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He was consequently a few years older than Chaucer, whom he survived eight years. Gower was a member of a knightly family, an esquire of Kent, and possessed of estates in several counties. In 1368 the daughter and co-heiress of Sir Robert Gower of Multon, in Suffolk, conveyed to the poet the manor of Kentwell. In 1399 Gower had, as he himself states, become old and blind. He made his will in August 1408, and must have died shortly afterwards, as luis widow administered to his effects in October of that year. From his will it appears that the poet possessed the manors of South well in Nottinghamshire, and Multon in Suffolk. He also left his widow à sum of £100, and made various bequests to churches and hospitals. He was interred in the church of St. Mary Overies—, now St. Saviour's- in Southwark, where he had founded a chantry. His monument, containing a full-length figure of the poet, is stiil preserved, and was repaired in 1832 by the Duke of Sutherland, head of the ancient family of Gower, settled in Yorkshire so early as the twelfth century. * The principal works of Gower were the 'Speculum Meditantis,' the Vox Clamantis,' and the Confessio Amantis, 1393. The first of these was in French, but is now lost; the second is in Latin, and the third in English. This English poem was printed by Caxton in 1483, and was again printed in 1532 and 1554. It was chiefly taken from a metrical version in the l'antheon,' or 'Universal Chronicle of Godfrey of Viterbo,' as admitted by Gower. In this work is the story of Appolinus, the Prince of Tyre, from which Shakspeare took part of the story of his ‘Pericles,' if we assume that Shakspeare was the original or sole author of that drama. The

Confessio Amantis' is a dialogue between a lover and his confessor ---a grave discussion of the morals and metaphysics of lovę. Dr. Pauli, the able editor of the poem (1857), describes it as a mixture of classical notions, principally borrowed from Ovid, and of the purely medieval idea, that, as a good Catholic, the unfortunate lover must state his distress to a father confessor.' In the poem Venus is enjoined to‘greet well’ Chaucer,

As my disciple and my poete; and the greater poet inscribed his “ Troilus and Cressida' to his friend as ' moral Gower,' a designation which has ever since been applied to him. The general style of the Confessio Amantis' is grave and sententious, and its enormous length (above thirty thousand lines) renders it tedious; but it is occasionally relieved by stories and episodes drawn from medieval history and romance, and from the col. lection of novels kuown as the 'Gesta Romanorum.' He says:

It was supposed that there was some relationship between the poet and this noble family, and stress was laid upon the possession of a MS, of the Confessio Amantis, which was believed to have been presented to an ancestor of the Yorkshire Gowers by the poet. The genealogists, however, find a branch to which this alleged alliance can be traced. and the MS. turns out to be the very copy of the work which the author pre sented to Henry IV. while Duke of Lancastera rare and precious volume.

Full oft time it falleth so

For when I of their loves read, My ear with a good pittance

Mine car with the tale I fced : Is fed, with reading of romance

And with the lust of their histoire, Of Isodyne and Amadas

Sometimes I draw into menoire That whilom were in my case;

How sorrow may not ever lett, And eke of other many a score,

And so hope cometh in at last. That loved long ere I was bore:

Story of the Caskets.-From 'Confessio Amantis,' Book V. In a cronique this I rede:

The whiche agein him grutched so, Aboute a king, as moste nede

Both of his chanıbre and of his halle, Ther was of knyghtes and sqniers

Anon and sent for hem alle; Great route, and eke of offlcers :

Aud seidé to him in this wise: Some of long time him had hadden served, There shall no man his hap despise: And thoughten that they have deserved I wot well ye have longe served, Avancement, and gon withoute:

And God wot what ye have deserved ; And some also ben of the route,

But if it is along ou ne That comen but awhile agon

Of that ye unavanced be, And they advanced were anon.

Or elies if it belong on yow, These old men, upon this thing,

The sothé shall be provid now: So as they durst, agein the king,

To stoppé with ycur evil word, Among hemself (!) compleignen ofte : Lo! here two cofres on the board; But there is nothing said so softe,

Chese (11) which you list of bothé two; That it ne comith out at laste :

And witеth well that one of tho
The king it wiste, and als so faste, Is with tresor so full begon,
As he which was of high prudénce: That if ye huppé theruron
He shope therfore an evidence

Ye shall be riché men for ever:
Of hem (2) that pleignen in the cas,

Now chese, and take which you is lover, To knowe in whose defalte it was; But be well ware ere that ye take, And all within his owne entent,

For of that one I undertake That non ma wisté what it ment.

