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have induced many to suppose it generally the production of the closet. The frequency with which the same rhymes were employed is indeed surprising, and might almost justify Tiraboschi's belief that the name of Troubadour was suggested by their facility in finding or inventing rhymes. The disposition, however, to protract the debate, as well as the enmity and jealousy often existing between the combatants, precludes the idea of any coalition between them to deceive the spectators and the court. Their talent of extemporaneous composition is less wonderful than the same art displayed among the modern Italians, since in the heat of contest the accomplished Troubadour would naturally be stimulated to a rapid utterance of his thoughts, and the excitement of emulation would have an effect in polishing and improving his lays.
It appears that the sirventes, though the term afterwards denoted poems of a satirical nature or the stirring, songs
ring songs of war, were originally the mere expressions of humble devotion or supplication. The appellation itself favours this opinion; and Roquefort in his Glossary gives the following definition to the word"Chanson, sonnet, ou chant royal composé sur la Divinité, ou en l'honneur de la Vierge, ou sur des sujets serieux, qui avoient toujours pour but l'obtention d'une grace, soit de la Vierge, soit du souverain, ou d'une maitrésse, etc." By degress, as in the progress of society, the passions of men began to overpower the primitive feelings which engendered involuntary respect for the poet and his lofty creations, the lays consecrated to religious humility assumed the aspect of moral precepts, designed to direct to the path of virtue by the force of salutary admonition. The excesses and immoralities of the clergy especially provoked severe remonstrance, at first confined to their class, until the sirvente, from the lowly aspiration after the mercy or favour of superiors, either earthly or celestial
, rose to the dignity of a poem professedly satirical, in which the follies or vices of no rank were spared, however sacred it had hitherto been held. A new meaning became attached to it, as a theme more exalted than any yet offered to the imagination was at length presented. The standard of the cross was displayed throughout the countries of Europe by its devoted followers, who, promising the pardon of sin, and immortal rewards, incited the warlike nations to rise for the redemption of the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of infidels. To the minds of these warriors, as motives for exertion, were presented prospects of a guerdon less remote than that of heavenly felicity—the glory to be obtained in a thousand dangers and combats, and the rich spoils of their eastern foes. The splendour of an enterprise like this failed not to kindle the vivid imagination of the bards of Provence, and was soon celebrated in their strains; and the sirvente, animated by the images of war, awakened the souls of those who went forth to battle, to the savage joy of vengeance, and to deeds of courage
and renown. Our author presents opposite examples of this kind of verse, in its successive stages of signification as a pious petition-a moral lesson and an effusion of warlike enthusiasm.
Poetry of the pastoral kind was particularly in favour among the Troubadours. Emphatically the bards of nature, and inhabiting a climate where she is most propitious, they delighted to draw their images from her beauties, and to associate their admiration of her charms with the fantasies of love. Their Pastoretas, which were a species of eclogue, were generally given in the form of dialogues between the cavalier, listlessly wandering on some secluded path, and the young shepherdess who chanced to feed her flock upon the spot, or the juvenile swain, who bewailed the cruelty of his beloved. These conversations were preceded by descriptions either of the mood of the poet, the scene of the meeting, or the beauties of the season.
Many different poems are classed under a distinct head, as being accompanied by a kind of chorus or returning stanza; and these seem to have stood high in the estimation of their authors, the repeated lines adding much to the melody for which their verse was ever distinguished. Of this kind are their amorous lays upon the dawn, or the evening; their retrouanges, their baladas or ballads, in which the words which commenced the first stanza formed the chorus of each succeeding verse; their dansas, and their redondes, whose name denoted their nature, like the rondeaus of the French, and the ritondelli of the Italians. Besides these varieties, and numerous others which it would be tedious and unnecessary to mention here, the songs of the Troubadours required new and distinctive appellations, not only from the subjects on which they were composed, but from the motives which gave rise to their production. Thus a comjat or leave-taking was a lay in which the lover, despairing of pity from his relentless mistress, formally renounced his allegiance to her, and professed his intention of seeking a gentler service. Again—the escondig or vindication contained the reply of some abused yet faithful lover to false accusations, giving occasion for the repetition of assurances and protestations. The celebrated canzone of Petrarch, beginning *$' i' 'l dissi mai,” vindicating himself to Laura from the charge of inconstancy, is an imitation of this species of verse. The Prezicansa, which might properly be classed among the sirventes, was an exhortation to the performance of some worthy deed, or the suppression of wrong or vice. A kind of poem was also in vogue, distinguished by a commentary or explanation in prose attached to each verse, which more fully unfolded its meaning. It was undignified by an peculiar appellation, save that of ses nom, or without a name. Thus concludes the envoy of such a composition by Rainbaut:
“ Vai, ses nom; e qui t demanda qui t'a fag, digas li d’En Rainbaut, &c.” "Go-Nameless; and whoever shall ask who has made thee, tell him of Sir Rainbaut, &c."
Another class of compositions, not divided into stanzas, was of a character essentially different from the lyric effusions before noticed. Yet the principal distinction consisted not in the difference of measure; for though emancipated from the trammels of the regular strophe, they were still subjected to those of rhyme, which were even rendered more embarrassing by the fastidious improvements of adventurous poets. The lines were generally rhymed in couplets, though sometimes a stated number terminated in similar sounds, varied as the length of the composition might require. Thus frequently the first ten, twenty, or thirty lines were ended by the letters anz; a similar number succeeding in enz; the two different terminations being alternated to the conclusion of the whole. Sometimes the whole number of lines in the
poem ended in the same letters. Raynouard cites a piece of this kind containing eight hundred and forty. This custom, though it might show the richness of the language, was observed at the expense of all the beauties of poetical conception; the composition had an artificial air, and was pervaded by a disagreeable monotony.
