3. Persecution [···] and fraudulent exchange of letters.
4. Reunion in distant lands of [···], husband and wife.
In Gonzenbach's twenty-fourth story, "Von der schönen Wirthstochter / Bella Venezia" (Sicilianische Märchen, i, 148), the heroine's mother, who keeps an inn, is jealous of her daughter's beauty, and shuts her up. A king, however, catches sight of her, and marries her. During his absence at the war the heroine bears a child, and her mother in-law writes to tell the king. The messenger stops at Venezia's mother's inn, and the innkeeper/mother takes the opportunity of exchanging the letter for another, announcing that the queen has borne a monster. The king writes word that his wife and their child are to be taken every care of; but again the heroine's mother intercepts the messenger and substitutes a letter containing the order that the queen's hands be cut off, her monster bound to her arms, and that she be cast forth into the woods. Through supernatural aid, Venezia acquires a castle and her severed hands are restored. Some time afterwards, the king, losing his way when out hunting, comes to the castle and asks for a night's lodging. In the morning his wife and child are restored to him.
There is a Greek variant, entitled "La Belle sans Mains" (Legrand, Contes pop. Grecs, pp. 241-256), which story, says Legrand, is a feeble echo of the legend entitled "D'une reine du pays francs dont la toute-puissante Notre-Dame guérit les mains coupées". This legend was inserted by the Cretan monk Agapios in his Auaptwnwv Zwtnpia, a curious book, which is still as popular in Greece as it was two centuries ago. Probably Agapios was acquainted with some Italian imitation of the "Roman de la Manekine", of which he made use.
These folk-tale examples will suffice for comparison with such of the legends as have more points of resemblance with stories of this class than with the story of Peau d'Ane.
After collating the several legends which bear upon the adventures of Cinderella in some of the numerous ramifications of the story, I found that M. le Comte de Puymaigre, in his work entitled Folklore (Paris, 1885, pp. 253-277), had made a précis of some of the same material. I am therefore glad to economise further time, having already given much to the subject, by here and there combining his work with my own in the remarks which follow. "La fille aux mains coupées" forms the motif of his study in connection with the legends. M. de Puymaigre met with this in the course of translating Victorial; a book of the fifteenth century, by Gutierre Dias de Games, giving the life of Don Pero Nuño, to whom Games was alférez (ensign). Accompanying Don Pero to France, Games became acquainted with an episode which he considered revealed the cause of the long wars between that country and England (the Hundred Years' War). Gaines relates how a certain French noble maiden has her hands severed, and is marooned on the Channel, for refusing to marry her stepfather. The Virgin Mary appears to her in a dream, and the girl prays her to restore her hands and take her safely to land. The Virgin promises her reward and honour. When the girl wakes, her hands are whole. A soft wind blowing from the French coast drives her boat to the shores of England. The son of the English king, returning with his fleet from Ireland, discovers her, listens to her strange eventful history, and marries her. Finally, when the Duc de Guienne dies, without heir, the English prince goes to Guienne, and claims the duchy for his wife. The French will not give it up, but drive him from the country. The duke had never been reconciled to his stepdaughter, whom he presumed dead, though he had heard of the miracle; and, feeling his end approaching, he had given the duchy to the King of France. This, says Games, was the beginning of the Hundred Years' War.
The above theme, orally transmitted in the folk-tale at the present day, is found in most of the mediaeval literatures of the West, amongst Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. One of the oldest forms of the saga is that found in the Vitae duorum Offarum, by Matthew Paris.
In the Vita Offae Primi we read of Offa as the king of the West Angles. The king of Northumbria, harassed by the Scots and certain of his own subjects, seeks the aid of Offa, at the same time asking for the hand of his daughter, and promising to acknowledge him his sovereign. These terms are sworn on the Gospels. Offa sets off to the North, defeats the Scots, and sends his people the news of the war. The bearer of the letters is waylaid by Offa's son-in-law, who makes him drunk, and, whilst he sleeps, robs him of his letters, substituting others which announce that Offa has been vanquished, that he considers his misfortune a contrappasso on account of his sin in having married the forest girl, and that she and her twin children are accordingly to be conveyed to some desert place, and left to perish. This letter reaches its destination; the magnates dare not disobey; the queen is cast out; moved by her beauty, the executioners spare the mother, but hack the children in pieces. A hermit finds the queen through hearing the piercing cries which proceed from the corpses; he places the mutilated limbs together, and resuscitates the children through his prayers. When Offa returns he hears with horror of what has been done during his absence. Seeking to solace his grief in hunting, he one day finds in the cave of the hermit the wife and children whom he had believed dead. In his gratitude he vows to found a monastery at the hermit's request. But this promise is only redeemed by Offa II, in the founding of St. Alban's.
