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From Ritual to Romance by Jessie L. Weston

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may well have been responsible for the record. Again, we know him
to have been closely connected with the locality from which came the
writer who refers to the famous story-teller of the same name.
I would submit that we have here quite sufficient evidence to warrant
us in accepting Bledri ap Cadivor as, at least, the possible author
of the romantic Grail tradition. In any case, so far, there is no
other candidate in the field.[13]

Shortly after the publication of the second volume of my Perceval
studies, I received a letter from Professor Singer, in which, after
expressing his general acceptance of the theories there advanced, in
especial of the suggested date and relation of the different versions,
which he characterized as "sehr gelungen, und zu meiner Alffassung der
Entwickelung der Altfranzösischen Literatur sehr zu stimmen,"
he proceeded to comment upon the probable character of the literary
activity of Bleheris. His remarks are so interesting and suggestive
that I venture to submit them for the consideration of my readers.

Professor Singer points out that in Eilhart von Oberge's Tristan we
find the name in the form of Pleherin attached to a knight of Mark's
court. The same name in a slightly varied form, Pfelerin, occurs in
the Tristan of Heinrich von Freiberg; both poems, Professor Singer
considers, are derived from a French original. Under a compound form,
Blihos, (or Blio)-Bliheris, he appears, in the Gawain-Grail
compilation, as a knight at Arthur's court. Now Bréri-Blihis-Bleheris
is referred to as authority alike in the Tristan, Grail and Gawain
tradition, and Professor Singer makes the interesting suggestion that
these references are originally due to Bleheris himself, who not only
told the stories in the third person (a common device at that period,
v. Chrétien's Erec, and Gerbert's continuation of the Perceval), but
also introduced himself as eye-witness of, and actor, in a subordinate
rôle, in, the incidents he recorded. Thus in the Tristan he is a
knight of Mark's, in the Elucidation and the Gawain stories a knight
of Arthur's, court. Professor Singer instances the case of Dares in
the De exidio Trojae, and Bishop Pilgrim of Passau in the lost
Nibelungias of his secretary Konrad, as illustrations of the theory.

If this be the case such a statement as that which we find in
Wauchier, regarding Bleheris's birth and origin, would have emanated
from Bleheris himself, and simply been taken over by the later
writer from his source; he incorporated the whole tale of
the shield as it stood, a quite natural and normal proceeding.[14]
Again, this suggestion would do away with the necessity for
postulating a certain lapse of time before the story-teller Bleheris
could be converted into an Arthurian knight--the two rôles,
Gewährsmann und Mithandelnden, as Professor Singer expresses it,
are coincident in date. I would also suggest that the double form,
Blihos-Bliheris, would have been adopted by the author himself,
to indicate the identity of the two, Blihis, and Bleheris. It is
worthy of note that, when dealing directly with the Grail, he assumes
the title of Master, which would seem to indicate that here he
claimed to speak with special authority.

I sent the letter in question to the late Mr Alfred Nutt, who was
forcibly struck with the possibilities involved in the suggestion,
the full application of which he thought the writer had not grasped.
I quote the following passages from the long letter I received from
him in return.

"Briefly put we presuppose the existence of a set of semi-dramatic,
semi-narrative, poems, in which a Bledri figures as an active, and at
the same time a recording, personage. Now that such a body of
literature may have existed we are entitled to assume from the fact
that two such have survived, one from Wales, in the Llywarch Hen
cycle, the other from Ireland, in the Finn Saga. In both cases, the
fact that the descriptive poems are put in the mouth, in Wales of
Llywarch, in Ireland largely of Oisin, led to the ascription at an
early date of the whole literature to Llywarch and Oisin. It is
therefore conceivable that a Welsh 'littérateur,' familiar as he must
have been with the Llywarch, and as he quite possibly was with the
Oisin, instance, should cast his version of the Arthurian stories in a
similar form, and that the facts noted by you and Singer may be thus

Now that both Professor Singer (who has an exceptionally wide
knowledge of Medieval literature), and the late Mr Alfred Nutt, knew
what they were talking about, does not need to be emphasized, and the
fact that two such competent authorities should agree upon a possible
solution of a puzzling literary problem, makes that solution worthy
of careful consideration; it would certainly have the merit of
simplifying the question and deserves to be placed upon record.

But while it would of course be far more satisfactory could one
definitely place, and label, the man to whom we owe the original
conception which gave birth and impetus to this immortal body of
literature, yet the precise identity of the author of the earliest
Grail romance is of the accident, rather than the essence, of our
problem. Whether Bleheris the Welshman be, or be not, identical with
Bledri ap Cadivor, Interpreter, and friend of the Norman nobles, the
general hypothesis remains unaffected and may be thus summarized--

The Grail story is not du fond en comble the product of imagination,
literary or popular. At its root lies the record, more or less
distorted, of an ancient Ritual, having for its ultimate object the
initiation into the secret of the sources of Life, physical and
spiritual. This ritual, in its lower, exoteric, form, as affecting
the processes of Nature, and physical life, survives to-day, and can
be traced all over the world, in Folk ceremonies, which, however
widely separated the countries in which they are found, show a
surprising identity of detail and intention. In its esoteric
'Mystery' form it was freely utilized for the imparting of high
spiritual teaching concerning the relation of Man to the Divine Source
of his being, and the possibility of a sensible union between Man, and
God. The recognition of the cosmic activities of the Logos appears
to have been a characteristic feature of this teaching, and when
Christianity came upon the scene it did not hesitate to utilize the
already existing medium of instruction, but boldly identified the
Deity of Vegetation, regarded as Life Principle, with the God of the
Christian Faith. Thus, to certain of the early Christians, Attis was
but an earlier manifestation of the Logos, Whom they held identical
with Christ. The evidence of the Naassene document places this beyond
any shadow of doubt, and is of inestimable value as establishing a
link between pre-Christian, and Christian, Mystery tradition.

This curious synthetic belief, united as it was with the highly
popular cult of Mithra, travelled with the foreign legionaries,
adherents of that cult, to the furthest bounds of the Roman Empire,
and when the struggle between Mithraism and Christianity ended in
the definite triumph of the latter, by virtue of that dual synthetic
nature, the higher ritual still survived, and was celebrated in sites
removed from the centres of population--in caves, and mountain
fastnesses; in islands, and on desolate sea-coasts.

The earliest version of the Grail story, represented by our Bleheris
form, relates the visit of a wandering knight to one of these hidden
temples; his successful passing of the test into the lower grade of
Life initiation, his failure to attain to the highest degree. It
matters little whether it were the record of an actual, or of a possible,
experience; the casting into romantic form of an event which the
story-teller knew to have happened, had, perchance, actually witnessed;
or the objective recital of what he knew might have occurred; the
essential fact is that the mise-en-scène of the story, the
nomenclature, the march of incident, the character of the tests,
correspond to what we know from independent sources of the details of
this Nature Ritual. The Grail Quest was actually possible then, it is
actually possible to-day, for the indication of two of our romances as
to the final location of the Grail is not imagination, but the record
of actual fact.

