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declension of that lariguage were current in varions forms among those who either did not understand or did not regard the true quantity of fyllables; and the practice of rhyming (43) is probably to be deduced
rythms, and chiefly those of the iambick form, the present poetical measures of all the nations of Roman Europe are clearly derived. Instead of long and short fyllables, the feet of our poetry are composed of syllables accented and unaccented, or rather of fyllables strongly and less strongly accented, and hence it is that we have fo little variety of feet, and conse. quently of metres; because the possible combinations of fylla. bles accented and unaccented are from the nature of speech much more limited in point of number than the combinations of long and thort fyllables were in the Greek and Latin languages.
(43) We see evident marks of a fondness for Thyme in the hymns of S. Ambrofius and S.Damasus, as early as the 4th century. One of the hymns of Damasus, which begins
Martyris ecce dies Agatha
Virginis emicat eximæ, &c. is regularly rhymed throughout. Prudentius, who had a more classical tafte, seems ftudioudy to have avoided rhymes ; but Sedulius and Fortunatus , in the 5th and 6th centuries, ufe them frequently in their hymnis. (See their works, andan hymn of the latter, ap. Fabric. Bib. Meil. Ætat. v. Fortunatus.]The learned Muratori, in his Dissertation de Rythmicà Veterum Poesi, [Antiq. Med. Ævi. Disert. xl,] has collected together a vast heap of examples, which prove that thymes were very generally used in hymns, sequences, and other religious compofitions in Latin, in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, centuries ; so that for my own part I think it as probable that the poets in the vulgar languages (who first appeared about the 9th century) borrowed their rhymes from the Latin poetry of that age, as it is evident that they did the forms of their Verfification.---Otfrid of Weissenberg, the earliest rhymer that is known in any of the modern languages, about the year 870, calls rhyme, in the style of the Latin grammarians, Scbema omæ oteleutor.
from the fame original, as we find that practice to hare prevailed in ecclesiastical hymns, and other compolitions in Latin, some centuries before Otfrid of Weifenberg, the first known rhymer in any of the vulgar European dialects.
$ 2. I wish it were in my power to give a regular history of the progress which our ancestors made in this new style of Versification; but (44) except a few
[Pref. ad Liutbert, ap. Schilter. Thef. Antiq. Teuion. t.i.p.si.] And when the monk who has been cited in note 41 says that Thibaud de Vernun composed his fongs ad quomdam rinnuli riikmi fimilitudinem, he niuft mean I think that he composed them in imitation of [Latin] jingiing rytlım. I say Latin (or at Jeast fome forcion) rythm, because otherwise he would rather have said in rytlmo tinnulo. The addition of the epithet tinnulus seems to thew plainly enough that rythmus alone did not then signity what we call rhyme.
(4:4, William of Malmesbury [de Gefit. Pont. Angl.1. iii. p.271,] has preserved two rhyming verses of Aldred Archbishop of York, which that prelate threw out againft one Urse, Sheriff of Worceitershire, not long after the conqueft; “ Hatest thou ** Urse Have thou God's curre.” Vocaris UrsusHabeas Dei maledi&ionem. Malmesbury says that he inserts this English, quod Latina verba non ficut Anglica concinnitari respondent. The concinnity, I suppose, muft have confifted in thie thyme, and would hardly have been thought worth re. peating if thyme in Englith had not then been a novelty....... The lines in the Saxon Chronicle, to which I mean to refer, are in p. 191. ed. Gilf. The passage begins, Lastelar he let
Thet he nam be rihte
lines in the Saxon Chronicle upon the death of William the Conqueror, which seem to have been intended for veries of the modern fashion, and a fhort Canticle which, according to Matthew Paris (45), the blessed Virgin was pleased to dictate to Godric, an hermit near Durham, I have not been able to discover any attempts at rhyming poetry which can with
Of his leode
That hi moften freo faran
Se al-mihiiga God
And do him his fyana forgifenese. The writer of this part of the Chronicle (as he tells us himfelf, p. 189,) had feen the Conqueror.