The same theme forms the basis of the Roman de la Manekine (MS. de la Bibliothèque Royale, No. 7609), written in verse by Philippe de Reimes, a trouvère of the thirteenth century. l with the incidents in that class of folk-tale of which I have given specimens.) During the absence of her husband, who has gone to take part in a tournament arranged by the King of France, Joie bears a son. The mother-in-law intercepts the letter which should announce the news to the king, and substitutes another, saying that Joie has borne a monster. The king writes that nothing is to be done till his return; his mother exchanges this letter for one ordering the seneschal to burn Joie. Once more she is saved by the substitution of a dummy, and she embarks with her newborn child. The king returns, learns the truth, locks up his mother, and sets out in search of his wife, walking through fire and ice and encountering many a hardship. After seven years he finds he, where she had found shelter.
Another version of the Manekine legend is related by Nicolas Trivet in his Anglo-Norman Chronicle. The date of this is 1334.
The Tale of Emare, in the Cotton MS. Caligula A. ii, printed by Ritson in his Ancient English Metrical Romances (London, 1802, vol. ii, pp. 204-247), seems, in all but its bad beginning, to be merely an older version of the Constance story.
The outline of Emare is as follows:--
Emare is exposed, clad "in the robe of noble blue", in a boat which drifts to Galys. Here she becomes the wife of the king. Her husband joins the King of France in the war against the Saracens, and during his absence Emare bears a son, Segramour. The letter which should announce the news to the king is exchanged by the king's mother, and the false letter informs him that his wife has borne a monster. The kindly answer which he sends in return is converted by the queen-mother into a cruel sentence. Accordingly, Emare is a second time exposed. [···]The king returns from the wars, and banishes his mother on discovering her treachery. After some years he goes on a pilgrimage to get absolution. He lodges at the house where Emare dwells, and is served by his own son. The
joyful reunion ensues.
The same story has been versified at great length, with certain slight variations, and under different names, by the poet Gower, in the second book of his Confessio Amantis (vol. i, pp. 179-213, of Dr. Pauli's edition), and after him by Chaucer in his Man of Lawes Tale. The former, who makes the lady whom he calls Constance, or Custen, refers to "the cronike" as his authority.
The story likewise occurs, much altered and abridged, in Il Pecorone, by Ser Giovanni Fiorentino (Day I, Nov. 10). The following is an outline:--
The Princess Denise, of France, to avoid a disagreeable marriage with an old German prince, escapes into England, and is there received into a convent. The king, passing that way, falls in love with and espouses her. Afterwards, while he is engaged in a war in Scotland, his wife bears twins. The queen-mother sends to acquaint her son that his spouse has given birth to two monsters. In place of the king's answer ordering them to be nevertheless brought up with the utmost care, she substitutes a mandate for their destruction, and also for that of the queen. The person to whom the execution of this command is entrusted allows the queen to depart with her twin children to Genoa. At the end of some years, she discovers her husband on his way to a crusade; she there presents him with his children, and is brought back with him in triumph to England.
In Ritson's opinion, the author "may seem to have been indebted to a MS. of the National Library, Paris (No. 8701; a paper book written in 1370), entitled Fabula romanensis de rege Francorum, etc.; but there can be little doubt that this novel was adapted from Nicholas Trivet's Life of Constance, whose Chronicles were written at least forty years before Ser Giovanni began to compose his work in 1378 (it was not printed till 1558), while the Canterbury Tales were probably written very soon after, if not some of them before, that date.
