Perceforest to Peregrine

Perceforest (King), the hero of a prose romance “in Greek.” The MS. is said to have been found by count William of Hainault in a cabinet at “Burtimer” Abbey, on the Humber; and in the same cabinet was deposited a crown, which the count sent to king Edward. The MS. was turned into Latin by St. Landelain, and thence into French under the title of La Tres Elegante Delicieux Melliflue et Tres Plaisante Hystoire du Tres Noble Roy Perceforest (printed at Paris in 1528).

(Of course, this pretended discovery is only an invention. An analysis of the romance is given in Dunlop’s History of Fiction.)

He was called “Perceforest” because he dared to pierce, almost alone, an enchanted forest, where women and children were most evilly entreated. Charles IX. of France was especially fond of this romance.

Perch, messenger in the house of Mr. Dombey, merchant, whom he adored, and plainly showed by his manner to the great man: “You are the light of my eyes,” “You are the breath of my soul.”—Dickens: Dombey and Son (1846).

Perche Notary (A), a lawyer who sets people together by the ears, one who makes more quarrels than contracts. The French proverb is, Notaire du Perche, qui passe plus d’échalliers que de contrat.

Le Perche, qui se trouve partagé entre les départements de I’Orne et d’Eure-et-Loir, est un contrée fort boisée, dans laquelle la plupart des champs sont entourés de haies, dans lesquelles sont ménagées certaines ouvertures propres à donner passage aux piétons seulement, et que l’on nomme échalliers.—Hilaire le Gai.

Percinet, a fairy prince, in love with Graciosa. The prince succeeds in thwarting the malicious designs of Grognon, the step-mother of the lovely princess.—Percinet and Graciosa (a fairy tale).

Percival (Sir), the third son of sir Pellinore king of Wales. His brothers were sir Aglavale and sir Lamorake Dornar, usually called sir Lamorake de Galis (Wales). Sir Tor was his half-brother. Sir Percival caught a sight of the holy graal after his combat with sir Ector de Maris (brother of sir Launcelot), and both were miraculously healed by it. Crétien de Troyes wrote the Roman de Perceval (before 1200), Menessier produced the same story in a metrical form (See Parzival, p. 810.)

Sir Percivale had a glimmering of the Sancgreall and of the maiden that bare it, for he was perfect and clean. And forthwith they were both as whole of limb and hide as ever they were in their life days. “Oh mercy! said sir Percivale, “what may this mean?” … “I wot well,” said sir Ector… “it is the holy vessel, wherein is a part of the holy blood of our blessed Saviour; but it may not be seen but by a perfect man.’—Pt. iii. 14.

Sir Percival was with sir Bors and sir Galahad when the visible Saviour went into the consecrated wafer which was given them by the bishop. This is called the achievement of the quest of the holy graal (pt. iii. 101, 102).—Sir T. Malory: History of Prince Arthur (1470).

Percy Anecdotes (The), nominally by Sholto and Reuben Percy, but really by J. C. Robinson and Thomas Byerley (1820–1823).

Percy Arundel lord Ashdale, son of lady Arundel by her second husband. A hot, fiery youth, proud and overbearing. When grown to manhood, a “sea-captain,” named Norman, made love to Violet, lord Ashdale’s cousin. The young “Hotspur” was indignant and somewhat jealous, but discovered that Norman was the son of lady Arundel by her first husband, and the heir to the title and estates. In the end, Norman agreed to divide the property equally, but claimed Violet for his bride.—Lord Lytton: The Sea-Captain (1839).

The derivation of Percy from Pierce-eye is. of course, philologically worthless. The legend that the founder of the race lost an eye in a sally has not one iota of truth for its support. The incident was made up to support a false etymology.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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