THIS volume of
“Mediæval Tales” is in four parts, containing severally, (1) Turpin’s “History
of Charles the Great and Orlando,” which is an old source of Charlemagne
romance; (2) Spanish Ballads, relating chiefly to the romance of Charlemagne,
these being taken from the spirited translations of Spanish ballads published
in 1823 by John Gibson Lockhart; (3) a selection of stories from the “Gesta
Romanorum;” and (4) the old translation of the original story of Faustus, on
which Marlowe founded his play, and which is the first source of the Faust
legend in literature.
of Charles the Great and Orlando” is given from a translation made by Thomas
Rodd, and published by himself in 1812, of “Joannes Turpini Historia de Vita
Caroli Magni et Rolandi.” This chronicle, composed by some monk at an unknown
date before the year 1122, professed to be the work of a friend and secretary
of Charles the Great, Turpin, Archbishop of Rheims, who was himself present in
the scenes that he describes. It was — like Geoffrey of Monmouth’s nearly
contemporary “History of British Kings,” from which were drawn tales of
Gorboduc, Lear and King Arthur — romance itself, and the source of romance in
others. It is at the root of many tales of Charlemagne and Roland that reached
afterwards their highest artistic expression in Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso.”
The tale ascribed to Turpin is of earlier date than the year 1122, because in
that year Pope Calixtus II. officially declared its authenticity. But it was
then probably a new invention, designed for edification, for encouragement of
faith in the Church, war against infidels, and reverence to the shrine of St.
James of Compostella.
Church vouched for the authorship of Turpin, Archbishop
of Rheims, excellently skilled in sacred and profane literature, of a
equally adapted to prose and verse; the advocate of the poor, beloved
of God in
his life and conversation, who often hand to hand fought the Saracens
Emperors side; and who flourished under Charles and his son Lewis to
of our Lord eight hundred and thirty.” But while this work gave
impulse to the shaping of Charlemagne romances with Orlando (Roland)
for their hero, there
came to be a very general opinion that, whether the author of the book
Turpin or another, he too was a romancer. His book came, therefore, to
as the “Magnanime Mensonge,” a lie heroic and religious.
No doubt Turpin’s
“Vita Caroli Magni et Rolandi” was based partly on traditions current in its
time. It was turned of old into French verse and prose; and even into Latin
hexameters. The original work was first printed at Frankfort in 1566, in a
collection of For Chronographers — “Germanicarum Rerum.” Mr. Rodd’s
translation, here given, was made from the copy of the Original given in
Spanheim’s “Lives of Ecclesiastical Writers.”
Publication of the
songs and ballads of Spain began at Valencia in the year 1511 with a collection
by Fernando del Castillo, who on his title-page professed to collect pieces “as
well ancient as modern.” From 1511 to 1573 there were nine editions of this
“Cancionero.” A later collection made between 1546 and 1550 — The “Cancionero
de Romances” — was made to consist wholly of ballads. A third edition of it, in
1555, is the fullest and best known. The greatest collection followed in nine
parts, published separately between 1593 and 1597, at Valencia, Burgos, Toledo,
Alcala, and Madrid. This formed the great collection known as the “Romancero
The chief hero of
the Spanish Ballads is the Cid Campeador; and Robert Southey used these ballads
as material for enriching the “Chronicle of the Cid,” which has already been given
in this Library. Songs of the Cid were sung as early as the year 1147, are of
like date with the “Magnanime Mensonge” and Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “History of
British Kings.” In 1248 St. Ferdinand gave allotments to two poets who had been
with him during the Siege of Seville, and who were named Nicolas and Domingo
Abod “of the Romances.” There is also evidence from references to what “the
juglares sing in their chants and tell in heir tales,” that in the middle of
the thirteenth century tales of Charlemagne and of Bernardo del Carpio were
familiar in the mouths of ballad-singers.
