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fur coat precisely on the 12th of November 1203. He was probably born in Austria, lived at Vienna with Duke Frederic of Babenberg for some time, and held poetical offices in the households of several other princes, including the Emperor Frederick II., who gave him an estate at last. It should be said that there are those who insist that he also was of knightly position, and was Vogelweide of that ilk, inasmuch as we find him called “herr,” the supposed mark of distinction of a gentleman at the time. Such questions are of importance in their general bearing on the question of literature at given dates, not in respect of individual persons. It must be evident that no word which, like “herr,” is susceptible of general as well as technical meanings, can be absolutely decisive in such a case, unless we find it in formal documents. Also, after Frederick's gift Walther would have been entitled to it, though he was not before. At any rate, the entirely wandering life, and the constant relationship to different protectors, which are in fact the only things we know about him, are more in accordance with the notion of a professional minstrel than with that of a man who, like Wolfram, even if he had no estate and was not independent of patronage, yet had a settled home of his own, and was buried where he was born. The introduction of what may be called a representative system into literary history has been here renThe Minnesing dered necessary by the fact that the School** resemblance so common in mediaeval writers is nowhere more common than among the Minnesingers," and that the latter are extraordinarily numerous, if not also extraordinarily monotonous. One famous collection contains specimens of 160 poets, and even this is not likely to include the whole of those who composed poetry of the kind before Minnesong changed (somewhere in the thirteenth century or at the beginning of the fourteenth, but at times and in manners which cannot be very precisely fixed) into Meistersong. The chief lyric poets before Walther were Heinrich von Veldeke, his contemporary and namesake Heinrich von Morungen, and Reinmar von Hagenau, whom Gottfried selects as Walther's immediate predecessor in “nightingaleship”: the chief later ones, Neidhart von Regenthal, famous for dance-songs; Tannhäuser, whose actual work, however, is of a mostly burlesque character, as different as possible from, and perhaps giving rise by very contrast to, the beautiful and terrible legend which connects his name with the Venus-berg (though Heine has managed in his version to combine the two elements); Ulrich von Lichtenstein, half an apostle, half a caricaturist of Frauendienst on the Provençal model; and, finally, Frauenlob or Heinrich von Meissen, who wrote at the end of our period and the beginning of the next for nearly fifty years, and may be said to be the link between Minnesong and Meistersong. So also in the other departments of poetry, harbingers, contemporaries, and continuators, some of whom have been mentioned, most of whom it would be impossible to mention, group round the greater masters, and as in France, so here, the departments themselves branch out in an almost bewildering manner. Germany, as may be supposed, had its full share of that “poetry of information ” which constitutes so large a part of mediaeval verse, though here even more than elsewhere such verse is rarely, except by courtesy, poetry. Families of later handlings, both of the folk epic and the literary romances, exist, such as the Rosengarten, the Horny Siegfried, and the story of Wolfdietrich in the one class; Wigalois and Wigamur, and a whole menagerie of poems deriving from the Chevalier au Lyon, on the other. With the general growth, half epidemic, half directly borrowed from France, of abstraction and allegory (vide next chapter), Satire made its way, and historians generally dwell on the “Frau Welt” of Konrad von Wurzburg in the middle of the thirteenth century, in which Wirent von Grafenburg (a well-known poet among the literary school, the author of Wigalois) is brought face to face with an incarnation of the World and its vanity. Volumes on volumes of moral poetry date from the thirteenth century, and culminate in the somewhat well-known Renner" of Hugo von Trimberg, dating from the very last year of our period: perhaps the most noteworthy is the Bescheidenheit of Freidank, a crusader trouvère who accompanied Frederick II. to the East. But in all this Germany is only following the general habit of the age, and to a great extent copying directly. Even in those greater writers who have been here noticed there is, as we have seen, not a little imitation; but the national and individual peculiarities more than excuse this. The national epics, with the Nibelungenlied at their head, the Arthurian stories transformed, of which in different ways Tristan and Parzival, but especially the latter, are the chief, and the Minnesong-these are the great contributions of Germany during the period, and they are great indeed.
* The standard edition or corpus of their work is that of Von der Hagen, in three large vols. Leipzig, 1838,
* On this see the last passage, except the conclusion on Reynard the Fox, of Carlyle's Essay on “Early German Literature” noted above. Of the great romances, as distinguished from the Nibelungen, Carlyle did not know much, and he was not quite in sympathy either with their writers or with the Minnesingers proper. But the life-philosopher of Reynard and the Renner attracted him.
THE ‘Fox,’ THE ‘ROSE, AND THE MINOR
THE PREDOMINANCE OF FRANCE—THE RISE OF ALLEGORY-LYRIC—THE “ROMANCE’” AND THE “PASTOURELLE *—THE “FABLIAUx”—THEIR ORIGIN–THEIR LICENCE—THEIR WIT-DEFINITION AND SUBJECTSEFFECT OF THE “FABLIAUx” ON LANGUAGE-AND ON NARRATIVE — CONDITIONS OF “FABLIAU’’- WRITING—THE APPEARANCE OF IRONY—FABLES PROPER—‘REYNARD THE Fox’—ORDER OF TEXTS —PLACE OF ORIGIN – THE FRENCH FORM – ITS COMPLICATIONS.– UNITY OF SPIRIT-THE RISE OF ALLEGORY-THE SATIRE OF ‘RENART" —THE FOX HIMSELF—HIS CIRCLE—THE BURIAL OF RENART-THE * ROMANCE OF THE ROSE’ — willIAM of LORRIS AND JEAN DE MEUNG—THE FIRST PART-ITS CAPITAL VALUE—THE ROSE-GARDEN
— “DANGER'' — “REASON" — “SHAME" AND “scANDAL.” — THE
THE contributions of France to European literature The praionin mentioned in the three chapters (II.-IV.) "*"s” which deal with the three main sections of Romance, great as we have seen them to be, by no