As first told the story preserved its primal character of a composite
between Christianity and the Nature Ritual, as witnessed by the
ceremony over the bier of the Dead Knight, the procession with Cross
and incense, and the solemn Vespers for the Dead. This, I suspect,
correctly represents the final stage of the process by which
Attis-Adonis was identified with Christ. Thus, in its first form the
story was the product of conscious intention.

But when the tale was once fairly launched as a romantic tale, and
came into the hands of those unfamiliar with its Ritual origin (though
the fact that it had such an origin was probably well understood),
the influence of the period came into play. The Crusades, and the
consequent traffic in relics, especially in relics of the Passion,
caused the identification of the sex Symbols, Lance and Cup, with the
Weapon of the Crucifixion, and the Cup of the Last Supper; but the
Christianization was merely external, the tale, as a whole, retaining
its pre-Christian character.

The conversion into a definitely Christian romance seems to have been
due to two causes. First, the rivalry between the two great monastic
houses of Glastonbury and Fescamp, the latter of which was already
in possession of a genuine Saint-Sang relic, and fully developed
tradition. There is reason to suppose that the initial combination
of the Grail and Saint-Sang traditions took place at Fescamp, and was
the work of some member of the minstrel Guild attached to that Abbey.
But the Grail tradition was originally British; Glastonbury was from
time immemorial a British sanctuary; it was the reputed burial place
of Arthur, of whose court the Grail Quest was the crowning adventure;
the story must be identified with British soil. Consequently a version
was composed, now represented by our Perlesvaus text, in which the
union of Nicodemus of Fescamp, and Joseph of Glastonbury, fame,
as ancestors of the Grail hero, offers a significant hint of the
provenance of the version.

Secondly, a no less important element in the process was due to the
conscious action of Robert de Borron, who well understood the
character of his material, and radically remodelled the whole on the
basis of the triple Mystery tradition translated into terms of high
Christian Mysticism. A notable feature of Borron's version is his
utilization of the tradition of the final Messianic Feast, in
combination with his Eucharistic symbolism, a combination thoroughly
familiar to early Christian Mystics.

Once started on a definitely romantic career, the Grail story rapidly
became a complex of originally divergent themes, the most important
stage in its development being the incorporation of the popular tale
of the Widow's Son, brought up in the wilderness, and launched into
the world in a condition of absolute ignorance of men, and manners.
The Perceval story is a charming story, but it has originally nothing
whatever to do with the Grail. The original tale, now best
represented by our English Syr Percyvelle of Galles, has no trace of
Mystery element; it is Folk-lore, pure and simple. I believe the
connection with the Grail legend to be purely fortuitous, and due to
the fact that the hero of the Folk-tale was known as 'The Widow's
Son,' which he actually was, while this title represented in Mystery
terminology a certain grade of Initiation, and as such is preserved
to-day in Masonic ritual.[15]

Finally the rising tide of dogmatic Medievalism, with its crassly
materialistic view of the Eucharist; its insistence on the saving
grace of asceticism and celibacy; and its scarcely veiled contempt
for women, overwhelmed the original conception. Certain of the
features of the ancient ritual indeed survive, but they are factors
of confusion, rather than clues to enlightenment. Thus, while the
Grail still retains its character of a Feeding Vessel, comes and goes
without visible agency, and supplies each knight with 'such food and
drink as he best loved in the world,' it is none the less the Chalice
of the Sacred Blood, and critics are sorely put to it to harmonize
these conflicting aspects. In the same way Galahad's grandfather
still bears the title of the Rich Fisher, and there are confused
references to a Land laid Waste as the result of a Dolorous Stroke.

But while the terminology lingers on to our perplexity the characters
involved lie outside the march of the story; practically no trace of
the old Nature Ritual survives in the final Queste form. The
remodelling is so radical that it seems most reasonable to conclude
that it was purposeful, that the original author of the Queste had a
very clear idea of the real nature of the Grail, and was bent upon
a complete restatement in terms of current orthodoxy. I advisedly
use this term, as I see no trace in the Queste of a genuine Mystic
conception, such as that of Borron. So far as criticism of the
literature is concerned I adhere to my previously expressed opinion
that the Queste should be treated rather as a Lancelot than as a Grail
romance. It is of real importance in the evolution of the Arthurian
romantic cycle; as a factor in determining the true character and
origins of the Grail legend it is worse than useless; what remains of
the original features is so fragmentary, and so distorted, that any
attempt to use the version as basis for argument, or comparison, can
only introduce a further element of confusion into an already more
than sufficiently involved problem.

I am also still of opinion that the table of descent given on p. 283
of Volume II. of my Perceval studies, represents the most probable
evolution of the literature; at the same time, in the light of further
research, I should feel inclined to add the Grail section of Sone de
Nansai as deriving from the same source which gave us Kiot's poem,
and the Perlesvaus.[16] As evidence for a French original combining
important features of these two versions, and at the same time
retaining unmistakably archaic elements which have disappeared from
both, I hold this section of the poem to be of extreme value for the
criticism of the cycle.

While there are still missing links in the chain of descent, versions
to be reconstructed, writers to be identified, I believe that in its
ensemble the theory set forth in these pages will be found to be the
only one which will satisfactorily meet all the conditions of the
problem; which will cover the whole ground of investigation, omitting
no element, evading no difficulty; which will harmonize apparently
hopeless contradictions, explain apparently meaningless terminology,
and thus provide a secure foundation for the criticism of a body of
literature as important as it is fascinating.

The study and the criticism of the Grail literature will possess
an even deeper interest, a more absorbing fascination, when it is
definitely recognized that we possess in that literature a unique
example of the restatement of an ancient and august Ritual in terms
of imperishable Romance.



