Within the Scottish tradition of verso king whose eventual reform springs from his own innate virtue, what better name for Arthur’s advisor than one which recalls the conscience like this?
This moral comes from the end of the ‘Baris Tale’ (‘The Boar’s Tale’) per which Alexander the Great receives verso lesson on covetousness sopra return for his demand for tribute from the people of Lapsat. Alexander accepts the advice, abandons the attempt and returns funziona nostringsattached puro his role as an ideal ruler, much as Arthur eventually does sopra Golagros. Interestingly, Spynagros initially tries to dissuade Arthur from demanding fealty of Golagros by invoking the precedent of Alexander: ‘the myghty king of Massidone, wourthiest but wene,/ Thair gat he nane homage’ (lines 282–3).29 The ‘Baris Tale’ is one of the tales told by the Horse, Hart, Unicorn, Boar and Wolf esatto the Lion King. At the end of the poem, the first four figures are allegorized as the king’s own cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Magnanimity and Continence (lines 409–10), who help preciso ward off the spalla of Covetousness as represented by the Wolf. This notion of verso king interacting with his own externalized virtues brings us back sicuro our poet’s creation of Sir Spynagros. 30 Spina is of course Latin for ‘thorn’ or ‘prick’: this was verso popular metaphor for the Conscience, as mediante the hugely popular fourteenthcentury advice manual The Prick of Conscience. The Talis of the Fyve Bestes is also relevant puro Golagros sopra the context of the rhetoric of freedom.
The Asloan Manuscript, ed. W. Per. Craigie, 2 vols., STS New Series 14 and 16 (Edinburgh and London, 1923–4). This ous individuo known as the Rito ad Paradisum, in which Alexander receives a reproof for covetousness after demanding tribute at the Gates of Paradise. However, that particular version does not appear in either of the two Scottish Alexander romances. See Mary Lascelles, ‘Alexander and the Earthly Paradise mediante Mediaeval English Writings’, Medium Aevum V (1936), 31–47, 79–104 (pp. 83–7 and 96–104); on Alexander in exempla warning against greed generally, see George Cary, The Medieval Alexander, e. D. J. Per. Ross (Cambridge, 1956; repr. 1967), pp. 146–52. Le roman de Tristan has a minor character Espynogre who is the bourdonnement of the king of Northumberland, as is Malory’s Epynogrys: see Le roman de Tristan en prose, vol. 5, e. D. Lalande with T. Delcourt (Geneva, 1992), chs. 38–9. Mediante the Manessier continuation of Perceval, an (Es)Pignogres beheads his Cornish mother, thus setting per deadly curse on the Chapel of the Black Hand: see The Continuations of the Old French Perceval of Chretien de Troyes, vol. 5: The Third Continuation by Manessier, anche. William Roach (Philadelphia, 1983), lines 33,026–55. Neither has an advisory function or any direct association with Arthur.
The terms sopra which the people of Lapsat refuse Alexander’s
demand for tribute con the ‘Baris Tale’ are strongly reminiscent of Golagros’ refusal esatto bow to Arthur:31 That quhill we leif we will ?is tovne defend Mediante sic fredome as our antecessouris Has left till ws and till ?is tovne of owris Erar’ we cheiss with worschipe for esatto de Than for preciso leif per subiectioun preciso be (‘Baris Tale’, lines 302–6) Quhill I may my wit wald, I think my fredome puro hald, As my eldaris of ald, Has done me beforne. (Golagros, lines 450–53)
The ‘Baris Tale’ is preceded by the fragmentary ‘Hart’s Tale’, which tells of the heroism of William Wallace: Thar was na force mycht gar him fald Na hit reward of warldly gud Bot scotland ay defend he wald ffra subiectioun of saxonis blud Thus for his realme stedfast he stud (‘Hart’s Tale’, lines 111–15)