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' So; Yorshire dialect. A corruption ofquell, to kill.

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3 Pele, many, Sax.

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I Rushed. 4 This line is wanting in Mr Whitaker's copy. whence it has been

conjectured that something is wanting after this stanza, which now there is no occasion to suppose. 5 Evil device.

' Sheltered himself. l° The M5. reads to labour weere. The text seems to mean that all

their labour to obtain their intended meat was of no use to them. Mr Whitaker reads,

She braded ' upon every side,
And ran on them gaping full wide,
For nothing would she lett.'

She gave such hrades 3 at the hand,

That Pater Dale had in his hand,
He might not hold his feet;

She chafed them to and fro,

The wight men was never so woe, Their measure was not so meete.

She bound her boldly to abide;

To Pater Dale she came aside
With many a hideous yell;

She gaped so wide and cried so bee,

The fryar said, a I conjure thee,‘
Thou art a fiend of hell.

i. Thou art come hither for some traine,‘
I conjure thee to go againe
Where thou was wont to dwell.-
Iie sained 6 him with crosse and creede,
Took forth a book, began to reade,
In St John his gospell.

The sew she would not Latin heare,

But rudely rushed at the frear,
That blinked all his blee;"

And she would have taken her hold.

The fryar leaped as Jesus wold,
And healed ' him with a tree.

She was as brim9 as any beare,
For all their tueete to labour there,‘0
To them it was no boote:
Upon trees and bushes that by her stood,
She ranged as she was wood,"
And rave them up by roote.

He said, ll Alas, that I was frear!

And I shall be rugged " in sander here, Ilard is my destinie!

Wist " my brethren in this houre,

That I was sett in such a stoure,H
They would pray for me.»

This wicked beast that wrought this woe.
Took that rape from the other two,
And then they fledd all three;
They tledd away by Watliug-streete,
They had no succour but their feet,
It was the more pitty.

The feild it was both lost and wonne ;"

The sew went hame, and that full soone, To Morton on the Greene;

When ltalph of Ilokeby saw the rape,'6

IIe wist '7 that there had been debate,

Wbereat the sew had beene.

He had them stand out of her way, For she had had a sullen fray,-— it I saw never so keene;

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5 Blessed, Fr. 9 Fierce.

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3 Pulls.

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" Lost his colour.

Besides the want of connexion between the last line and the two former, the second has a very modern sound, and the reading of the Bokeby MS. with the slight alteration in the text, is much better.

ll Mad.

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" This stanza, with the two following, and the fragment of a fourth, are not in Mr Whitaker's edition. " The rope about the sow's neck.


‘' Went. 7 Alive. ° Along the side of Greta.
9 Barn, child, man in general. '° From.
" To. '1 Make. " Since.

'4 Fierce as a bear.

5 More, greater.

quenoe of mistaking the .\IS.—T' other was Bryan of Bear.

'5 Need were. Mr Whitaker reads muslers.
'7 A fierce countenance or manner.
'9 Wight, brave. The Bokehy MS. reads incotmlers, and Mr Whit-

l alter, aunreslors.
1' On the beam above.
'4 Rope.
*° Dare.

1' To prevent.

Mr \\'hitnlter's copy reads, perhaps in conse

1‘ Lying.
1' Saw.

1° Boldly.
*3 Assaulted.

*5 Watling-street ; see the sequel.


