By Winfred P. Lehmann
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Extra info for A Gothic Etymological Dictionary
The music it seems speaks more eloquently of the love between Horn and Rigmel than the narrative of their relationship, and results in Lenburc’s momentary realization of the truth of his identity. The combination of comfort, domesticity and sensitivity makes Lenburc a genuine rival to the distant Rigmel and provides a convincing test of Horn’s fidelity—a test that, of course, he passes. Thomas is treading a fine line here in depicting the light-hearted, youthful activities of the Irish court without straying into the easy dismissal of them as signs of weakness, recklessness or effeminacy.
Sa mere s’aparceit ke ele est enpalie E siet ke c’est amur ki la tuché e frie. Si li dit soavet qu’ele laist sa folie. Mes ele l’en aime plus; ne dute sa mestrie. (2393–4; 2467–70) [After the first course had been brought before them, Lenburc looked long and hard at Gudmod […] Her mother noticed her pallor and knew love controlled and moved her. She gently told her not to be foolish. ] Whereas the king is detached but good humoured about the enthusiasm and dismay of his family at losing the games: Mes li reis, ki sage est, n’en dorreit une fie, Ki tels gius ad sovent bien veü en sa vie.
Thus with Hunlaf’s Brittany the cultural detail is initially re-assuring. The lost boys are welcomed compassionately to a land of courtesy and courtliness where they will be trained in the skills suited to their temporarily lost status. And there is no doubt that these skills are of value—music, hunting, hawking, jousting are the skills of the aristocrat, not only the warrior. The scene of Horn’s first appearance at court is also reassuringly familiar to the reader: 9 A Pentecuste iert faite icestë assembléé Pur la grant feste anvel, ke bien fu celebréé Meint riche bier i vint de diverse cuntréé E lur muilliers od aus, dames de grant ponnéé Ke la grant curt le rei en fust plus honoréé Herland, li seneschal, ad la curt governée: Bien les ad herbergie, sanz coruz, sanz mesléé.
A Gothic Etymological Dictionary by Winfred P. Lehmann