The whole number of
the old ballads of Spain exceeds a thousand, and of these John Gibson Lockhart
has translated Some of the best into English verse. Lockhart was born in 1793,
was the son of a Scottish minister, was educated at the Universities of Glasgow
and Oxford, and was called to the bar at Edinburgh in 1816. Next year he was
one of the keenest of the company of young writers whose genius and lively
audacity established the success of “Blackwood’s Magazine.” Three years later,
in 1820, he married the eldest daughter of Sir Walter Scott. Lockhart’s
vigorous rendering of the spirit of the Spanish Romances was first published in
1823, two years before he went to London to become editor of the “Quarterly
Review.” He edited the “Quarterly” for about thirty years, and died in 1854.
Romanorum” is a mediæval compilation of tales that might be used to enforce and
enliven lessons from the pulpit. Each was provided with its “Application.” The
French Dominican, Vincent of Beauvais, tells in his “Mirror of History” that in
his time — the thirteenth century — it was the practice of preachers to rouse
languid hearers by quoting fables out of Æsop, and he recommends a sparing and
discreet use of profane fancies in discussing sacred subjects. Among the
Harleian MSS. is an ancient collection of 215 stories, romantic, allegorical
and legendary, compiled by a preacher for the use of monastic societies. There
were other such collections, but the most famous of all, widely used not only
by the preachers but also by the poets, was the Latin story-book known as the
“Gesta Romanorum.” Its name, “Deeds of the Romans,” was due to its fancy for
assigning every story to some emperor who had or had not reigned in Rome; the
emperor being a convenient person in the Application, which might sometimes
begin with, “My beloved, the emperor is God.” Perhaps the germ of the
collection may have been a series of applied tales from Roman history. But if so,
it was soon enriched with tales from the East, from the “Clericalis
Disciplina,” a work by Petrus Alfonsus, a baptized Jew who lived in 1106, and
borrowed professedly from the Arabian fabulists. Mediæval tales of all kinds
suitable for the purpose of the “Gesta Romanorum” were freely incorporated,
and the book so formed became a well-known storehouse of material for poetic
treatment. Gower, Shakespeare, Schiller are some of the poets who have used
tales which are among the thirty given in this volume.
Romanorum” was first printed in 1473, and after that date often reprinted. It
was translated into Dutch as early as the year 1484. There was a translation of
forty-three of its tales into English, by Richard Robinson, published in 1577,
of which there were six or seven editions during the next twenty four years. A
version of forty-five of its tales was published in 1648 as “A Record of
Ancient Histories.” The fullest English translation was that by the Rev. C.
Swan, published in 1824. In this volume two or three tales are given in the
earlier English form, the rest from Mr. Swan’s translation, with a little
revision of his English. Mr. Swan used Book English, and was apt to write “an
instrument of agriculture” where he would have said “a spade.” I give here
thirty of the Tales, but of the “Applications” have left only enough to show
how they were managed.
In the volume of this Library, which contains Marlow’s
“Faustus” and Goethe’s “Faust,” reference has been made to the old German
History of Faustus, first published at Frankfort in September 1587, and
reprinted with slight change in 1588. There was again a reprint of it with some
additions in 1589. This book was written by a Protestant in early days of the
Reformation, but shaped by him from mediæval tales of magic, with such notions
of demons and their home as had entered deeply in the Middle Ages into popular
belief. From it was produced within two years of its first publication
Marlowe’s play of “Faustus,” which has already been given, and that English
translation of the original book which will be found in the present volume. It
was reprinted by Mr. William J. Thorns in his excellent collection of “Early
English Prose Romances,” first published in 1828, of which there was an
enlarged second edition, in three volumes, in 1858. That is a book of which all
students of English literature would like to see a third and cheap edition.
TURPIN'S HISTORY OF CHARLES THE GREAT
Turpin’s Epistle to Leopander.
Charles the Great delivered Spain and Gallicia from the Saracens.
the Walls of Pampeluna, that fell of themselves.
the idol Mahomet.
the Churches the King built.
the King’s Return to France, and of Argolander, King of the Africans.
the false Executor.
the War of the Holy Facundus, where the Spears grew.