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The Filea, or Ollanih Re Dan, was the proper hard, or, as the name literally implies, poet. Each chieftain of distinction had one or more in his service, whose office was usually hereditary. The late ingenious Mr Cooper Walker has assembled a curious collection of particulars concerning this order of men in his [listorical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. There were itinerant bards of less elevated rank, but all were held in the highest veneration. The English, who considered them as chief supporters of the spirit of national independence, were much disposed to proscribe this race of poets, as Edward I is said to have done in Wales. Spenser, while he admits the merit of their wild poetry, as <1 savouring of sweet wit and good invention, and sprinkled with some pretty flowers of their natural device,» yet rigorously condemns the whole application of their poetry, as abased to e the gracing of wickedness and vice.» The household minstrel was admitted even to the feast of the prince whom he served, and sat at the same table. It was one of the customs of which Sir Richard Sewry, to whose charge Ilichard ll committed the instruction of four Irish monarchs in the civilization of the period, found it most diflicult to break his royal disciples, though he had also much ado to subject them to other English rules, and particularly to reconcile them to wear hreeches. e The kyng, my souverigne lords entent was,_that in maner, countenannce, and apparell of clothyng, they sholde use according to the maner of Englande, for the kynge thought to make them all four knyghtes: they had_a fayre house to lodge in, in Duvelyn, and I was charged to abyde styll with them, and not to departe; and so two or three dayes I suffered them to do as they lyst, and sayde notliyng to them, but folowed their owne appetytes; they wolde sytte at the table, and make cotintenance nother good nor fayre. Than I thought I shulde cause them to chaunge that maner; they wolde cause their mynstrells, their seruauntes, and varlettes to sytte with them, and to eate in their owne dyssche, and to drinke of their cnppes, and they shewed me that the usage of their countre was good, for they sayd in all thyngs (except their heddes) they were and lyved as comen. So the fourtlie day I ortlayned other tables to he couered in the hall, after the usage of Englande, and I made these four kynges to sytte at the hyghe table, and their mynstrels at another borde, and their seruauntes and varlettes at another byncth them, .|,crc0|-‘ by semynge they were displeased, and beheld each other, and wolde not eate, and sayde, how I wolde take fro them their good usage, wherein they had been norished. Then I answered them smylyng, to apeace them, that it was not honourable for their estates to do as they dyde before, and that they must leave it, and use the custom of Englande, and that it was the ky-ngc's pleasure they shulde do so, and how he was ghnrgetl so to order them. Whan they harde that, they suff,-c(\ ig, bycause they had putte themselfe under the obeysance of the kynge of Etzglande, and parceuered in the same as long as I was with them; yet they had one use which I knew was well used in their countre, and that was, they dyde were no breches; I caused breches of lyuen clothe to be made for them. \\'hyle I was with them I caused them to leaue many rude thynges, as well in clothyng as in other causes. Moehe ado I

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2 7 I had at the fyrst to cause them to wearc gownes of sylke, furrcd with myneuere and gray; for before these kynges thought themselfe well apparelled wlian they had on a mantell. T_hey rode always without saddles and styropes, and with great payue I made them to ride after our usage.»—L'ot:o ltizituizns’ Froissart, Lond. 1812, 4to, II, 621.

The influence of these bards upon their patrons, and their admitted title to interfere in matters of the weiglitiest concern, may he also proved from the behaviour of one of them at an interview between Thomas Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of Kildare, then about to renounce the English allegiance, and the Lord Chancellor Cromer, who made a long and goodly oration to dissuade him from his purpose. The yotmg lord had come to the council e armed and wcaponed,» and attended by seven score horsemen in their shirts of mail; and we are assured that the chancellor, having set forth his oration u with such a lamentable action as his cheeks were all beblubbered with teares, the horsemen, namelie, such as understood not English, began to diuine what the lord-chaneelor meant with all this long circumstance; some of them reporting that he was preaching a sermon, others said that he stood making of some heroicall poetry in the praise of the Lord Thomas. And thus as every ideot shot his foolish bolt at the wise chancellor his discourse, who in effect did nought else but drop pretious stones before hogs, one Bard de Nelan, an Irish rithmour, and a rotten sheepe to infect a whole floeke, was chatting of Irish verses, as though his toong had rtin on pattens, in commendation of the Lord Thomas, investing him with the title of Silken Thomas, hicause his horscmens jacks were gorgeously imbrodered with silke: and in the end he told him that he lingered there ouer long. Whereat the Lord Thomas heing quickened,»' as llollinshecl expresses it, bid defiance to the chancellor, threw down eontemptnously the sword of office, which, in his father’s absence, be held as deputy, and rushed forth to engage in open insurrection.

Note 5. Stanza x.
Ah, Claudeboy ! thy friendly floor,
Slieve-Donard's oak shall light no more.

Clandehoy is a district of Ulster, formerly possessed by the sept of the ()'.\'ealc-s, and Slieve-Donard a romantic mountain in the same province. The clan was ruined after Tyrone's great rebellion, and their places of abode laid desolate. The ancient Irish, wild and uncultivated in other respects, did not yield even to their descendants in practising the most free and extended hospitality, and doubtless the bards mourned the decay of the mansions of their chiefs, in strains similar to the verses of the British Llywarch lien on a similar occasion,which are affecting, even through the discouraging medium of a literal translation :—

Silent-breathing gale, long will thou be heard!