We meet with another version of the same theme in a German Volksbuch. Here it is used to point a moral as well as to adorn a tale, with the following title, both critical and exegetical: Eine schöne anmuthige und lesenswürdige Historie von der geduldigen Helena.
abern aber zum Schrocken in Druck gegeben. Köln am Rhein und Nürnberg. This romance, according to Gorres, is based upon an old poem (also 100YW-etiological) under title: "Von eines Kuniges Tochter von Frankreich ein hübsches Lesen, wie der Künig sie selbst zuo der Ee wolt hon, des sie doch got von im behuot, und darumb sie vil trübsal und not erlidt, zuo letst ein Künigin in Engellant ward." But Merzdorf, who has made an elaborate study of this poem, agrees with Graesse in thinking the Volksbuch version an abridged translation of a twelfth century poetic romance by Alexander of Bernai or Paris, de la belle Helayne.
The epic poem by Hans von Bühel is in seventy-two quarto pages, and opens just like El Victorial, with a French damsel fleeing from her unnatural stepfather. She escapes alone in a little ship from Calais, where she has been living incognito for a while, taking with her provisions, and materials for working in silk. She is driven to England, landing near to London. Attracted by he smoke from a little hut, she induces the peasants whom she finds within to engage her to tend their cattle in return for her daily bread. She weaves some beautiful silk, and the peasant woman takes it to London for sale. The wife of the marshal going to mass, buys it of the woman who sits at the cathedral entrance, and also bids her bring all the silk she has to her. The marshal, seeing the work, the like of which could not be produced in all the kingdom, induces the peasant woman to reveal who has made it, and the end of it is that he visits the French princess, and takes her to live in his own house, and treats her as his own daughter. It being the custom of the king (who is also nameless) to visit the marshal's wife after the transaction of affairs with her husband, he chances one day to see the princess, falls in love with her, and shortly marries her with great ceremony and rejoicing. A sudden invasion of the country by the king of Ireland and Scotland necessitates the king's presence at the head of his army. The poem goes on to relate the usual sequence of events, namely, how during the king's absence the queen bore a son, and the marshal to whose care she was confided sent tidings thereof to the king; how the king's mother intercepted the letter, substituting another which stated that the queen had borne a monster--half human, half animal; how she also intercepted the king's reply, and gave orders to the marshal in the king's name to burn both queen and infant prince; how the marshal burnt two baby animals in their stead, and put the queen and her child in the same ship which had brought her thither; how, after many hardships, she at length reached a farmhouse, where she took service, minding the cattle and doing housework; how, after a time, the Pope took her son to live with him, and gave him land and people. And, at last, how the kings of England and France, both on account of their sins--the former having burnt his mother, the latter having desired to wed his stepdaughter--came to the Vatican to seek absolution; how the joyful recognition ensued, and the heroine was taken home, after calling on the way at Paris, where the French king proclaimed his stepdaughter heir to the throne. Having taken part in the rejoicings in England, the French king returns to his capital, falls ill, and dies, before his stepdaughter and son-in-law can reach him; but when they arrive their sovereign right is acknowledged. The King of England and his son are recalled on account of another invasion of the King of Ireland and Scotland, and in the meantime the queen dies, and the throne of France is claimed by another king. Her husband is broken-hearted at her death, and determines to recover the French crown for his son. The poem ends by pointing out this explanation of England's claim to the throne of France, and of the long wars which ensued (It may actually be an explanation of the Anarchy, the dynastic conflict between Queen Matilda and her kinsman the crown pretender Étienne de Blois, who defeated her, and Matilda's son Henry vanquishing, after his mother's death, the usurper, now crowned Stephen I of England).
The poem consists of 15,000 rhymed verses. The Volksbuch has retained much of the naïf simplicity of the poem, though materially altering the plan. The queen bears two sons, twins who are carried off in the wilderness by a lioness and a female wolf, respectively, and "saved" by a hermit (the female beasts had nursed the feral children, as usual). Helene has her hands cut off for having driven the children away, and the niece of the Duke of Gloucester (who herein plays the role of the marshal) willingly gives herself to be burnt at the stake in Helena's stead. After many adventures, the two confederate kings meet with the hapless queen and her two children in Tours.
Still more intricate are the events related in the French version (alluded to above), published in quarto, at Paris, without date, under the title: Histoire de la belle Heleine...
