and things therein

Each to the other like, more than on earth is thought.' This analytic method is emphatically Aristotelian, though in the Analogy it is not applied for the same purpose as in the Nicomachean Ethics. But in the Sermons, Butler is peculiarly Aristotelian. Thus he marks out the objects of man's action, and therefore the way to happiness, by a careful dissection of our moral constitution, exactly after the manner of the greatest of all analysts. Doubtless, when compared with Berkeley, Butler is the more cautious, the deeper, and the more useful thinker.

119

ART. IV.-(1.) Nouvelles Françoises en Prose du XIII Siècle, pub

liées d'après les manuscrits, avec une Introduction et des Notes. Par MM. L. MOLAND et C. D'HÉRICAULT. A Paris : Chez

P. Jannet, Libraire. 1856. (2.) French Prose Romances of the Thirteenth Century, edited from

MSS. by MM. L. MOLAND and C. D'HÉRICAULT, with an Introduction and Notes. Jannet. (Bibliothèque Elzevérienne.)

Paris. 1856. IF Merlin were to appear to some lover of the old romances, and should offer to show him any proof of his magic art which he might choose to ask, we can suppose our student of the middle age to reply somewhat thus Have the kindness, then, my good sir, to build me a palace of Romance, with a succession

of courts appropriated to the different species, or cycles, of ' romantic tales. Let there be an Armorican court, a German, a

Carlovingian, a Classical, and an Oriental. Let each court be 'fitted up with pictures and statues of the scenes and personages 'most conspicuous in its particular province of fiction. But above all, provide me, in every court, with an enchanted chair of such virtue that whenever I sit down in it and close my eyes, I shall see pass, and mingle, as in a dream, the heroes

and the heroines, the giants and the dragons, the fairies and 'the dwarfs, of Celtic, Norman, or Teutonic romance.'

For the brain of a Merlin nothing is too fantastical: for his power, nothing too arduous. Imagine the palace built, therefore, like Aladdin's, in a single night. Let us also suppose, reader, that we have the privilege of entrance. Indeed, any one will be admitted who can produce, as token, a feather from the wing of a certain bird of Paradise called Fancy.

We enter the Armorican, or Celtic court, devoted to the legends of Brittany and Wales. There, in the centre, is the famous *Table Round;' on the wall above hangs, on the one side, King Arthur's sword Excalibur ; on the other, a picture of Sir Percival's vision, wherein appeared to him the two ladies riding, one on a lion, the other on a serpent. In yonder corner the lance that struck the dolorous stroke' leans against the wall. The mantle of black, and white, and red, and grey, that was all made of king's beards, hangs over a casque; and suspended on a dinted breast-plate, you see the huge hunting-horn of ivory which the knight of the Red Lands used to hang upon his oak to be blown by all challengers.

You sit down in the magic chair and dream yourself away into the vanished world of fable and adventure. There are King Arthur and his knights jousting in the meadow by Camelot. Sir Galahad, who has just achieved the adventures of the perilous siege,' is breaking spears marvellously, so that all men have wonder of him. Next arises Sir Launcelot's castle of the Garde Joyeuse, whither he welcomes Sir Tristrem and the belle Ysonde with great rejoicings. Presently, it is King Arthur whom you see, on a solitary adventure, watching with amazement the questing beast,' in whose belly is heard a crying as of thirty couple of hounds; or it is Sir Beaumains who comes to the land of the black hawthorn and the black banner, and vanquishes the black Knight, the lord thereof; or Sir Percival and Sir Ector, having nearly slain each other, are recovered by the passing by of the Sangreal, with its marvellous sweetness and healing savour. At last, those sad times come when there is ill blood between King Arthur and Sir Launcelot, when the traitor, Sir Mordred, draws away the people of England, when Sir Gawaine is killed in the last great battle of Barren Down, and King Arthur, left alone with Sir Bedivere beside the lake, is carried by the weeping queens to the vale of Avalon. It is time now to awake.

We enter next the German court, and are surrounded by Teutonic heroes, and fond memorials of the hapless Hohenstauffen. The vision of the enchanted chair shows us Gunther and Hagen

- last of the Burgundian host-standing defiant at the top of the staircase, which is now a hill of mangled corpses. The mighty Dietrich of Berne goes up alone against the terrible twain ; he overcomes—he delivers them bound to Kriemhild. The fierce woman avenges her murdered Siegfried; but, with Hagen, the secret of the Nibelungen treasure is lost for ever to mankind. Or, at another time, it is Parzival whom we see, riding disconsolate through a weird forest, his head drooping, his bridle on the neck of his steed. It is his dark time, and he is full of hard bitter thoughts concerning God and man. Or we witness the meeting of King Otnit and the dwarf Elberich, whose armour blazes with diamonds and gold; or see the stalwart monk Ilsan ravaging the garden of roses, or the Norman sea-rovers carrying off the weeping Gudrun.

