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des Walther von Lille genannt von Châtillon, zum ersten Male vollständig herausgegeben.' Among these are satirical songs in Latin on the World, and also on Prelates, which, it is said, were sung in England as well as throughout France. Indeed, the second verse of the epitaph already quoted may point to these satires:'Perstrepuit modulis Gallia tota meis."
Here, as in the "Alexandreïs," we encounter the indignant sentiments inspired by the assassination of Becket. The victim is called "the flower of priests," and the king "Neronior est ipso Nerone," which may be translated by Shakespeare's "out-Herods Herod." But these poems, whether by Walter Mapes or Philip Gaultier, are forgotten. The " Alexandreïs" has a different fortune.
The poem became at once famous. It had the success of Victor Hugo or Byron. Its author took rank, not only at the head of his contemporaries, but even among classics of antiquity. Leyser chronicles no less than ninety-nine Latin poets in the twelfth century,2 but we are assured that not one of them is comparable to Gaultier. M. Édélestand du Méril, who has given especial attention to this period, speaks of the "Alexandreïs" as a "great poem," and remarks that its "Latinity is very elegant for the time."4 Another authority calls him" the first of the modern Latin poets who appears to have had a spark of true poetic genius."5 And still another says, that, "notwithstanding all its defects, we must regard this poem, and the Philippis' of William
1 Edélestand du Méril, Poésies Populaires Latines du Moyen Age, pp. 144-163. Wright, Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes.
2 Historia Poetarum et Poematum Medii Evi, pp. 367-763.
3 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XVI. p. 183.
4 Poésies Populaires Latines du Moyen Age, pp. 149, 150.
5 Millin, Magazin Encyclopédique, Tom. II.
of Brittany, which appeared about sixty years later, as two brilliant phenomena in the midst of the thick darkness which covered Europe, from the decline of the Roman Empire to the revival of letters in Italy."1 Pasquier, to whom I have already referred, goes so far, in his chapter on the University of Paris, as to illustrate its founder, Peter Lombard, as having for a contemporary "one Galterus, an eminent poet, who wrote. in Latin verses the life of Alexander, under the title of the 'Alexandreïs,' a great imitator of Lucan"; and the learned writer then adds, that it is in his work that we find a verse often quoted without knowing the author.2 These testimonies show his position among contemporaries; but there is something more.
An anonymous Latin poet of the next century, who has left a poem on the life and miracles of Saint Oswald, calls Homer, Gaultier, and Lucan the three capital heroic poets. Homer, he says, has celebrated Hercules, -Gaultier, the son of Philip,-and Lucan, so he declares, swells the praises of Cæsar; but these heroes deserve to be immortalized in verse much less than the holy confessor Oswald. In England, the Abbot of Peterborough transcribed Seneca, Terence, Martial, Claudian, and the "Gesta Alexandri."4 Even in Iceland there was an early version, edited at a later day by Arnas Magnæus (the Latin for Arne Magnussen), Secretary and Antiquary to the King of Denmark, and Professor in the University of Copenhagen, who, styling the poem the "Gualterian Alexandreïs," characterizes the Icelandic version as "the incomparable mon
1 Michaud, Biographie Universelle, nom. GAULTIER.
2 Recherches de la France, Liv. III. ch. 29: Œuvres, Tom. I. col. 276. 8 Warton, History of English Poetry, Vol. I. p. clxix, Dissertation II. 4 Ibid., p. cxlvi.
ument of Northern antiquity."1 The new poem was studied, even to the exclusion of ancient masters and of Virgil himself. Henry of Ghent, who wrote about 1280, says that it "was of such dignity in the schools of the grammarians that the reading of the ancient poets was comparatively neglected."2 This testimony is curiously confirmed by the condition of the manuscripts that have come down to us, most of which are loaded with glosses and interlinear explanations, doubtless for public use in the schools. It is sometimes supposed that Dante repaired to Paris. It is certain that his excellent master, Brunetto Latini, passed much time there. This must have been at the very period when the new poem was taught in the schools. Perhaps it it may be traced in the "Divina Commedia."