(45) Hiji. Angl, p. 100. Godric died in 1170, so that according to tradition the Canticle was prior to that period : the firit ftanza being incorredly nted I thall only transcribe the Jaft-...
Seinte Marie, Christes bur,
Bringe me to winne with selfe God
Sancta Maria, Chrini thalamus,
duc me ad felicitatem cum folo Deo. Upon the authority of this translation I have altered pinne (as it is in the print, to ceinne. The Saxon p is often mistaken
for a p.
probability be referred to an earlier period than the reign of Henry. II. In that reign Layamon (46), a prieit of Ernleye near Severn, as he calls himfelf, translated (chiefly from) the French of Wace (47)
(46) This work of Layamon is extant among the Corron, m.7. Cul. A. ix. A much later copy, in which the autiior by a'natural corruption was called Larveman, was destroyed by the fire. There is an account of both copies in Wanley's C.11. 18: Septent. p. 228. and p. 237.......The following thort extract from fol. 7,8, containing an account of the Sirens wilich Brutus met with in his voyage, will serve to support what is said in the text of this author's intermixing rhymes with his profe:
Ther heo fundon the Merminnen,
Heora songes to beran(47) The French clerk whom Layamon profesies to have followed in liis liistory is called by: Wanley (Cat. 17. Sept. p. 218,] Wate, as if poor Mzijtre Trace were doomed to have his name perpetually mistaken. Fauchet, and a long ftring of French antiquaries, have agreed to call him witace. 'I thall here, in justice to Maistre Wace, (for whom I have a great refpeci not only as a very ancient but as a very ingeniousrliymer) ftate iny reasons thortly for believing that he was the real author of that translation in French verte of Geffrey of Monmouth's romance which is commonly called Le Brut.--In the first place, his name is distinctly written in the text of three mfi. of very considerable antiquity: two of them are in the Museum, viz. Cotton, l'iell. A. X. and Reg. 13 A. xxi. : the third is at Cambridge, in the library of Bennet College, 1. 58. In a fourth ms. also in the Museum, Harl. 6508, it is written Gazce and Gace, by a substitution of G for W, very utual in the French langaage.-•--Secondly, in the mf. above-mensioned of Layamon?s biitory, Eal. A. ix, ifI may trust my own Volume 1.
a fabulous history of the Britons entitled Le Brut, which Wacc himself, about the year 1155, had trans
eyes the name is Wace, and not IVate, as Wanley read it. The Saxon T is not very unlike a c. What Layamon has said further, " that this Wace was a French clerk, and presented his “ book to Alienor the queen of Henry,” (the Second) agrees perfectly well with the date of Le Drut, (in 1155, according to 2]the copies) and with the account which Wace himself, in his Roman de Rou, has,given of his attachment to Henry.....Thirdly, in a subsequent tranflation of Le Brut, which was made by Robert of Brunne in the beginning of the 14th century, he repeatedly names Mayter Wace as the author (or rather tranllator from the Latin) of the French history. See Herne's Ipp. 10 Pref. to Peter Langtoft, p. 98..--In opposition to this strong evidence in favour of Wace we have nothing material except the inf. of Le Brut quoted by Fauchet, [de la Langue Francoise, I. ii,] in which according to his citation the author is called IVifice. Thelater French writers who havecall. ed him so, I apprehend, have only followed Fauchet. Thereader will judge whether it is not more probable that the writer of the mf. or even Fauchet himself, may have made a little Nipin thismatter than that fomany mil.as I have quoted above, and the succesive testimonies of Layamon and Robert of Brunne, ihould have concurred in calling the author of Le Brut Vace, if tiat had not been his true name. I will just add that La vie de Seint Nicholas, which is frequently quoted by Hickes, [Gr. A. S. p. 146, 149, et al.] was probably a work of this 'fame Wace, as appears from the following paliage, [m. Bodl, 1687, v. 17 from the end,]
Ci faut le livre mestre Guace, ..
Qui Seint Nicholas mout amout. And I thould fufpect that Le Martyre de St. George en vers *Francois par Robert Guaco, mentioned by M. Lebcuf as extant in the 21:51. Colbert. Cod, 37 +5. [M3m. de l'Acad. D. 7. Et