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the greatest master of double and treble rhymes that we have ever had, rarely succeeds in giving even the former with a full spondaic effect of vowel such as is easy in Provençal. In “The Garden of Proserpine” itself, as in the double rhymes, where they occur, of “The Triumph of Time” (the greatest thing ever written in the Provençal manner, and greater than anything in Provençal), the second vowels of the rhymes are never full. And there too, as I think invariably in English, the poet shows his feeling of the intolerableness of continued double rhyme by making the odd verses rhyme plump and with single sound. Of poetry so little remarkable in individual manner or matter it is impossible to give abstracts, such as those which have been easy, and it may be hoped profitable, in some of the foregoing chapters; and prolonged analyses of form are tedious, except to the expert and the enthusiast. With some brief account, therefore, of the persons who chiefly composed this remarkable mass of lyric we may close a notice of the subject which is superficially inadequate to its importance, but which, perhaps, will not seem so to those who are content not merely to count pages but to weigh moments. The moment which Provençal added to the general body of force in European literature was that of a limited, somewhat artificial, but at the same time exquisitely artful and finished lyrical form, so adapted to the most inviting of the perennial motives of literature that it was sure to lead to imitation and development. It gave means and held up models to those who were able to produce greater effects than are to be found in its own accomplishment: yet was not its accomplishment, despite what is called its monotony, despite its limits and its defects, other than admirable and precious.
The “first warbler,” Count William IX. of Poitiers, has already been mentioned, and his date fixed at Some exactly the first year of our period. His troubadour chief immediate successors or contemporaries were Cercamon (“Cherchemonde,” Cursor Mundi); the above quoted Marcabrun, who is said to have accompanied Cercamon in his wanderings, and who has left much more work; and Bertrand de Wentadorn or Wentadour, perhaps the best of the group, a farmer's son of the place from which he takes his noble-sounding name, and a professional lover of the lady thereof. Of Jaufre (Geoffrey) Rudel of Blaye, whose love for the lady of Tripoli, never yet seen by him, and his death at first sight of her, supply, with the tragedy of Cabestanh and the cannibal banquet, the two most famous pieces of Troubadour anecdotic history, we have half-a-dozen pieces. In succession to these, Count Rambaut of Orange and Countess Beatrice of Die keep up the reputation of the gai saber as an aristocratic employment, and the former's poem—
“Escoutatz mas no sai que s'es” (in six-lined stanzas, rhymed ababab, with prose “tags”
to each, something in the manner of the modern comic song), is at least a curiosity. The primacy of the whole school in its most flourishing time, between 1150 and 1250, is disputed by Arnaut Daniel (a great master of form, and as such venerated by his greater Italian pupils) and Giraut de Bornelh, who is more fully represented in extant work than most of his fellows, as we have more than fourscore pieces of his. Peire or Peter Vidal, another typical troubadour, who was a crusader, an exceedingly ingenicus verse-Smith, a great lover, and a proficient in the fantastic pranks which rather brought the school into discredit, inasmuch as he is said to have run about on all fours in a wolfskin in honour of his mistress Loba (Lupa); Gaucelm Faidit and Arnaut de Maroilh, Folquet of Marseilles, and Rambaut of Vaqueras; the Monk of Montaudon and Bertrand de Born himself, who with Peire Cardinal is the chief satirist (though the satire of the two takes different forms); Guillem Figueira, the author of a long invective against Rome, and Sordello of mysterious and contingent fame, are other chief members, and of some of them we have early, perhaps contemporary, Lives, or at least anecdotes. For instance, the Cabestanh or Cabestaing story comes from these. The last name of importance in our period, if not the last of the right troubadours, is usually taken to be that of Guiraut Riquier.
It would scarcely be fair to say that the exploit attributed to Rambaut of Vaqueras, a poet of the very criticism of palmiest time, at the juncture of the twelfth ” and thirteenth centuries—that of composing a poem in lines written successively in three different forms of Provençal (langue d'oc proper, Gascon, and Catalan), in langue d'oil, and in Italian, with a coda line jumbled up of all five—is a final criticism at once of the merits and the defects of this literature. But it at least indicates the lines of such a criticism. By its marvellous suppleness, sweetness, and adaptation to the verbal and metrical needs of poetry, Provençal served-in a fashion probably impossible to the stiffer if more virile tongues—as an example in point of form to these tongues themselves: and it achieved, at the same time with a good deal of mere gymnastic, exercises in form of the most real and abiding beauty. But it had as a language too little character of its own, and was too fatally apt to shade into the other languages-French on the one hand, Spanish and Italian on the other—with which it was surrounded, and to which it was akin. And coming to perfection at a time when no modern thought was distinctly formed, when positive knowledge was at a low ebb, and when it had neither the stimulus of vigorous national life nor the healthy occupation of what may be called varied literary business, it tended to become, on the whole, too much of a plaything merely. Now, schools and playgrounds are both admirable things, and necessary to man; but what is done in both is only an exercise or a relaxation from exercise. Neither man nor literature can stay either in class-room or playingfield for ever, and Provençal had scarcely any other places of abode to offer.
THE LITERATURE OF THE PENINSULAS.
LIMITATIONS OF THIS CHAPTER-LATE GREEK ROMANCE—ITS DIFFICULTIES As A SUBJECT-ANNA COMNENA, ETC.—‘HYSMINIAS AND HYSMINE’ —ITS STYLE — ITS STORY —ITs HANDLING—ITs “DECADENCE"— LATENESS OF ITALIAN — THE “SARACEN " THEORY — THE “ Folksong” THEORY-CIULLO D'ALCAMo—HEAVY DEBT To FRANCE—YET FORM AND SPIRIT BOTH OFIGINAL — LOVE - LYRIC IN DIFFERENT EUROPEAN COUNTRIES-POSITION OF SPANISH-CATALAN-PROVENGAL —GALICIAN-PORTUGUESE—CASTILIAN–BALLADS 2—THE ‘POEMA DEL CID’—A SPANISH “CHANSON DE GESTE’—IN SCHEME AND SPIRITDIFFICULTIES OF ITS PROSODY —BALLAD-METRE THEORY-IRREGULARITY OF LINE–OTHER POEMS.–APOLLONIUS AND MARY OF EGYPT —BERCEO—ALFONSO EL SABIO.
THERE is something more than a freak, or a mere geographical adaptation, in taking together, and at
Limitations of the last, the contributions of the three **r peninsulas which form the extreme south of Europe. For in the present scheme they form, as it were, but an appendix to the present book. The dying literature of Greece—if indeed it be not more proper to describe this phase of Byzantine writing as ghostly rather than moribund—presents at most but one point of interest, and that rather a Frage, a thesis,