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sades, might not only be of some interest as mere matter of research, but as bearing upon the comparative progress of the contending parties in civilization. We are very much inclined to fear the balance would greatly preponderate in favor of the Mussulman, whose valor was comparatively little tinctured with savage bigotry, and was nearly, if not altogether, political, and confined to resisting attacks upon his empire. We find no Mahometan revelling in rapture, like the European chronicler, at the blood and slaughter of his opponents: far less were they disgraced by such atrocious orgies as the romance of Cœur de Lion records, when it describes Richard's banquet on a "Saracen young and fat."

Christian history has recorded the benevolent conduct of Camel, Sultan of Cairo, (who, when the army of Pelagius, after committing the most horrible and cool-blooded massacre, was in his power, shed tears of pity over it, and opened his granaries to its relief,) and the equally noble conduct of his successor, to St. Louis. We are not, therefore, surprised to find that Mandeville, after all the political and religious animosity which so many outrages might be supposed to have engendered, no where, in the course of his long journey through the very scene of the war, complains of any ill usage on the part of the Mussulman powers, either towards himself or their Christian subjects. On the contrary, though every where avowing his faith, and refusing all temptations to abandon it, we find him received with that honor and attention which it would certainly have been very hazardous for any paynim adventurer to look for in Europe. He particularly tells us of the many Christian sects who, for all that appears, dwelt peaceably under Saracen dominion, and were certainly indulged in greater latitude of opinion than was likely to have been allowed them in any country, even of their Christian brethren in the west. is himself (though glorying on all occasions in his own belief) candid to others, and in no respect partaking of the exclusive spirit of a much later age.


"And yee schulle undirstonde, that of alle theise contrees, and of alle theise yles, and of all the dyverse folk, that I have spoken of before, and of dyverse lawes, and of dyverse beleeves that thei han; yit is there non of hem alle, but that thei han sum resoun within hem and understondinge, but gif it be the fewere: and that han certeyn articles of oure feithe and sume gode poyntes of our beleeve: and that thei beleeven in God, that formede alle thinges and made the world; and clepen him God of Nature, aftre that the Prophete seythe, Et metuent eum omnes fines terræ: and also in another place, Omnes gentes servient ei: that is to seyn, alle folk schalle serven him. But yit thei cone not speken perfytly; (for there is no man to techen hem) but only that thei cone devyse be hire naturelle wytte. For thei han

no knouleche of the Sone, ne of the Holy Gost: but thei cone alle speken of the Bible: and namely of Genesis, of the Prophete's lawes, and of the Bokes of Moyses. And thei seyn wel, that the creatures, that thei worschipen, ne ben no Goddes: but thei worschipen hem, for the vertue that is in hem, that may not be, but only be the grace of God. And of Simulacres, and of Ydoles, thei seyn, that there ben no folk, but that thei han Simulacres; and that thei seyn, for we Cristene men han ymages, as of oure Lady, and of othere Seyntes, that wee worschipen; not the Ymages of tree or of ston, but the Seyntes, in whoos name thei ben made aftre. For righte as the bokes of the Scripture of hem techen the Clerkes, how and in what manere thei schulle beleeven, ryghte so the ymages and the peyntynges techen the lewed folk to worschipen the Seyntes, and to have hem in hire mynde; in whoos name that the ymages ben made aftre. Thei seyn also, that the Aungeles of God speken to hem in the Ydoles, and that thei don manye great myracles. And that thei seyn sothe, that there is an Aungele within hem: for there ben 2 maner of Aungeles, a gode and an evelle; as the Grekes seyn, Cacho and Calo; this Cacho is the wykked Aungelle, and Calo is the gode Aungelle: but the tother is not the gode Aungelle but the wykked Aungelle, that is withinne the Ydoles, for to disceyven hem, and for to meyntenen hem in hire errour."

The account which he gives of the Mahometan faith is fair -he bears testimony to the superiority of their moral conduct; and the anecdotes which follow, concerning his patron the Sultan of Egypt, do honor to that monarch as a worthy successor of the merciful opponents of Pelagius and St. Louis, and place his political sagacity and activity in a striking point of view.