King Argolander’s Army.
the City of Xaintonge, where the Spears grew.
Argolander’s Flight, and of the King’s Warriors.
the Truce, and of the Discourse between the King and Argolander.
the King’s Banquet, and of the Poor, at whom Argotander took so
Offence that he refused to be Baptized.
the Battle of Pampeluna, and Argolander’s Death.
the Christians that returned unlawfully to Spoil the Dead.
the War of Furra.
the War with Ferracute, and of Orlando’ s admirable Dispute with him.
War of the Masks.
the Council the Emperor summoned; and of his Journey to Compostella.
the Emperor’s Person and Courage.
the Treachery of Ganalon; the Battle of Ronceval, and the
of the Christian Warriors.
the Death of Marsir, and the Flight of Beligard.
the Sound of Orlando’s Horn; of his Confession, and Death.
Orlando’s Rank and Virtue.
Turpin’s Vision, and the King’s Lamentation for Orlando.
the Sun stood still for three Days;
Slaughter of four-thousand Saracens; and the Death of Ganalon.
Embalming of the Dead.
Of the consecrated Cemeteries of Arles and Bordeaux.
Of the Burial of Orlando and
his Companions at Blaye and other Places.
those Buried at Arles.
the Council held al St. Denis.
the King’s Death.
A DISCOURSE OF THE
MOST FAMOUS DR.
OF WITTENBURG, IN
GERMANY, CONJURER AND NECROMANCER;
WHEREIN IS DECLARED
MANY STRANGE THINGS
THAT HIMSELF HAD
SEEN AND DONE IN
THE EARTH AND AIR,
BRINGING UP, HIS
TRAVELS, STUDIES, AND LAST END.
his Parentage and Birth.
How Doctor Faustus began to practise
his devilish Art, and how he conjured the Devil, making him to appear, and meet
him on the morrow-morning at his own House.
Conference of Doctor Faustus, with his Spirit Mephistophiles, the
following at his own House.
second Time of the Spirit’s appearing to Faustus at his Rouse,
third Parley between Dr. Faustus and Mephistophiles about
Dr. Faustus set his Blood in a Saucer on warm Ashes, and
How Mephistophiles came for his
Writing, and in what manner he appeared, and his Sights he showed him; and how
he caused him to keep a Copy of his own Writing.
manner how Faustus proceeded in this damnable Life, and of
the diligent Service that
Mephistophiles used towards him.
Dr. Faustus would have married, and how the Devil had
killed him for it.
Questions put forth by Dr. Faustus
unto his Spirit Mephistophiles.
How Dr. Faustus dreamed that he had
seen Hell in his Sleep, and how he questioned with the Spirit of matters
concerning Hell, with the Spirit’s answer.
The second Question
put forth by Dr. Faustus to his Spirit, what Kingdoms were in Hell, how many,
and what were the Rulers’ names.
Question put forth by Dr. Faustus to his Spirit, concerning his
Lucifer, with the sorrow that Faustus fell afterwards into.
disputation betwixt Dr. Faustus and his Spirit, of the Power
the Devil, and his Envy to Mankind.
How Dr. Faustus desired again of his
Spirit, to know the Secrets and Pains of Hell; and whether those damned Devils,
and their Company, might ever come to the Favour and Love of God again.
Question put forth by Dr. Faustus to his Spirit Mephistophiles
his own Estate.
HERE FOLLOWETH THE
SECOND PART OF DR. FAUSTUS HlS
LlFE AND PRACTICES,
UNTIL HIS END.
A Question put forth by Dr. Faustus
to his Spirit, concerning Astronomy.
Dr. Faustus fell into Despair with himself, for having put a question unto his
Spirit; they fell at Variance, whereupon the Rout of Devils appeared unto him,
threatening him sharply.
Dr. Faustus desired to see Hell, and of the manner how
was used therein.
