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who is yet known by name, and of whom we possess some compositions, is the William of Poitiers, whom we have already mentioned, who described the adventures of his crusade, from which he returned in 1102.* But he was probably not the first. The earliest efforts of their muse were, no doubt, unnoticed in history. Their brilliant reputation may be dated from the year 1162, when Frederick I. invested Raymond Berenger III. with the crown of Provence. This was the period when not only the nobility of Provence, but of Italy, Germany and England, strung the lyre, and emperors and kings were induced to try their poetical talents in the language of the Troubadour.t
The decay of the Provençal poetry was completed in 1382, on the death of
gay emprizes, while the works of the Northern French abound in this species of poetry. Among the works of the Troubadours, only four religious novels or ro. mances are found.
1. Philomena, the oldest of the series, composed by a monk of the Abbey de la Grasse, under the name of a Secretary of Charlemagne. It contains the enterprizes of the Emperor against the Moors, and chiefly the history and wonders of the Abbey de la Grasse, the foundation of which the monk ascribes to the Emperor. According to the Hist. Lit. de France, this romance is a production of the year 1015, but Count Caylus (@uvres badines) removes it to the reign of St. Louis. Some attribute this Latin romance to the Northern French.
2. Guillaume au Court-nés, contains the life of the Saint William, whom Charlemagne had confided with the command of bis armies, who was rewarded after his victories over the Moors (Arabs) in Spain, with the dukedom of Aquitania, and finally made himself a monk.
3. Gerard de Rousillon, a rhymed chronicle, contains the history of the Crusade. against the Albigenses, (very different from the French novel under the same title, whose hero was a companion of Charlemagne.)
4. Honorat de Lerins-a mere legend-Le grand, Fab. t. i. pres. p. 35.
The Provençals had dialogues in their Idyls and Tenzens, but no regular dramatic pieces, which were even then not uncommon among the Northern French. It is true the Troubadours are styled in Nostradamus Comics, yet undoubtedly in an improper sense, or by a loose phraseology, for he calls them also jongleurs, Violars, whicb they never were. In his Hist. de Provence, p. 134, be says of Arnaud Daniel, (1189) il fit outre infinies comedies, tragedies, un chant des resveries du paganisme et un tres beau moral qu'il addressa à Phillippe roy de France. But all these are mere public and exaggerated rumours, as the expression “infinies,” shows, upon which we can the less rely, as not a single trace of dramatic essays is met in the still existing compositions of the Provençal poets and for the same reason the “Vie de Charles VI. par F. Favenel des Ursins," which asserts that the Provençals composa ed in praise of Louis of Anjou, during his abode in Provence, (1382,)“ chansons, comedies et balades," may be suspected. Even if these references should be admitted as historical proofs, still we know that the early authors used to call comic and tragic poems, though very incorrectly, comedie and tragedie, as Dante called his large poem “ Divina Commedia"-Wart. Hist. of Eng. Poetry, t. i. p. 234. We may add that the pieces which are mentioned in the Hist du Theatre Franc. t i. p. 10–11, as Provençal comedies, are more similar to the dialogues in the poetical con. tests, than to the dramatic compositious which have been composed since the reign of Charles IX.
* See Hist. generale de Languedoc, par relig. Bened. t. ii. p. 247—a general view of his poems is given by Ondericus Vitalis, lib. x. p. 793—in du Chesne Script. rerum Normannicorum.
Accounts from the Provençal poets are given by Jean de Nostradamus-Vies des plus celebres poetes Provençaux que ont fleurys du temps des Comtes de Provence, à Lyon, 1575—De Beauchamp, recherches sur les theatres de France, a Pa. VOL. IV.-NO 8.
Jeannette I. Queen of Naples and Sicily, and Countess of Provençe, who was their last protectress.
Its decline, however, had been gradual and slow. It, perhaps, commenced when Beatrix the fourth daughter of Raymond IV. and beiress of Provence, desirous of equalling ber elder sisters in rank and dignity, persuaded her husband, the ignoble Charles of Anjou (1265) to accept the throne of Naples and Sicily, which was offered to bim.* The poets of her court in Provence, followed her beyond the Alps, so that Naples, and still more Sicily, which soon passed away to the house of Arragon, attracted the most distinguished poets from among the Provençals. As the house of Arragon, the descendants of the Berengers, had always been the patrons of the Troubadours, its princes continued to draw from France all that were eminent for talents, and the more easily, because the inheritance of Provence having passed into the royal house of France, the Provençals were no longer a cherished or a favoured race, but the rougher dialect of Northern France (Langue d'oui) was made the language of the court, and of the little literature which it possessed.t About the same time also, the number of large baronies in the Southern provinces of France, and, consequently, the splendour of the Provençal nobility, was greatly diminished, many extensive fiefs became incorporated with the crown of France, others passed into foreign families. The order of chivalry itself was declining under the increasing power of the crown, and of the class of ris, 1735-410--Crescembini dell'istoria della volgar poesia-L'histoire et Chronique de Provence de Cesar de Nostradamus gentil homme Provencal, à Lyon, 1614Papon, Hist. general de France, Paris, 1778–Millot Hist. Litteraire des Troubadours, Paris, 1774-8vo.
