Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 119

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=Roi Panade= ("_king of slops_"), Louis XVIII. (1755, 1814-1824).

=Roister Doister= (_Ralph_), a vain, thoughtless, bl.u.s.tering fellow, in pursuit of Custance, a rich widow, but baffled in his endeavor.--Nicholas Udall, _Ralph Roister Doister_ (the first English comedy, 1534).

=Rokesmith= (_John_), _alias_ JOHN HARMON, secretary of Mr. Boffin. He lodged with the Wilfers, and ultimately married Bella Wilfer. John Rokesmith is described as "a dark gentleman, 30 at the utmost, with an expressive, one might say, a handsome face."--d.i.c.kens, _Our Mutual Friend_ (1864).

? For solution of the mystery, see vol. I. ii. 13.

=Ro'land=, count of Mans and knight of Blaives. His mother, Bertha, was Charlemagne's sister. Roland is represented as brave, devotedly loyal, unsuspicious, and somewhat too easily imposed npon.[TN-133] He was eight feet high, and had an open countenance. In Italian romance he is called Orlan'do. He was slain in the valley of Roncesvalles as he was leading the rear of his uncle's army from Spain to France. Charlemagne himself had reached St. Jean Pied de Port at the time, heard the blast of his nephew's horn, and knew it announced treachery, but was unable to render him a.s.sistance (A.D. 778).

Roland is the hero of Theroulde's _Chanson de Roland_; of Turpin's _Chronique_; of Bojardo's _Orlando Innamorato_; of Ariosto's _Orlando Furioso_; of Piccini's opera called _Roland_ (1778); etc.

_Roland's Horn_, Olivant or Olifant. It was won from the giant Jatmund, and might be heard at the distance of thirty miles. Birds fell dead at its blast, and the whole Saracen army drew back in terror when they heard it. So loud it sounded, that the blast reached from Roncesvalles to St. Jean Pied de Port, a distance of several miles.

Roland lifts Olifant to his month and blows it with all his might.

The mountains around are lofty, but high above them the sound of the horn arises [_at the third blast, it split in twain_].--_Song of Roland_ (as sung by Taillefer, at the battle of Hastings). See Warton, _History of English Poetry_, v. I, sect. iii. 132 (1781).

_Roland's Horse_, Veillantif, called in Italian _Velian'tino_ ("the little vigilant one").

In Italian romance, Orlando has another horse, called Brigliado'ro ("golden bridle").

_Roland's Spear._ Visitors are shown a spear in the cathedral of Pa'via, which they are told belonged to Roland.

_Roland's Sword_, Duran'dal, made by the fairies. To prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, when Roland was attacked in the valley of Roncesvalles, he smote a rock with it, and it made in the solid rock a fissure some 300 feet in depth, called to this day _La Breche de Roland_.

Then would I seek the Pyrenean breach, Which Roland clove with huge two-handed sway, And to the enormous labor left his name.

Wordsworth.

? A sword is shown at Rocamadour, in the department of Lot (France), which visitors are a.s.sured was Roland's _Durandal_. But the romances says that Roland, dying, threw his sword into a poisoned stream.

_Death of Roland._ There is a tradition that Roland escaped the general slaughter in the defile of Roncesvalles, and died of starvation while trying to make his way across the mountains.--John de la Bruiere Champier, _De Cibaria_, xvi. 5.

_Died like Roland_, died of thirst.

Nonnulli qui de Gallicis rebus historias conscripserunt, non dubitarunt posteris significare Rolandum Caroli illius magni sororis filium, verum certe bellica gloria omnique fort.i.tudine n.o.billissimum, post ingentem Hispanorum caedem prope Pyrenaei saltus juga, ubi insidiae ab hoste collocatae fuerint, siti miserrime extinctum. Inde nostri intolerabili siti et immiti volentes significare se torqueri, facete aiunt "Rolandi morte se perire."--John de la Bruiere Champier, _De Cibaria_, xvi. 5.

_Roland_ (_The Roman_). Sicinius Dentatus is so called by Niebuhr. He is not unfrequently called "The Roman Achilles" (put to death B.C. 450).

=Roland Blake.= Hero of a war-novel of the same name.--Silas Weir Mitch.e.l.l, M.D. (1886).

