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far excelled all his predecessors in everything that can render a story interesting or excellent, and his charming fiction obtained a great popularity among such as could read. Some imagine that they see in Heliodorus a resemblance to the minutely descriptive style of novel introduced into England by Richardson, but without adopting this rather extreme potion, it can at least be safely asserted that Achilles Tatius and all the subsequent erotikoi deliberately imitated his style and manner, while he was not less certainly used as a model by that once celebrated but dreadfully tedious school of heroic romance which flourished in France during the 17th c., and whose best-remembered representative is mademoiselle de Scudéri. Tasso, Guarini, D'Urfé, and several other modern writers have drawn many particulars-sometimes almost verbatim—from the stories in the Theagenes and Charicleia. Achilles Tatius (g.v.), probably belonging to the 5th c., ranks next to but at some distance from Heliodorus in point of merit. His romance, entitled Ta kata Leukippen kai Klertophonta, and consisting of eight books, has supplied incidents to more than one Italian and French writer.
The next work that invites our attention in point of time, the Daphnis and Chloe of Longus, is of a totally different character. It is a simple and picturesque prose-pastoral, with no poisonings, murders, magic, supernaturalism, and impossible exploits. Over the whole story rest a rural peace and a smile of cheerful sunshine; and, in spite of some singularly polluted passages, it was, for its time, a pure and wholesome fiction. Daphnis and Chloe is the only pastoral romance produced by any Byzantine author. Whether or not it exercised any influence on the development of the modern pastoral of Italy and France cannot be proved, but it has been noticed that there is no slight resemblance between it and the story of the Gentle Shepherd, which we know was suggested to Allan Ramsay by a classical friend, who may have borrowed from the Greek the sketch which he gave to the poet. It has also been very closely imitated by Gessner in his idyl of Daphnis.
After Longus comes Chariton (flor. some time between the 6th and 9th centuries), whose romance, in eight books, on the Loves of Chæreas and Callirrhoë, is not quite complete, but nearly so. It contains, like the other erotic fictions, plenty of stirring and startÎing adventures, but on the whole these are less improbable than what we encounter in the writings of his predecessors. Of three Xenophons, also noted among the erotikoi, and of uncertain date, the best is Xenophon of Ephesus, whose romance, entitled Ephesiaca, or the Loves of Anthia and Abrocomas, is in ten books, and has all the sensational characteristics of the school to which it belongs. It is, however, perhaps worth mentioning that in the romance of Xenophon we meet for the first time with the story of the love-potion, the pretended death, and the mock-entombment of the heroine, which forms the leading incident in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and which, it is thought, reached the great English dramatist at second or third hand, through the Italian novelist Luigi da Porta.
Again a long interval elapses before we meet with another love-fiction of the old pagan sort. During this period, however, a work made its appearance which was essentially a romance, and was composed expressly for the purpose of recommending that form of Christian life which was the favorite in early times--the ascetic and recluse form. This was the Barlaam and Josaphat (q.v.), the author of which is unknown, but whose popularity, during the middle ages, may be estimated from the fact that it was translated into every language of Christendom from Norway to Spain. In the 12th c. another erotic, Eustathius or Eumathius, who was properly the last of the series, published his 18mene and Ismenias, in eleven books. This romance is, in truth, a feeble performance; the expiring flicker of a lamp whose oil is about done. It is puerile in its delineation of character, and full of plagiarisms; yet many of its details have been copied by later occidental writers, such as D'Urfé and Montemayor.
In all the erotic romances the adventures, which in fact constitute the story, have certain common characteristics. The hero and heroine are generally carried off by robbers or pirates; or they flee from home, and are accidentally separated. They resolve to seek each other throughout the world, and in the course of their loving quest they visit the remotest regions, encounter the most frightful perils, make hairbreadth escapes from tragic ends, meet again in most unexpected and miraculous ways, and generally close their career in happiness and splendid prosperity—often turning out to be the offspring of far greater people than they fancied. Copious use is made of poisons, lovepotions, improbable tricks, magic instruments, etc.; and one can easily see that the stories were meant to tickle and stimulate a languid, corrupt, sensual, and credulous people, such as the Greeks of the lower empire undoubtedly were.
