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“ As knives cut butter, will my teeth their bones.” The second book contains the history of the lion's falling sick; and includes the first portion of the earlier “ Isengrimus ;” the conclusion of which poem, with sundry alterations and additions, constitutes, according to its present arrangement, the third book of “Reinardus." That what is now termed the fourth book ought, at all events, to be placed directly after the second, is shown from its commencement, in which we are told “that, the court being greatly rejoiced at the lion's restoration to health, the several members return to their respective homes : and that on his way through the forest Reynard encounters the wolf, who is still smarting under the loss of his skin-an explanation which shows very clearly that the third book, in which the wolf and the fox repeatedly encounter each other without the slightest allusion being made to this particular injury, is very improperly thrust into the place which it now occupies. But to proceed, Reynard, after a long discourse with Isengrim, persuades him to wreak his vengeance upon the ram. The wolf agrees to do so, and is accordingly conducted by Reynard to the spot where he is feeding. The ram succeeds, however, in beating off his assailant, who is glad to escape
with no worse treatment than a hearty drubbing. When the wolf is somewhat recovered from the wounds inflicted on this occasion, Reynard determines to play him another trick, and accordingly invites the
* “Ut butyrum culter dentibus ossa seco.”—v. 1464.
lion, whom he meets and who is desperately hungry, to visit Isengrim. The lion does so, to Isengrim's great astonishment, and the whole party proceed together to the forest, where they have the goodfortune to capture a young heifer, which Isengrim is commanded by the lion to divide. He commences by separating the spoil into three equal portions-intending one for the lion, one for himself, and one for the fox. The king of beasts is, however, sore displeased with the wolf's manner of sharing the spoil, and calls upon the fox to divide afresh. Reynard divides it into three shares, certainly of equal size, but of very different degrees of value, the first share contained the very choicest parts of the heifer, and was in fact worth the other two put together; the second share contained a good deal of meat but no fat;
“ The third all bones, but little flesh was there."*
Lastly he then takes the feet of the heifer, adds one of them to each of the three shares, and lays the fourth on one side. Being then called upon by the lion to allot the several shares to the parties for whom he intended them, he says—the first is for his royal master, the second for the lioness, and the third for the lion's whelps. The lion inquires what is to be done with the fourth foot. “ It is for me, or to be added to your majesty's share,” replies the fox;
“Est ossosa parum tertia carnis habens.”—4. v. 258.
whereupon he is graciously permitted to retain it, as a reward for the skill which he had displayed in effecting so equitable a division; a skill which he professes,-in reply to the inquiry of the lion, who had taught him to divide so well,—to have acquired from Isengrim.
Our limits admonish us to bring our notice of this poem to a close.
We must therefore pass over Isen
* Mone says that in this part of the poem the lion no longer represents the emperor Arnulph, but his son Lewis of Germany, and that the division of the heifer is intended to typify the partition of Lorraine. Unfortunately for this statement, the story is one of the commonest middle age fables. In a MS. of the latter end of the thirteenth century, containing a collection of Latin stories for the use of the monks, among the additional MSS. in the British Museum, which was assuredly compiled in England, we find a similar story, told so smartly and so briefly, as to justify our adding it to this note.
“Leo, lupus, et vulpes, venantes, ceperunt vacam, ovem, et aucam ; et cum hora fuisset partiendi, dixit Leo, 'Luppe (sic), partire predam nostram.' Lupus dixit, .Quia tu es rex noster et dominus, tu habebis vacam ; ego, quia minor te sed major vulpe, habebo ovem ; vulpes vero habebit aucam.' Leo autem hoc audiens, protenso pede, pellem de capite lupi unguibus extrahit et caput totum fecerat cruentatum. Dixit vulpi, “Vulpes nunc partire tu.' Dixit vulpes, ‘Domine, quia tu es dominus et rex, tu habebis vacam; et domina mea leona, uxor tua, habebit ovem; et domini mei, pueri tui, habebunt aucam.' Cui leo*Dic mihi vulpes, quis te docuit sapienter partiri?' Ad quem vulpes— Domine, iste socius meus cum rubeo capite'- ostenso lupo.”
grim's perjury, and its punishment, together with the particulars of his death, from an attack made on him by a herd of swine, and of his being partly devoured by the old sow.
One short extract and we have done. Reynard is told that his uncle Isengrim will never sin more :
“No wicked schemes now form his dreams, his mind no trea
sons fill, He never more, will as of yore, do aught that's wrong or ill. * Then sure he's dead,' sly Renard said ; 'dear uncle art thou
Alas! I'm here, oh uncle dear, thou in thy tomb, alone !!*
§ XIII. We now come to the oldest High German poem on the subject of Reynard. Unfortunately this has not been handed down to us in its earliest shape, with the exception of a small fragment from a manuscript of the end of the twelfth or commencement of the thirteenth century, discovered in the
year 1839, in the vellum binding of an old account book. A slight examination of this relic, which is preserved in the library at Cassel, at once satisfied Grimm that it was a portion of Reinhart, as originally written; and he announced his discovery and printed the fragment itself, in a letter which he addressed to his learned and zealous fellow labourer in
“ Desiit esse malus, mores projecit iniquos,
Nil sceleris faciet postmodo, nilque doli.'
Heu, tumulum sine me, patrue care tenes ?!”-iv. 1073-6.
early German literature and philology, the distinguished editor of the Nibelungen, Karl Lackmann.*
Interesting as this fragment is, in a philological point of view, it seems better for the present ro pose, to content ourselves with the somewhat modernized version first printed in 1817, and again by Grimm, from a different manuscript, but collated with such printed text.t
“ Reinhart,” the poem in question, contains no fewer than 2266 lines; in the course of which the author twice names himself Heinreich der Glichesære according to the one MS.—Glîchsenære according to the other. This last is not properly a family name, but rather to be considered a characteristic one, signifying a counterfeiter or feigner (from the old German gelichesen) and corresponding with the modern German Gleissner, a dissembler. Grimm,--and his opinion on matters connected with the early literature of his fatherland, has all the force of a law-concludes from various circumstances that the author was a Suabian, living in German Switzerland, who flourished about the middle, or rather towards the latter half of the twelfth century. His work, however, has been handed down to us only in the shape into which it was fashioned by an unknown writer, who lived some fifty years later than Heinrich ; in whose version we find
* Sendschreiben an Karl Lachmann, von Jacob Grimm. Reinhart Fuchs, 8vo. Leipsic, 1840.
| Reinhart Fuchs, s. ciii.-cxv, und s. 25-114.