Counselled by a nun, Heleine escapes in a Flemish ship to Sluis (Port de l'Ecluse), where she enters a convent. Antonius, in his rage, takes ship after her, and sails through every sea of Europe in vain quest. She lives for many a year in her retreat, till Cantebron, King of Sluis, who has become enamoured of her, directs his body guard of Saracens to storm the convent and carry her to his seraglio. Heleine flees in a Spanish ship sailing to Catalonia. But the ship is wrecked, and all save Heleine perish, she being cast ashore on the English coast. King Henry of England, taking his pleasure on the sea, is astounded at her beauty and the richness of her attire, and he rescues her. His offer of marriage she accepts, though she declines to reveal her descent, and will only say that she is "la plus noble Damoiselle de la Chrétienté". The marriage takes place against the wish of Henry's mother. Once more the Saracens threaten, and Pope Clement seeks the aid of the King of Great Britain. He gives it in person, leaving the Duke of Gloucester as regent, and confiding Heleine to his care. Then follows the birth of the children, which the mother, who waylays the messenger at Dover, pretends are puppies, and the fraudulent letters. The Duke of Gloucester cannot make up his mind to burn Heleine, as the false letter directs, so, after cutting off one of her arms, for some unexplained purpose, he puts her to sea. A niece of the duke's, named Marie, offers herself to be burned with two straw dolls in the place of the queen and her sons. The hand of the queen, which had been cut off, is put in a box, and hung round the neck of one of the children. The boat lands them in Brittany. Whilst Heleine sleeps, a lioness (in Northern France!) and a female wolf from the forest make away with her children. She seeks them in vain, wandering at length to the neighbourhood of Nantes, where she takes refuge in a deserted hut, and lives on the alms of the passers-by. A woodland hermit saves the children, and calls one Leo and the other Bras ("Arm"), for having been nursed by a lioness and wearing the severed hand round his neck, respectively. Meanwhile, King Henry has slain the Saracens, freed Pope Clement, and returned to London, to learn the sorrowful fate of his wife and children. He is still bewailing his misfortunes, when his grieving leads to an unexpected revelation. The Duke of Gloucester reveals the truth, and, convinced of the guilt of the queen-mother, the king orders her banishment. London being hateful to him, Henry joins the Kings of Scotland and Constantinople in the war against the heathen of Europe. They first vanquish Clovis, King of Bordeaux, who allows himself to be baptised, and then joins in the crusade. The hermit, meanwhile, has brought up the children, and when they are sixteen years of age he sends them forth to discover, if possible, their parentage. They come to Tours, where the archbishop himself receives them, and changes the name of Leo into Martin, and of Bras into the more suitable Brice. Heleine, too, comes to Tours, and receives rich alms from Martin, who does not know her. And the allied kings come to Tours, where the two promising youths are presented to them. When the King of England opens Brice's box and sees the hand, he is convinced that he has found his two sons. Martin seeks the poor, one-handed woman whom he supposes to be his mother; but, on the arrival of the kings, she had fled in alarm over the Alps. Here, in the Vatican, she is supported by the Pope, her unknown uncle. Brice is taken to London, there to make manifest the innocence of his mother, and then goes with the four kings to Palestine to fight against the Saracens, whilst Martin remains at Tours with the archbishop. When the Saracens are subdued the conquerors journey, whereupon Heleine flees to Tours, revealing in a letter to the Pope that she is his niece. The King of England learns through this letter that his wife is still living, and is at length reunited to her. The archbishop of Tours permits Martin to place his mother's severed hand on the stump, and the two are united by a miracle. Antonius, with Brice and his wife Ludiene, goes back to Constantinople, Henry and Heleine live with Pope Clement in the Vatican, and Martin remains in Tours, where he becomes archbishop.
The chap-book romances of Genoveva, Griseldis, Hirlanda (of Arthurian legend), and Florentia (la Bonne Florence, also known as Crescentia or Zumurrud) may be referred to as variants of the story of the innocent persecuted wife, though it is unnecessary to cite them ii connection with the Catskin story.
The episode is related almost identically in the thirteenth-century romance of Mai and Bêaflôr.