Before touching on the mediæval romance of western Europe we may in a few words notice such specimens of classical fiction as exist, or are known to have existed in Latin. We have already stated that the Milesian tales were translated into that tongue by Sisenna, who derived his knowledge of them from the Sybarites, a Greek colony of lower Italy. The taste for similar stories increased during the empire, but the writers in general cannot have displayed much genius in their compositions if we may judge from the contemptuous language used by the emperor Severus against Clodius Albinus, whose fictions he designates ludicra literaria, and anilia (old wives' tales). But higher praise must be assigned to the work commonly attributed to Petronius Arbiter (q.v.), who flourished in the time of Nero, and whose Šatyricon-incomplete—is a comic novel or romance, and (although the dirtiest work even in pagan literature) is executed with skill, vigor, and at times, with beauty. In the 2d c. A.D., Appuleius (q.v.), wrote his A88 (called from its excellence the Golden Ass), which relates the adventures of a young man who had the misfortune to be accidentally metamorphosed into that animal while sojourning in Thessaly: retaining, however, his human consciousness. The miseries which he suffers at the hands of robbers, eunuchs, magistrates, and other persons into whose hands he falls, until the period when he is enabled to resume his former figure, are portrayed with a wit, hu. mor, and fancy, hardly inferior to Lucian. The work is also believed to have had, like the writings of his Greek contemporary, a moral and satirical aim. It was immensely popular in the middle ages; has supplied Boccaccio with some of his stories, and the author of Gil Blas with the picturesque incidents of the robbers' cave in the early part of his romance, and contains in the episode of Cupid and Psyche one of the loveliest allegories of classical antiquity.
2. Romantic fiction in icestern Europe.—The first thing to be clearly understood in connection with this branch of literature is, that it is not a continuation of the GræcoByzantine or classical fiction, though, curiously enough, it began to spring up in the west just as the other was dying out in the east. It is a completely new growth, the product of new historical circumstances, which were but very slightly affected by Byzantine influences of any kind; and it transports us into a world of ideas, sentiments, beliefs, and actions, as different from what we find in the Erotikoi as could well be imagined. the latter, the principal characters are mere lovers forced into adventures by the ministers of fate; in the former, they are real heroes, of the old Homeric type, and seek dangers greedily and joyously. When we read the Erotikoi we are reminded in many ways that we are in the midst of a corrupt and decaying civilization; when we turn to the romances of chivalry in spite of certain superficial and barbarous vices—such as the prevalence of bastardy, and the indifference displayed to bloodshed-we feel that we are in the presence of a youthful, healthy, vigorous, and growing social life. That these romances, generally from beginning to end, consist of a series of extraordinary and utterly impossible exploits, in which the magic, the mystery, and the enchantments of the Arabian Nights are rivaled or outshone, is unquestionable; but this proves no more than that the races of western Europe, who slowly, during the dark ages, rose, by the help of the church, out of barbarism into feudalism—the first step toward the civilization of the modern world—were boundlessly ignorant, credulous, and wonder-loving. Their prodigious vigor and vehemence of character, having no proper intellectual pabulum, was forced to supply its craving for a knowledge which was beyond its immediate attainment, by the exaggerations of a fancy that was without law or limit. We need not go so far as to assert that, in the mediæval romance, everything is of native or “Gothic" origin; the fact is very much the reverse. This extreme theory, propounded by Mallet, and supported by bishop Percy, and other writers, is totally inadequate to account for all that is contained in these romances. Not less inadequate is another theory, first suggested by Salmasius, and afterward elaborated by Warton, that the mediæval romance is mainly of Saracenic origin, and was probably introduced by the Moorish conquerors into Spain, and thence propagated into France and Britain; while a third theory, which has also found supporters, viz., that it was derived from the classical mythology of ancient Greece, is the most inadequate of all. The true explanation of the matter appears to be that medieval romance had its root and foundation in chivalry (q.v.)-a genuine product of western Europe-and although the machinery, so to speak, the exploits and the marvels, may have often been derived from the foreign sources we have mentioned, yet the spirit, scenery, sentiment, and life of the legends thoroughly reflect the characteristics of the earlier ages of feudalism. The notions of dragons, giants, magic rings, enchanted castles, are probably of Saracenic origin, and may have been introduced into Europe by the horde of pilgrims who visited the east in the lime of the crusades; such incidents as the detaining of a knight from his quest by the enchantments of a sorceress may have been a tradition of the Odyssey of Homer; but the gallantry, the courtesy, the romantic valor, the tournaments, the noble friendships of brother-knights—all that distinguishes the romances of chivalry from Runic legends, or the Arabian Nights, cannot be traced to any other source than the new-born chivalry of Europe.
