Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/481

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Reviews. 439

and protectress, the Dame du Lac ? But the denouement remains unchanged throughout, and Morgain is, as before, the beneficent being who seeks for and tends the sorely-wounded king. Is there any recorded instance in which a deserted fairy-love, who has pursued the offending mortal with unrelenting hate through life, changes her attitude at the moment of death and carries him off to share her unending bliss ? Miss Paton has misconceived the whole situation.

The rivalry between Guinevere and Morgain is of earlier origin than the prose texts and has no connection with Arthur. In the group of lais (discussed in Chapter V.) dealing with the love of a fairy for a mortal, Miss Paton practically ignores the fact that in the majority of the versions the fairy has a rival, in the person of a queen who offers her love to the hero and is rejected, a rejection which brings about either the meeting or the separation ©f the lovers. She entirely omits to state that while in one of these cases, (that of Guinga/nor), the fairy has been identified with Morgain (which she tells us), in another, {Lanval), the queen was identified with Guinevere. That is, at a moment when the Arthurian " cycle " did not exist, but scattered popular tales were beginning to be " Arthurised," a rivalry was held to exist between Arthur's wife and a fairy who may or may not have been identified with Arthur's sister.^

Is it not much simpler then to consider the Guiomar story {vide Chapter V.) as merely a late and rationalised version of one of these /ais, rather than to try and explain it by the hypothesis of a previous connection between Arthur and Morgain, of which we have no record ? In the one case we are resting our argument on facts, in the other on fancies.

But I think Arthur's relation to Morgain rests on other foundations. If we go behind the prose romances, as when

' That it is Guingamor and not Guigemer who is referred to in Erec is, I think, clear. The latter, who married and dwelt in his own land, could not have been described as Sire d'Avaloit. In the Cang^ MS., Bib. Nat. 794, the name in Erec and Perceval is the same, and in the latter poem we read of the son of Guingamor,

E si vos di por verite Que de cele isle rois estoit Ou nes uns morz horn ttabitoii De cele contree estoit rois,

Fo. 430, verse i.