And therfore I schalle telle you what the Soudan tolde me upon a day, in his chambre. He leet voyden out of his chambre alle maner of men, lordes and othere; for he wolde speke with me in conseille. And there he askede me, how the Cristene men governed hem in oure contree. And I seyde him, righte wel, thonked be God. And he seyde me, treulyche, nay: for yee Christene men ne recthen righte noghte how untrewly to serve God. Ye scholde geven ensample to the lewed peple, for to do wel: and yee geven hem ensample to don evylle. For the Comownes, upon festyfulle dayes, whan thei scholden gon to chirche to serve God, than gon thei to tavernes, and ben there in glottony alle the day and all nyghte, and eten and drynken, as bestes that have no resoun, and wite not whan thei have ynow. And there with alle thei ben so proude, that thei knowen not how to ben clothed; now long, now schort, now streyt, now large, now sworded, now daggered, and in all manere gyses. They scholden ben symple, meke and trewe, and full of almesdede, as Jhesu was, in whom thei trowe: but thei ben alle the contrarie, and evere enclyned to the evylle, and to don evylle. And thei ben so coveytous, that for a lytylle sylver thei sellen here doughters, here susters, and here own wyfes, to putten hem to leccherie. And on withdrawethe the wyf of

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another: and non of hem holdethe feythe to another; but thei defoulen here lawe, that Jhesu Crist betook hem keep, for here salvacioun. And thus for here synnes, han thei lost alle this lond, that wee holden. For, for hire synnes here God hathe taken hem in to oure hondes, noghte only be strengthe of our self, but for here synnes. For wee knowen wel in verry sothe, that whan yee serve God, God wil helpe you: and whan he is with you, no man may be agenst you. And that knowe wee wel, be oure prophecyes, that Cristene men schulle wynnen agen this lond out of our hondes, whan thei serven God more devoutly. But als long als thei ben of foule and of unclene lyvynge, (as thei ben now) wee have no drede of hem, in no kynde: for here God wil not helpen hem in no wise. And than I asked him how he knew the state of Cristene men. And he answerde me, that he knew alle the state of the Comounes also, be his messangeres, that he sent to alle londes, in manere as thei weren marchauntes of precyous stones, of clothes of golde, and of othere thinges, for to knowen the manere of every contree amonges Cristene men. And than he leet clepe in alle the Lordes, that he made voyden first out of his chambre; and there he schewed me four that weren grete Lordes in the contree, that tolden me of my contree, and of many othere Cristerne contrees, als wel as thei had ben of the same contree; and thei spak Frensche righte wel; and the Sowdan also, whereof I had gret marvaylle. Allas! that it is gret sclaundre to oure feythe and to oure lawes, when folk that ben withouten lawe schulle reproven us, and undernemen us of our synnes. And thei that scholden ben converted to Crist and to the lawe of Jhesu, be oure gode ensamples and be oure acceptable lif to God, and so converted to the lawe of Jhesu Crist, ben thorghe oure wykkednesse and evylle lyvynge, fer fro us; and straungers fro the holy and verry beleeve, schulle thus appelen us and holden us for wykkede lyveres and cursed. And treuly thei sey sothe. For the Sarazines ben gode and feythfulle. For thei keepen entierly the comaundement of the holy book Alkaron, that God sent hem be his messager Machomet; to the whiche, as they seyne, seynt Gabrielle the Aungel often tyme tolde the wille of God."

The versions and editions of Mandeville's book are very various, and unequal in execution. It has been printed in all countries as a popular, or as the Germans call it a "folks," book; and of course many of such editions are excessively inaccurate and mutilated.

The one from which our quotations have been made is the English version of 1727, which purports to be printed from "A MS. in the Cottonian Library, (Titus c. XVI.) then about three hundred years of age, and collated with seven MSS., some near as old as the author's time, and from old printed editions." From this book we have not hesitated to make such extracts as the elucidation of our remarks required, (though sometimes going to rather an inconvenient length) when we considered that its language is exceedingly curious, as illustrating the progress of the English tongue in, as is supposed, its earliest prose work.