There is scarcely another deserving praise,
Since Urien is no more.

Many a dog that scented well the prey, and aerial hawk,
Have been trained on this floor
Before Erlleon became polluted .

This hearth, ah, will it not be covered with nettles!
\\'bilst its defender lived,
More congenial to it was the foot of the needy petitioner.

' IIoi.|.i:4stisn, Lond. i-808, 4to, vol. V!, p. agi.

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1 << “ac-Curtin, hereditary Ollamh of North Munster, and Filea to Donough, Earl of Thomond, and President *of Munster. This nobleman was amongst those who were prevailed upon to join Elizabeth's forces. Soon I as it was known that he had basely abandoned the intcrcsts of his cottntry, Mac-Curtin presented an adulatory poem to Mac-Carthy, chief of South Munster, and of the Eugenian line, who, with O'Neil, O'Donnel, Lacy, and others, were deeply engaged in protecting their violated country. In this poem he dwells with rapture on the courage and patriotism of Mac-Cartlty; but the verse that should (according to an established law of the order of the bards) be introduced in the praise of O'Brien, he turns into severe satire:-—‘How ain I afflicted (says he), that the descendant of the great Brien Boirotnh cannot furnish me with a theme worthy the honour and glory of his exalted race!’ Lord Thomond, hearing this, vowed vengeance on the spirited bard, who fled for refuge to the cottnty of Cork. One day, ohserving the exasperated nobleman and his equipage at a small distance, be thought it was in vain to fly, and pretended to he suddenly seized with the pangs of death; directing his wife to lamcnt over him, and tell his lordship that the sight of him, by awakening the sense of his ingratitude, had so much affected him that he could not support it; and desired her at the same time to tell his lordship that he entreated, as a dying request, his forgiveness. Soon as Lord Thomond arrived, the feigned tale was related to him. The nobleman was moved to compassion, and not only declared that he most heartily forgave him, but, opening his purse, presented the fair mottrner with some pieces to inter him. This instance of his lordship's pity and generosity gave courage to the trembling bard, who, suddenly springing up, recited an cxtcmporaneous ode in praise of Douough, and re-entering into his service, became once more his favourite.»—W.tLxtztt's Memoirs of the Irish Bards, Lopd. 1786, 4to. p. 141.


" Note 9. Stanza xv.

The ancient English minstrel's dress.


Among the entertainments presented to Elizabeth at Kenilworth Castle, was the introduction of a person designed to represent a travelling minstrcl, who entertained her with a solemn story out of the Acts of King Arthur. Of this person's dress and appearance Master Laneham has given us a very accurate account, transfer_red by Bishop Percy to the preliminary dissertation on minstrcls, prefixed to his Rcliqucs of AncicntPoetry, vol. I.

Note 10. Stanza xxvii.


The tradition from which the ballad is founded was isupplied by a friend, whose account I will not do the injustice to abridge, as it contains an admirable picture of an old English hall :—

<< Little-cot house stands in a low and lonely situation. On thrcc sides it is surrounded by a park that

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spreads over the adjoining hill; on the fourth, by meadows which are watered by the river Kennet. Close on one side of the house is a thick grove of lofty trees, along the verge of which runs one of the principal avenues to it through the park. It is an irregular building of great antiquity, and was probably erected about the time of the termination of feudal warfare, when defence came no longer to be an object in a country mansion.

Many circumstances, however, in the interior of the

house, seem appropriate to feudal times. The hall is very spacious, floored with stones, and lighted by large transom windows, that are clothed with casements. its walls are hung with old military accoutrements, that have long been left a prey to rust. At one end of the hall is a range of coats of mail and helmets, and there is on every side abundance of old-fashioned pistols and guns, many of them with matchlocks. Immediately below the cornice hangs zt row of leathern jerkins, made in the form of a shirt, supposed to have been worn as armour by the vassals. A large oak table, reaching nearly from one end of the room to the other, might have fcasted the whole neighbourhood, and an appendage to one end of it made it answer at other times for the old game of shuffle-board. The rest of the furniture is in a suitable style, particularly an arm-chair of cumbrous workmanship, constructed of wood,’ curiously turned, with a high back and triangular seat, said to have been used by Judge Popham in‘ the reign of Elizabeth. The entrance into the hall is at one end by a low door, communicating with a passage that leads from the outer door in the front of the house to a quadrangle ' within; at the other, it opens upon a gloomy staircase, by which you ascend to the first floor, and, passing the doors of some bed-chambers, enter a narrow gallery, which extends along the back front of the house from one end to thc other of it, and looks upon an old garden. This gallery is hung with portraits, chiefly in the Spanish dresses of the sixteenth century. In one of the bedchambers, which you pass in going towards the gallery, is a bedstead with blue furniture, which time has now made dingy and threadbare, and in the bottom of one of the bed-curtains you are shown a place where a small piece has been cut out and sewn in again,—a circumstance which serves to identify the scene of the following story :—