The medieval romances are divisible into three great series—1. Those relating to Arthur and the knights of the round-table. 2. Those relating to Charlemagne and his paladins. 3. Those relating to Amadis de Gaul and his descendants.
The Arthurian series is, in its essence, of Welsh and Armoric origin. Its genesis is as follows: First came the legendary chronicles composed in Wales or Brittany, such as the De Excidio Britanniæ of Gildas (q.v.); the chronicle of Nennius, belonging to the 9th C.; the Armoric collections of Walter Calenius or Gualtier, archdeacon of Oxford; and the famous Chronicon sive Historia Britonum of Geoffrey of Monmouth (q.v.)—from these, and from the multitude of floating unrecorded traditions, sprung the metrical, which in turn gave birth to, and were ultimately superseded by, the prose romances. It is with the latter alone that we have here to do. They, like the metrical romances, were composed by Anglo-Norman authors (whose names are unknown) during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, who took all the more willingly to the old British legend that in these the "Saxons” were the objects of the authors' hatred and detestation. The principal romances of the Arthurian cycle are those of Merlin (q.v.), the enchanter; of Arthur
(q.v.); of the Sangreal (see GRAAL); of Perceval; of Lancelot du Lac; of the princes of Lyonnesse, Meliadus and his son Tristan; and of Isaie le Triste, the son of Tristan. They relate the marvelous adventures, exploits, loves, and gallantries of the knights of the round-table, and are probably in substance the oldest of the mediæval prose romances. The scenes are generally laid in Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Ireland, or Scotland; only in one or two of the series are we taken as far as Egypt or India; and though Arthur is slain by “ Saracens” who supported his nephew, Mordred, and a general eastern coloring is present in the cycle, yet it is "Saxons" who are his principal foes.
The series of Charlemagne and his paladins is of purely French origin, and originated in a somewhat similar fashion to the Arthurian cycle; that is to say, there was first a legendary chronicle (in verse, however), entitled Historia de Vita Caroli Magni et Rolandi, erroneously attributed to Turpin or Tilpin, archbishop of Rheims, and contemporary of Charlemagne, but probably executed in the 11th or 12th centuries, then came a series of metrical romances, strictly so called, which were gradually supplanted by their prose counterparts, the authors of which last, however, appear to have diverged more from the metrical originals, and to have been more free and fanciful than their predecessors of the Arthurian cycle. The principal are Huon of Bordeaux (the incidents of which are followed by Wieland in his Oberon), Guerin de Monglave, Gaylen Rhetoré (in which Charle magne and his paladins proceed incognito to the Holy Land), Miles and Ames, Jourdain de Blaves, Doolin de Mayence, Ogier le Danois, and Maugis the Enchanter. In these romances we are, in some respects, on totally different ground from that on which we find ourselves in the Arthurian series. We are transferred to the east-to Africa, Palestine, Arabia, Bagdad, Constantinople, India, Persia, the Caspian sea, etc. We are introduced to the courts of Saracen “princes,” “sultans," and "emirs;" and see Mohammedan maidens of peerless beauty falling in love with Christian knights, and for their sakes abandoning, or even betraying father, mother, brethren, and kinsmen. Fairies, who figure but slightly in the Arthurian romances, play a frequent and an important part in these; demons, dervishes, apes, talismans, palaces with cupolas and gilded roofs, splendid jewels, diamonds, etc.—everything, in fact, shows the influence exercised on the imagi. nation of western Europe by the glowing scenery, the brilliant life, and the gorgeously fanciful superstitions of oriental lands.
The series relating to Amadis de Gaul and his descendants is sufficiently characterized under the head of Amadis (q.v.). We may only observe, as a proof of the comparative lateness of their composition, that the “Saracens" of the French romances here give place to “Turks;" and as the eyes of Europe were turned toward the tottering Greek empire, many of the scenes of warfare are laid at Constantinople.