Although the Troubadours excelled particularly in lyric verses, they were by no means destitute of poems of a narrative kind. Nevertheless, none of their efforts approached the dignity of the epic. Many of their fables exhibit evidence that the authors were not unacquainted with those of antiquity. Their novels, undoubtedly the earliest germs from which sprang the romances of succeeding years, were short tales in verse, recounting events either in love or war
, and stimulating the listener to emulate the deeds of the hero thus commemorated.
They had also poetical epistles on various subjects, such as gratitude, friendship, and love, with others moral or instructive. Some of them-breus-were addressed to the lady of the poet's
ncy, and display a grace, a tenderness, an impassioned earnest ness, unrivalled by more elaborate efforts. Others are inscribed to friends, when the bard, who painted so vividly the pangs and the delights of love, employed his influence to warn his less experienced associate against its deceptive charms. The ensenhamen or poem of instruction embraced a design more extensive, and embodied precepts of education and rules of conduct applicable to the various orders of society. Sometimes the poets conveyed their lessons in the garb of amusing narrations; thus giving to the charms of fiction a permanent utility, and making the sweetness of poetry an acceptable vehicle for the knowledge they sought to impart,
--quasi museo dulci contingere melle."
Their poems of this species were not however confined to the dispensation of instruction in the courtesies of life, or in the duties of morality and religion. They comprehended the various departments of art and science; and some treatises on such subjects are sufficiently amusing. A tesaur of Piere da Corbiac, after giving a summary of the sacred history of the world, treats of astronomy, physic, and numerous other sciences, which are severally despatched in a few lines. A celebrated Troubadour has left a poem of more than three thousand lines on the different kinds of birds of prey, in which their various habits, distinguishing qualities, and the methods of guarding against diseases peculiar to them, are detailed with ludicrous minuteness. The Troubadours had also prayers in the verse without stanzas, which differed from other poems of invocation, inasmuch as they were divested of the glowing imagery and elaborate ornament of lyric poetry, and simply expressed the emotions of religious humility or thankfulness.
We have curtailed as much as possible the foregoing imperfect observations, in the fear of becoming tiresome to our readers; yet if any should be incited by our brief notice to further research, and disposed to acquire a knowledge of the different forms of verse among the Troubadours, we would confidently recommend to their use the Italian work of which we have already spoken. The reader will find there a store of information inaccessible elsewhere within so small a compass; which will afford him valuable assistance in his study of the Provençal language and poetry. In conclusion, we hope that the knowledge of this literature, possessing as it does an interest apart from its intrinsic claims to attention, will not always be limited to a few. We owe to it an incalculable debt; not only for the gentle and elevating influence it has exerted upon our own poetry, in common with that of other nations, but for absolute enjoyment derived from the legends to which it has given rise. And though the age of chivalry has long passed away, and its brilliant and heart-stirring fictions are deemed but the idle creations of fancy, yet the records of the adventures, triumphs, and rewards of the heroes of romance, gorgeous as is the veil thrown over them by the enchantments of poetry, still awaken sympathy in our hearts, and render us less disposed to congratulate ourselves upon the cold superiority of an incredulous age.
ART. III.-Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, Foreign and
Domestic, in regard to Contracts, Rights, and Remedies; and especially in regard to Marriages, Divorces, Wills, Successions, and Judgments. By JOSEPH Story, LL.D., Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University. Boston: 1834.
JUDGE STORY, whose distinguished ability and industry have contributed so much to the exalted reputation of the Supreme Court of the United States, finds time, in the intervals of judicial duty, to favour the profession and the public with treatises upon important subjects of legal science, as Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University. The title of this work indicates the interesting nature of its topics. The contrariety of laws existing among different nations, and the rules of comity, which give effect to the laws of one country in those of others, involve considerations of the highest interest and delicacy in international jurisprudence. In the United States of America, with a few exceptions provided for in the Constitution, the law is equally applicable to the several states of the Union, now amounting to twenty-four in number, and receiving a constant and rapid increase.
The subject of Judge Story's work is no less recommended by its novelty than its importance. There exists no treatise upon it in the English language. Until a comparatively recent period, neither the English lawyers nor judges seem to have had their attention drawn towards it, and their researches are less profound and satisfactory than their expositions of municipal law. Even among the foreign jurists of continental Europe, there exists no systematical treatise embracing all the general topics.
Such a work is not only necessary to be studied attentively by all professional men, and particularly by the liberal advocates of America, but most of its topics, from their universality and deeply interesting nature, deserve a more extended circulation among other classes of the community. It is for the last reason chiefly that this work requires to be noticed in a popular journal, and its principles diffused among those to whom å mere law book in general presents few attractions.
The work is dedicated to Chancellor Kent, to whom is ascribed the honour of having been the guide and instructor of the American youth, in this branch of international jurisprudence.
Before entering upon any 'examination of the various heads which a treatise upon the Conflict of Laws will naturally embrace, it is necessary to advert to a few general maxiins or axioms, which constitute the basis upon which all reasonings on the subject must rest.
1. Every nation possesses an exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction within its own territory. The laws of every state affect