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exploits of his ancestors were doubtless re- after the ballads had been altogether forgotten, counted and exaggerated. If there were then consulted the chronicle. He was struck by thextant songs which gave a vivid and touching lively colouring of these ancient fictions; he description of an event, the saddest and the transferred them to his pages; and thus we most glorious in the long history of the Fabian find inserted, as unquestionable facts, in a nar. house, nothing could be more natural than that rative which is likely to last as long as the the panegyrist should borrow from such songs English tongue, the inventions of some min. their finest touches, in order to adorn his strel whose works were probably never comspeech. A few generations later the songs mitted to writing, whose name is buried in would perhaps be forgotten, or remembered oblivion, and whose dialect has become obsoonly by shepherds and vine-dressers. But the lete. It must then be admitted to be possible, speech would certainly be preserved in the or rather highly probable, that the stories of archives of the Fabian nobles. Fabius Pictor Romulus and Remus, and of the Horatii and would be well acquainted with a document so Curiatii, may have had a similar origin. interesting to his personal feelings, and would Castilian literature will furnish us with aninsert large extracts from it in his rude chro- other parallel case. Mariana, the classical nicle. That chronicle, as we know, was the historian of Spain, tells the story of the ill-staroldest to which Livy had access. Livy would red marriage which the King Don Alonso at a glance distinguish the bold strokes of the brought about between the heirs of Carrion forgotten poet from the dull and feeble narra- and the two daughters of the Cid. The Cid tive by which they were surrounded, would | bestowed a princely dower on his sons-in-law. retouch them with a delicate and powerful | But the young men were base and proud, cow. pencil, and would make them immortal. ardly and cruel. They were tried in danger,
That this might happen at Rome can scarcely and found wanting. They fled before the be doubted; for something very like this has Moors, and once, when a lion broke out of his happened in several countries, and, among den, they ran and couched in an unseemly others, in our own. Perhaps the theory of hiding-place. They knew that they were de. Perizonius cannot be better illustrated than by spised, and took counsel how they might be showing that what he supposes to have taken avenged. They parted from their father-in-law place in ancient times has, beyond all doubt, with many signs of love, and set forth on a taken place in modern times.
journey with Dona Elvira and Doña Sol. In “History," says Hume, with the utmost gra- a solitary place the bridegrooms seized their vity, “has preserved some instances of Edgar's brides, stripped them, scourged them, and deamours, from which, as from a specimen, we parted, leaving them for dead. But one of the may form a conjecture of the rest." He then house of Bivar, suspecting foul play, had lol tells very agreeably the stories of Elfeda and lowed them in disguise. The ladies were Elfrila; two stories which have a most sus- brought back safe to the house of their father. picious air of romance, and which, indeed, Complaint was made to the king. It was ad. greatly resemble, in their general character, judged by the Cories that the dower given by some of the legends of early Rome. He cites, the Cid should be returned, and that the heirs as his authority for these two tales, the chro- of Carrion together with one of their kindred nicle of William of Malmesbury, who lived in should do battle against three knights of the the time of King Stephen. The great majority | party of the Cid. The guilty youths would of readers suppose that the device by which have declined the combat; but all their shifts Elfeda was substituted for her young mistress, were vain. They were vanquished in the lists, the artifice by which Athelwold obtained the and forever disgraced, while their injured hand of Elfrida, the detection of that artifice, wives were sought in marriage by great the hunting party, and the vengeance of the princes.* amorous king, are things about which there is Some Spanish writers have laboured to no more doubt than about the execution of show, by an examination of dates and circumAnne Boleyn, or the slitting of Sir John Co-stances, that this story is untrue. Such conventry's nose. But, when we turn to William futation was surely not needed; for the narra. of Malmesbury, we find that Hume, in his tive is on the face of it a romance. How it eagerness to relate these pleasant fables, has found its way into Mariana's history is quite overlooked one very important circumstance. clear. He acknowledges his obligations to the William does indeed tell both the stories; but | old chronicles, and had doubtless before him he gives us distinct notice that he does not the “Cronica del famoso Cavallero Cid Ruy warrant their truin, and that they rest on no Diez Campeador," which had been printed as better authority than that of ballads.*
early as the year 1552. He little suspected Such is the way in which these two well- | that all the most striking passages in this known tales have been handed down. They chronicle were copied from a poem of the originally appeared in a poetical form. They twelfth century, a poem of which the language found their way from ballads into an old chroni. and versification had long been obsolete, but cle. The ballads perished; the chronicle re- which glowed with no common portion of the mained. A great historian, some centuries fire of the Iliad. Yet such was the fact
More than a century and a half after the death *"Infamias quas post dicam magis resperserunt can- of Mariana, this grand old ballad, of which one llena." Edgar appears to have been most mercilessly treated in the Anglo-Saxon ballads. Ile was the fa. vourite of the monks; and the monks and minstrels were at deadly feud.