(R It was on a dark rainy night in the month of November, that an old midwife sate musing by her cottage fire-side, when on a sudden she was startled by aloud knocking at the door. On opening it she found a horseman, who told her that her assistance was required immediately hy a person of rank, and that she should he handsomely rewarded; but that there were reasons for keeping the affair a strict secret, and, therefore, she must submit to be blind-folded, and to be conducted in that condition to the bed-chamber of the lady. With some hesitation the midwife consented; the horseman bound her eyes, and placed her on a pillion behind him. After proceeding in silence for many miles, through rough and dirty lanes, they stopped, and the midwife was led into a house, which from the length of her walk through the apartments, as well as the sounds about her, she discovered to be the seat of wealth and power. When the bandage was removed from her eyes, she found herself in a bed-chamber, in which

‘,1 think there is a chapel on one side of it, but arnfnot quite sure.

were the lady on whose account she had been sent for, and a man of a haughty and ferocious aspect. The lady was delivered of a fine boy._ Immediately the man commanded the midwife to give him the child,

and catching it from her, he hurried across the room, _

and threw it<on the back of the fire, that was blazing in the chimney. The child, however, was strong, and by its struggles rolled itself off upon the hearth, when the ruffian again seized it with fury, and, in spite of the intercession of the midwife, and the more piteous entreaties of the mother, thrust it under the grate, and, raking the live coals upon it, soon put an end to its life. The midwife, after spending some time in affording all the relief in her power to the wretched mother, was told that she must begone. Her former conductor appeared, who again bound her eyes, and conveyed her behind him to her own home: he then paid her handsomely, and departed. The midwife was strongly agitated by the horrors of the preceding night; and she immediately made a deposition of the facts before the magistrate. Two circumstances afforded hopes of d& tecting the house in which the crime had been committed; one was, that the midwife, as she sate by the bedside, had, with a view to discover the place, cut out a piece of the bed-curtain, and sewn it in again; the other was, that as she had descended the staircase, she had‘ counted the steps. Some suspicions fell upon one Darrell, at that time the proprietor of I/iittlecot-house, and the domain around it. The house was examined, and identified by the midwife, and Darrell was tried at Salisbury for the murder. By corrupting hisjudge, he escaped the sentence of the law, but broke his neck by it fall from his horse in hunting, in a few months after. The place where this happened is still known by the name of Darrcll's Sti|e,—a spot to be dreaded by the peasant whom the shades of evening have overtaken on his way.

u Littlecot-house is two miles from Hungerford, in Berkshire, through which the Bath road passes. The fact occurred in the reign of Elizabeth. All the important circumstances I have given exactly as they are told in the country; some trifles only are added, either to render the whole connected, or to increase the impressionm

With this tale of terror the author has combined

some circumstances of a similar legend, which was

current at Edinburgh during his childhood.

About the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the large castles of the Scottish nobles, and even the secluded hotels, like those of the French noblesse, which they possessed in Edinburgh,were sotnetimes the scenes of strange and mysterious transactions, a divine of singular sanctity was called up at midnight, to pray with a person at the point of death. This was no unusual summons; but what followed was alarming. He was put into a sedan chair, and, after he had been transported to a remote part of the town, the bearers insisted upon his being blindfolded. The request was enforced by a cocked pistol, and submitted to; but in the course of the discussion he conjectured, from the phrases employed by the chairmen, and from some part of their dress, not completely concealed by their cloaks, that they were greatly above the menial station they had assumed. After many turns and windings, the chair was carried up stairs into a lodging,where his eyes were uncovered, and he was introduced into a bed

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