[1] MS. Bibl. Nat., f. Franç. 12576 fo. 90.
[2] Ibid. fo. 90vo, 91.
[3] Diû Crône (ed. Stoll, Stuttgart, 1852). Cf. Sir Gawain of
the Grail Castle for both versions.
[4] Cf. MS. B.N. 12576, fo. 154.
[5] Perceval, ed. Hucher, p. 466; Modena, p. 61.
[6] Cf. Hucher, p. 482; Modena, p. 82.
[7] Percevel li Gallois, ed. Potvin, ll. 6048-52.
[8] Ib. ll. 6056-60.
[9] Potvin, Vol. I. p. 15.
[10] Ib. p. 26.
[11] Ib. p. 86.
[12] Ib. pp. 176, 178.
[13] MS. B.N. 12576, ff. 221-222vo.
[14] Mabinogion, ed. Nutt, p. 282.
[15] Cf. Peredur (ed. Nutt), pp. 282, 291-92.
[16] Parzival, Book v. ll. 947-50.
[17] Ib. Book VI. ll. 1078-80.
[18] Parzival, Book XVI, ll 275-86.
[19] Cf. Morte Arthure, Malory, Book XVII. Chap. 18. Note the remark
of Mordrains that his flesh which has waxen old shall become young
[20] Parzival, Bk. IX. ll. 1388-92.
[21] Sone de Nansai (ed. Goldschmidt, Stuttgart, 1899), ll 4775-76.
[22] Sone de Nansai, ll. 4841-56.
[23] It is evidently such a version as that of Sone de Nansai,
and Parzival, which underlies the curious statement of the Merlin
MS. B.N. f. Fr. 337, where the wife of the Fisher King is known as
'la Veve Dame,' while her husband is yet in life, though sorely wounded.


[1] Cf. Rig-Veda Sanhita, trans. H. H. Wilson, 6
vols. 1854-1888. Vol. I. p. 88, v. 12. 172, v. 8 206, v. 10
Vol. III. p. 157, vv. 2, 5, 7, 8.
[2] Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Geschichte,
Vols. XXXVII. and XXXIX.
[3] Cf. Le Théatre Indien, Paris, 1890.
[4] Cf. Wiener Zeitsch, für die Kunde des Morgenlandes,
Vol. XVIII. 1904.
[5] Leipzig, 1908.
[6] Op. cit. p. 105.
[7] Ib. p. 230.
[8] Ib. p. 292, for sources, and variants of tale.
[9] On this point cf. Cornford, Origin of Attic Comedy, pp. 8, 78,
for importance of this feature.
[10] Op. cit. pp. 161-170, for general discussion of question,
and summary of authorities. Also pp. 297 et seq.
[11] Cf. Legend of Sir Peceval, Vol. I. Chapter 3.
[12] MS. Bibl. Nat., f. Fr. 12576, fo. 173. Cf. also Legend of
Sir Perceval, I. Chap. 4.
[13] Malory, Le Morte Arthure, Book XIV. Chaps. 8 and 9.
Potvin, ll. 40420 et seq.


[1] Cf. Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris, p. 5.
[2] In this connection not only the epoch-making works of Mannhardt
and Frazer, which are more specifically devoted to an examination of
Folk-belief and practice should be studied, but also works such as
The Mediaeval Stage, E. K. Chambers; Themis, J. E. Harrison;
The Origin of Attic Comedy, F. Cornford; and Sir Gilbert Murray's essay
on the evolution of the Greek Drama, published in Miss Harrison's Themis.
The cumulative evidence is most striking.
[3] A full study of this evolutionary process will be found in Miss
Harrison's Themis, A Study of Greek Social Origins, referred to above.
[4] Baudissin, in his exhaustive study of these cults, Adonis und Esmun,
comes to the conclusion that Tammuz and Adonis are different gods,
owing their origin to a common parent deity. Where the original
conception arose is doubtful; whether in Babylon, in Canaan, or in a
land where the common ancestors of Phoenicians and Babylonian Semites
formed an original unit.
[5] Cf. Tammuz and Ishtar, S. Langdon, p. 5.
[6] It may be well to note here the the 'Life' deity has no proper name;
he is only known by an appellative; Damu-zi, Damu, 'faithful son,'
or 'son and consort,' is only a general epithet, which designates
the dying god in a theological aspect, just as the name Adoni,
'my lord,' certainly replaced a more specific name for the god
of Byblos. Esmun of Sidon, another type of Adonis, is a title only,
and means simply, 'the name.' Cf. Langdon, op. cit. p. 7. Cf. this
with previous passages on the evolution of the Greek idea from a
nameless entity to a definite god. Mr Langdon's remarks on the
evolution of the Tammuz cult should be carefully studied in view of
the theory maintained by Sir W. Ridgeway--that the Vegetation deities
were all of them originally men.
[7] From a liturgy employed at Nippur in the period of the Isin
dynasty. Langdon, op. cit. p. 11. Also, Sumerian and Babylonian
Psalms, p. 338.
[8] Cf. Langdon, Tammuz and Ishtar, p. 23.
[9] What we have been able to ascertain of the Sumerian-Babylonian
religion points to it rather as a religion of mourning and
supplication, than of joy and thanksgiving. The people seem to have
been in perpetual dread of their gods, who require to be appeased by
continual acts of humiliation. Thus the 9th, 15th, 19th, 28th, and
29th of the month were all days of sack-cloth and ashes, days of
wailing; the 19th especially was 'the day of the wrath of Gulu.'
[10] Cf. Langdon, op. cit. p. 24.
[11] Cf. Langdon, op. cit. p. 26.
[12] The most complete enquiry into the nature of the god is to
be found in Baudissin, Adonis und Esmun. For the details of the cult
cf. Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, Vol. II.; Vellay, Adonis
(Annales du Musée Guimet). For the Folk-lore evidence cf. Mannhardt,
Wald un Feld-Kulte; Frazer, The Golden Bough, and Adonis, Attis and
Osiris. These remarks apply also to the kindred cult of Attis, which
as we shall see later forms an important link in our chain of evidence.
The two cults are practically identical and scholars are frequently
at a loss to which group surviving fragments of the ritual should be
[13] In this connection note the extremely instructive remarks of
Miss Harrison in the chapter on Herakles in the work referred to above.
She points out that the Eniautos Daimon never becomes entirely and
Olympian, but always retains traces of his 'Earth' origin. This
principle is particularly well illustrated by Adonis, who, though,
admitted to Olympus as the lover of Aphrodite, is yet by this very
nature forced to return to the earth, and descend to the realm of
Persephone. This agrees well with the conclusion reached by Baudissin
(Adonis und Esmun, p. 71) that Adonis belongs to "einer Klasse von
Wesen sehr unbestimmter Art, die wohl über den Menschen aber unter
den grossen Göttern stehen."
[14] Cf. Vellay, op. cit. p. 93. Dulaure, Des Divinités Génératrices.
If Baudissin is correct, and the introduction of the Boar a later
addition to the story, it would seem to indicate the intrusion of
a phallic element into ritual which at first, like that of Tammuz,
dealt merely with the death of the god. The Attis form, on the
contrary, appears to have been phallic from the first.
Cf. Baudissin, Adonis und Esmun, p. 160.
[15] Op. cit. p. 83.
[16] Cf. L. von Schroeder, Vollendung den Arischen Mysterium, p. 14.
[17] It may be well to explain the exact meaning attached to these
terms by the author. In Professor von Schroeder's view Mysterium may
be held to connote a drama in which the gods themselves are actors;
Mimus on the contrary, is the term applied to a drama which treats
of the doings of mortals.
[18] Op. cit. Vol. II. p. 647.
[19] Op. cit. p. 115. Much of the uncertainty as to date is doubtless
due to the reflective influence of other forms of the cult; the Tammuz
celebrations were held from June 20th, to July 20th, when the Dog-star
Sirius was in the ascendant, and vegetation failed beneath the heat of
the summer sun. In other, and more temperate, climates the date would
fall later. Where, however, the cult was an off-shoot of a Tammuz
original (as might be the case through emigration) the tendency would
be to retain the original date.
[20] Cf. Vellay, op. cit. p. 55; Mannhardt, Vol. II. pp. 277-78, for
a description of the feast. With regard to the order and sequence of
the celebration cf. Miss Harrison's remark, Themis, p. 415: "In the
cyclic monotony of the Eniautos Daimon it matters little whether Death
follows Resurrection, or Resurrection, Death."
[21] Cf. Mannhardt, supra, p. ---.
[22] Cf. Vellay, op. cit. p. 103. This seems also to have been the
case with Tammuz, cf. Ezekiel, Chap. viii. v. 14.
[23] Cf. Frazer, The Golden Bough, under heading Adonis.
[24] Vellay, p. 130, Mannahrdt, Vol. II. p. 287; note the writer's
suggestion that the women here represent the goddess, the stranger,
the risen Adonis.
[25] Cf. Vellay, p. 93.
[26] Vide supra, pp. ---. ---.
[27] Supra, p. ---.
[28] Cf. Potvin, appendix to Vol. III.; Sir Gawain and the Grail
Castle, pp. 41, 44, and note.
[29] My use of this parallel has been objected to on the ground that
the prose Lancelot is a late text, and therefore cannot be appealed to
as evidence for original incidents. But the Lancelot in its original
form was held by so competent an authority as the late M. Gaston Paris
to have been one of the earliest, if not the very earliest, of French
prose texts. (Cf. M. Paris's review of Suchier and
Birch-Hirschfield's Geschichte der Franz. Litt.) The adventure in
question is a 'Gawain' adventure; we do not know whence it was
derived, and it may well have been included in an early version of the
romance. Apart from the purely literary question, from the strictly
critical point of view the adventure is here obviously out of place,
and entirely devoid of raison d'être. If the origins of the Grail
legend is really to be found in these cults, which are not a dead but
a living tradition (how truly living, the exclusively literary critic
has little idea), we are surely entitled to draw attention to the
obvious parallels, no matter in which text they appear. I am not
engaged in reconstructing the original form of the Grail story, but in
endeavoring to ascertain the ultimate source, and it is surely
justifiable to point out that, in effect, no matter what version we
take, we find in that version points of contact with one special group
of popular belief and practice. If I be wrong in my conclusions my
critics have only to suggest another origin for this particular
feature of the romance--as a matter of fact, they have failed to do so.
[30] Cf. Perlesvaus, Branch II. Chap. I.
[31] Throwing into, or drenching with, water is a well known part of
the 'Fertility' ritual; it is a case of sympathetic magic, acting as a
rain charm.


