Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/313

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


3folk*Xore.

TRANSACTIONS OF THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.

Vol. VIII.] DECEMBER, 1897. [No. IV.

NOTES ON ORENDEL AND OTHER STORIES.

BY PROFESSOR W. P. KER, M.A.

{Read at ineeting of i6th February, 1897.)

The German poem of Orendel (edd. von der Hagen, 1844 ; Ettmiiller, 1858 ; Berger, 1888) is a confused and rambling story, belonging to one of the lowest orders of medieval romance, the hack-work of the professional minstrels. Its date is uncertain : the authorities for the text are late, a manuscript of 1477 (burnt in 1870, at Strasburg), and an early printed book (Augsburg, 15 12). The last editor dates the poem about 1 160, but the date is brought con- siderably lower down by Dr. Richard Heinzel in his study of the subject (1892).

The author has combined two principal motives in his story: (i) the adventures of a king's son; he goes on a voyage to win the princess of a distant country, who is known to him only by report as the fairest woman on earth ; and (2) the legend of the Holy Coat of Treves, the Seamless Coat [tunica inconsutilis), which is found by Orendel in his wanderings. The whole thing is the work of an irresponsible poet who has little qualification for his art except a com- mand of all the commonplaces of popular romance, and the usual healthy appetite of travelling minstrels {die varnde diet, the wayfaring men, according to their old German

TOL. VIII. u