Ther is no maner good therein, Anon he let two cofres make

Wherof ye might n profit winne. Of one semblance, and of one make, Now goth (14) together of Olie assent, So lich, (3) thai no lif thilke throwe, And taketh your avisement; That one may fro that other knowe: For, but I you this day avance, Thy were into his chamber brought, It stant upou your owné chance, But no man wot why they be wrought, Al only iu defalte of grace; And natheles the king hath Bede

So shall be shewed in this place That they be set in privy stede,

Upon you all well afy1, (13) As he that was of wisdom slih;

That lo defalté shall be lyn. Whan he therto his tine sih, (4)

They knelen all, ard with one vois All prively, that none it wiste',

The king they thoukt1 of this chois: His owné hondes that one chiste

And after that tin y up arise, Of fin gold, and of fin perie, (6)

And gou aside, and hem avise, The which out of his tresorie

And at laste they accorde
Was take, anon he fild full;

(Wherof her (14) tale to recorde
That other cofre of straw and mull (6) To what issue th y be falle)
With stones meynd (7) he fild also: A knyglit shall speké for hem alle:
Thus be they full bothé two.

He kneleth doun unto the king,
So that erliche (8) upon a day

And seith that they upon 11:is thiug, He had within, where he lay,

Or for to winne, or for to lere, (15) Ther should be tofore his bed

Ben all avised for to chese, A bord up set and fairé spred:

Tho (16) toke this knyght a yerd (17) on And than lie let the cofres fette (9)

honde, l'pon the bord, and did hem sette.

And goth there as the cofres storde, He knewe the names well of tho, (10) And with assent of everychone (18)

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He leith his yerde upon one,

This king than, in the same stedé,
Aud seith (1) the king how thilke same Anon that other cofre undede,
They chese in reguerdon (2) by name, Wher as they sihen gret richesse,
And preith him that they might it have. Wel more than they couthen gesse.

The king, which wolde his honor save, Lo! seith the king, now may ye se
When he had heard the common vois, That ther is no defalte in me;
Hath granted hem her owne chois, Forthy (4) my self I wol aquite,
And toke hem therupon the keie;

And bereth

ye your owné-wite (5) But for he woldé it were seie (3)

Of that (6) fortune hath you refused. What good they have as they suppose, Thus was this wise king excused: He bade anon the cofre unclose,

And they lefte off her evil speche, Which was fulfild with straw and stones: And mercy of her king beseche. Thus be they served all at ones.

SCOTTISH POETS. The language of the Lowland districts of Scotland was based, like that of England, on the Teutonic, and it had, like the contemporary English, a Norman admixture. The names of places, however, and the permanent features of the country-the mountains, lakes, and rivers—are mostly Celtic. Some were modified; Strathclyde became Clydesdale, and Strathnith and Strathannan became Niihsdale and Annandale. In some instances, the Celtic kil, a cell or chapel, was supplanted by the Saxon kirk, as Kirkpatrick for Kilpatrick; but kil is still the most common prefix—as Kilmarnock, signifying the chapel of Marnoch, a famous Scottish saint. The oldest Scotch writing extant is a charter by Duncan II. in 1095. A few years before this, a new era began with Malcom Canmore. What is cailed the Scoto. Saxon period of Scotiish history commences. New races appear; Northumbrian nobles and their vass::ls, Norman knights and Flemisli artisans, enter Scotland; not rapidly at first, but by a continued steady migration. The Saxon policy of Malcolm Canmore was carried out by his sons; and after half a century or more of continued colonisation, we find the Norman nobles-the Bruces, Baliols, tewarts, Cummings, Douglases, Murrays, anıt Dunbars--seated in Scotland, and the Saxon language, laws, and ecclesiastical government naturalised, as it were, in the North. As the English or Teutonic portion of the language did not fall out of court favour in Scotland as in England, it long continued in the north with little change. The oldest fragment of Scottish poetry has been preserved by Wyntoun, and is of it plaintive cast: Quhen Alysander oure kyng was dede Oure golde wes changyd into lede That Scotland led in luwe and le. (1) Cryst borne into virgynyte, Away wes sons (8) of ale and brede, Succor Scotland and remede, Of wyne and wax, of gaymn and gle; That stad (9) is in perplexyte.

After the battle of Bannockburn (June 24, 1314), the Scots, “inflamed with pride anı derision of the English,' as Fabian the chronicier states, made this rhyme, which was ' after many days sung in the dances and carols of tie maidens and minstrels of Scotland:' 1 Sayeth to the ring. 2 As their reward 3 Seen. 4 Therefore,

7 Love and law.

8 Plenty 9 Standing. King Alexander died March 16, 1286.

5 Blame,

6 That is, that which.

Maydens of Englande, sore may ye morne
For your lemaus ye have loste at Bannockysborne

With heave alow !
What, weneth the kynge of Englande
So soone to have Scotlande?

With rumbylow!