[1] Ancient Greek Religion, and Modern Greek Folk-Lore, J. C. Lawson,
gives some most interesting evidence as to modern survivals of
mythological beliefs.
[2] Wald und Feld-Kulte, 2nd edition, 2 vols., Berlin, 1904. Cf.
Vol. II. p. 286. The Golden Bough, 3rd edition, 5 vols.
[3] I cite from Mannhardt, as the two works overlap in the particular
line of research we are following: the same instances are given in
both, buyt the honour of priority belongs to the German scholar.
[4] Op. cit. Vol. I. p. 411.
[5] See G. Calderon, 'Slavonic Elements in Greek religion,' Classical
Review, 1918, p. 79.
[6] Op. cit. p. 416.
[7] Op. cit. pp. 155 and 312.
[8] Op. cit. p. 353.
[9] Op. cit. p. 358.
[10] Op. cit. p. 358.
[11] Op. cit. p. 359. Cf. the Lausitz custom given supra, which
Mannhardt seems to have overlooked.
[12] In the poem, besides the ordinary figures of the Vegetation
Deity, his female counterpart, and the Doctor, common to all such
processions, Laubfrosch, combining the two first, and Horse.
Cf. Mannhardt, Mythol. Forsch. pp. 142-43; Mysterium und Mimus,
pp. 408 et seq.; also, pp. 443-44. Sir W. Ridgeway (op. cit. p. 156)
refers slightingly to this interpretation of a 'harmless little
hymn'--doubless the poem is harmless; until Prof. von Schroeder
pointed out its close affinity with the Fertility processions it was
also meaningless.
[13] Op. cit. Chap. 17, p. 253.
[14] Cf. Folk-Lore, Vol. XV. p. 374.
[15] Op. cit. Vol. V. The Dying God, pp. 17 et seq.
[16] See Dr Seligmann's study, The Cult of Nyakang and the Divine
Kings of the Shilluk in the Fourth Report of the Wellcome Research
Laboratories, Kkartum, 1911, Vol. B.
[17] Cf. Address on reception into the Academy when M. Paris succeeded
to Pasteur's fauteuil.


