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Four Arthurian Romances, by Chretien DeTroyes

Part 9 out of 9

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unemployed, unless it is expressed in works." Then Meleagant was
sorely enraged and furious. I may truly say that never could you
see a mortal man so full of anger as he was; the last bond
between them was broken then, as he spoke to his father these
ungracious words: "Are you in a dream or trance, when you say
that I am mad to tell you how my matters stand? I thought I had
come to you as to my lord and my father; but that does not seem
to be the case, for you insult me more outrageously than I think
you have any right to do; moreover, you can give no reason for
having addressed me thus." "Indeed, I can." "What is it, then?"
"Because I see nothing in thee but folly and wrath. I know very
well what thy courage is like, and that it will cause thee great
trouble yet. A curse upon him who supposes that the elegant
Lancelot, who is esteemed by all but thee, has ever fled from
thee through fear. I am sure that he is buried or confined in
some prison whose door is barred so tight that he cannot escape
without leave. I should surely be sorely grieved if he were dead
or in distress. It would surely be too bad, were a creature so
splendidly equipped, so fair, so bold, yet so serene, to perish
thus before his time. But, may it please God, this is not true."
Then Bademagu said no more; but a daughter of his had listened
attentively to all his words, and you must know that it was she
whom I mentioned earlier in my tale, and who is not happy now to
hear such news of Lancelot. It is quite clear to her that he is
shut up, since no one knows any news of him or his wanderings.
"May God never look upon me, if I rest until I have some sure and
certain news of him!" Straightway, without making any noise or
disturbance, she runs and mounts a fair and easy-stepping mule.
But I must say that when she leaves the court, she knows not
which way to turn. However, she asks no advice in her
predicament, but takes the first road she finds, and rides along
at random rapidly, unaccompanied by knight or squire. In her
eagerness she makes haste to attain the object of her search.
Keenly she presses forward in her quest, but it will not soon
terminate. She may not rest or delay long in any single place,
if she wishes to carry out her plan, to release Lancelot from his
prison, if she can find him and if it is possible. But in my
opinion, before she finds him she will have searched in many a
land, after many a journey and many a quest, before she has any
news of him. But what would be the use of my telling you of her
lodgings and her journeyings? Finally, she travelled so far
through hill and dale, up and down, that more than a month had
passed, and as yet she had learned only so much as she knew
before--that is, absolutely nothing. One day she was crossing
a field in a sad and pensive mood, when she saw a tower in the
distance standing by the shore of an arm of the sea. Not within
a league around about was there any house, cottage, or dwelling-
place. Meleagant had had it built, and had confined Lancelot
within. But of all this she still was unaware. As soon as she
espied the tower, she fixed her attention upon it to the
exclusion of all else. And her heart gives her assurance that
here is the object of her quest; now at last she has reached her
goal, to which Fortune through many trials has at last directed

(Vv. 6459-6656.) The damsel draws so near to the tower that she
can touch it with her hands. She walks about, listening
attentively, I suppose, if perchance she may hear some welcome
sound. She looks down and she gazes up, and she sees that the
tower is strong and high and thick. She is amazed to see no door
or window, except one little narrow opening. Moreover, there was
no ladder or steps about this high, sheer tower. For this reason
she surmises that it was made so intentionally, and that Lancelot
is confined inside. But she resolves that before she tastes of
food, she will learn whether this is so or not. She thinks she
will call Lancelot by name, and is about to do so when she is
deterred by hearing from the tower a voice which was making a
marvellously sad moan as it called on death. It implores death
to come, and complains of misery unbearable. In contempt of the
body and life, it weakly piped in a low, hoarse tone: "Ah,
fortune, how disastrously thy wheel has turned for me! Thou hast
mocked me shamefully: a while ago I was up, but now I am down; I
was well off of late, but now I am in a sorry state; not long
since thou didst smile on me, but now thy eyes are filled with
tears. Alas, poor wretch, why didst thou trust in her, when so
soon she has deserted thee! Behold, in a very little while she
has cast thee down from thy high estate! Fortune, it was wrong
of thee to mock me thus; but what carest thou! Thou carest not
how it may turn out. Ah, sacred Cross! All, Holy Ghost! How am
I wretched and undone! How completely has my career been closed!
