The Two Dreams; or, the Knight of Hungary.

A certain noble knight of Hungary dreamt of seeing a very beautiful lady, but knew her not; and it so happened that the lady whom he saw in his dream that same night dreamt also of him. Next day the knight of Hungary took horse and arms, and proceeded in quest of the lady. Three weeks and more did he ride, sorely sighing for his lady-love, till he came to a town, where was a fair castle, strongly fortified. He takes up his lodging at the inn, and, questioning mine host regarding the castle and its owner, he learns that it belongs to a lord who has a fair jewel of a wife, of whom he is so jealous that two years ago he built a strong tower at one end of the castle, in which he confines her, with one maiden as her companion; and he always carries the key of the tower, which is never opened save when he himself visits her. The knight had already seen the lady looking out of the tower window, and recognised her as the object of his dream. He goes on the following day to the castle, and offers his services to the old lord, who heartily bids him welcome; and the knight, being a good and valiant warrior, conquers all his enemies, so that the old man loved him fondly, and made him steward of his lands.

One day, when the steward chanced to be under the tower, the lady perceived him and recognised him as the same she had seen in her dream, and contrived to communicate with him by means of a rope made of rushes let down from the window. The knight now planned a crafty device by which he should enjoy the society of his lady-love unknown to her husband. He built a tower at some distance from the castle, and caused an under­ground passage to be made, leading direct from it to the lady's chamber. When all was completed, he visited the young wife, who gave him a ring as a keepsake, telling him, should her hus­band see it and appear suspicious, to bring it back to her at once. The old lord recognises his wife's ring on the steward's finger, “as he sat at meat,” and, after examining it, hastens to the tower; but the steward having reached the lady's chamber by the private way and restored the ring, on the husband demanding to see the ring, she at once produces it, to his great satisfaction.* At length the lovers resolve to elope, and the lady counsels the steward to tell the old lord that, having slain a great man in his own country, he had been banished, and that his lady-love was coming to him with some tidings regarding his heritage. The old lord would, of course, ask to see the lady, and she herself would play her part. The knight accordingly tells his lord this story, and invites him to a banquet at his own tower. Before he arrives, his wife, dressed in the costume of the knight's country, has reached the banqueting hall by the secret passage, prepared to enact the part of the crafty knight's leman. The old lord, on seeing her, thinks she is remarkably like his own wife; but then he recollected the affair of the ring, and there might also be two women exactly alike. At this juncture the lady pretends to swoon, is taken out, and returns with all speed by the private way to her chamber, where, having changed her dress, she is found by her husband, whom she embraces with every token of affection. He was “blythe as bird on bough,” and remained with her all night. On the day following the crafty knight sends all his property on board a ship, and goes to take leave of the old lord, as he is to return at once, with his lady-love, to his own country. The knight and the old lord's wife—who has resumed the character of the supposititious lady of Hungary—are accompanied by the deceived husband “into the sea a mile or two, with mynstrelsy and many manner of melody,” and then he bids them farewell. On his return home, he proceeds, as usual, to the tower, and finds his bird has flown:

Than sayed he, walaway!
That ever was he man boren!
Than was all hys myrthe lorne.
He lepe out of the tour anoon,
And than brake hys neke boon.

Wright says that this story appears to be taken from some Eastern collection, since a similar tale is found in Von Hammer's supplementary tales of the Thousand and One Nights.—Berni has adapted it, in the Orlando Innamorato—omitting the inci­dents of the two dreams: Folderico, the old knight who gained, by the artifice of the golden balls in the foot-race (see above, p. 323), the daughter of the King of the Distant Isles, shut her up in a tower where he kept his treasure, and Ordauro, the un­successful suitor, who is beloved by the lady, plays the part of the crafty Knight of Hungary.—Dunlop has pointed out that the tale of the Two Dreams corresponds exactly with the plot of the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus; the Fabliau Le Chevalier a la Trappe (Le Grand, iii, 157); a tale in the fourth part of Massuccio; and the story Du Vieux Calender in Gueulette's Contes Tartares.

