THE CHARM AND VALUE OF THE ANCIENT ROMANCES OF CHIVALRY
'The share which women had in the abuses as well as the merits of chivalry is also distinctly traced in these old romances.' 'A monk of St. Denis wrote a history of chivalry, which is still an authority. The court of all the Valois had no higher amusement than reading the romances of chivalry. It was Charlemagne who ordered that those ancient heroic poems should be collected which have been condensed into the "Nibelungen-lied," and the" Heldenbuch." 'These ancient Spanish romances are redolent of all the virtues and graces which characterize the age of chz'valyy. 'The libraries of the monasteries contained romances: "Perceval" was in that of Lincoln Cathedral. They are invaluable supplements to the history of the times, and supplements which narrate all that history has forgotten. The greatest part of the histories was com posed in the twelfth century, which even Sismondi pronounces to have been a great age.