[1] Op. cit. Vol. I. p. 94.
[2] The Legend of Longinus, R. J. Peebles (Bryn Mawr College
monographs, Vol. IX.).
[3] I discussed this point with Miss Lucy Broadwood, Secretary of
the Folk-Song Society, who has made sketches of these Crosses, and she
entirely agrees with me. In my Quest of the Holy Grail, pp. 54 et seq.,
I have pointed out the absolute dearth of ecclesiastical tradition with
regard to the story of Joseph and the Grail.
[4] Cf. Littaturzeitung, XXIV. (1903), p. 2821.
[5] Cf. The Bleeding Lance, A. C. L. Brown.
[6] Cf. Brown, op. cit. p. 35; also A. Nutt, Studies in the Legend of
the Holy Grail, p. 184.
[7] Cf. Brown, Notes on Celtic Cauldrons of Plenty, p. 237.
[8] Cf. Queste, Malory, Book XIII. Chap. 7, where the effect is
the same.
[9] Cf. Germanische Elben und Götter beim Estenvolker,
L. von Schroeder (Wien, 1906).
[10] I suggested this point in corrspondence with Dr Brugger,
who agreed with me that it was worth working out.
[11] Before leaving the discussion of Professor Brown's theory, I
would draw attention to a serious error made by the author of
The Legend of Longinus. On p. 191, she blames Professor Brown for
postulating the destructive qualities of the Lance, on the strength of
'an unsupported passage' in the 'Mons' MS., whereas the Montpellier
text says that the Lance shall bring peace. Unfortunately, it is
this latter version which is unsupported, all the MSS., without even
excepting B.N. 1429, which as a rule agrees with Montpellier, give
the 'destructive' version.
[12] Cf. Dulaure, Des Divinités Génératrices, p. 77. Also additional
chapter to last edition by Van Gennep, p. 333; L. von Schroeder,
Mysterium und Mimus, pp. 279-80, for symbolic use of the Spear.
McCulloch, Religion of the Celts, p. 302, suggests that it is not
impossible that the cauldron==Hindu yoni, which of course would bring
it into line with the above suggested meaning of the Grail. I think
however that the real significance of the cauldron is that previously
[13] It is interesting to note that this relative position of Lance
and Grail lingers on in late and fully Christianized versions;
cf. Sommer, The Quest of the Holy Grail, Romainia, XXXVI. p. 575.
[14] My informant on this point was a scholar, resident in Japan,
who gave me the facts within his personal knowledge. I referred the
question to Prof. Basil Hall Chamberlain, who wrote in answer that he
had not himself met with the practice but that the Samurai ceremonies
differed in different provinces, and my informant might well be correct.
[15] This explanation has at least the merit of simplicity as compared
with that proposed by the author of The Legend of Longinus, pp. 209
et seq., which would connect the feature with an obscure heretical
practice of the early Irish church. It would also meet Professor
Brown's very reasonable objections, The Bleeding Lance, p. 8;
cf. also remarks by Baist quoted in the foot-note above.
[16] Cf. my Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. pp. 314-315, note.
[17] Mr A. E. Waite, who has published a book on the subject,
informs me that the 17 cards preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi
(Bibl. Nationale?) as specimens of the work of the painter
Charles Gringonneur, are really Tarots.
[18] Falconnier, in a brochure on Les XXII Lames Hermetiques du Tarot,
gives reproductions of these Egyptian paintings.
[19] Journal of the Gipsy-Lore Society, Vol. II. New Series,
pp. 14-37.
[20] From a private letter. The ultimate object of Magic in all
ages was, and is, to obtain control of the sources of Life. Hence,
whatever was the use of these objects (of which I know nothing),
their appearance in this connection is significant.


[1] Mysterium und Mimus, p. 50. This work contains a most valuable
and interesting study of the Maruts, and the kindred groups of Sword
[2] Op. cit. pp. 47 et seq.
[3] Rig-Veda, Vol. III. p. 337.
[4] Mysterium und Mimus, p. 48.
[5] Op. cit., Indra, die Maruts, und Agastya, pp. 91 et seq.
[6] Rig-Veda, Vol. III. pp. 331, 334, 335, 337.
[7] Mysterium un Mimus, p. 121.
[8] Vollendung des Arische Mysterium, p. 13. The introductory section
of this book, containing a study of early Aryan belief, and numerous
references to modern survivals, is both interesting and valuable.
The latter part, a panegyric on the Wagnerian drama, is of little
[9] Mysterium und Mimus, p. 131.
[10] Cf. Röscher's Lexikon, under heading Kureten.
[11] Op. cit.
[12] Cf. Preller, Graechishe Mythologie, p. 134.
[13] Quoted by Preller, p. 654.
[14] Themis, A Study in Greek Social Origins (Cambridge, 1912),
pp. 6 et seq.
[15] Mysterium un Mimus, p. 23.
[16] Themis, p. 24.
[17] Cf. Mysterium und Mimus, section Indra, die Maruts, und Agastya
specially pp. 151 et seq.
[18] Cf. von Schroeder, op. cit. pp. 141 et seq. for a very full
account of the ceremonies; also, Themis, p. 194; Mannhardt,
Wald und Feld-Kulte, and Röscher's Lexikon, under heading Mars,
for various reasons.
[19] Folk-Lore, Vols. VII., X., and XVI. contain interesting and
fully illustrated accounts of some of these dances and plays.
[20] The Mediaeval Stage, Vol. III. p. 202. It would be interesting
to know the precise form of this ring; was it the Pentangle?
[21] Cf. also Mysterium und Mimus, pp. 110, 111, for a general
description of the dance, minus the text of the speeches.
[22] Pp. 186-194.
[23] Cf. Folk-Lore, Vol. XVI. pp. 212 et seq.
[24] I would draw attention to the curious name of the adversary,
Golisham; it is noteworthy that in one Arthurian romance Gawain
has for adversary Golagros, in another Percival fights against
Golerotheram. Are these all reminiscences of the giant Goliath,
who became the synonym for a dangerous, preferably heathen,
adversary, even as Mahomet became the synonym for an idol?
[25] Cf. Mannhardt, Wald und Feld-Kulte, Vol. II. pp. 191 et seq.
for a very full account of the Julbock (Yule Buck).
[26] Cf. Folk-Lore, Vol. VIII. 'Some Oxfordshire Seasonal Festivals,'
where full illustrations of the Bampton Morris Dancers and their
equipment will be found.
[27] Cf. The Padstow Hobby-Horse, F.-L. Vol. XVI. p. 56;
The Staffordshire Horn-Dance, Ib. Vol. VII. p. 382, and VIII. p. 70.
[28] Cf. supra, pp. ---, ---, ---.
[29] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. p. 264.
[30] See English Folk-Song and Dance by Frank Kidson and Mary Neal,
Cambridge, 1915, plate facing p. 104. A curious point in connection
with the illustration is that the Chalice is surmounted by a Heart,
and in the Tarot suits Cups are the equivalent of our Hearts.
The combination has now become identified with the cult of the
Sacred Heart, but is undoubtedly much older.


