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bear in mind, that the Normans had given a new direction to the imagination of the European nations; that they had come fresh from the north, 130 years before, and had breathed in its original purity, the atmosphere of poetry and chivalry; that they had retained this spirit, even after becoming Christians, and learning French; that they infused a portion of their spirit, wherever they went; that they wrought a visible change throughout Europe; that they were living models of adventure and enthusiasm, and led the way in the crusades." Assuredly, when we consider the preparations thus made, we may pronounce with confidence, that the seven months residence of Richard, and the reigns of Frederick I. and of Manfredi, from 1250 to 1266, would certainly introduce a taste for the rhymed versification of Provençal poetry, among a people, who spoke a language resembling the Provençal as much, as both differed from the Arabic. We know that the literati of Italy, crowded the Court of Frederick, became themselves poets, and carried back to their native land, the novel species of versification, which they had learnt. Hence, Dante, who was born in 1265, considers "Siciliana Favella," as synonymous with modern poetic language; and tells us, "quicquid poetantur Itali, Sicilianum vocatur." Andrès says that Petrarch ascribed the origin of the vulgar poetry to the Sicilians; and the Abbé adds, in the spirit of his Arabic prejudices, "è i Siciliani appunto erano stati dominati dagli Arabi." The claims of Provençal and of Sicilian literature, to be regarded as the mother of the Italian, appear to be so equally balanced, that we look upon it, as a strong confirmation of the identity of Sicilian and Provençal literature, as above explained. This, of course, accounts for the fact, that there is no such striking difference between the literature and language of Sicily and those of Provence, as to mark by its characteristic effects, the predominant influence of either on the Italian. But, if we were to grant, that Sicily owed nothing to Provence, can we not account for the origin of rhymed versification there, from the natural facilities of the language, as already explained in relation to the Spanish, without resorting to the very doubtful influence of the Arabians?
Let us now survey the Provençal literature, to discover, if we can, the supposed derivation of rhyme through this channel, from the Arabians. It is conceded, that nothing is left of the Troubadours of an earlier date, than about the year 1100'. Even the metrical history of Gregory de Bechada, recording the events of the first crusade (A. D. 1095) has perished. The earliest Troubadour, of whom ought remains, William Count of Poitou, a 1 Schlegel, 307. b 2 Andrès, p. 152.
died (A.D. 1126). But many Provençal poets must have existed long before; since the remark of Mitford is certainly correct, that "the forms of versification have every where had their origin, long before the perfection of literature." Accordingly, Dessessart informs us, that the poets of Languedoc brought rhyme into repute in the tenth century, though it then was, as he expresses it, "bien barbare et bien imparfaite." We have no remains of these poets, yet we know that the language being substantially the same, there must have been a general identity of character between the Provençal poets of the tenth and eleventh centuries. Now, it has been said, that the "envoy" of Provençal poetry, is a strong proof of it's Arabic origin, independently of the resemblances assigned by Andrès. The "envoy" is that part of the composition, in which the poet breaks off suddenly his train of narrative or reflection, to apostrophise "himself or his song; or the jongleur whose business it is to sing it; or the lady, for whom it is composed; or the messenger, who is to bear it to her." But, here again, a little attention to the peculiar character and early history of the Troubadours, will convince us, that the envoy, as well as the other supposed resemblances, arose, not from an imitation of the Arabians, but from inherent causes, which would have produced the same results, though the Arabians had never existed: just as similar causes have produced, in all rude states of society, "those abrupt transitions, which are very commonly (though rather absurdly) considered as Pindaric, and which are universally characteristic of savage poetry."
Poetry, according to Monsieur Guingéné, constituted the very essence of Arabian character: and from this leading feature of resemblance, it is concluded that Provence must have derived the same feature, from the Saracens. But a brief sketch will leave no reasonable doubt, that the poetry of the Troubadour arose from the peculiar spirit of the age: and was not copied from the Arabians.
The Visigoths settled in the South of France and the North of Spain, the very countries occupied by the French and Spanish Troubadours. No material impression, either on language or manners, could have been made by the Saracens, before the Spanish portion was conquered by Charlemagne. (A. D. 778.) The kingdom of Arles was founded by Bozon, (A. D. 877.)— the æra of the Provençal language; and the Spanish provinces became independent of France, about 906. Barcelona in Provençal Spain, and Marseilles in Provençal France, kept up a
€ 4 Hall. p. 397 d Mitf. Inq. p. 132 e Dict. de Literat. vol. iii. p. 391. ƒ No. 11, Qnart. Rev. p. 7 g 1 Ellis' Specim. p. 13. h 1 Sism. p. 57.
