Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/245

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Correspondence. 231

paper will be interested by the following extract from the prose Merlin (MS. of the Bibl. Nat. fonds Frangais 337, fo. 6).

Arthur has sent messengers to Kings Ban and Bohort -, on their way they are attacked by the men of Claudas de la Deserte, then at war with Ban, who would take their steeds and armour j Arthur's men, of course, get the better of the skirmish, and, as they ride off, address their discomfited foes in these words :

"Seignors chevaliers pensez de menacier, li congie vos otroi de ce chemin gaitier. S'en prenez le treu quant foire ert e marchiez, por tant que vos afiert ne trop ne bargaingnier. Vos autres compaignons soventes fois proier qu'en chest chemin ne soit marchaans despoillier; ici de votre gaaing ne quiyer avoir denier. Par covoitise est home trop sovent domagie li forfaiz abat I'asne 'ce dit Ten ce sachiez. Ce dit le miens compains 'venez, si desploier les tronsiaus qu'en menons, et si les desliez, e faites nos raison, puisqu'en estes proiez.' De ce rist Urfins qui mult en estoit liez." (I give the text as it stands, without rearrangement or correction.) Similar passages are found elsewhere, e.g. on p. 52. Now, are we to believe that the writer of these prose romances " dropped into verse ^ pro- misktis,^" like the immortal Silas Wegg, or that they were utilizing ^^ iant Men que nial" previous poems on the subject? Personally, I have no doubt as to which is the correct solution. I commend the above extract to Dr. Caster's careful study.

Jessie L. Weston.

P.S. — Freymond has devoted an article to the subject of the verse-interpolations in the Merlin^ but I cannot be sure as to the reference. I believe it is Zeitschrift fur Romanische Philologie^ vol. xvi., but am not certain.

Mr. Clodd on Crystal-Gazing.

(Vol. xvi., p. 479.)

In a review of Mr. Thomas's Crystal Gazing, and of my introduction to that book, Mr. Clodd writes {Folk-lore., vol. xvi.,