Ah, Gawain, you who possess such worth, and whose goodness is
unparalleled, surely I may well be amazed that you do not come to
succour me. Surely you delay too long and are not showing
courtesy. He ought indeed to receive your aid whom you used to
love so devotedly! For my part I may truly say that there is no
lodging place or retreat on either side of the sea, where I would
not have searched for you at least seven or ten years before
finding you, if I knew you to be in prison. But why do I thus
torment myself? You do not care for me even enough to take this
trouble. The rustic is right when he says that it is hard
nowadays to find a friend! It is easy to rest the true friend in
time oś need. Alas! more than a year has passed since first I
was put inside this tower. I feel hurt, Gawain, that you have so
long deserted me! But doubtless you know nothing of all this,
and I have no ground for blaming you. Yes, when I think of it,
this must be the case, and I was very wrong to imagine such a
thing; for I am confident that not for all the world contains
would you and your men have failed to come to release me from
this trouble and distress, if you were aware of it. If for no
other reason, you would be bound to do this out of love for me,
your companion. But it is idle to talk about it--it cannot be.
Ah, may the curse and the damnation of God and St. Sylvester rest
upon him who has shut me up so shamefully! He is the vilest man
alive, this envious Meleagant, to treat me as evilly as
possible!" Then he, who is wearing out his life in grief, ceases
speaking and holds his peace. But when she, who was lingering at
the base of the tower, heard what he said, she did not delay, but
acted wisely and called him thus: "Lancelot," as loudly as she
could; "friend, up there, speak to one who is your friend!" But
inside he did not hear her words. Then she called out louder
yet, until he in his weakness faintly heard her, and wondered who
could be calling him. (27) He heard the voice and heard his name
pronounced, but he did not know who was calling him: he thinks it
must be a spirit. He looks all about him to see, I suppose, if
he could espy any one; but there is nothing to be seen but the
tower and himself. "God," says he, "what is that I heard? I
heard some one speak, but see nothing! Indeed, this is passing
marvellous, for I am not asleep, but wide awake. Of course, if
this happened in a dream, I should consider it an illusion; but I
am awake, and therefore I am distressed." Then with some trouble
he gets up, and with slow and feeble steps he moves toward the
little opening. Once there, he peers through it, up and down and
to either side. When he had looked out as best he might, he
caught sight of her who had hailed him. He did not recognise her
by sight. But she knew him at once and said: "Lancelot, I have
come from afar in search of you. Now, thank God, at last I have
found you. I am she who asked of you a boon as you were on your
way to the sword-bridge, and you very gladly granted it at my
request; it was the head I bade you cut from the conquered knight
whom I hated so. Because of this boon and this service you did
me, I have gone to this trouble. As a guerdon I shall deliver
you from here." "Damsel, many thanks to you," the prisoner then
replied; "the service I did you will be well repaid if I am set
at liberty. If you can get me out of here, I promise and engage
to be henceforth always yours, so help me the holy Apostle Paul!
And as I may see God face to face, I shall never fail to obey
your commands in accordance with your will. You may ask for
anything I have, and receive it without delay." "Friend, have no
fear that you will not be released from here. You shall be
loosed and set free this very day. Not for a thousand pounds
would I renounce the expectation of seeing you free before the
datum of another day. Then I shall take you to a pleasant place,
where you may rest and take your ease. There you shall have
everything you desire, whatever it be. So have no fear. But
first I must see if I can find some tool anywhere hereabouts with
which you might enlarge this hole, at least enough to let you
pass." "God grant that you find something," he said, agreeing to
this plan; "I have plenty of rope in here, which the rascals gave
me to pull up my food--hard barley bread and dirty water, which
sicken my stomach and heart." Then the daughter of Bademagu
sought and found a strong, stout, sharp pick, which she handed to
him. He pounded, and hammered and struck and dug,
notwithstanding the pain it caused him, until he could get out
comfortably. Now he is greatly relieved and glad, you may be
sure, to be out Of prison and to get away from the place where he
has been so long confined. Now he is at large in the open air.
You may be sure that he would not go back again, were some one to
gather in a pile and give to him all the gold there is scattered
in the world.