[1] Cf. supra, Chap. 5, pp. --- ---; Chap. 7, pp. ---, ---.
[2] Mysterium und Mimus, p. 369, Der Mimus des Medizinmannes.
[3] Cf. Chap. 5, pp. ---, ---.
[4] Op. cit. p. 371
[5] Op. cit. pp. 78 et seq.
[6] I would draw attention to the fact that while scholars are now
coming to the conclusion that Classic Drama, whether Tragedy or
Comedy, reposes for its origin upon this ancient ritual, others have
pointed out that Modern Drama derives from the ritual Play of the
Church, the first recorded medieval drama being the Easter Quem
Quaeritis? the dramatic celebration of Our Lord's Resurrection.
Cf. Chambers, The Mediaeval Stage, where this thesis is elaborately
developed and illustrated. It is a curious fact that certain texts
of this, the 'Classical' Passion Play, contain a scene between the
Maries and the 'Unguentarius' from whom they purchase spices for the
embalmment of Our Lord. Can this be a survival of the Medicine Man?
(Cf. op. cit. Vol. ii. p. 33.)
[7] Bibl. Nat., fonds Français, 12577, fo. 40
[8] Bibl. Nat., f. F. 1453, fo. 49. Parzival, Bk. x. ll, 413-22.
[9] Lanceloet, Jonckbloet, Vol.II. ll. 22271-23126.
[10] Op. cit. ll. 22825-26.
[11] Op. cit. Vol. 1. ll. 42540-47262.
[12] Op. cit. ll. 46671-74.
[13] Op. cit. ll. 46678-80.
[14] Cf. Loth, Les Mabinogion, Vol. ii. p. 230, and note. The
other two are Riwallawn Walth Banhadlen, and Llacheu son of Arthur.
[15] The only instance in which I have found medicine directly
connected with the knightly order is in the case of the warrior clan
of the Samurai, in Japan, where members, physically unfitted for the
task of a warrior, were trained as Royal Doctors, the Folk Doctors
being recruited from a class below the Samurai. Cf. Medizin der
Natur-Völker, Bartels, p. 65.


[1] Cf. OEuvres de Ruteboeuf, Kressner, p. 115.
[2] My attention was drawn to the poem by references to it in
The Mediaeval Stage, Chambers.


[1] Cf. my Sir Gawain and the Grail Castle, pp. 3-30. The best text
is that of MS. B.N., fonds Franç. 12576, ff. 87vo-91. The above
remarks apply also to the Elucidation, which is using a version of
the Bleheris form.
[2] B.N. 12577, fo. 136vo.
[3] Cf. Sir Gawain at the Grail Castle, pp. 33-46.
[4] Cf. B.N. 12576, ff. 220-222vo and fo. 258.
[5] Hucher, Le Saint Graal, Vo. I. pp. 251 et seq., 315 et seq.
[6] Cf. Modena MS. pp. 11, 12, 21, etc.; Dr Nitze, The Fisher-King in
the Grail Romances, p. 373, says Borron uses the term Rice Pescheur,
as opposed to the Roi Pescheur of Chrétien. This remark is only
correct as applied to the Joseph.
[7] Modena MS p. 61 and note.
[8] Ibid. p. 63.
[9] The evidence of the Parzival and the parallel Grail sections of
Sone de Nansai, which appear to repose ultimately on a source common
to all three authors, makes this practically certain.
[10] This is surely a curious omission, if the second King were as
essential a part of the scheme as Dr Nitze supposes.
[11] Cf. Chapter 2, p. ---.
[12] I cannot agree with Dr Nitze's remark (op. cit. p. 374) that
"in most versions the Fisher King has a mysterious double." I hold
that feature to be a peculiarity of the Chrétien-Wolfram group.
It is not found in the Gawain versions, in Wauchier, nor in Manessier.
Gerbert is using the Queste in the passage relative to Mordrains, and for
the reason stated above I hold that heither Queste nor Grand Saint Graal
should be cited when we are dealing, as Dr Nitze is here dealing, with
questions of ultimate origin.
[13] Cf. my Legend of Sir Lancelot, pp. 167 and 168.
[14] Cf. Heinzel, Ueber die Alt-Franz. Gral-Romanen, pp. 136 and 137.
[15] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. p. 343, note. These three
kings are found in the curious Merlin MS. B.N., f. Franç. 337, fo. 249
et seq.
[16] Vide supra, pp. ---. ---.
[17] Op. cit. p. 184.
[18] Cf. Chapter 5, p. ---, Chap. 7, p. ---.
[19] Diû Crone, ll. 17329 et seq.
[20] In the Parzival Titurel is grandfather to Anfortas, Frimutel
intervening; critics of the poem are apt to overlook this difference
between the German and French versions.
[21] Cf. Chapter 2, p. ---.
[22] Cf. here my notes on Sone de Nansai (Romania, Vol. XLIII. p. 412).
[23] In connection with my previous remarks on the subject (p. ---)
I would point out that the Queste and Grand Sainte Graal versions repeat
the Maimed King motif in the most unintelligent manner. The element
of old age, inherent in the Evalach-Mordrains incident, is complicated
and practically obscured, by an absurdly exaggerated wounding element,
here devoid of its original significance.
[24] Heinzel, op. cit. p. 13.
[25] For an instance of the extravagances to which a strictly
Christian interpretation can lead, cf. Dr Sebastian Evans's theories
set forth in his translation of the Perlesvaus (The High History of
the Holy Grail) and in his The Quest of the Holy Grail. The author
places the origin of the cycle in the first quarter of the thirteenth
century, and treats it as an allegory of the position in England
during the Interdict pronounced against King John, and the consequent
withholding of the Sacraments. His identification of the character
with historical originals is most ingenious, an extraordinary example
of misapplied learning.
[26] For a general discussion of the conflicting views cf. Dr Nitze's
study, referred to above. The writer devotes special attention to the
works of the late Prof. Heinzel and Mr Alfred Nutt as leading
representatives of their respective schools.
[27] R. Pischel's Ueber die Ursprung des Christlichen Fisch-Symbols is
specifically devoted to the possible derivation from Indian sources.
Scheftelowitz, Das Fischsymbolik in Judentem und Christentum
(Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, Vol. XIV.), contains a great
deal of valuable material. R. Eisler, Orpheus the Fisher (The Quest,
Vols. I and II.), John, Jonas, Joannes (ibid. Vol. III.), the Messianic
Fish-meal of the Primitive Church (ibid. Vol. IV.), are isolated
studies, forming part of a comprehensive work on the subject, the
publication of which has unfortunately been prevented by the War.
[28] Mahâbhârata, Bk. III.
[29] Cf. Scheftekowitz, op. cit. p. 51.
[30] Cf. The Open Court, June and July, 1911, where reproductions of
these figures will be found.
[31] Op. cit. p. 403. Cf. here an illustration in Miss Harrison's
Themis (p. 262), which shows Cecrops, who played the same rôle with
regard to the Greeks, with a serpent's tail.
[32] Ibid. p. 168. In this connection note the prayer to Vishnu,
quoted above.
[33] Cf. Eisler, Orpheus the Fisher (The Quest, Vol. I. p. 126).
[34] Cf. W. Staerk, Ueber den Ursprung der Gral-Legende, pp. 55, 56.
[35] Df. S. Langdon, Sumerian and Babylonian Psalms, pp. 301, 305,
307, 313.
[36] Cf. Eisler, The Messianic Fish-meal of the Primitive Church
(The Quest, Vol. IV.), where the various frescoes are described; also
the article by Scheftelowitz, already referred to. While mainly devoted
to Jewish beliefs and practices, this study contains much material
derived from other sources. So far it is the fullest and most
thoroughly documenté treatment of the subject I have met with.
[37] Cf. Eisler, op. cit. and Scheftelowitz, pp. 19. 20.
[38] Cf. Eisler, op. cit. p. 508.
[39] Cf. Scheftelowitz, op. cit. pp. 337, 338, and note 4.
[40] Hucher, Le Saint Graal, Vol. I. pp. 251 et seq., 315 et seq.
[41] Cf. A. Nutt, Studies in the Legend of the Holy Grail, p. 209.
[42] Cf. Eisler, The Mystic Epitaph of Bishop Aberkios (The Quest,
Vol. V. pp. 302-312); Scheftelowitz, op. cit. p. 8.
[43] Cf. The Voyage of Saint Brandan, ll. 372, et seq., 660 et seq.
[44] Op. cit. ll. 170 et seq., and supra, p. ---.
[45] Vide supra, p. ---.
[46] Op. cit. p. 168.
[47] Cf. The Messianic Fish-meal.
[48] Op. cit. p. 92, fig. 42 a.
[49] Op. cit. p. 23, and note, p. 29.
[50] Parzival, Bk. IX. ll., 1109 et seq., Bk. XVI. ll. 175 et seq.
[51] Cf. Sir Gawain at the Grail Castle, p. 55. Certain of the
Lancelot MSS., e.g., B.N., f. Fr. 123, give two doves.
[52] Cf. Scheftelowitz, p. 338. Haven, Der Gral, has argued that
Wolfram's stone is such a meteoric stone, a Boetylus. I am not
prepared to take up any position as to the exact nature of the stone
itself, whether precious stone or meteor; the real point of importance
being its Life-giving potency.
[53] Op. cit. p. 381.
[54] Ibid. p. 376 et seq.
[55] Ibid. p. 20.
[56] Ibid. p. 377.


