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The flowers appeal, and ready for revision
Sits Spring in Council, June is there and May,
Then gravely Spring doth say:
Affirms the judgment, varying it thus,
To be demised to us."
A few cases of poems dealing with procedure not in the tenso form are worth a short notice. In them all the poet is more or less under the influence of legal ideas, and in the first case, that of the will, there is almost as long and complete a continuity as in the tenso.
Wills.-At what time or in what language the poetic will began cannot be said, but examples occur certainly as early as the fifteenth century in the famous Grand and Petit Testaments of Villon. In the Cancionero of Hernando de Castillo already mentioned there are two, El Testamento de Amores* and a similar one supposed to have been made by a Portuguese. Among later romances in imitation of the older Romancero poems the testament of Don Quixote became a commonplace, and appears in several forms. Sanchez de Badajoz went rather farther, and wrote his own will in poetry, beginning in proper form and proceeding at great length in nine leciones or lessons. I Numerous French verse wills occur in the Bibliothèque Elzevirienne, already mentioned. In England there is Gascoigne's Last Will and Testament, and there have been many real wills which the eccentricity of testators has led them to clothe in rhyme. Many of them will be found in books dealing with the curiosities of law,
* Edition of 1882, No. 154.
+ Id., No. 207.
Quiero ordenar mi postrema
Trial by Battle.-In addition to the case in Reynard the Fox (above) in which was enacted the dramatic scene which we did not finally lose sight of in England till 1819,* both Icelandic and French literature supply further instances. Thor's wager of battle with Rungai was versified by Thiodwolf, though it is only fair to say that the wager is not prominent, as it is in Snorri's prose version.t In Huon de Meri's Tournoyement de l'Antechrist, the virtues under Christ engage and defeat the vices under Antichrist. This is only one out of many examples of the idea of the judicium Dei in medieval romances, both prose and verse.
The idea may be derived partly from the tournament, partly from the judicial combat. I Citation.—The familiar lines of Shakespeare's sonnet,
“ When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past," suggest the consideration of poems in the form of citation or summons. The troubadour poetry, full of legal phrases as it was,ş had more than one attempt of this kind. A citation
1 B. & A. 405; 59 Geo. III., C. 46. + Corpus Poeticum Boreale, ii., 16. The ordeal also occurs in Icelandic verse in the vigorous description of the ordeal of Gudona, id., i., 322.
| For the importance of the idea in the De Monarchia of Dante see the February number of this Magazine. § As in Peire Rogier :
Mon Tort n'avetz prec, s'a leis platz,
Bartsch, 82. In modern French law it is thought necessary to give the president of the Court in a criminal trial power qu'il peut interdire à un accusé de présenter sa défense en vers, Hélie, Pratique Criminelle, i., 421. Such a rule of law is hardly necessary in England. The writer, however, well remembers a prisoner at assizes handing to the Court a written defence concluding with the pathetic lines:
I didn't go for to do it,
of the Consistory of the Gay Science at Toulouse is contained in Las Joyas del Gay Saber.* It is by an'anonymous writer, and runs thus in bald prose: “To all experts in the art of rhetoric, commonly called Gay Saber, who are wont to collect the first day of May at the present city to practice nobility and give lovely flowers, we, Chancellor, have set commandments; we make known that next Sunday we shall give as is meet a branch of silver for the pear of pain.t And it is also our will to remind you to make compositions new and well divided, complete in three stanzas only of nine lines each, so that your good sense may be notable in the verses, for by knowledge ye will come to great honour. And above all forget not that this refrain fail not at the end ; To the heart doth strike me the pear of pain."
IV.-SOME THIRTEENTH CENTURY
N a recent numberţ of the Law Magazine I referred to
the history of the Provisions of Merton, a subject which I propose to consider further in the present article. But before speaking of the Provisions, I shall add a few remarks to those, which I there made, on the Assisa Panis.
The instrument printed in the Statutes of the Realm does not differ in substance from those found in Bracton's Note Bookỹ and the Annals | of Burton; and it is probable that
+ Hun branc d'argent am la pera d'enguoys. At the time of writing my last article I was not aware that Dr. Gross had published the Statutum de Judæis exiundis in his Exchequer of the Fews. His text, however, is not taken from the Memoranda Rolls.
§ Vol. iii., p. 302.
it was framed in the year 1256 as stated by the Annalist. But it certainly is not the earliest form of the Assisa Panis. Long before the year 1256, we find upon the Plea Rolls cases which relate to the assize of bread; and they shew not only that it was observed throughout the Kingdom, but that a right of enforcing its provisions was a franchise frequently vested in lords of manors and hundreds, and one the possession of which was much coveted.
It seems from a codex at the British Museum that the price of corn was regulated by an ordinance, in which, however, no precise date occurs, made in the reign of Henry II. This ordinance contains a fully worked out scale made by the King's Bakers. It has been printed by Dr. Cunningham in an Appendix to the first volume of his Growth of English Industry and Commerce. Dr. Cunningham shews that its termis differ considerably from the Assisa Panis, of the Statutes of the Realm. The scale runs in the codex from a high price and a small weight to a low price and a large weight; while in the Statutes it runs in a contrary sense. This is merely a difference in form; there are also differences in substance. The range of prices extends in the codex from eighteenpence to six shillings a quarter; but in the Statutes it extends from two shillings to twenty shillings a quarter. The gradation of the scale is also different in the two instruments, and there is a larger allowance given to the baker's servants in the assize of the year 1256 than in that of Henry II.
In the following reign another assize of bread was framed. It is written in the Red Book of the Exchequer* and begins :
Haec est assisa facta coram Huberto Walteri Cantuarensi Archiepiscopo et coram Episcopis et omnibus Anglis apud Cantuariam per Regem Ricardum.
* Red Book of the Exchequer (Chron. and Mem.), ii., 750.
There is also a codex* in the British Museum, from which we learn that the price of corn was regulated once again in the reign of John. But in this case its introductory words leave us in no doubt as to its date. They are as follows :
Anno graciae MCCIJ Rex Iohannes fecit generaliter acclamari per totum regnum Angliae vt assisa panis inuiolabiter sub pena collistrigialit obseruaretur ; quae probata fuit per pistorem G. filii Petri Iusticiarii
Angliae et pistorem R. de Tonay ita quod. Roger de Toenay was evidently one of King John's counsellors, as his name is frequently found among those of witnesses to royal charters about this time; but it is uncertain what office, if any, he held in the administration. Its actual terms are much the same as those of the earlier ordinances, but they are rather more detailed.
The same codex contains a chronicle of the kings of England ending at the forty-second year of Henry III.; and it would seem from this that the ordinance of John remained in force till the time of the substitution of the new scale of prices given in the Annals of Burton.
Fleta and Britton, both of which were written in the reign of Edward I., contain versions of the Assisa Panis, similar to that in the Statutes of the Realm.
It may be objected that an investigation into matters such as the Assize of Bread belongs rather to economics than legal history. But any information as to the nature and objects of early legislation materially concerns the latter subject; while the form and style of every early ordinance deserve careful attention. But beyond this any fact which may assist in determining the date of a manuscript comprising statutes and legal treatises is of importance. If we can be sure of the date of an article in one part of a