Besides the three distinct series of romance above-mentioned, a fourth, perhaps, deserves mention, in which the heroes of antiquity are grotesquely tricked out in the costume of mediæval knights. The exact date of their composition cannot be ascertained; but they were probably later in general than any of the other three series; and, at any rate, were for the most part not published till the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. The principal are the romance of Jason and Medea, of Hercules, of Edipus, and of Alexander. They are all written in French, and the first two profess to be the work of a Raoul le Febre. An attempt is made to adhere, in the general outline of the stories, to the ancient myths, but most marvelous embellishments are added, such as only the middle ages could have conceived; while the transformations that the classical personages undergo are exceedingly ludicrous. Jove becomes a "king;” Mercury his “squire;" the fates duennas;" Cerberus and the sphinx, “giants;" etc.
Before leaving this division of our subject we would observe that, though the romances of chivalry may appear infinitely tedious and absurd to a modern reader, they were immensely relished and admired during the ages in which they were produced; were widely disseminated, in different forms, throughout all Christendom, and were highly popular with later poets. The influence which they exercised on Pulci, Boiardo, Tasso, Spenser, etc., shows the strong hold that they must have had on the imagination of Europe; but, with the decline of chivalry, the spread of the more rational and artistic fictions of the Italian novelists, the revival of letters, and the general advancement in civilization of Christendom, the taste for the romances of chivalry also declined, until finally Cervantes laughed them out of literature, and well-nigh out of memory, in the beginning of the 17th century.
3. Development and Influence of Fiction in Italy.—The Italians originated no romances of the kind described above. This resulted from various causes, the principal of which perhaps are: 1st, that they were really not a Gothic, but at least a semi-classic people; 2d, that they were more polished than the northern nations; and 3d, that instead of feudal chivalric institutions, the most characteristic political features of Italy, during the middle ages, were mercantile and lettered republics. There was what may be roughly called a middle class-of merchants—in Italy, when England and France and Spain contained really little more than nobles and serfs; and these were really the best instructed and the most enlightened portion of the community. Hence it is but natural that we should find & style of fiction mirroring to some extent this more civilized and sober form of social life. That the classical romances had some influence on the development of Italian fiction is probable; several of the tales recorded in the love-letters of Aristinetus, and in the Golden A88 of Appuleius, are quite like what we read in Boccaccio and others. The fables of Pilpai or Bidpai (q.v.), translated into Latin as early as the 13th c., were also not without à certain effect; but it is to the Arabico-Indian book of the seven counselors (better known as The Tales of the Seven Wise Masters), still more to the stories of Petrus Alphonsus (whose work is entitled De Clericale Disciplina), and the Gesta Romanorum (q.v.), a grotesque jumble of classical stories, Arabian apologues, and monkish legends, in the disguise of romantic fiction; but most of all perhaps to the Contes and Fabliaux (q.v.) of the French poets, that we must look for the first sources of those almost innumerable novelletti which mark the earlier literary history of Italy.
