Old French Romances

Old French Romances

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Old French Romances by William Morris

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1896

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Old French Romances

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Book Excerpt

t a few folk-tales, and at least one folk-song. The Romance of the Violet, by Gerbert de Montruil, circa 1225, derives its name from the mother's mark of the heroine, which causes her husband to lose his bet. This was probably the source of Boccaccio's novel (ii. 9), from which Shakespeare's more immediately grew. The Gaelic version of this incident, collected by Campbell (The Chest, No. ii.), is clearly not of folk origin, but derived directly or indirectly from Boccaccio, in whom alone the Chest is found. Yet it is curious that, practically, the same story as the Romance of the Violet is found among folk-songs in modern Greece and in Modern Scotland. In Passow's collection of Romaic Folk Songs there is one entitled Maurianos and the King, which is in substance our story; and it is probably the existence of this folk-song which causes M. Gaston Paris to place our tale among the romances derived from Byzantium. Yet Motherwell in his Minstrelsy has a ballad entitled Reedisdale and Wise William, which has

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