On the other hand, I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to obliterate chronological references which the effluxion of time has rendered, or may render, misleading. The notes to which it seemed most important to attract attention, as modifying or enlarging some statement in the text, are specially headed 'Notes to Third Edition': but they represent only a small part of the labour which has been expended on the text. I have also again overhauled [Pg xiii] and very considerably enlarged the index; while the amplification of the 'Contents' by subjoining to each chapter-heading a list of the side-headings of the paragraphs it contains, will, I think, be found an advantage.
And so I commend the book once more to readers and to students . Gaston Paris expresses some surprise at my saying 'one of the authors,' and attributes both versions to the Troyes clerk see pp. I can only say that so long as Renart le Contrefait is unpublished, if not longer, such a question is difficult to decide: and that the accepted monograph on the subject that of Wolf left on my mind the impression of plural authorship as probable.
As however M. Scherer, thanks chiefly to the late Mr. Matthew Arnold, enjoys some repute in England, I may give an example of his censure. He accuses me roundly of giving in my thirty dates of Corneille's plays 'une dizaine de fausses,' and he quotes as I do M. As since the beginning, years ago, of my Cornelian studies, I have constantly used that excellent edition, though, now as always, reserving my own judgment on points of opinion, I verified M.
Scherer's appeal with some alarm at first, and more amusement afterwards. The eminent critic of the Temps had apparently contented himself with turning to the half-titles of the plays and noting the dates given, which in ten instances do differ from mine.
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Had his patience been equal to consulting the learned editor's Notices , he would have found in every case but one the reasons which prevailed and prevail with me given by M. Marty-Laveaux himself. The one exception I admit. I was guilty of the iniquity of confusing the date of the publication of Othon with the date of its production, and printing instead of So dangerous is it to digest and weigh an editor's arguments, instead of simply copying his dates.
Had I done the latter, I had 'scaped M. Scherer's tooth.
Scherer in this preface and I need hardly say still more those which occur in the body of the book with reference to a few others of his criticisms were written long before his fatal illness, and had been sent finally to press some time before the announcement of his death. I had at first thought of endeavouring to suppress those which could be recalled.
But it seemed to me on reflection that the best compliment to the memory of a man who was himself nothing if not uncompromising, and towards whom, whether alive or dead, I am not conscious of having entertained any ill-feeling, would be to print them exactly as they stood, with the brief addition that I have not known a critic more acute within his range, or more honest according to what he saw, than M.
Edmond Scherer. March 20, Mediaeval Literature. The Origins 1 Relation of French to Latin. Influence of Latin Literature. Early Monuments. Dialects and Provincial Literatures. Beginning of Literature proper. Chansons de Gestes 10 Origin of Chansons de Gestes. Period of Composition.
Chanson de Roland. Amis et Amiles. Other principal Chansons. Social and Literary Characteristics. Style and Language. Later History. Range and characteristics.
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First Period. Second Period. Forms of Troubadour Poetry. Third Period. Its Origin. Order of French Arthurian Cycle. Chrestien de Troyes. Spirit and Literary value of Arthurian Romances. Romances of Antiquity. Chanson d'Alixandre. Roman de Troie. Other Romances on Classical subjects. The Esprit Gaulois makes its appearance. Definition of Fabliaux.
Subjects and character of Fabliaux. Sources of Fabliaux. The Roman du Renart. The Ancien Renart. Le Couronnement Renart. Renart le Nouvel. Renart le Contrefait. Early Lyrics 62 Early and Later Lyrics. Origins of Lyric.
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Romances and Pastourelles. Thirteenth Century. Changes in Lyric. Traces of Lyric in the Thirteenth Century. Quesnes de Bethune. Thibaut de Champagne. Minor Singers.
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Adam de la Halle. Marie de France. Serious and Allegorical Poetry 75 Verse Chronicles. Miscellaneous Satirical Verse. Didactic verse. Philippe de Thaun.
Moral and Theological verse. Allegorical verse. The Roman de la Rose. Popularity of the Roman de la Rose.
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Looser application of the term. Classes of Romans d'Aventures. Raoul de Houdenc. Chief Romans d'Aventures. General Character. Last Chansons.
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