They fit out a ship and put her on board with provisions for two or three months, and with all the valuables inherited from her mother. Bêaflôr comes to "Meienlant", where Count Mai receives her, and gives her into his mother's care. Presently, after he has married her, contrary to his mother's wish, Mai is bent for to help his uncle in Spain against the heathen. During his absence, Bêaflôr bears a son; the news is sent to the count, but the messenger is intercepted by the mother-in-law at Claremont (Klaremunt), where she has gone to reside, and robbed of his letter whilst he is drunk, a false letter being substituted. On his return, he is again waylaid, and the count's letter is exchanged for one ordering the death of Bêaflôr. She is, however, rescued from this fate, and put in a boat with her child. Mai returns, and, learning all, stabs his mother and banishes the messenger. Bêaflôr drifts away to her own shores; the shipwright Thibalt recognises the boat he had built for her foster parents. Bêaflôr is again received into their home. Her child is taken to the cathedral to be christened by the Pope, receiving the name of Schoifloris (though in the course of the poem he is only called Lois). Mai comes
after some years, to soothe his conscience, and Lois is sent to meet him. In this way he is subsequently re-united to Bêaflôr. Mention must here be made of the similar case of the Countess of Anjou. (Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque du Roi, by Paulin Paris, vol. vi, p. 40).
After many wanderings, and all sorts of adventures, she marries the Count of Bourges, but the Countess of Chartres, his aunt, is furious at the misalliance--for she is ignorant of his wife's rank--and she plays the role usually assigned to the mothers-in-law.
I have reserved one other version of the ancient romance, this time attaching to the daughter of a Czar of Russia. Again, as in the folk-tales, this is a case of O matre pulchra filia pulchrior. Her story is said to have been composed by Giovanni Enenkel in the thirteenth century. I have taken it from the Gesammtabenteuer of Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen (Stuttgart and Tubingen, 1850, ii, 590). It is called "Deu tochter des Kuniges von Reuzen".
The barrel in which the heroine is marooned gets carried to Greece, where the king espies it and has it landed. He marries the heroine. Then follow the incidents of the king's absence at the war, and the calumniated wife and intercepted letters. The heroine is put back into the barrel with her newborn child, and the waves carry her, where she is rescued by a nobleman. Eventually her husband finds her when he comes to do penance.
A drama, entitled "Un Miracle de Nostre-Dame", the author of which has taken his subject from the Roman de la Manekine, is published in the Theatre Francais au Moyen Age (publie d'apres les Manuscrits de la Bibliotheque du Roi, par MM. L. J. N. Monmerque et Francisque Michel [xi-xiv siècles], Paris, 1842. Pp. 481-500).
The following is an outline of the plot as disclosed by the dramatis personae.
[···] Heroine is put alone in ship; is found by the provost of the king of Scotland. King questions her as to her parentage, etc. She says she is called Bethequine. Queen-mother befriends her, and she serves as chamber-maid. Presently queen ill-treats her, thinking she aspires to marriage with her son. King asks why she has been weeping; will marry her at Chester, and proclaim her queen. His mother is very angry. He is to attend tournament at Senlis; leaves his wife in provost's care; when her child is born they are to inform him by sealed letter. After king's departure, heroine bears a son. King's mother intercepts messenger, who is carrying news to king, makes him drunk, and changes letter for one announcing that young queen has borne a monster, which they have burned, and that they await orders whether to burn young queen also. King reads letter; sends written order by messenger, who is again intercepted by queen-mother, made drunk, and robbed of letter directing that queen and infant shall be kept apart in secret till his return. Queen-mother substitutes letter commanding that queen and progeny be instantly burned. Courtier, who reads king's letter, is filled with pity, and tells queen, who is dismayed and full of wonder, and prays to Virgin. Chevalier and provost take counsel together, and determine to save queen's life. They put her in a boat without rudder or helm, that she may be at the mercy of God. Lady insists on sharing her fate. She is rescued by a senator, who takes her to his wife, who befriends her, and lets her live with them. King of Scotland returns; inquires for wife and child. Chevalier says they have been burned according to his order. King says lie gave orders for them to be confined in a tower till his return. Letter is shown to him; he questions messenger; sends for mother, who, on being threatened, confesses, and is imprisoned for life. King will punish with death by burning the two courtiers who executed queen-mother's orders. They confess they disobeyed, and spared the young queen's life. He takes them with him, and sets out to seek her. They make pilgrimage. Senator meets the king of Scotland; takes him to his house. Queen hides, being afraid to meet her husband. King sees the child playing with a ring which he recognises as one he gave his wife. Senator tells him how he found the child's mother, and how he has taken care of her. King embraces his wife. They attend the service at which the Pope is to give absolution to penitents. Service is about to commence. Clerk enters in great alarm to say he can get no drop of water from the river, because of a hand which keeps floating up to his bucket. He brings the hand to the Pope; queen says it is hers, and tells the Pope her story. He touches her arm with the hand, which immediately is reunited to it.