(Vv. 6657-6728.) Behold Lancelot now released, but so feeble
that he staggered from his weakness and disability. Gently,
without hurting him, she sets him before her on her mule, and
then they ride off rapidly. But the damsel purposely avoids the
beaten track, that they may not be seen, and proceeds by a hidden
path; for if she had travelled openly, doubtless some one would
have recognised them and done them harm, and she would not have
wished that to happen. So she avoided the dangerous places and
came to a mansion where she often makes her sojourn because of
its beauty and charm. The entire estate and the people on it
belonged to her, and the place was well furnished, safe, and
private. There Lancelot arrived. And as soon as he had come,
and had laid aside his clothes, the damsel gently laid him on
a lofty, handsome couch, then bathed and rubbed him so carefully
that I could not describe half the care she took. She handled
and treated him as gently as if he had been her father. Her
treatment makes a new man of him, as she revives him with her
cares. Now he is no less fair than an angel and is more nimble
and more spry than anything you ever saw. When he arose, he was
no longer mangy and haggard, but strong and handsome. And the
damsel sought out for him the finest robe she could find, with
which she clothed him when he arose. And he was glad to put it
on, quicker than a bird in flight. He kissed and embraced the
maid, and then said to her graciously: "My dear, I have only God
and you to thank for being restored to health again. Since I owe
my liberty to you, you may take and command at will my heart and
body, my service and estate. I belong to you in return for what
you have done for me; but it is long since I have been at the
court of my lord Arthur, who has shown me great honour; and there
is plenty there for me to do. Now, my sweet gentle friend, I beg
you affectionately for leave to go; then, with your consent, I
should feel free to go." "Lancelot, fair, sweet dear friend, I
am quite willing," the damsel says; "I desire your honour and
welfare above everything everywhere." Then she gives him a
wonderful horse she has, the best horse that ever was seen, and
he leaps up without so much as saying to the stirrups "by your
leave": he was up without considering them. Then to God, who
never lies, they commend each other with good intent.

(Vv. 6729-7004.) Lancelot was so glad to be on the road that, if
I should take an oath, I could not possibly describe the joy he
felt at having escaped from his trap. But he said to himself
repeatedly that woe was the traitor, the reprobate, whom now he
has tricked and ridiculed, "for in spite of him I have escaped."
Then he swears by the heart and body of Him who made the world
that not for all the riches and wealth from Babylon to Ghent
would he let Meleagant escape, if he once got him in his power:
for he has him to thank for too much harm and shame! But events
will soon turn out so as to make this possible; for this very
Meleagant, whom he threatens and presses hard, had already come
to court that day without being summoned by any one; and the
first thing he did was to search until he found my lord Gawain.
Then the rascally proven traitor asks him about Lancelot, whether
he had been seen or found, as if he himself did not know the
truth. As a matter of fact, he did not know the truth, although
he thought he knew it well enough. And Gawain told him, as was
true, that he had not been seen, and that he had not come.
"Well, since I don't find him," says Meleagant, "do you come and
keep the promise you made me: I shall not longer wait for you."
Then Gawain makes answer: "I will keep presently my word with
you, if it please God in whom I place my trust. I expect to
discharge my debt to you. But if it comes to throwing dice for
points, and I should throw a higher number than you, so help me
God and the holy faith, I'll not withdraw, but will keep on until
I pocket all the stakes." (28) Then without delay Gawain orders
a rug to be thrown down and spread before him. There was no
snivelling or attempt to run away when the squires heard this
command, but without grumbling or complaint they execute what he
commands. They bring the rug and spread it out in the place
indicated; then he who had sent for it takes his seat upon it and
gives orders to be armed by the young men who were standing
unarmed before him. There were two of them, his cousins or
nephews, I know not which, but they were accomplished and knew
what to do. They arm him so skilfully and well that no one could
find any fault in the world with them for any mistake in what
they did. When they finished arming him, one of them went to
fetch a Spanish steed able to cross the fields, woods, hills, and
valleys more swiftly than the good Bucephalus. (29) Upon a horse
such as you have heard Gawain took his seat--the admired and
most accomplished knight upon whom the sign of the Cross was ever
made. Already he was about to seize his shield, when he saw
Lancelot dismount before him, whom he was not expecting to see.
He looked at him in amazement, because he had come so
unexpectedly; and, if I am not wrong, he was as much surprised as
if he had fallen from the clouds. However, no business of his
own can detain him, as soon as he sees Lancelot, from dismounting
and extending his arms to him, as he embraces, salutes and kisses
him. Now he is happy and at ease, when he has found his
companion. Now I will tell you the truth, and you must not think
I lie, that Gawain would not wish to be chosen king, unless he
had Lancelot with him. The King and all the rest now learn that,
in spite of all, Lancelot, for whom they so long have watched,
has come back quite safe and sound. Therefore they all rejoice,
and the court, which so long has looked for him, comes together
to honour him. Their happiness dispels and drives away the
sorrow which formerly was theirs. Grief takes flight and is
replaced by an awakening joy. And how about the Queen? Does she
not share in the general jubilee? Yes, verily, she first of all.