The earliest Italian work of this sort is the Cento Novelle Antiche, commonly called Il Novellino. It is a compilation by different hands—all unknown—of stories floating about, or taken with modifications from the sources above-mentioned, with one or two of the more graceful episodes in the romances of chivalry, and was executed towards the close of the 13th century. It was followed in 1358 by the Decameron of Boccaccio (q.v.) —the finest, in point of humor, sentiment, and style, of the whole 'set, but not more original in the matter of story than 11 Novellino. Its influence on early European literature was prodigious. Chaucer and Shakespeare in England have been in particular greatly indebted to it for incidents and plots; while in France-from whose frouvères he had himself derived so much-Boccaccio had a number of distinguished imitators. In his own country his influence was so overwhelming that for some centuries Italian novelists could do nothing more than attempt to copy him. The principal of these imitators are Franco Sacchetti (1335–1410), Ser Giovanni (who began to write his novelletti in 1378, from which Molière got the plot of his Ecole des Femmes, and Shakespeare probably part of his story of the Merchant of Venice—though the story of the bond is far older, and is of Persian origin-Chaucer is also indebted to this Italian); Massuccio di Salerno (filor. about 1470), more original than most of the post-Boccaccian novelists; Sabadino delli Arienti (flor. about 1483); Agnolo Firenzuolo; Luigi da Porta; Molza, and Giovanni Brevio (for, at the close of the 15th and in the first half of the 16th c.); Girolamo Parabosco (for. 1550); Marco Cademoste da Lodi (1544); and Giovanni Giraldi Cinthio (died 1573), noted particularly for his extravagant employment of sanguinary incidents, and the introduction of scenes of incredible atrocity and accumulated horrors. The seventh of his third decade of stories contains the story of Othello, the Moor of Venice; the plot of Measure for Measure was also derived indirectly from him. Cinthio was, in fact, the greatest favorite of all the Italian novelists with the Elizabethan dramatists. Besides these, we may further mention Antonio Francesco Grazzini (died 1583); Straparolo (wrote 1554 et seq.) from whom Molière, and also the French writers of fairy tales, derived numerous hints; while the ludicrous incident embodied in the Scottish song of The barrin' o' our door forms one of the stories of this writer; Bandello (died 1555), the most widely known and read (out of Italy) of all the Italian novelists next to Boccaccio, and in whom we find the original of Massinger's play of The Picture, and of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; Granucci (published 1574); Malespini (published 1609); and Campeggi (early part of 17th c.). The best French imitations of these Italian tales are the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles (printed 1456, and translated into English under the title of the Hundreth Mery Tayles, 1557). They are full of life, gayety, and imagination, and are written in a most naive and agreeable manner; and the leptameron of Margaret, queen of Navarre, from which Shirley, the English dramatist, has taken the plots of two of his comedies.
A few words may also be devoted here in passing to a very different class of fictiori -the Spiritual Romance. It originated, without doubt, in the bosom of the church, and from the desire to edify, by stories of religious knight-errantry, a rude and ignorant community, incapable of understanding or relishing abstract doctrines. The first of the series is Barlaam and Josaphat, already alluded to; but by far the greatest work of the kind produced during the middle ages is the Legenda Aurea, or Golden Legend (q.v.), itself believed to be drawn from different and now partly forgotten sources. Besides these may be mentioned a species of spiritual tale—the Contes Dévots, prevalent in France during the 12th and 13th c., and which were written by monks, probably with the view of counteracting the witty and licentious stories of the Trouvères; but curiously enough, in these pious fictions, the lives of monks and nuns are represented as far more immoral than in those of the secular satirists. The things, too, which the virgin Mary is represented as doing are most astounding, and throw a strange but valuable light upon the religious notions of the age. In one story she conceals the shame of a favorite nun; in another, she performs the part of a procuress; in a third, she officiates as midwife to an abbess who had been frail and imprudent; and in general, she performs the most degrading offices for the most worthless characters.
Romance of the 16th and 17th Centuries.-During the middle ages, the universal sway of the church and the institutions of feudalism gave a certain character of uniformity to the modes of life, and thereby to the social literature of western Europe; but after the epoch of the reformation, and even earlier, this uniformity disappears, and we find in every direction a tendency to the opposite extreme of individualism. This tendency manifests itself especially in the fiction of the period, which, vastly increasing in quantity and varying in quality, becomes difficult to classify: We shall, however, endeavor to group the products of modern prose-fiction works under what appears to us a convenient chronological heading.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, four different kinds of romance or novel were cultivated-1. The Comic Romance; 2. The Political Romance; 3. The Pastoral Romance; 4. The Heroic Romance.