The same subject has found dramatic treatment in Italy, in La Rappresentazione di Santa Uliva (Pisa, 1863. The date of the 1st edition is not known). Alessandro d'Ancona has given an account of this play, which he publishes in his Sacre Rappresentazione dei Secoli, xiv, xv, xvi (Firenze, 1872. Vol. iii, pp. 235 seq.). The commencement is almost identical with that of the Manekine, except that the damsel cuts off both her hands. She falls in with the king of Britain, who takes her to his palace, and gives her charge over the infant prince. A baron becomes enamoured of her, and, in repelling his advances, she upsets the cradle, which, as she has no hands, she is unable to replace. The baron accuses her of murdering the child, who has been killed by the fall. She is condemned to death, but the seneschal takes pity on her, and leads her to the forest in which she had been found. The Virgin appears to her, restores her hands, and points her to a convent where she can find shelter. A wicked priest accuses her of stealing a chalice. She is placed in a boat, and abandoned to the waves. Certain merchants come across her, and take her to the king of Castile, who marries her, and shortly afterwards leaves her to go to war. In the meantime Uliva bears a son, and receives precisely the same treatment from her mother-in-law as does Joie in the Manekine. Uliva is once more exposed in a boat, and arrives at length where she finds her husband, who has come to seek absolution for having caused his mother's death in his wrath against her for her wicked machinations. The King of Castile recognises his wife, and all ends happily.
The Rappresentazione di Stella, also published in D'Ancona's Sacre Rappresentazione, has much the same incidents as the story of St. Uliva.
Stella is the stepdaughter of a French queen, who is very jealous of her beauty and popularity. The assassins to whom she is delivered spare her life, but cut off her hands to take as token to her stepmother (notice the Snow White opening!). The Duke of Burgundy finds Stella in the forest and weds her. It is the stepmother of Stella in this case who exchanges the letters.The history of the daughter of the King of Dacia (Novella della figlia del re di Dacia. Pisa, i. 1866. Introd. by Wesselofsky) differs but little from the foregoing up to the point of her first marooning. There a German prince, the Duke of Apardo, sees her, and falls in love with her. The miracles follow. Elisa recovers her hands; directed by celestial voices, Apardo inclines to wed the lovely stranger; and the marriage takes place, leading to the usual plots against the young wife. Once more on the shore from where she was first marooned, Elisa is engaged by another German nobleman as nursemaid to his son. The Duke of Apardo, visiting her master, recognises her as his wife.
The greater part of these incidents are met with again in a Catalonian version,52 Historia del rey de Hungria, cited by le Comte de Puymaigre (Documentos de la corona de Aragon, vol. xiii. Documentos leterarios en antiqua lingua catalana. Siglo xiv y xv. Barcelona, 1857, pp; 53-79). In this the heroine, with her hands cut off, lands at Marseilles. The Count of Provence marries her in spite of his mother. Learning his wife's story, the count visits Hungary, her country, where he is detained so long at the court that the wicked mother-in-law, during his absence, has time to carry out the usual plot against the young wife. The countess is set adrift on the sea, and lands near to a convent, where the abbess admits her. Five years afterwards, when one day she is at her orisons, she sees a priest who is wanting to say Mass, but has no one to serve it. She is filled with desire to assist him, and suddenly perceives two beautiful hands, which unite to her arms as she stretches them forth. Meanwhile, the count had returned to Marseilles; but, feeling angered against his mother, had determined to quit his estates only to return when he had found his wife. After thirteen years' quest, he finds her at the convent, and takes her back to Marseilles. They have many children. One of their daughters marries a king of France, another a king of Castile, and a third a king of England.