Next after the tale of Troy, the career of Alexander was at this period the most popular subject for poetry, romance, or chronicle. The Grecian conqueror filled a vast space in the imagination. He was the centre of marvel and of history. Every modern literature, according to its development, testifies to this predominance. Even dialects testify, and so does art. Wood engraving is supposed to have been invented in Italy, somewhere about 1285, by the two Cunio, and their earliest work was a representation, in eight parts, of the actions of Alexander, with explanatory verses in Latin beneath the prints. In France, the professors of gram
1 "Veterem Islandicam versionem Alexandreidos Gualterianæ, incomparabile antiquitatis septentrionalis monumentum."— FABRICIUS, Bibliotheca Latina (Venetiis, 1728), Tom. II. p. 256, Lib. IV. c. 2, § 3.
2 Fabricius, Bib. Lat. Media et Infimæ Etatis (Hamburgi, 1735), Tom. III. p. 328. Leyser, Historia Poetarum et Poematum Medii Evi, p. 765.
8 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XV. p. 118.
4 Papillon, Traité Historique et Pratique de la Gravure en Bois, Tom. I. p. 4. Ottley, History of Engraving, Vol. I. pp. 10-21, 255.
mar at Toulouse were directed by statutes of the University, dated 1328, to read to their pupils "De Historiis Alexandri." 1 In England, during the reign of Henry the Third, the sheriff was ordered to procure the Queen's chamber at Nottingham to be painted with the history of Alexander, "Depingi facias historiam Alexandri circumquaque." 2 Chaucer, in his "House of Fame," places Alexander with Hercules, and then again shows the universality of his renown:
"The storie of Alexandre is so commune,
That every wight that hath discretioun
We have the excellent authority of the poet Gray for the remark, that the Alexandrine verse, which" like a wounded snake drags its slow length along," took its name from an early poem in this measure, called "La Vie d'Alexandre." There was also the "Roman d'Alexandre," contemporary with the "Alexandreïs," which Gray thinks was borrowed from the latter, apparently because the authors say that they took it from the Latin. There was also "The Life and Actions of Alexander the Macedonian," originally written in Greek, by Simeon Seth, magister, and protovestiary or wardrobekeeper of the palace at Constantinople, in 1070, and translated from Greek into Latin, and thence into French, Italian, and German.6 Other forms have been perpetuated by the bibliographical care of the Roxburghe Club and the Bannatyne Club. Arabia contrib
1 Warton, History of English Poetry, Vol. I. p. clxix.
2 Madox, History of the Exchequer (London, 1769), Vol. I. p. 377.
3 Book III. 323.
4 The Monk's Tale: Alexander.
5 Observations on English Metre: Works (London, 1843), Vol. V. p. 258,
6 Warton, History of English Poetry, Vol. I. pp. 133, 134.
uted her stories, and the Grecian conqueror became a hero of romance. Like Charlemagne, he had his twelve peers; and he also had a horn to proclaim his word of command, which took sixty men to blow, and was heard sixty miles, being the same which Orlando sounded afterwards at Roncesvalles. That great career, which was one of the epochs of mankind, which carried in its victorious march the Greek language and Greek civilization, which at the time enlarged the geography of the world, opening the way to India, and which Plutarch in his "Morals "makes so Christian, was overlaid by an incongruous mass of fable and anachronism, so that the real story disappeared. Times, titles, and places were confounded. Monks and convents, churches and confessors, were mixed with achievements of the hero; and in an early Spanish History of Alexander, by Juan Lorenzo Segura, we meet such characters as Don Phoebus, the Emperor Jupiter, and the Count Don Demosthenes, and others with the constant prefix of Don; and the mother of Achilles is represented as placing him, when a child, in a convent of Benedictine nuns, thus subjecting the early hero as the later to the same jumble of Heathen and Christian mythology.1
Philip Gaultier, with all his genius, has incongruities and anachronisms; but his poem is founded substantially upon the History of Quintus Curtius, which he has done into Latin hexameters, with the addition of long speeches and some few inventions. Aristotle is represented with a hideous exterior, face and body
1 Poema de Alexandro Magno, Coplas 190, 275, 342, 387; also Prólogo, § 38: Sanchez, Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas anteriores al Siglo XV. (Madrid, 1782), Tom. III.