How so? For God's sake, where, then, could she be keeping
herself? She was never so glad in her life as she was for his
return. And did she not even go to him? Certainly she did; she
is so close to him that her body came near following her heart.
Where is her heart, then? It was kissing and welcoming Lancelot.
And why did the body conceal itself? Why is not her joy
complete? Is it mingled with anger or hate? No, certainly, not
at all; but it may be that the King or some of the others who are
there, and who are watching what takes place, would have taken
the whole situation in, if, while all were looking on, she had
followed the dictates of her heart. If common-sense had not
banished this mad impulse and rash desire, her heart would have
been revealed and her folly would have been complete. Therefore
reason closes up and binds her fond heart and her rash intent,
and made it more reasonable, postponing the greeting until it
shall see and espy a suitable and more private place where they
would fare better than here and now. The King highly honoured
Lancelot, and after welcoming him, thus spoke: "I have not heard
for a long time news of any man which were so welcome as news of
you; yet I am much concerned to learn in what region and in what
land you have tarried so long a time. I have had search made for
you up and down, all the winter and summer through, but no one
could find a trace of you." "Indeed, fair sire," says Lancelot,
"I can inform you in a few words exactly how it has fared with
me. The miserable traitor Meleagant has kept me in prison ever
since the hour of the deliverance of the prisoners in his land,
and has condemned me to a life of shame in a tower of his beside
the sea. There he put me and shut me in, and there I should
still be dragging out my weary life, if it were not for a friend
of mine, a damsel for whom I once performed a slight service. In
return for the little favour I did her, she has repaid me
liberally: she has bestowed upon me great honour and blessing.
But I wish to repay without delay him for whom I have no love,
who has sought out and devised for me this shame and injury. He
need not wait, for the sum is all ready, principal and interest;
but God forbid that he find in it cause to rejoice!" Then Gawain
said to Lancelot: "Friend, it will be only a slight favour for
me, who am in your debt, to make this payment for you. Moreover,
I am all ready and mounted, as you see. Fair, sweet friend, do
not deny me the boon I desire and request." But Lancelot replies
that he would rather have his eye plucked out, or even both of
them, than be persuaded to do this: he swears it shall never be
so. He owes the debt and he will pay it himself: for with his
own hand he promised it. Gawain plainly sees that nothing he can
say is of any avail, so he loosens and takes off his hauberk from
his back, and completely disarms himself. Lancelot at once arms
himself without delay; for he is impatient to settle and
discharge his debt. Meleagant, who is amazed beyond measure at
what he sees, has reached the end of his good fortunes, and is
about to receive what is owing him. He is almost beside himself
and comes near fainting. "Surely I was a fool," he says, "not to
go, before coming here, to see if I still held imprisoned in my
tower him who now has played this trick on me. But, God, why
should I have gone? What cause had I to think that he could
possibly escape? Is not the wall built strong enough, and is not
the tower sufficiently strong and high? There was no hole or
crevice in it, through which he could pass, unless he was aided
from outside. I am sure his hiding-place was revealed. If the
wall were worn away and had fallen into decay, would he not have
been caught and injured or killed at the same time? Yes, so help
me God, if it had fallen down, he would certainly have been
killed. But I guess, before that wall gives away without being
torn down, that all the water in the sea will dry up without
leaving a drop and the world will come to an end. No, that is
not it: it happened otherwise: he was helped to escape, and could
not have got out otherwise: I have been outwitted through some
trickery. At any rate, he has escaped; but if I had been on my
guard, all this would never have happened, and he would never
have come to court. But it's too late now to repent. The
rustic, who seldom errs, pertinently remarks that it is too late
to close the stable when the horse is out. I know I shall now be
exposed to great shame and humiliation, if indeed I do not suffer
and endure something worse. What shall I suffer and endure?
Rather, so long as I live, I will give him full measure, if it
please God, in whom I trust." Thus he consoles himself, and has
no other desire than to meet his antagonist on the field. And he
will not have long to wait, I think, for Lancelot goes in search
of him, expecting soon to conquer him. But before the assault
begins, the King bids them go down into the plain where the tower
stands, the prettiest place this side of Ireland for a fight. So
they did, and soon found themselves on the plain below. The King
goes down too, and all the rest, men and women in crowds. No one
stays behind; but many go up to the windows of the tower, among
them the Queen, her ladies and damsels, of whom she had many with
her who were fair.