The princess of England is sent for her safety to a convent in the French town of Vienne under the charge of trusty servants. It is the custom of the dauphin of France to frequent this same nunnery in the company of a young nobleman, who is the abbess's brother. One day, the latter catches sight of the young princess through a grating, and every day, under pretence of praying, he comes to look at her. He falls ill, and confides the reason to the dauphin, who at length asks the abbess to interfere in her brother's behalf. Seeing him in danger of death, she is prevailed upon she talks to the princess, pointing out the difficulties and dangers inseparable from monastic life, and persuades her that marriage will ensure greater peace of mind. But the princess cannot consent to break her vows. Hearing of the girl's answer, and wishing to judge whether she who had caused his friend's illness merited so much love, the dauphin determines to have a look at her. Then he falls in love with her himself; and sends proposals of marriage, which she at first rejects, but eventually accepts. The dauphin's mother tries secretly to poison his bride, with the aid of some friends in Vienne. The King of France dies, and the dauphin must go to Paris to attend his funeral and be made king. His mother wants him to abandon his wife, who, she says, is some unknown waif. He is indignant at the request; and his mother, hearing from her friends in Vienne that the queen is too well guarded for them to poison her, bids them calumniate her to her husband. The young queen escapes with her little son and finds shelter. The Emperor Henry sees her, and engages her as nursemaid to his infant. Meanwhile, the dauphin, now king, having heard the false news of his wife's death, and of all his mother's infamous schemes, declares war against her. After three years he defeats her and slays her. Full of remorse, he journeys to seek absolution from the Pope. Dining one day at a feast, he is charmed with the graceful bearing of a young boy, and wants to take him away with him. It is the son of the nursemaid, in whom he recognises his wife. They return in triumph to his kingdom. When another son is born to him, he decides that the elder shall reign in France, and the younger shall succeed to the English throne, which his wife has inherited on the death of Edward. Furthermore, the king enacts in his will that every year, at Easter and at Christmas time, the King of England shall come to Paris and serve at the table of the King of France. This arrangement is observed for a number of years; but one day the King of Great Britain, ill-advised by his ministers, refuses to submit to the performance of such an act of homage; and this was the cause of the great wars, and of the animosity between the two kingdoms, which lasted up to the times of the author of this story.
The collation of similar legends and romances might doubtless be still extended. It seems, however, unnecessary to devote further space to the examination of this class of literature, more especially as the various motifs which it shares in common with the folk-tale are of such a nature as to need, unhappily, neither myth nor fiction to account for their origin, or to explain their application in any particular connection.
"Non ragionam di lor, ma guarda e passa."
30: An analysis of la Manekine is given in l'Histoire litteraire de la France, t. xxii, p. 864. See also t. xv, p. 394; t. xxii, p. 228; t, xxiii, p. 680.
31: This is the Philippe of Beaumanoir who wrote the Coutumes du Beauvoisis and the Blonde d'Oxford. Suchier thinks (see op. cit.) that he most probably visited England in his youth, and there made acquaintance with the Manekine. He considers it improbable that the Vita Offa Primi was his source, as Philippe's version does not share in its disfigurements.
32: Nicolas Trivet was art English Dominican friar. He is said to have been educated in his early years in London, and afterwards to have studied at Oxford. He informs us, in the prologue to the Annales Regum Angliae that he spent some time in study in Paris.
34: For the chief alterations see preface to Trivet's Life of Constance in Originals and Analogues of some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, edited by Furnivall, Brock, and Clouston, p. vi.
37: See Clouston on "The Innocent Persecuted Wife", in Originals and Analogues, pp. 367 ff.
40: See Graesse, Die Grossen Sagenkreise des Mittelalters.
42: Heleine's adventures are thus made to take place in the fourth century, if she was the mother of Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours (374).
43: For further details, see Gorres, op. cit., p. 138; and Ch. Nisard, Histoire des livres populaires, i, pp. 415 ff. The same legend is told also in Backstrom's Svenska Folkböcker, i, 188, "Helena Antonia af Constantinopel"; and in R. Nyerup's Morskabstasning: Danmark og Norge (1816), p. 138, "Den talmodige Helene". (See Merzdorf, op. cit., pp. 18 ff. for references to Dutch, Danish, and Swedish translations.