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KYNDDELW BRYDYDD MAWR, &c.
(Circa 1194.) Between the years 1194 and 1200 many bards of note flourished, in Wales. Of their productions we have 12 poems by Davydd Benvras, 1 by Einion ap Gwan, 5 by Einion ap Gwalchmai, 6 by Einion Wan, 2 by Gwillym Ryvel, 2 by Gruffydd ap Gwrgeneu, 2 by Gwyrnvardd Brycheiniog, 7 by Llewellyn Vardd, 3 by Seisyll, 6 by Philip Brydydd, 32 by Llywarch ap Llywelyn, commonly called “ Prydgdd y Moch,” and 50 by Kynddelw Brydydd Mawr, or the great poet. The latter was a man of great and varied powers in other respects ; but his poetry, as presented to us by Mr. Stephens, is far inferior to that of Llywarch ap Llewellyn.
LLYWARCH LLEW CAD.
(Circa 1190.) This poet is the author of twelve Englynions in praise of Madoc ap Meredydd, prince of Powys, printed in the Myvyrian Archaiology, which Mr. Stephens considers “ among the most interesting poems of the period. They throw much light upon the military history and habits of the country, shew the influence of the Norman manners in their proximity to the people of Powys, and of the intercourse of the Powysian princes with the English court. In the whole range of our literature we have not as lively a portrait of a chieftain ; the minutest features are noticed, without the general effect being lost sight of; and Llewellyn ap Madoc stands as palpable before us as on canvas. In the easy flow of the language, the minuteness of the description, and the spirit of the whole delineation, we have a collection of merits not frequently to be met with in the works of the bards."
(Circa 1180.) Herman, an Anglo-Norman poet in the reign of Henry II., is the author of various religious poems, now scattered in manuscripts, partly in England and partly in France. They comprise La Vie de Tobit, in 1400 lines, which commence with the Creation Les Joies
de Notre Dame, which contains, among other things, a curious account of ancient Rome; a poetical dissertation, in 800 lines, on the three words, smoke, rain, and woman, which, according to Solomon, drive a man from his house ; a fabulous history of the preaching and miracles of the Magdalen at Marseilles; and a poem in 7000 or 8000 lines, on the history of the Virgin Mary.
(Circa 1220.) Serlo, who, from a canon of York, became a monk of Fountains Abbey, and then of Kirkstall Abbey, where he died about 1120, nearly one hundred years old, is the author of a Latin song or chant on the Battle of the Standard, printed by Twysden in the Decem Scriptores ; of another chant on the death of Sumerled, king of Man (1164); and of three metrical treatises on diction.
There was another Serlo, at about the same time, a monk of Dover, who wrote poems on various subjects.
(Circa 1180.) Boson or Bozun, identified by the Abbé de la Rue as the nephew and secretary of Pope Adrian IV., was an English trouvère, who wrote lives, in Anglo-Norman verse, of nine female saints, and an abridgment, in the same form and language, of the New Testament,
(Circa 1180.) Daniel Churche, called also, by a latinisation of his surname, Ecclesiensis, was a domestic, we know not of what particular description, in the court of Henry II. He wrote in Latin a book of moral distichs, which he called variously Cato Parvus, Facetus, and Urbanus; and which was intended for, and became, a sort of supplement to, or companion of, a poem exceedingly popular at that period, under the name of Disticha Catonis de Moribus ad Filium, or Cato's Morals,
The Latin original, which is distributed into four books, under the name of Dionysius Cato, or frequently Magnus Cato, is of altogether uncertain authorship. It was not written either by Cato the Censor or by Cato of Utica (however perfectly in the character of the former, and though Aulus Gellius has quoted Cato's poem De Moribus), nor is it the work of Seneca or of Ausonius, to both of whom it has been absurdly attributed. It is more ancient than the time of the Emperor Valentinian III., who died 455; less so than Lucan's Pharsalia, since the author, in his second book, commends Lucan. The name of Cato probably became prefixed to these distichs, in a lower age, by the officious ignorance of transcribers, and from the acquiescence of readers equally ignorant, as Marcus Cato had written a set of moral distichs. Whoever was the author, this metrical system of ethics had attained the highest degree of estimation in the barbarous ages. Among Langbaine's manuscripts, bequeathed to the University of Oxford by Anthony Wood, it is accompanied with a Saxon paraphrase. John of Salisbury, in his Polycraticon, mentions it as the favourite and established manual in the education of boys. To enumerate no others, it is much applauded by Isidore the old etymologist, Alcuin, and Abelard; and we must acknowledge that the writer, exclusive of the utility of his precepts, possesses the merit of a nervous and elegant brevity. He is perpetually quoted by Chaucer, commended by Caxton (who also translated it into English) as the “beste boke for to be taught to yonge children in scole ;” and on the restoration of learning in Europe, was illustrated with a commentary by Erasmus, which is much extolled by Luther.