Of the original composition of the work, our author says:"And yee schulle undirstonde that I have put this boke out of Latyn into Frensche, and translated it agen out of Frensche into Englyssche, that every man of my nacioun may undirstonde it." The French translation, printed at Lyons (without date) by Barnabe Chaussart, of which we have already given a specimen, is not an uncommon book, though very curious, particularly on account of the strange cuts by which it is embellished. At the end are the following lines; from which it pears as if, even in his own time, all our author's narrations were not received as Gospel, notwithstanding the testimony of the Pope and his Cardinals.

"Son me donne peu de louange
Et quon me appelle mensongier
Pourceque mon livre est estrange,
Il ne men chault a brief parler,
Qui ne men croit y peult aller
Ou jay este pour en scavoir,
Et la verite carculer,

Et il dira que je dis voir."


In Italian there are several editions, under various titles: the earliest, we believe, is that of Milan, 1480. A German translation, by Otto von Demeringen, appeared in 1483, and a subsequent imperfect version was published in 1609.

In most of these editions the author has been grievously misused, particularly in the orthography of the names of places; and we should much rejoice to see the correction of the text, and the illustration of his geography and narrative, fall into as able hands as the work of his predecessor, Marco Polo. The literature of the middle ages has scarcely a more entertaining and interesting subject; and to an Englishman it is doubly valuable, as establishing the title of his country to claim as its own the first example of the liberal and independent gentleman, travelling over the world in the disinterested pursuit of knowledge; unsullied in his reputation; honored and respected wherever he went for his talents and personal accomplishments; and, (in the words of the faithful panegyric inscribed on his tomb)

Moribus, ingenio, candore & sanguine clarus."

ART. VI.-Libro chiamato La Spagna. Qual tratta_gli gran fatti et le mirabil battaglie che fece il magnanimo Re Carlo Magno nelle parti della Spagna. Nouamente stampato, & con diligentia ricorretto. In Venetia, appresso Agostin Zoppini & Nepoti. 1599. 8vo.

We have selected a very curious and a very interesting work for the commencement of a series of articles, which we hope, from time to time, to continue, on Italian Literature, and especially on the early Italian Romances.

From the title, it appears, that it relates to the enterprize of Charlemaine and his Paladins against the Moors in Spain; and our readers may judge of the value and rarity of the work, when we state, that it is, in all probability, the earliest Italian poem on that subject, preceding, not merely Ariosto, but Boiardo and Pulci, and all the many anonymous productions of the close of the fifteenth, and of the opening of the sixteenth centuries. * The edition we have used is dated as late as 1599, and is considered one of the best; but all are of most rare occurrence, both in this country and on the continent. Brunet, the French bibliographer, is decidedly of opinion, that it was first printed before 1500; while Blankenburg, in his "Zusatze zu I. G. Sultzer's Allgemeiner Theorie der Schönen Künste," says, that it was first published at Milan, in 1518; and afterwards at Venice in 1568 and 1610; its earliest title being, "Questa si e la Spagna historiata. Incommincia el libro volgare dicto la Spagna in quarante cantare diviso." We have found no precise notice of it by Tiraboschi, Guingené, or Sismondi. We mention these particulars, not because they are important in any point of view, but merely to shew the rarity of the production.

Blankenburg places it among anonymous pieces; but the name of the author, Sostegno di Zinabi of Florence, is given in the last stanza of the poem: regarding him, or his other works, we have been able to discover no particulars. This is the more to be regretted, as his romance of “ La Spagna" is a poem of much invention, and of great poetical merit, even independently of the allowances that ought to be made for the age in which it

It is supposed to have preceded even the following, printed at Venice as early as 1476:-" Altobello e Re Troiano suo Fratello, Histor: nella qual se leze li gran facti di Carlo Magno et di Orlando suo Nipote."

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