constant intercourse. If on the North of the Pyrenees, we read of noble Troubadours, a Dauphin of Auvergne, a Count of Poitou, a Prince of Orange, and a Baron of Puy, we read on the South, of a Lord of Mur, and two Kings of Arragon,* but of none of Castile, Oviedo or Leon. The Catalan spoken in Catalonia, Arragon, and Navarre, was almost altogether like the Provençal, but very different from the Castilian, and Galician or Portuguese. And it is remarkable, that the names of the French Troubadours, are sometimes purely French, as Cabestaing, Ogier, Capdueil-sometimes Spanish in termination, as Figueira, Castelloza, Adhemar, Germonda, and Rambaldo Vaqueiras, to say nothing of the Catalonians, Escas and William de Mur-or of the terminations of Blondel, Sordel, Rudel, Vidal, Blacas. The succession of Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona, to the sovereignty of Provence, (A. D. 1092) contributed to fix, extend, and improve this identity of language, and to facilitate the identity of Provençal literature, both in France and Spain. The rapid developement and advancement "of this transitory love of verse," though in a great measure unaccountable, doubtless arose chiefly from the singular prosperity of Languedoct and Provence, while the rest of Europe was distracted by foreign and domestic wars, and from the disposition "of the inhabitants to feel with voluptuous sensibility, the charms of music and amorous poetry." L'union de la Provence, pendant deux cent treize ans, sous une suite de Princes, qui ne jouérent pas un rôle brillant au-dehors, et qui sont presque onbliés par l'histoire, mais qui ne souffirent aucune invasion, qui, par une administration paternelle, augmentérent la population et les richesses de l'etat, et favoriserent le commerce, auquel les appellait leur situation maritime, suffit pour consolider les lois, les mœurs, et la langue des Provençaux." It is conceded also, that the language and poetry of Provence were cultivated earlier, more extensively, and more successfully, than those of Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. Hence,
Alfonzo II. and Peter III. Kings of Arragon, (1 Sism. p. 123.) Alfonzo X. of Castile, 1252 to 1284, was a verse-maker, but no Troubadour; for his "stances dactyliques or versos de arte mayor," treated of Alchymy. "On ny trouve pas l'ombre de la poésie." (1 Bout. p. 90.) Grand Rïquier de Narbonne, who breathed "les derniers soupirs de la poésie Provençale," could not make his patron a poet. j 1 Bout. p, 61.
i 1 Swinb. Trav. p. 106.
+ Languedoc-i. e. Langue d'Oc-thus transferring, by a singular anomaly, the descriptive name of the language to the country, from which it was derived: Osci fania being the ancient name of Languedoc.
14 Hall, p. 398:
k 1 Sism. p. 85: VOL. I.-NO. 1.
the literature of the Troubadours, going forth, a river of living waters, as from another Garden of Eden
"Rolled o'er Elysian flowers her amber waves:
Do we not then naturally expect the literature of Provence, thus arising in a manner by itself, and advancing with such rapidity beyond that of its neighbours, to discover a native and original, not an imitative character?
Let us now glance our eye over the leading causes of these peculiarities. They are to be found, we apprehend, in ages and countries remote from Provence, but exercising a decisive influence over modern Europe: and yet, entirely apart in their origin, and entirely different in their character, from aught to be found among the Arabians.
"Women," says Mrs. Kindersley, "have, naturally, most power," and it is plain, that the Christian Religion has placed women, in the exercise of a legitimate influence, whether as unmarried or as wives, as Patriot and Christian mothers, "in the thoughts of their lovers and husbands, between heaven, the throne and the altar." Christianity has given to females their equality of rights and duties; their influence on public taste and sentiment; their freedom in the intercourse of society at home and abroad, with their own, and with the other sex; and above all, the personal independence of choice.
We discover also in the manners of the ancient northern nations, some causes of peculiar character, which have coincided admirably with the precepts of Christianity, in fashioning a new people, unseen and even unimagined before. The ancient northern nations believed of women, says Tacitus, "inesse etiam sanctum aliquid et providum:" and the Greeks and Romans were astonished that the northern barbarians should treat their women with so much respect, and allow them such privileges, as they themselves had never accorded to the sex.' Chastity and the love of liberty, were of the essence of the northern female character." But the Moors, whether we consider men or women, set little value on either of these as virtues in the fair sex: the men being tyrants, and the women slaves. A woman among the northern tribes, "was not received into her husband's house as a slave, but as the companion of his life, as the partner of all his joys and sorrows, of all his dangers, and of all his labours."" The
k 1 Bout. p. 61. 71 Hall. p. 398. m Wom. by Segur. vol. i. p. 201. n Meiners' Hist. of Fem. Sex. vol. i. pp. 165–166:
wife, the mother, the daughter, the sister accompanied the men to war: and were the most solemn witnesses and the warmest panegyrists of their achievements. The same women participated in public affairs, and were often selected as judges and arbitresses. "Among the ancient Germans, and other northern nations, love incited to achievements as transcendent, was subjected to trials as severe, and was capable of sacrifices as great, as ever shed lustre on the passion of the most irreproachable knights." "Dangerous enterprises, and heroic achievements were, in the remotest ages, not only the surest means of acquiring extended fame, and the love, regard and favour of kings and nations, but were better calculated to gain the hearts of the generous fair, than rank, riches, or the greatest personal attractions.' Offences against the female sex were punished by the same people, with far greater severity, than if man were the object of insult or injury. Such were the elements of character, which the northern nations carried with them wherever they went and although the influence of the corrupt and effeminate Romans must have produced a great effect on them; yet, it is certain that the vanquished were put to shame, and reformed by their northern conquerors: that many ancient abuses were corrected, that equity and justice were administered, that the weak, the widow, and the orphan were protected from oppression, and criminals punished with severity. Let us not then go beyond such proofs as these, to show that the spirit of the age of the Troubadours was not derived from an Arabian fountain. And is it not a remarkable fact, that the European nation, in which gallantry and politeness, deference for, and the power of women have subsisted the longest, and in the highest state of perfection, is that very country, France, which received in the Normans, the largest and latest accessions from the northern hive? The origin of chivalry, in France, need not then be traced to Moorish Spain: and when we consider the power, and extensive dominions and conquests of Charlemagne, together with the comparative dependence, and absolute inferiority of all the other European states," it is plain that his age must have exerted a great influence on the manners, sentiments, and literature of all Christendom.
"It is not known," says Segur, "whether the Spaniards derived their gallantry from the Moors, or whether they imparted it to the latter." "This extraordinary mixture of mildness and cruelty, of delicacy and ferocity, this passion of evincing them
。 1 do. p. 174.
p 1 Mein. p. 170.
u 9 Gibbon, p. 186.
q 1 do. pp. 171, 2, 3.
1 do. p. 180.
w Vol. i. p. 233.