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legend of The Swans (Godfrey of Bulloign) h Of three others the sources are partly classical, but there remains one as to the origin of which nothing whatever is known: the story of the Fourth Sage: Creditor, which is The Flesh-Bond and the Bride, or in other words The Merchant of Venice. Here in Dolopathos* written in the borderland between Germany and France, in the Xllth century, it suddenly emerges, complete in essentials. Nobody at present knows where it comes from. A prodigious birth it is, fraught with grave consequences for the world's literature. Let no student of Shakespeare omit reading it, in the very form in which it sprang into existence2.

[Historia quarti sapientis: Creditor.]

Fuit quondam nobilis uir et potens, castellum munitisbimum aliasque multas possessiones habens. Huio filia sola ex uxore relicta fuerat. Quam ipse, eum nullum alium haberet heredem, libetalibus artibus decrevit imbuendam, quatinus ex artium diseiplina philosophorumque libris sapientiam que melior estfortitudine mutuaret, per quam paternam sciret hereditatem tueri, quod posse armis aut viribus ei muliebris infirmitas denegarat. Nee fefellit eum in hoe spes sua. Tantam siquidem illa scientiam subtilitatemque ex artibus comparavit, ut magicam quoque artem nullo se docente magistro perciperet. Contigit autem. post hec patrem eius f ebre acuta correptum in lectum decidere. Qui infirmitatem se evadere non posse intelligens, filiam ex testamento omnium bonorum designavit heredem sicque ordinatis rebus suis defunotus est. Puella vero hereditate patris potita firmavit in animo nullum se ducturam virum, nisi quem sibi et sapientia et generis nobihtas adequaret. Veniebant autem ad eam quam plurimi nobilium filii, seueius pulchritudine seu faoultatibus captL SoUicitabant eam de coniugio, pulsabant precibus, muneribus attrahebant, offerentes quidem plurima et multa promittentes. At illa, ut erat prudentis animi, nullum spernens nullique se denegans precantium cuivis sui contubernium offerebat, sub tali dumtaxat conditione ut prima nocte centum argenti marcas solvens ea prout vellet eiusque amplexibus frueretur, ac deinde mane facta , si alter alteri complaceret, tune sollemniores coram amicis nuptiaB celebrarent.

i Romania ii, p. 490; Preface to Li Romans de Dolopathos ed. de Montaiglon. • i quote from Hilka's critical text, Heidelberg 1913; Oesterley's is less reliabku

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