[1] Elucidation, ll. 4-9 and 12, 13.
[2] Potvin, ll. 19933-40. I quote from Potvin's edition as more
accessible than the MSS., but the version of mons is, on the whole,
an inferior one.
[3] Potvin, ll. 28108-28.
[4] This is to my mind the error vitiating much of Dr Nitze's later
work, e.g., the studies entitled The Fisher-King in the Grail Romances
and The Sister's Son, and the Conte del Graal.
[5] Op. cit. Introduction, p. X.
[6] Rohde, Psyche, p. 293, and Cumont, op. cit. p. 44.
[7] Anrich, Das alte Mysterien-Wesen in seinem Verhältniss zum
Christentum, p. 46.
[8] Op. cit. p. 136.
[9] Cumont, op. cit. p. 84.
[10] Op. cit. pp. 104, 105.
[11] Cf. Anrich, op. cit. p. 81.
[12] Hepding, Attis, p. 189.
[13] Cumont, Mystères de Mithra, pp. 19 and 78.
[14] Ibid. p. 188.
[15] Ibid. pp. 190 et seq.
[16] Vide Hepding, Attis, Chap. 4, for details.
[17] Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, p. 174.
[18] Hepding, op. cit. p. 196.
[19] Cf. my Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. p. 313. Hepding mentions
(op. cit. p. 174) among the sacra of the goddess Phrygium ferrum,
which he suggests was the knife from which the Archigallus wounded
himself on the 'Blood' day. Thus it is possible that the primitive
ritual may have contained a knife.


[1] Cumont, op. cit. Introd. pp. XX and XXI.
[2] Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. I, p. 195.
[3] Op. cit. p. 141.
[4] Op. cit. p. 142.
[5] Op. cit. pp. 146 et seq. Reitzenstein, Die Hellenistischen
Mysterien Religionen, Leipzig, 1910, gives the document in the
original. There is also a translation of Hippolytus in the
Ante-Nicene Library.
[6] Quoted by Mead, op. cit. p. 138.
[7] Op. cit. pp. 146, 147.
[8] Op. cit. p. 151.
[9] Op. cit. p. 152. Mr Mead concludes that there is here a lacuna of
the original.
[10] Op. cit. p. 181. In a note Mr Mead says of the Greater Mysteries,
"presumaby the candidate went through some symbolic rite of death and
[11] Op. cit. pp. 185, 186. I would draw especial attention to this
passage in view of the present controversey as to the Origin of Drama.
It looks as if the original writer of the document (and this section
is in the Pagan Source) would have inclined to the views of Sir
Gilbert Murray, Miss Harrison, and Mr Cornford rather than to those
championed by their sarcastic critic, Sir W. Ridgeway.
[12] Op. cit. p. 190.
[13] Vide supra, p. ---.
[14] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. Chapters 10 and 11.
[15] Cf. my Quest of the Holy Grail, Bell, 1913, Chap. 4, for summary
of evidence on this point.
[16] Cf. Heinzel, Alt-Franz. Gral-Romanen, p. 72.


[1] Op. cit. p. 71.
[2] Op. cit. p. 3.
[3] Op. cit. p. 4.
[4] Cumont, op. cit. pp. 129-141 et seq.
[5] Op. cit. p. 148.
[6] Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, the text is given with
translation and is followed by an elaborate commentary.
The whole study is most interesting and suggestive.
[7] Cf. Bousset, Der Himmelfahrt der Seele, Archiv für
Religionswissenschaft, Vol. IV.
[8] Cumont, op. cit. pp. 199 et seq.
[9] Adonis und Esumn, p. 521.
[10] Cf. Mead, op. cit. p. 179, note; Cumont, Mystères de Mithra, p. 183.
[11] Cumont, Les Religions Orientales, pp. 160 et seq.
[12] Mystères de Mithra, p. 77.
[13] Les Religions Orientales, pp. 166, 167, Mystères de Mithra, p. 57.
[14] Mead, op. cit. pp. 147, 148, and note.
[15] Without entering into indiscreet details I may say that students
of the Mysteries are well aware of the continued survival of this
ritual under circumstances which correspond exactly with the
indications of two of our Grail romances.
[16] The Quest of the Holy Grail, pp. 110 et seq.
[17] Professor A. C. L. Brown, Notes on Celtic Cauldrons of Plenty,
n. p. 249, translates this 'wells,' an error into which the late
Mr Alfred Nutt had already fallen. Wisse Colin translates this
correctly, berg, gebirge.
[18] I suspect that the robbery of the Golden Cup was originally
a symbolic expression for the outrage being offered.


