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affords no positive indication of that date'. It was published from an antient manuscript in the year 1631, and reduced to a more modern style, by William Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, and one of the translators of the Bible. He says it was written by Gilbert Pilkington, supposed to have been rector of the same parish, and author of an unknown tract, called Passio DOMINI Jesu. But Bedwell, without the least comprehension of the scope and spirit of the piece, imagines it to be a serious narrative of a real event; and, with as little fagacity, believes it to have been written before the year 1330. Allowing that it might originate from a real event, and that there might be some private and local abuse at the bottom, it is impossible that the poet could be serious. Undoubtedly the chief merit of this poem, although not destitute of humour, consists in the design rather than the execution. As Chaucer, in the RIME OF SIR THOPAS ?, travestied the romances of chivalry, the TOURNA» MSS. HARL. 5396.
Furth he ferd into France, z I take this opportunity of observing, God save him fro mischance, that the stanza of one of Laurence Minot's And all his cumpany; poems on the wars of Edward the third, The nobill duc of Braband is the same as Chaucer's Sir Topas. With him went into that land, Minot was Chaucer's cotem pary. MSS. Redy to lit or dy. Cott. GALB. E. ix. Edward oure cumly king
Than the riche floure de lice
Wan thare ful litill prile,
Fast he fled for ferde;
The right aire • of that cuntree Ordains he still for to dwell,
Es cumen with all his knightes fre To time he think to fight.
To schac b him by the berd.
Sir Philip the Valayse,
Wit his men in tho dayes,
To batale had he thoght;
He bad his men tham purvay
Withowten longer delay,
Bot he ne held it noght.
He broght folk ful grete wone,
Ay sevyn ogains one,
That ful wele wapind were";
Bot sone when he herd afcry,
That king Edward was nere thereby, Bot unto Fraunce fast will he fare, To confort him with grapes.
Than durst he noght cum nere. a Heir, b Shake.
• Weaponed. Armed. VOL. III.
104 THE HISTORY OF
the folemnities of the barriers. The whole is a mock-parody on the challenge, the various events of the encounter, the exhibition of the prize, the devices and escocheons, the display of arms, the triumphant procession of the conqueror, the oath before the combat, and the splendid feast which followed, with every other ceremony and circumstance which constituted the regular
The reader will form an idea of the work from a short extract a.
He that bear'th him best in the tournament,
And my dunned cow:
For no spenced will I spare,
For no cattell will I care.
There was many a bold lad their bodyes to bede;
They armed them in mattes ;
They fett on their nowls
Good blacke bowls *,
They sewed hem in sheepskinnes for they should not brest", And every ilk o of them had a blacke hatte instead of a crest;
a V. 42.
Fight for the lady.
* They fewed themselves up in heep skins, by way of armour, to avoid being hurt.
• Each, O 2
A baskett or panyer before on their brest,
Forthe con thei fare?
There was kid' mickle force.
Who should best fend his corse,
It appears to me, that the author, to give dignity to his narrative, and to heighten the ridicule by stiffening the familiarity of his incidents and characters, has affected an antiquity of style. This I could prove from the cast of its fundamental diction and idiom, with which many of the old words do not agree. Perhaps another of the author's affectations is the alliterative manner. For although other specimens of alliteration, in smaller pieces, are now to be found, yet it was a singularity. To those which I have mentioned, of this reign, I take this opportunity of adding an alliterative
be called the FALCON AND THE Pie, who support a DYALOGUE DESENSYVE FOR WOMEN AGAYNST MALICYOUS DETRACTOURS, printed in 1542". The author's name Robert Vaghane,
Kithed, i, e, shewn.
Defend. ! I have before observed, that it was a disgrace to chivalry to ride a mare.
The poems of this manuf sipt do not seem to be all precisely of the fame hand, and might probably once have been sepa. rate papers, here ftitched together. At the end of one of them, viz. fol. 46. The lysom ledys the Blynde, mention is in férted of an accompt settled ann. 34. Hen. vi. And this is in the hand and ink of that poem, and of some others. The TOURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM, which might once have been detached from the present collection, comes at some distance afterwards, and cannot perhaps for a certainty be pronounced to be of the same writing. I take this opportunity of correcting a wrong reference to Sir Peni just cited, at p. 93. It belongs to GALB. E. 9. MSS. Cott.
* Coloph. “ Thus endeth the faucon “ and pie anno dni 1542. Imprynted by
me Rob. Wyer for Richarde Bankes.”
I have an antient manuscript alliterative poem, in which a despairing lover bids farewel to his mistress. At the end is writ. ten, “ Explicit Amor p. Ducem Ebõrr
nuper fact.” I will here cite a few of the stanzas of this unknown prince.
Farewell Lade of grete pris,
or Vaughan, is prefixed to some fonnets which form a sort of epilogue to the performance.
For the purpose of ascertaining or illustrating the age of pieces. which have been lately or will be soon produced, I here stop to
Farewell dereworth of dignite,
For the use of those who collect speci. mens of alliteration, I will add an instance in the reign of Edward the third from the BANOCBURN of Laurence Minot, all whose pieces, in some degree, are tinctured with it. MSS. Cott. GALB. E. ix. ut supr.
Skottes out of Berwick and of Abirdene,
wene ; It es wroken I wene wele wurth the while, War zit with the Skottes for thai er ful of
Rughfute riueling now kindels thi care,
Ryzt as the maynful mone con rys,
Whare er ze Skottes of saint Johnes toune?
crowne : He has crakked zowre croune wele worth
the while, Schame bityde the Skottes for thai er ful of
Skottes of Striflin war steren C and stout,
Allow it., c Stern. al Clothing. e Go, f As the moon began to rise.
& The even drove down the day-light,