Contemporary with Chaucer and Gower was the northern minstrel, JOHN BARBOUR. The date of his birth is unknown, but he is found exercising the duties of archdeacon of Aberdeen in 1357. That he was a man of talent and learning may be assumed from his having been chosen by the bishop of Aberdeen to act as his commissioner at Edinburgh when the ransom of David il. was debated ; and also from the circumstance that be twice visited England with scholars, for the purpose of studying at Oxford (1357 and 1364); that in 1365 he obtained a passport to travel through England with six comp:1nions on horseback towards St. Denis and other sacred places;' and that in 1368 he again received permission to travel through England with two servants. At home, Barbour enjoyed royal favour. In 1373, he was clerk of audit of the household of King Robert II , ani! one of the auditors of exchequer. In 1375, his epic poem, "The Bruce,' was in progress. In 1377, a sum of ten pounds was paid to Barbour by the king's command, as the first reward, it would seem, for the composition of the poem. This gift was followed, at the interval of a few months, by a grant to Barbour from the king of a perpetual annuity of twenty shillings. Barbour wrote another poem, now lost, called 'The Brut,' relating the descent and bistory of the Stuaris from the fabulous King Brut, or Brutus. His reward for this second work seems to have been a pension for life of ten pounds a year. The pension was payable in two moieties-one at Whitsunday, the other at Martinmas. The last payment which Barbour received was at Martinmas 1394--so that he must have died between that date and Whitsunday 1395. The precise day of his death was probably the 13th of March, on whichi day Barbour's anniversary continued to be celebrated in the cathedral church of St. Machar, at Aberdeen, until the Reformation--the expenses of the service being defrayer from the perpetual annuity granted to the father of Scottish poetry by the first of the Stuart kings, in 1378, ^ pro compilacione Libri de Gestis illustrissimi principis quondam Domini Regis Roberti de Brus. Barbour's poem of 'The Bruce' is valuable as a monument of our early language, and as a storehouse of historical incidents. But th ugh he set himself to write a 'soothfast story,' the poet begins by departing widely from history. He confounds Bruce the grandfather with Bruce the grandson, and makes him reject the crown said to have been offered to him by Edward I.! Of course, he also conceals the fact, that the grandson had sworn fealty to Edward, and done homage to Baliol. He desired to present in Bruce

a true hero and patriot trampling down oppression and vindicating the sacred rights of his country, and all that could militate against this design was excluded. Almost all the personal traits and adventures of Bruce--whatever gives individuality, life, and color to his history-will be found in the pages of Barbour. The old poe's nar: rative of the wanderings, trials, sufferings, and fortitude of the monarch; the homely touches of tenderness and domestic feeling interspersed, as well as the knightly courtesy and royal intrepid bearing, which he paints in lively colors, have tended greatly to endear and perpetuate the name of the Scottish sovereign The characters and exploits of Bruce's brave associates, Randolph and Douglas, are also finely drawn; and the poem contains many vividly descriptive passages, and abounds in dignified and pathetic sentiment. Humourit has none. The language is fully as intelligible as that of Chaucer. It does not appear that the Scottish poet had seen the works of his southern contemporary. One would have wished that the bards had met, each the representative of his country's literature, and each enjoying the favour and bounty of liis sovereign. Barbour's poem, we may add, is in the octo-syllabic verse, and consists of about 14,000 lines. It has been well edited by Dr. Jamieson (1820) and by Professor Cosmo Innes (1856).

Apostrophe to Freedom.
Alfredome is a nobill thing!

Na he, thut ay hase levyt fre,
Fredome mayse man to haiff liking! May nocht knaw weill the propryte, (1)
Fredome ail solace to man giffis ;

The angyr, na the wrechyt dome,
He levys at ese that frely livys!

That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome. (2)
A noble hart may haiff nane ese,

Bot gyff he had assayt it,
Na ellys nocht that may him plese, Than all perquer (3) he suld it wyt;
Gyff fredome failythe : for fre liking And suld think fredome mar to pryse
Is yearnyt our all othir thing

And all the gold in warld that is. Barbour makes no mention of Wallace. So ardent a worshipper of freedom might have been expected to strike a note in honour of one who sacrificed life itself in pure devotion to that cause. But to recall Wallace would bave jarred with his unqualified eulogy of Bruce, and was not necessary towards the unity of his design. His poem begins with the story of the Bruce, and ends with the burial of his heart at Melrose.

In the subsequent extracts from Barbour and Wyntoun, the cumbrous spelling is reduced, without interference with the rhythm or obsolete words.

Bruce's Address to his Army at Bannockburn. Ou Sunday then, in the morning,

Or then to make their country free! Weil soon after the son rising,

To God for their right prayed they : They heard their mass commonaly ; Their diued nane of them that day; And mony them shrave (4) full devoutly, But, for the vigil of Sanct Jhane, That thocht to die in that melée,

They fasted, water and bread ilk ane. 1 Quality or nature,

2 Thraldom. \ 3 Exactly (Fr. par caur, by heart, )

4 Made confession

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