(Vv. 7005-7119.) In the field there stood a sycamore as fair as
any tree could be; it was wide-spread and covered a large area,
and around it grew a fine border of thick fresh grass which was
green at all seasons of the year. Under this fair and stately
sycamore, which was planted back in Abel's time, there rises a
clear spring of water which flows away hurriedly. The bed of the
spring is beautiful and as bright as silver, and the channel
through which the water flows is formed, I think, of refined and
tested gold, and it stretches away across the field down into a
valley between the woods. There it pleases the King to take his
seat where nothing unpleasant is in sight. After the crowd has
drawn back at the King's command, Lancelot rushes furiously at
Meleagant as at one whom he hates cordially, but before striking
him, he shouted with a loud and commanding voice: "Take your
stand, I defy you! And take my word, this time you shall not be
spared." Then he spurs his steed and draws back the distance of
a bow-shot. Then they drive their horses toward each other at
top speed, and strike each other so fiercely upon their resisting
shields that they pierced and punctured them. But neither one is
wounded, nor is the flesh touched in this first assault. They
pass each other without delay, and come back at the top of their
horses: speed to renew their blows on the strong, stout shields.
Both of the knights are strong and brave, and both of the horses
are stout and fast. So mighty are the blows they deal on the
shields about their necks that the lances passed clean through,
without breaking or splintering, until the cold steel reached
their flesh. Each strikes the other with such force that both
are borne to earth, and no breast-strap, girth, or stirrup could
save them from falling backward over their saddle-bow, leaving
the saddle without an occupant. The horses run riderless over
hill and dale, but they kick and bite each other, thus showing
their mortal hatred. As for the knights who fell to earth, they
leaped up as quickly as possible and drew their swords, which
were engraved with chiselled lettering. Holding their shields
before the face, they strive to wound each other with their
swords of steel. Lancelot stands in no fear of him, for he knew
half as much again about fencing as did his antagonist, having
learned it in his youth. Both dealt such blows on the shield
slung from their necks, and upon their helmets barred with gold,
that they crushed and damaged them. But Lancelot presses him
hard and gives him a mighty blow upon his right arm which, though
encased in mail, was unprotected by the shield, severing it with
one clean stroke. And when he felt the loss of his right arm, he
said that it should be dearly sold. If it is at all possible, he
will not fail to exact the price; he is in such pain and wrath
and rage that he is well-nigh beside himself, and he has a poor
opinion of himself, if he cannot score on his rival now. He
rushes at him with the intent to seize him, but Lancelot
forestalls his plan, for with his trenchant sword he deals his
body such a cut as he will not recover from until April and May
be passed. He smashes his nose-guard against his teeth, breaking
three of them in his mouth. And Meleagant's rage is such that he
cannot speak or say a word; nor does he deign to cry for mercy,
for his foolish heart holds tight in such constraint that even
now it deludes him still. Lancelot approaches and, unlacing his
helmet, cuts off his head. Never more will this man trouble him;
it is all over with him as he falls dead. Not a soul who was
present there felt any pity at the sight. The King and all the
others there are jubilant and express their joy. Happier than
they ever were before, they relieve Lancelot of his arms, and
lead him away exultingly.

(Vv. 7120-7134.) My lords, if I should prolong my tale, it would
be beside the purpose, and so I will conclude. Godefroi de
Leigni, the clerk, has written the conclusion of "the Cart"; but
let no one find fault with him for having embroidered on
Chretien's theme, for it was done with the consent of Chretien
who started it. Godefroi has finished it from the point where
Lancelot was imprisoned in the tower. So much he wrote; but he
would fain add nothing more, for fear of disfiguring the tale.

NOTE: Endnotes supplied by Prof. Foerster are indicated by
"(F.)"; all other endnotes are supplied by W.W. Comfort.

(1) Marie, daughter of Louis VII. of France and Eleanor of
Aquitaine, married in 1164, Henri I., Count of Champagne.
On the poet's own statement below, she furnished him with
the subject matter ("maitere") and the manner of treatment
("san") of this romance. (F.)
(2) The situation of Camelot has not been certainly determined.
Foerster places it in Somersetshire, while F. Paris
identified it with Colchester in Essex. (F.)
(3) The high value here set upon Kay by king Arthur is worth
noting in view of the unfavourable light in which Chretien
usually portrays him.