About 1200 the Provençal songs became fashionable beyond the Alps. particuJarly in Calabria and Sicily The Lombards successively cultivated this poetry in 1227—(Muratori in Antiq Ital. t. ii. p. 843.) The partiality of the Italians for it is known by the charming passage of Petrarca, Triumph c.iv. Cardinal Bembo (pros. 1 i.) read Provençal poetry of the following Italian authors--Fulcho Falchetto, Bonifacio Calvo, Lanfrani Cygala, Sordel Mantuano, Albert Marg. de Malespino, Perceval Doria. Caseneuve, orig. des jeux fl. p. 27, speaks of a collection of fiftyfive different Provençal poets in a manuscript three hundred years old, and continues, "entre lesquelles j'ay remarqué celles de la plus part de ces poesies Italiens, que j'ay cy dessus nommez, et entre autres, cette satyre de Soldat Mantouen contre les Princes de son temps, dans laquelle il n'a pas meme epargné St. Louis comme a remarqué Papirius Masson en ses Annales de France.
* Honore Bouche, Histoire Chronologique de Provence, t. ii. p. 265-275.
† Jeanne I. (1382,) was succeeded in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, as well as in the Compté of Provence, by Louis I, the son of King John of France whom Jeanne had adopted. History makes no mention of Louis I, II, and III, as having encouraged poets, only Renatus, son of Louis II, is praiserl as a prince of high talents and of a noble character About that time the dominion of the French Kings was greatly increased by escheated and forfeited fiets. (for already in the 13th and 14th centuries, Navarre, Dauphiné, Rousillon and Thoulouse, had fallen into the possession of the crown) and with the increase of the jurisdiction of the French King, the use of the French language was augmented, and that of the Provençal proportionably lessened. Under such circumstances it is not wonderful that with the lan. *uage the poetry should decay,
free citizens who were gaining new privileges and an'accession of military skill; and time and knowledge, the great innovators of the world, were acting against them by the revival of order, and of something like a distribution of justice. Many of the causes which called for the interference of the knight-errant disappeared, and the strange and diversified train of adventures which had animated their
spirits, and enriched and ennobled their poetry, were no longer to be met with. Personal conflicts lost the ennobling principle and high character which they assumed, when they were proclaimed as in defence of the exile or the captive, the orphan or the widow, of injured innocence or oppressed weakness, or particularly of that sex, before whom every true chevalier was equally obliged and willing to bow, and for whom they were bound to wage interminable warfare. The stern and inexorable voice of justice, passing gradually, though slowly, over the land, removed all these pretexts, and the strife of the once gallant and magnanimous knight degenerated into those petty but sanguinary duels, which so long disquieted and disgraced the courts of Europe, and which, even the illumination of a brighter era bas not caused entirely to disappear. In the meantime, all that was performed by the gallant and still chivalrous race of nobles that surrounded the monarch-deeds that were now national rather than personal-was to be told in a language still unpolished and inflexible. This produced a pause between the disappearance of one set of opinions, customs, laws, and the adoption of another, between the change even of languages. The spirit of Provençal poetry might, indeed, have been transferred to the court of France, but, as if to render the transition more strong, the change more complete, other circumstances intervened :—the persecution of the Albigenses took place, and a war, one of the most merciless which modern history relates, was carried on against that unhappy people. It extended over the greater part of the South of France; the seats of the arts and of poetry, of hospitality and refinement, were desolated with the most savage barbarity. Every evil that revenge and bigotry could inflict, was poured over the suffering victims. Until late in the reign of Louis XIV. this fair portion of France was unquiet, and vexed with repeated wars. And the people and the noblity, impoverished and oppressed, became wild, and ignorant, and rude, and lost almost every trace of the mild glories which once had been their ornament and boast.*
On the decline of chivalry, their poetry already feeble, ceased among the knights; a few of humbler rank retired to the
* The political decay of the South of France, (which was also called in the middle ages, Albigsium,) is described by the historians of the Albigensian war to whom I refer. The country was made desolate by the repeated ravages of war,
cities, and endeavoured to turn the halls and tribunals of justice into seats of the muses. They made some vain efforts to revive in them poetical tournaments, and to these efforts we may probably ascribe the origin of the “ Academie des jeux floraux" at Thoulouse, and of similar poetical institutions at Barcelona and Tortosa.