In the Carlovingian court, among the paladins of Charlemagne, your vision is of the long battle fought between Orlando and the heathen giant Ferragus, wherein the combatants, when weary of swordstrokes, disputed on theology; or of Orlando at Roncesvalles, wounded to the death, bidding farewell to his good sword Durindana, and blowing the final blast upon his wondrous horn. Perhaps it is the four sons of Aymon whom you see riding together on that stout steed of theirs; or Huon of Bourdeaux sets all his enemies a dancing to the notes of the fairy bugle; or Appropriation of Classical and Eastern Legend. 121 Oberon, with a glittering army of a myriad fays, abashes all the pomp of Charlemagne with the splendour of the land of faerie, and, just at the fatal crisis, rescues brave Huon and fair Esclarmonde. As forms from Spanish and Italian fable mingle with your dream, you see Orlando confronting Morgan le Fay in her palace at the bottom of the lake, and compelling her by the dreaded name of Demogorgon to give up the captive knights. Then the scene changes, as is the wont of dreams, and you are looking on that gorgeous optical illusion, the Fata Morgana, off the coast of Calabria ; and towers and trees, hill-sides and sails of ships, are seen far down in the glassy depths of the sea. Then, perhaps, appears Palmerin, gathering the healing flower that grows on the Castle of Ten Steps, guarded by terrible enchantments; or you see white-bearded Daliarte, the solitary magician who hides and studies in the valley of Perdition; or you make acquaintance with that amiable giant Dramaziundo, and find him a right companionable and pleasant personage.

In the Classical court, reminiscences of schooldays and readings of romance-Lemprière and fairy tales—are mingled in strange confusion. The Roman Emperor knights Cymbeline upon the field of battle, in their young days, before Imogen was born, and when wicked Iachimo was an innocent child, playing at his mother's knee. Alexander leads a gallant array of knights and barons, sometimes on pilgrimage, sometimes on expeditions of conquest, and crowns his favourite Perceforest King of Britain. Pluto is turned into a king who inhabits & melancholy castle. The Fates are duennas, to whom Proserpine is given in charge; and Cerberus becomes a giant on guard at the castle-gate. Aristotle is a master of magic, who thwarts, with stronger spell, the enchantments opposed to the prowess of his beloved knight Alexander.

In the Oriental court, among memories ' of the golden prime of good Haroun Alraschid,' you will dream without

fail of fierce Soldans, swearing by Mahound and Termagaunt--of Emperors of Byzance, who are somehow next door neighbours to Denmark -of voyages, like those of Aboul Faouaris and of Sinbad-of flying carpets, magic rings, petrified cities, rebellious Afrites, cruel genii-above all, of Cambuscan bold,' the Tartar king, and his lovely daughter Canace. You see her leave her palace in the dewy spring morning, impatient to exercise a new giftthe faculty conferred by the magic ring of interpreting the speech of birds. You see her take the crying bleeding falcon to her bosom-she questions it-she hears its sorrowful love-tale. And, in dream at least, you call up him who left half-told' that tale of the far East. In your vision, Chaucer's squire finishes his story; and when Algarsif, brought safe through many a peril by the horse of brass, has won his Theodora, you behold the knight coming out of the West who is to have Canace to wife, when he has jousted with her two brethren, and proved him worthy of such a prize.

Such are some of the traditionary streams whence medieval romance, ever changeful, ever abundant, derived its chief supplies. From the East, revealed by the Crusades, from Greece, from Moorish Spain, from the Pyrenees, from Brittany, from Cornwall, from the heart of Wales, from the stormy North, and from the haunted German forests, came legends and superstitions, memories of great battles and heroic deeds, tales of barbaric horror, records of endurance and of love; and these, mingled together—transmitted-transformed-embellished-exaggerated, make up the rich and strange complexity of chivalrous romance. Scholars divide the romances into families or cycles. But the classification is, for the most part, only approximate; and as in some tropic wood, thick grown with parasitic plants, so is it with the growth of fable; many a tree is found supporting leaves and flowers which belong to another plant, and are ranged in a widely-different species. Indeed, the dispersion of ideas among the races of mankind resembles not a little the dispersion of seeds among the regions of the earth. Some seeds are transported by the wind of great tempests; others washed far away by inundations. Some are lightly borne away, with songs, by the birds; others cross fell and flood, adhering to the smoking flanks of the hunted deer. So with the conceptions, the incidents, the personages, from which a story grows. Some are carried from their native legendary seat by migration or invasion. Wandering minstrels scatter some in camp and court, while others are the tribute of the fugitive to the land of his exile. But we may leave it to the learned to dispute concerning the genealogy of fiction. Let us for awhile believe these stories, and for half-anhour become once more children. Let us, in this

bathe with Sir Huon in the Fountain of Youth, and renew the simplicity of childhood. Old Time has robbed us of many things. He has a hoard of treasures-richer far than that which wrought the woe of the Nibelungen-in a certain cavern of his which men call the Past. Let us despoil the enemy, and, bringing up from the depths those old fancies and inventions which he has sunk in oblivion, build them into a summer-house for our delectation. Let us do as the Lady of the Hidden Isle did, who built her & gorgeous palace out of the treasures contained in the ships sent against her by her enemy. Let us read the old tales, remembering that they were cnce the delight of men of like passions with

way,

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