THOMAS OF BEVERLEY.
(Circa 1180.) Thomas, a native of Beverley in Yorkshire, and a monk of the abbey of Fresmont in Picardy, is known as the author of a life, principally in verse, of St. Margaret of Jerusalem, a large portion of which was printed by Manriquez in his Annales Cistercienses, under the year 1187 and some following years.
(Circa 1180.) Gualo, surnamed Brito and Britannus, is the author of some poetical fables against the monks, printed by Flaccus Illyricus,
(Circa 1180.) Hugo Sotovagina, chanter and archdeacon of York in the reign of Henry II., is the author of a Latin poem on the Battle of the Standard, mentioned by Richard of Hexham ; of Latin elegiacs against the degeneracy of the age; and of several short poems, in the same language, against the corruption of the monks.
(Circa 1197.) Walter Mapes, or rather Map, rector of Westbury and archdeacon of Oxford (1197), was a great favourite with Henry II., to whom he was chaplain, and who esteemed him alike for his learning, his wit, and his courtly manners. He was born in Gloucestershire or Herefordshire, of a family that had rendered, he tells us, good service to Henry II.; and he studied in the University of Paris under Gerard la Pucelle (circa 1160). On his return to England he became a favourite at court, and familiar in the household of Thomas Becket, some of his conversations with whom, previous to his attainment of the archiepiscopal see (1162), he himself relates. In 1173 we find Walter Map one of the judges ambulant at the assize at Gloucester; and with the court at Limoges, in attendance, by royal command, upon Peter, archbishop of Limoges. He accompanied the king in his war against his sons, and was sent by him on missions to Louis le Jeune, king of France, and to Pope Alexander III. at Rome; on which occasion he took part in the controversy between his friend Giraldus Cambrensis and Hubert archbishop of Canterbury, respecting the rights of the church of St. David's. On the same occasion, the Lateran Council of 1179, Map (in his De Nugis Curialium Distinctionibus) informs us he was selected to address and argue with the Waldensian deputies, who had been sent to Rome to seek papal authorisation to preach and expound the Scriptures in the vernacular tongue. In 1196, Map, who was already rector of Westbury, canon of St. Paul's, and precentor of Lincoln, was made archdeacon of Oxford. He is supposed to have died about the year 1210. Walter Mapes is known to the lovers of middle-age romance as the composer of various popular legends of that important portion of the cycle of King Arthur and his Knights, comprising the Roman de Lancelot du Lac, the Quête du Saint Graal, and the Roman de la Mort Arthur. Another of his works, the earliest that has been traced, is a jocose treatise against matrimony, in Latin prose, which, after obtaining considerable popularity, was inserted by the author in his De Nugis Curialium Distinctionibus, a singular olio of satire and stories on all sorts of subjects. There are many Latin poems which go under the name of Mapes, but his editor, Mr. Wright, seems to consider that the only production in this class which can positively be identified with him is the Apocalypsis Golic Episcopi, an attack upon the corruptions of the court of Rome, upon monks in general, and upon the Cistercians in particular ; his public indignation against whose vices was materially aggravated-as is not unfrequently the case in such matters—by his private wrath at various encroachments of theirs upon his rectory of Westbury. These attacks are alike remarkable for their polished style, their pungent satire, and their telling humour. The Confessio Goliæ,-a poem in which the hero is introduced making a mock confession of his three vices, the love of women, the love of dice, and the love of wine, and in which occur the lines, by the re-arrangement of which, at a much later period, was formed the capital bacchanalian song:
“Mihi est propositum, in tabernâ mori,” &c.
Mr. Wright does not seem disposed to attribute to our author, observing, that “there is no known circumstance connected with him which could authorise us to look upon him in any other light than as a learned and elegant scholar, a man of good sense, high character, and strict morality.”* The term golias, it may be observed, was applied, in Mapes' time, to indicate a person of gulosity, and reckless cynicism of manners and language.
HUGH OF RUTLAND.
(Circa 1190.) Hugh, a native of Rutland, but settled in Cornwall, at a place which M. De la Rue calls Credinhill, is the author of the romance of Ipomedon, a composition in Anglo-Norman, extending to more than 10,000 lines, and exhibiting ancient fable in a very strange me
* Biographica Britannica Literaria ii. 309.