These efforts were all in vain. The 'Troubadours struggled long against neglect and contempt, but the order at last expire ed. Their country forgot them during its long religious wars ; foreign nations did not esteem, because they misunderstood them, and the modern languages of Europe became cultivated and began to hear songs of a higher mood than those which the Provençals had been accustomed to sing. They died and were forgotten. But modern times which have rendered justice to much that was formerly mistakea, have drawn from a temporary oblivion these relics of former refinement, and rendered to the poets of chivalry their merited applause.
The biography* of the Troubadours was first sketched by Nostradamus, and completely elucidated with proofs and exand the people rendered wild by persecution and want of 'education. Even the nobility lost the noble character which formerly distinguished them, and they who had so long delighted monarchs by their sweet strains, were silenced, or descended to the low condition of jesters and buffoons. The appellation of Troubadours was lost in those of Jongleurs, Comics, Musars. Philip Augustus, (1180—1223) banished the histriones from his kingdom, among whom the Troubadours were certainly ineluded. The city of Bologna, as early as 1288, prohibited the singers of France from singing publicly in the streets-Muratori Antiq. Ital. t. ii. p. 844. Apud Ghirardaccium in Hist. Bonon. ad ann. 1288, statutum a populo Bononiensi fuit, ut Cantatores Francigenarum in plateis communis ad cantandum ommino morari non possint.
* The Troubadours had contemporary biographers, only two of whom we know by name, Hugues de St. Cyr, and Michel de la Tour, whom Millot cites in the Hist. des Troubadours. Their age he does not specify; but when they composed, historical taste and criticism were altogether wanting.
Nostradamus also mentions (Vies des plus cel. poetes Prov. p. 248–254,) two compilers of such biographies-Monge des Isles d'Or and H. de Saint Cezari, (Hu. gues de St. Cyr.) and many other authors, but he collected and repeats fables and traditions without any critical remarks.
The author we have placed at the head of this article, and to whose researches on this subject the literary world is indebted for much of what they know, devoted the whole of a long life (1697 to 1781) to the ages of chivalry and the Provençal literature. He collected the writings of many hundreds of their poets, and these collections, still in manuscript, have formed the basis perhaps of all modern accounts of the Troubadours. Mr. Raynouard has lately selected and published (Choix des Poésies originales des Troubadours—6 vol. Paris, 1816–25,) nearly all that is valuable among their compositions.
Among the modern critics, many controversies have arisen respecting the merits of the Troubadours Le Grand, in the preface to bis “ Fabliaux,” ranks them be. low the poets of the North of France; Papon in bis “Observations critiques sur les Trouvéres et les Troubadours;” (Appendix to the “Voyage de Provence,” t. ii. p. 165,) is of the contrary opinion, and represents the Northern French as imitators of the Provençals. Le Grand replied to him as well as to other opponents, in “Observations sur les Troubadours par l'editeur des Fabliaux, à Paris, 1781-8vo. Clement, (Essais de Critique sur la Literature Ancienne et Moderne Amsterd. 1785, t. ii. p. 78,) adopts a middle opinion. The controversy now is occasionally revived, and as in all questions of taste, must remain long unsettled.
tracts from their writings by Millot. Many of them are, however, only known now by name, or by the representations of their contemporaries. Although the high praises which their productions received from their own age, ought not to seduce our judgment, for it was a period of comparative ignorance and great enthusiasm, yet do these praises deserve some respect, for they re-echoed the sentiments of a whole people, who heard them read and sung at a time when they could be understood and felt in all their force. This, indeed, is the great recommendation of these lays at the present times. Sismondi mentions it as a very noticeable fact, that none of the Troubadours ever attained to a very high order of excellence, and has justly accounted for their mediocrity. But they breathe the spirit of a heroic age. The spell of the times and the manners-of an original national poetry, in short, is upon them. And in the midst of all the wonders of more cultivated genius, we turn to these simple lays, as to the first accents of an infant literature, and the first moral lessons of modern society.
ART. VI.-1. The Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knt. By AR
THUR CAYLEY, Jun.2 Vols. 4to. London. 1805. 2. Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials. London.
1809. 2d Vol. The Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knt. at Winchester, for high treason.
The origin of the North American Provinces may be traced to the enterprizing genius, and the persevering and costly labours of Sir Walter Raleigh. He is one of the heroes of the new world, not seen like those of antiquity through the mist of fable, but in his actual proportions; and yet gigantic as the founders of ancient colonies, as Danaus orCecrops. His memory is recommended to us by gratitude; and in his comprehensive genius, bis romantic temper, his adventurous life, and his extensive learning, we find materials for the gratification of the most excursive curiosity; while the greatness of his calamities, notwithstanding the most splendid gifts of nature and fortune, un