[1] MS B.N. 12576, ff. 87vo et seq. A translation will be found in my
Sir Gawain at the Grail Castle, pp. 13-15.
[2] MS B.N. 12576, ff. 150vo, 222, 238vo.
[3] Cf. here Prof. Kittredge's monograph Arthur and Gorlagon.
[4] Cf. Malory, Book XVI. Chap. 2.
[5] Cf. Perlesvaus, Branch XV. sections XII.-XX.; Malory, Book VI.
Chap. 15; Chevalier à deux Espées, ll. 531 et seq.
[6] B.N. 12576, fo. 74vo.
[7] Cf. B.N. MS 1433, ff. 10, 11, and the analysis and remarks in my
Legend of Sir Lancelopt, p. 219 and note.
[8] Cf. passage in question quoted on p. 137.
[9] B.N. 12576, fo. 150vo.
[10] Perlesvaus, Branch I. sections III., IV.
[11] Cf. my notes on the subject, Romania, Vol. XLIII. pp. 420-426.
[12] Cf. Nitze, Glastonbury and the Holy Grail, where the reference
is given.
[13] Vide supra, p. ---.
[14] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. p. 261. I suggested then
that the actual initiation would probably consist in enlightenment
into the meaning of Lance and Cup, in their sexual juxtaposition.
I would now go a step further, and suggest that the identification of
the Lance with the weapon of Longinus may quite well have rpelaced the
original explanation as given by Bleheris. In The Quest, Oct. 1916,
I have given, under the title "The Ruined Temple," a hypothetical
reconstruction of the Grail Initiation.
[15] Owain Miles, edited from the unique MS. by Turnbull and Laing,
Edinburgh, 1837. The Purgatory of Saint Patrick will be found in
Horstmann's Southern Legendary. I have given a modern English
rendering of part of Owain Miles in my Chief Middle-English Poets,
published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, U.S.A.
[16] Cf. op. cit. pp. 148 et seq.
[17] Op. cit. pp. 155 and 254.


The Author

[1] Cf. Mead, Thrice Greatest Hermes, Vol. III. p. 295. On this point
the still untranslated corpus of Bardic poetry may possibly throw light.
[2] The Quest of The Holy Grail (Quest series, Bell, 1913).
[3] On the point that Chrétien was treating an already popular theme,
cf. Brugger, Enserrement Merlin, I. (Zeitschrift für Franz. Sprache,
[4] That is, the relationship is due to romantic tradition, not to
Mystery survival, as Dr Nitze maintains.
[5] Cf. Romania, Vol. XXXIII. pp. 333 et seq.
[6] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. I. Chap. 12, for the passages
referred to, also article in Romania, XXXIII.
[7] Cf. my Quest of the Holy Grail, pp. 110 et seq.
[8] Cf. Tristan (Bédier's ed.), Vol. I. l. 2120.
[9] A critic of my Quest volume remarks that "we have as little faith
in Wauchier's appeal to a Welshman Bleheris as source for his
continuation of Chrétien's 'Perceval' as we have in Layamon's similar
appeal to Bede and St Austin at the beginning of the 'Brut.'"
The remark seems to me singularly inept, there is no parallel between
the cases. In the first place Layamon does not refer to Bede and
St Austin as source, but as models, a very different thing. Then the
statement is discredited by the fact that we possess the writings of
these men, and know them to be of another character than Metrical
Chronicles. In the case of Wauchier his reference does not stand
alone; it is one of a group, and that group marked by an extraordinary
unanimity of statement; whoever Bleheris may have been he was
certainly possessed of two definite qualifications--he knew a vast
number of tales, and he possessed a remarkable gift of narration,
i.e., he was a story-teller, par excellence. Thus he was, a priori,
a probable source for that section of Wauchier's work which is
attributed to him, a section consisting of short, picturesque,
and mutually independent tales, which formed part of a popular
collection. It is misleading to speak as if Wauchier refers to him
as general source for his Perceval continuation; the references are
clearly marked and refer to Gawain tales. Apart from the fact that
Wauchier's reference does not stand alone we have independent evidence
of the actual existence of such a group of tales, in our surviving
Gawain poems, certain of which, such as Kay and the Spit, and Golagros
and Gawayne are versions of the stories given by Wauchier, while the
author of the Elucidation was also familiar with the same collection.
If evidence for the identity of Bleheris is incomplete, that for his
existence appears to be incontrovertible. Would it not be more honest
if such a would-be critic as the writer referred to said, 'I do not
choose to believe in the existence of Bleheris, because it runs
counter to my pre-conceived theory of the evolution of the literature'?
We should then know where we are. Such a parallel as that cited above
has no value for those familiar with the literature but may easily
mislead the general reader. I would also draw attention to the
fact noted in the text--the extreme improbability of Wauchier,
a continental writer, inventing an insular and Welsh source.
This is a point critics carefully evade.
[10] Cf. Bledhericus de Cornouailles, note contributed by M. Ferd.
Lot, to Romania, Vol. XXVIII. p. 336. M. Lot remarks that he
has not met with the name in Armorica; it thus appears to be insular.
[11] Cf. Revue Celtique, 1911, A note on the identification of Bleheris.
[12] Ed. Rhys-Evans, Vol. II. p. 297; cf. also Revue Celtique.
[13] In the course of 1915-16 I received letters from Mr Rogers Rees,
resident at Stepaside, Pembrokeshire, who informed me that he held
definite proof of the connection of Bledri with both Grail and
Perceval legends. The locality had been part of Bledri's estate, and
the house in which he lived was built on the site of what had been
Bledri's castle. Mr Rogers Rees maintained the existence of a living
tradition connecting Bledri with the legends in question. At his
request I sent him the list of the names of the brothers of Alain
li Gros, as given in the 1516 edition of the Perlesvaus, a copy of
which is in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and received in return a letter
stating that the list must have been compiled by one familiar with the
district. Unfortunately, for a year, from the autumn of 1916, I was
debarred from work, and when, on resuming my studies, I wrote to my
correspondent asking for the promised evidence I obtained no answer to
my repeated appeal. On communicating with Mr Owen I found he had had
precisely the same experience, and, for his part, was extremely
sceptical as to there being any genuine foundation for our
correspondent's assertions. While it is thus impossible to use the
statements in question as elements in my argument, I think it right in
the interests of scholarship to place them on record; they may afford
a clue which some Welsh scholar may be able to follow up to a more
satisfactory conclusion.
[14] Had Wauchier really desired to invent an authority, in view of
his date, and connection with the house of Flanders, he had a famous
name at hand--that of Chrétien de Troyes.
[15] Cf. Legend of Sir Perceval, Vol. II. p. 307 and note. I have
recently received Dr Brugger's review of Mr R. H. Griffith's study
of the English poem, and am glad to see that the critic accepts the
independence of this version. If scholars can see their way to accept
as faits acquis the mutual independence of the Grail, and Perceval
themes, we shall, at last, have a solid basis for future criticism.
[16] Cf. my Notes, Romania, Vol. XLIII. pp. 403 et seq.

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