The notion of two young people simultaneously dreaming of each other, though total strangers, is essentially Oriental, and numerous instances might be cited from Asiatic fiction. In the Hindū romance of Vāsavadattā, by Subhandu (7th century), as analysed by Colebrooke in vol. x of the Asiatic Researches, Candaspacētu, a young and valiant prince, saw in a dream a beautiful maiden, of whom he became desperately enamoured. Impressed with the belief that a person such as seen by him in his dream had a real existence, he resolves to travel in search of her, and departs, attended only by his confidant Macaranda. While reposing under a tree in a forest at the foot of the Vindhya mountains, where they halted, Macaranda overhears two birds conversing; and from their discourse he learns that the Princess Vāsavadattā, having rejected all the suitors who had been as­sembled by the king her father for her to make choice of a hus­band, had seen Candaspacētu in a dream, in which she had even learnt his name. Her confidante Tamālika, sent by her in search of the prince, has arrived in the same forest, and is discovered there by Macaranda. She delivers the prince a letter from the princess, and conducts him to the king's palace. He obtains from the princess the avowal of her love, and her confidante reveals to him the violence of her passion. The subsequent adventures of the lovers have nothing in common with the exploits of the Knight of Hungary.—In another Indian romance (now known chiefly, if not solely, through the Persian translation) Prince Kāmarupa dreams of Kāmalata and she dreams of him, having never seen or heard of each other before.—In the 39th tale of the Tūtī Nāma (33rd of Kāderī's abridgment), an emperor of China dreams of a beautiful damsel, and being sorely smitten with love for the creature of his dreaming fancy, he can find no peace of mind. One of his vazīrs, who is an excellent portrait painter, receiving from the emperor a minute description of the lady's features, draws the face, and the emperor acknowledges the likeness to be very exact. The vazīr then goes abroad with the portrait, to see whether any one can recognise the original of it. In the course of his wanderings, he meets with an old ascetic, who at once recognises the portrait as that of the Princess of Rūm, who, he says, has an unconquerable aversion for men, ever since she beheld, in her garden, a peacock basely desert his mate and their young ones, when the tree on which their nest was built had been struck by lightning: she believed that all men were equally selfish, and was resolved never to marry. The vazīr returns to his royal master and recounts to him these interesting particulars regarding the object of his affection, and undertakes to conquer the aversion of the princess, which he does, by exhibiting before her a painting of a male deer sacrificing his life for the safety of his mate and their fawn.—The frame of the Persian Tales ascribed to a dervish of Ispahān seems to have been adapted from this story of the Tūtī Nāma, in which, as Gerrans has remarked, in the preface to his incomplete trans­lation, the nurse “Sutlumene ransacks her invention to combat the obstinacy of the princess Farrukhnaz, who, from the impres­sion of a dream, had formed as unfavourable an opinion of men as the Sultan of the Indies [in the Arabian Nights] had precon­ceived of women.”

Next day the Prince presents himself before his Majesty and relates the particulars of his stepmother's wickedness towards himself. And here in the Septem Sapientum and its derivatives is interpolated the incident referred to in note, pp. 286-7, of the discovery of the queen's paramour disguised as one of her female attendants: the prince requests that the queen be summoned, with all her maidens, and when the latter have been ranged in such order that every one of them could be distinctly seen, according to Rolland's old Scottish metrical version*

Than said the Childe: Father, lift up zour Ene,
Behald how lang that ze haue blindit bene
With zour Emprice that is zour Maryit quene,
And that zoung wenche that all is cled in grene,
Quhilk is bour Mayd* unto zour awin Empres,
Quhome scho hes mair in fauour and kindnes,
Than euer scho had, I dar weill tak on me,
Sen thay first met than to zour Maiestie.
Quhome I desire, gif it plesit zour grace,
To be uncled* befoir zow in this place.
That being done, richt weill ze sall persaue,
Sic ane bour Mayd, and sic Emprice ze haue.
To quhome answerit this Nobill Empreour:
Thou knawis, sone, it is not my honour,
It will be schame to me and to vs all,
Ane naikit Mayd befoir us for to call.
Than said the Chylde: ane Mayden gif scho be,
All the greit schame thairof beis laid on me;
Gif scho be not ane zoung Mayd as ze tell,
Than let all schame remane still with her sell.
The Empreour than commandit that be done:
The officers thay unbecled* hir sone.
The clais of tane,* it weill appeirit than
It was na Mayd, bot alwayis was a man.

XIV—The Prince then relates the story of