Comic Romance substantially begins in modern times with Rabelais (q.v.), styled by sir William Temple the father of ridicule. Others, indeed, had preceded him in the same path, but they had acquired no celebrity. In him we see unmistakably one form of the modern spirit-its daring freedom of speculation, criticism, and satire, also that lack of reverence exhibited by those who, at the period of the reformation, clearly discerned the abuses of the church, but had not faith in the possibility or efficacy of reforms. Thus Rabelais, in his inimitable burlesque romance, scoffs (with the tone of a skeptic, however) at the vices of the clergy, the crooked ways of politicians, the jargon of philosophers, and the absurdities of the Contes Dévots, and of the .mediæval tales generally. The next remarkable romance of a comic nature is the Vita di Bertoldo of Julio Cesare Croce (flor, at the close of the 16th c.), a work recounting the humorous and successful exploits of a clever but ugly peasant, and regarding which we are told that for two centuries it was as popular in Italy as Robinson Crusoe or the Pilgrim's Progress in England. The substance of the story can be traced back to an oriental source. А few years later appeared Don Quixote (see CERVANTES), in which “war to the knife” was proclaimed against the romances of chivalry, and in which, perhaps, we see more distinctly than in any other fiction of the period the new turn that the mind of western Europe had taken. Almost contemporaneous with Don Quixote was another Spanish romance—Matteo Aleman's Life of Guzman Alfarache, successively beggar, swindler, pander, student, and galley-slave. In this work, as in others of the same sort, we find several indications of the influence of the Italian novelists. It has been supposed that Guzman Alfarache suggested to Le Sage the idea of Gil Blas, and there is some resemblance between the two; but, at any rate, it gave birth to a host of Spanish romances with beggars and scamps for heroes, of which the best is the Lazarillo de Tormes, by Diego de Mendoza (1586). In the following century France produced, among others, Scarron's Roman Comique, and Furetiere's Roman Bourgeois. England and Germany have nothing to show in this department.
Political Romance was manifestly suggested partly by the great politico-ecclesiastical changes that took place in Europe in the first half of the 16th C., and partly by the immense increase in the knowledge of the manners and customs of remote nations, occasioned by geographical discoveries and mercantile adventure. The earliest of the series is the Utopia of sir Thomas More; next comes the Argenis of Barclay, published in 1621; and to the same class belong a variety of French romances produced about the close of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th c., of which by far the most famous is the Télémaque of Fénelon.
Pastoral Romance.-All through the middle ages, the fame of Virgil kept up a certain interest in compositions devoted to the delineation of rustic or shepherd life. We even find in the poems of the troubadours several specimens of the erotic pastoral; and the Ameto of Boccaccio furnishes us with a prose illustration of the same. But it was after the revival of letters that this branch of fiction, so essentially classical, was most assidu. ously cultivated by men of scholarly genius; and though their works have not retained the popularity they originally enjoyed, they are still interesting and valuable from an historical point of view, and abound in descriptive passages of great beauty and sweetness. The pastoral life which they portray, however, never existed either in Greece or elsewhere. Their shepherds and shepherdesses are as unreal and unhistorical beings as the knights of mediæval romance. The first important work of the kind is the Arcadia of Sannazzaro, written in Italian, about the end of the 15th century. It was followed by the Diana of Montemayor, written in Spanish, about the middle of the 16th c., several of the episodes of which are borrowed from the Italian novelists; while Shakespeare has in turn directly taken from it the plot of the Two Gentlemen of Verona, copying occasionally the very language, as well as some of the most amusing incidents in his Midsummer Night's Dream. The Diana was imitated in French by Honore d'Urfé, whose Astrée (1610-25) was for a long while held in the highest esteem, and is really, in spite of its tediousness, a work of great learning and considerable merit. Twenty years before the appearance of Astrée, sir Philip Sidney wrote and published his Arcadia, as tiresome, and in substance as unreal, as any production of the same school, but in stateliness and melody of language, in luxury of fancy, in nobility and purity of sentiment, far exceeding them all.
Heroic Romance owed its origin partly to the immediate antecedent pastoral romance, partly to an increased acquaintance with classic history, produced by the translation of such books as Plutarch's Lives, and partly to the interest excited in the Moors of Gra. nada by a splendid romance in Spanish (professing, however, to be a history) entitled The Dissensions of the Zegris and the Abencerrages, and was printed at Alcala in 1604, and which soon became extremely popular, especially in France. It was in the latter country alone that the Romans de Longue Haleine (Long-winded Romances), as they have been happily nicknamed, were cultivated. The first of this heavy series was the Polerandre of Gomberville, published in 1632, in which the influence of the early Greek romances is visible. His successor, Calprenede, the best of a bad lot, wrote Cleopatra, Cassandra, and Pharamond. But the most prolific, and consequently the most intolera