How Dr. Faustus was carried through
the Air, up to the Heavens to see the whole World, and how the Sky and Planets
ruled; after the which he wrote a Letter to his Friend of the same to Liptzig,
and how he went about the World in eight days.
Dr. Faustus made his Journey through the principal and
famous Lands in the World.
How Dr. Faustus had sight of
a certain Comet that appeared in Germany, and how Dr. Faustus
desired by certain Friends of his to know the meaning thereof
Another Question put forth to Dr.
Faustus concerning the Stars.
How Faustus was asked a Question
concerning the Spirits that vexed Men.
Dr. Faustus was asked a Question concerning the Stars
fell from Heaven.
How Faustus was asked a Question
THIRD AND LAST OF DR. FAUSTUS HlS MERRY CONCElTS, SHOWING AFTER WHAT SORT HE
PRACTISED NECROMANCY IN THE COURTS OF GREAT PRINCES: AND, LASTLY, OF HlS
FEARFUL AND PITIFUL END.
How the Emperor Carolus Quintus requested of Faustus to see some
of his Cunning, whereunto he agreed.
How Dr. Faustus, in the sight of the Emperor, conjured a
Pair of Hart’s Horns upon a Knight’s Head, that slept out at a casement.
How the above-mentioned Knight went
about to be revenged of Dr. Faustus.
How three young Dukes being together
at Wittenburg, to behold the University, requested Faustus to help them at a
Wish to the Town of Muncheon, in Bavaria, there to see the Duke of Bavaria’s
Dr. Faustus borrowed Money of a Jew, and laid his own
in Pawn for it.
How Dr. Faustus deceived the
How Dr. Faustus ate a Load of Hay.
How Dr. Faustus served the Twelve
How Dr. Faustus served the Drunken
How Dr. Faustus sold five Swine for
six Dollars apiece.
How Dr. Faustus played a merry Jest
with the Duke of Anhalt in his Court.
Dr. Faustus, through his Charms, made a great Castle
in the presence of the Duke of
Dr. Faustus, with his Company, visited the Bishop of
How Dr. Faustus kept his Shrovetide.
How Dr. Faustus
feasted his Guests on Ash Wednesday.
Dr. Faustus the Day following was feasted by the Students, and of
merry Jests with them while he was in their Company.
Dr. Faustus showed the fair Helena unto the Students
the Sunday following.
How Dr. Faustus conjured the four
Wheels from the Clowns Waggon.
four Jugglers cut one another’s Heads off, and set them on
and Faustus deceived them.
an old Man, the Neighbour of Faustus, sought to persuade him
mend his Life, and to fall unto Repentance.
Dr. Faustus wrote the second time with his own Blood,
gave it to the Devil.
How Dr. Faustus made a Marriage
between two Lovers.
Dr. Faustus led his Friends into his Garden at Christmas, and
them many strange Sights, in the nineteenth Year.
How Dr. Faustus gathered together a
great Army of Men in his extremity, against a Knight that would have Conjured
him on his own Journey.
How Dr. Faustus used Mephistophiles,
to bring him seven of the fairest Women he could find in all the Countries he
had travelled the twenty Years.
Dr. Faustus found a Mass of Money, when he had consumed
of his Years.
Dr. Faustus made the Spirit of fair Helena of Greece his own
in his twenty-third Year.
Dr. Faustus made his Will, in which he named his Servant
to be his Heir.
Dr. Faustus fell in talk with his Servant, touching his
and the Covenants thereof.
How Dr. Faustus having but one Month
of his appointed Time to come, fell to Mourning and Sorrowing with himself for
his devilish exercise.
Dr. Faustus complained that he should in his lusty Time,
youthful Years, die so miserably.
Dr. Faustus bewailed to thinly on Hell, and the miserable
therein provided for him.
followeth the Miserable and Lamentable End of Doctor Faustus, by
all Christians may take an Example and Warning.
An Oration of Dr. Faustus to the