(4) This enigmatic exclamation is addressed to the absent
Lancelot, who is the secret lover of Guinevere, and who,
though he long remains anonymous as "the Knight of the
Cart", is really the hero of the poem.
(5) It was not uncommon in old French romances and epic poems
for knights to be subjected to the mockery and raillery of
the vulgar townspeople (cf. "Aiol", 911-923; id. 2579-2733;
and even Moliere in "Monsieur de Pourceaugnac", f. 3).
(6) For magic beds with descending swords, see A. Hertel,
"Versauberte Oertlichkeiten", etc., p. 69 f. (Hanover,
(7) The wounded knight is the defeated seneschal.
(8) Mediaeval knights were such early risers as to cause us
(9) Lancelot has constantly in mind the Queen, for whose sake he
is enduring all this pain and shame.
(10) i.e., the Queen.
(11) Nothing can here be added to the tentative conjectures of
Foerster regarding the nature of these unknown remedies.
(12) A great annual fair at Paris marked the festival, on June
11, of St. Denis, the patron saint of the city. (F.)
(13) "Donbes" (=Dombes) is the reading chosen by Foerster from a
number of variants. None of these variants has any
significance, but a place-name rhyming with "tonbes" in the
preceding verse is required. Modern Dombes is the name of a
former principality in Burgundy, between the Rhone and the
Saone, while Pampelune is, of course, a Spanish city near
the French frontier. (F.)
(14) The topography of the kingdom of Gorre, the land where dwell
the captives held by King Bademagu, is much confused. One
would suppose at first that the stream traversed by the two
perilous bridges formed the frontier of the kingdom. But
here (v.2102), before reaching such a frontier, the captives
are already met. Foerster suggests that we may be here at a
sort of foreground or borderland which is defended by the
knight at the ford (v. 735 f.), and which, though not within
the limits of the kingdom, is nevertheless beneath the sway
of Bademagu. In the sequel the stream with the perilous
bridges is placed immediately before the King's palace (cf.
Foerster's note and G. Paris in "Romania", xxi. 471 note).
(15) For magic rings, see A. Hertel, op. cit., p. 62 f.
(16) This "dame" was the fairy Vivian, "the lady of the lake".
(17) A good example of the moral dilemmas in which Chretien
delights to place his characters. Under the displeasing
shell of allegory and mediaeval casuistry we have here the
germ of psychological analysis of motive.
(18) The legendary origin of this ointment, named after Mary
Magdelene, Mary the mother of James, and Mary Salome, is
mentioned in the epic poem "Mort Aimeri de Narbonne" (ed.
"Anciens Textes", p. 86). (F.)
(19) The universities of Montpellier and of Salerno were the
chief centres of medical study in the Middle Ages. Salerno
is referred to in "Cliges", v. 5818.
(20) The hero of the poem is here first mentioned by name.
(21) The classic love-story of Pyramus and Thisbe, told by Ovid
et al., was a favourite in the Middle Ages.
(22) Here he have the explanation of Guinevere's cold reception
of Lancelot; he had been faithless to the rigid code of
courtesy when he had hesitated for even a moment to cover
himself with shame for her sake.
(23) The expression "or est venuz qui aunera", less literally
means "who will defeat the entire field". Though Chretien
refers to the expression as a current proverb, only two
other examples of its use have been found. (Cf. "Romania",
xvi. 101, and "Ztsch. fur romanische Philologie", xi. 430.)
From this passage G. Paris surmised that Chretien himself
was a herald-at-arms ("Journal des Savants", 1902, p. 296),
but as Foerster says, the text hardly warrants the
(24) The evident satisfaction with which Chretien describes in
detail the bearings of the knights in the following passage
lends colour to Gaston Paris' conjecture that he was a
herald as well as a poet.
(25) According to the statement made at the end of the poem by
the continuator of Chretien, Godefroi de Leigni, it must
have been at about this point that the continuator took up
the thread of the story. It is not known why Chretien
dropped the poem where he did.
(26) Bade = Bath. (F.)
(27) The situation recalls that in "Aucassin et Nicolette", where
Aucassin confined in the tower hears his sweetheart calling
to him from outside.
(28) The figure is, of course, taken from the game of throwing
dice for high points. For an exhaustive account of dice-
playing derived from old French texts, cf. Franz Semrau,
"Wurfel und Wurfelspiel in alten Frankreich", "Beiheft" 23
of "Ztsch. fur romanische Philologie (Halle, 1910).
(29) Alexander's horse.

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