* Mariana, lib. x. cap. 4
The RE can be little doubt that among those parts of early Roman history which had a poetical origin was the legend of Horatius Cocles. We have several versions of the story, and these versions differ from each other in points of no small importance. Polybius, there is reason to believe, heard the tale recited over the remains of some Consul or Praetor descended from the old Horatian patricians; for he evidently introduces it as a specimen of the narratives with which the Romans were in the habit of embellishing their funeral oratory. It is remarkable that, according to his description, Horatius defended the bridge alone, and perished in the waters. According to the chronicles which Livy and Dionysius fol
lowed, Horatius had two companions, swam
safe to shore, and was loaded with honours and rewards. These discrepancies are easily explained. Our own literature, indeed, will furnish an exact parallel to what may have taken place at Rome. It is highly probable that the memory of the war of Porsena was preserved by compositions much resembling the two ballads which stand first in the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. In both those ballads the English, commanded by the Percy fight with the Scots, commanded by the Douglas. In one of the ballads, the Douglas is killed by a nameless English archer, and the Percy by a Scottish spearman: in the other, the Percy slays the Douglas in single combat, and is himself made prisoner. In the former, Sir Hugh Montgomery is shot through the heart by a Northumbrian bowman: in the latter, he is taken, and exchanged for the Percy. Yet both the ballads relate to the same event, and that an event which probably took place within the memory of persons who were alive when both the ballads were made. One of the minstrels says:
two old Roman lays about the defence of the bridge; and that, while the story which Livy has transmitted to us was preferred by the multitude, the other, which ascribed the whole glory to Horatius alone, may have been the favourite with the Horatian house. The following ballad is supposed to have been made about a hundred and twenty years after the war which it celebrates, and just before the taking of Rome by the Gauls. The author seems to have been an honest citizen, proud of the military glory of his country, sick of the disputes of factions, and much given to pining after good old times which had never really existed. The allusion, however, to the partial manner in which the public lands were allotted could proceed only from a plebeian; and the allusion to the fraudulent sale of spoils marks the date of the poem, and shows that the poet shared in the general discontent with which the proceedings of Camillus, after the taking of Veii, were regarded. The penultimate syllable of the name Porsena has been shortened in spite of the authority of Niebuhr, who pronounces, without assigning any ground for his opinion, that Martial was guilty of a decided blunder in the line,
“Hanc spectare manum Porsena non potuit.”
It is not easy to understand how any modern schblar, whatever his attainments may be, and those of Niebuhr were undoubtedly immense, can venture to pronounce that Martial did not know the quantity of a word which he must have uttered and heard uttered a hundred times before he left school. Niebuhr seems also to have forgotten that Martial has fellow culprits to keep him in countenance. Horace has committed the same decided blunder; for he gives us, as a pure iambic line,
“Minacis aut Etrusca Porsena manus.”
Silius Italicus has repeatedly offended in the
same way, as when he says, “Cernitur effugiens ardentem Porsena dextram;"
and again, “Clusinum vulgus, cum, Porsena magne, jubebas.”
A modern writer may be content to err in such company. Niebuhr's supposition that each of the three defenders of the bridge was the representative of one of the three patrician tribes is both ingenious and probable, and has been adopte in the following poem. o
A LAY MADE ABOUT THE YEAR OF THE CITY CCCLX.
1. . Lars PonsEna of Clusium
By the Nine Gods he swore That the great house of Tarquin
Should suffer wrong no more. By the Nine Gods he swore it,
And named a trysting day, And bade his messengers ride forth, East and west and south and north,
To summon his array.
No hunter tracks the stag's green path
Up the Ciminian hill; Unwatched along Clitumnus
Grazes the milk-white steer; Unharmed the water-fowl may dip In the Volsinian mere.
. 8. The harvests of Arretium
This year old men shall reap; This year young boys in Umbro
Shall plunge the struggling sheep; And in the vats of Luna,
This year, the must shall foam Round the white feet of laughing girls
Whose sires have marched to Rome.
East and west and south and north • The messengers ride fast, And tower and town and cottage
Have heard the trumpet's blast. Shaine on the false Etruscan
Who lingers in his home, When Porsena of Clusium
Is on the march for Rome.
Are pouring in amain
From many a fruitful plain; .
Which, hid by beech and pine, Like an eagle's nest hangs on the crest
of purple Apennine;
From lordly Volaterræ,
Where scowls the far-famed hold Piled by the hands of giants
For god-like kings of old; From seagirt Populonia,
Whose sentinels descry Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops
Fringing the southern sky;
There be thirty chosen prophets,
The wisest of the land, Who alway by Lars Porsena
Both morn and evening stand: Evening and morn the Thirty
Have turned the verses o'er, Traced from the right on linen white By mighty seers of yore.
10. And with one voice the Thirty
Have their glad answer given: “Go forth, go forth, Lars Porsena,
Go forth, beloved of Heaven;
To Clusium's royal dome,
11. And now hath every city
Sent up her tale of men:
The horse are thousands ten.
Is met the great array,
Were ranged beneath his eye, And many a banished Roman,
And many a stout ally; And with a mighty following
To join the muster came The Tusculan Mamilius, Prince of the Latian name.
13. But by the yellow Tiber
Was tumult and affright:
To Rome men took their flight. A miie around the city, • The throng stopped up the ways:
From the proud mart of Pisæ,
Queen of the western waves, Where ride Massilia's triremes
Heavy with fair-haired slaves; From where sweet Clanis wanders
Through corn, and vines, and flowers; From where Cortona lifts to heaven Her diadem of towers.
6. Tall are the oaks whose acorns
Drop in dark Auser's rill; Fat are the stags that champ the boughs
of the Ciminian hill; Beyond all streams Clitumnus
Is to the herdsman dear;
The great Volsinian mere.
But now no stroke of woodman
Is heard by Auser's rill,