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allusions to an inundation in Friesland which happened on the 9th January 1164,* and to the ill success of the second Crusade, † we think we shall have proved very satisfactorily that the poem in question is a production of the twelfth century. I
Having done so, it seems almost a work of supererogation to overthrow the theory recently advanced by Mone, of its containing an allegorical version of the history of Zwentibold; for the idea of composing a work of such a nature would hardly suggest itself three centuries after those events had occurred which were to form the subject matter of the allegory. . Eccard was the first to broach the theory of the historical origin of Reynard's story, in his preface to Leibnitz's Collectanea Etymologica, and he imagined Isengrimus to represent a certain Bavarian count, named Isanricus, who at a somewhat later period, opposed the Emperor Arnulf, in Bavaria, Austria, and Moravia. Unfortunately for Eccard's case, although in the fable the wolf and the fox are continually coming in contact one with the other, history not only does not afford a single instance of Reginarius and Isanricus being connected in the slightest degree; but, which is still
* “Prodigia refero, quod Fresia tota fatetur.”—lib. iv. 1185. + See lib. iv. v. 1221 et seq.
I See further Grimm, Reinhart Fuchs, s. lxx.cii ; and Du Meril, Poésies Populaires Latines, p. 25. Raynouard, on the other hand, looked upon it as being of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. See his review of the work in the Journal des Savants, July 1834.
worse, lays the scenes of their adventures in widely different places. Mone, in editing Reinardus, adopts Eccard's theory with certain amendments, such as making King Zwentibold the original of the wolf, instead of the above-mentioned Isanricus, and seeing in the name of the lion, Rufanus, an anagram of that of King Arnulf (Arnufus),* and many other things equally curious and equally imperceptible to commonplace people like ourselves, who do not pretend to be able to see further into a millstone than our neighbours. But history treats the editor of “Reinardus” as scurvily as it had before treated the editor of Leibnitz. It demolishes his nicely balanced theory. Its records prove the characters of Zwentibold and Reginarius to have borne no resemblance to those which the wolf and the fox exhibit in the poem; and, what alone is quite sufficient to decide the question against Mone, represent Reginarius as the subject of Zwentibold, whereas, in “Reinardus,” the fox is ever free and independent of the wolf.
§ xil. But it is time to give our readers some notion of the poem which has called forth these remarks. It is divided into four books; and, from the manner in which it opens, Isengrimus being named without any explanation on the part of the author that the wolf is thereby intended, and no reason being given for be
*“At some future time,” says Grimm, “ a much better anagram may satisfy the world that Méon, the editor of the · Renard,' and Mone, the editor of the • Reinardus,' were identically one and the same person.”
stowing the epithet of Reynard upon the fox, it is
Unto the wood in search of food, Reinardus he espied ;
feigned he, he was the first to speakO quick be thine, dear uncle mine, the prey which now you
seek.' He called him so, yet well did know that uncle he was none, But thought wolf ne'er would wish or dare to slay a brother's son.
Rejoice, thy prayer is heard, I swear,' quoth Isengrimus grave, • The present hour puts in my power the food for which I crave: Thou pray’dst that I might quick descry some fitting prey for
me; Food to my mind in thee I find, so thou that prey shalt be." "*
Egrediens silvam mane Isengrimus, ut escam
Jejunis natis quæreret atque sibi,
Qui simili studio ductus agebat iter;
Quam nimis admoto perdidit hoste fugam.
Nil melius credens quam simulare fidem.
Contingat patruo præda cupita meo!'
Tanquam cognato crederet usque suo.)
Reynard objects to his uncle's proposal that he should travel after the fashion of the prophet (Jonas), that is to say, in his bowels,
" equitabis more prophetæ
Non tibi sella super dorsa, sed intus erit." and while they are arguing the point, which they do at considerable length, a peasant passes along carrying a ham. Reynard makes his uncle a proposal that they should rob the peasant; his uncle agrees to do so; and accordingly Reynard approaches him, feigns lameness, and allows himself to be hunted by the countryman, who, that he may the more readily make him his prize, throws down the ham. This is speedily snapped up by Isengrim, who had been on the look-out for it, and carried off to the forest; where the wolf is soon after joined by Reynard, who demands his share of the prize, whereupon Isengrim gives him the string by which the ham had been carried.
Reynard afterwards induces Isengrim to accompany him to a store pond, where he will be able to catch abundance of fish. Reynard tells him if he dips his tail in the water, and allows it to hang there a sufficient time, he will be rewarded by an ample prey ; and, advising him to catch only eels and perch, and not to bother himself about the larger fish, leaves him and robs the priest's hen-roost of a cock. The priest
•Contigit,' Isengrimus ait, “lætare petisse,
Opportuna tuas obtulit hora preces ;
Contigit, in prædam te exigo, tuque daris.'”-1. 1-16.
upon being made acquainted with the robbery, leaves off saying mass, and gives chase to the fox, accompanied by his congregation, who arm themselves with the crucifix, candlesticks, &c. Reynard, finding the pursuit growing hot, betakes himself to the spot where the wolf is kept prisoner by his tail being frozen fast in the ice. Reynard advises him to escape, and leaves him to the tender mercies of the priest and his companions. They fall upon him, tooth and nail, with the sacred weapons which they had seized. Amongst the most active is Andrada, the priest’s wife, who, intending to kill Isengrim, aims a violent blow at him with a hatchet. By great good luck however the blow only cuts off part of his tail, so that he is thereby enabled to escape and reach the forest, where he vows to be bitterly revenged upon Reynard.
The fox soon after joins him, and endeavours to convince his uncle that his loss is really a gain; but offers, by way of making amends for his supposed ill conduct, to point out to him four rams whom he may readily capture. He does 80; and Isengrim begins by demanding from them the tribute of hides and wool, which their fathers had been accustomed to pay him. They deny his right to such tribute, and form an effectual plan of resistance, for they all four attack him at once from the different sides of the field, in the middle of which he happens to be standing, and he falls to the ground half killed by the blows given him by the very animals in anticipation of whose capture he had exclaimed