=Roland and Oliver=, the two most famous of the twelve paladins of Charlemagne. To give a "Roland for an Oliver" is to give t.i.t for tat, to give another as good a drubbing as you receive.

Froissart, a countryman of ours [_the French_] records, England all Olivers and Rowlands bred During the time Edward the Third did reign.

Shakespeare, 1 _Henry VI._ act i. sc. 2 (1589).

=Roland de Vaux= (_Sir_), baron of Triermain, who wakes Gyneth from her long sleep of 500 years, and marries her.--Sir W. Scott, _Bridal of Triermain_ (1813).

=Rolando= (_Signor_), a common railer against women, but brave, of a "happy wit and independent spirit." Rolando swore to marry no woman, but fell in love with Zam'ora, and married her, declaring "that she was no woman, but an angel."--J. Tobin, _The Honeymoon_ (1804).

The resemblance between Rolando and Bened.i.c.k will instantly occur to the mind.

=Rolandseck Tower=, opposite the Drachenfels. Roland was engaged to Aude, daughter of Sir Gerard and Lady Guibourg; but the lady, being told that Roland had been slain by Angoulaffre, the Saracen, retired to a convent.

The paladin returned home full of glory, having slain the Saracen, and when he heard that his lady-love had taken the veil, he built Rolandseck Castle, which overlooks the convent, that he might at least _see_ the lady to whom he could never be united. After the death of Aude, Roland "sought the battle-field again, and fell at Roncevall."--Campbell, _The Brave Roland_.

=Roldan=, "El encantado," Roldan made invulnerable by enchantment. The cleft "Roldan," in the summit of a high mountain in the kingdom of Valencia, was so called because it was made by a single back-stroke of Roldan's sword. The character is in two Spanish romances, authors unknown.--_Bernardo del Carpio_ and _Roncesvalles_.

This book [_Rinaldo de Montalban_], and all others written on French matters, shall be deposited in some dry place ... except one called _Bernardo del Carpio_, and another called _Roncesvalles_, which shall certainly accompany the rest on the bonfire.--Cervantes, _Don Quixote_, I. i. 6 (1605).

=Rolla=, kinsman of the Inca Atali'ba, and the idol of the army. "In war a tiger chafed by the hunters' spears; in peace more gentle than the unweaned lamb" (act i. 1). A firm friend and most generous foe. Rolla is wounded in his attempt to rescue the infant child of Alonzo from the Spaniards, and dies. His grand funeral procession terminates the drama.--Sheridan, _Pizarro_ (altered from Kotzebue, 1799).

=Rolleston= (_General_), father of Helen, in _Foul Play_, by Charles Reade.

=Rollo=, duke of Normandy, called "The b.l.o.o.d.y Brother." He caused the death of his brother, Otto, and slew several others, some out of mere wantonness.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _The b.l.o.o.d.y Brother_ (1639).

=Rollo=, boy who is the hero of Jacob Abbott's celebrated and delightful "_Rollo Books_," embracing _Rollo Learning to Read_, _Rollo Learning to Work_, _Rollo at School_, _Rollo's Vacation_, etc., etc. (1840-1857).

=Roman= (_The_), Jean Dumont, the French painter, _Le Romain_ (1700-1781).

Stephen Picart, the French engraver, _Le Romain_ (1631-1721).

Giulio Pippi, called _Giulio Romano_ (1492-1546).

Adrian von Roomen, mathematician, _Adria.n.u.s Roma.n.u.s_ (1561-1615).

=Roman Achilles=, Sicinius Dentatus (slain R.C.[TN-134] 450).

=Roman Brevity.= Caesar imitated laconic brevity when he announced to Amintius his victory at Zela, in Asia Minor, over Pharna'ces, son of Mithridates; _Veni, vidi, vici._

_Poins._ I will imitate the honorable Roman in brevity.--Shakespeare, 2 _Henry IV._ act ii. sc. 2 (1598).

Sir Charles Napier is credited with a far more laconic despatch, on making himself master of Scinde, in 1843. Taking possession of Hyderabad, and outflanking Shere Mohammed by a series of most brilliant manuvres, he is said to have written home this punning despatch: _Peccavi_ ("I have sinned" [Scinde]).

Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 119

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Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 119 summary

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