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Bedwell, who was eminently skilled in the Oriental and other languages appears to have been but little conversant with the ancient writers in his own; and he so little entered into the spirit of the poem he was publishing, that he contends for its being a serious narrative of a real event, and thinks it must have been written before the time of Fiward III., because turnaments were prohibited in that reign. “I do verily believe,” says be, " that this Turnament was acted before this proclamation of King Edward. For how durst any to attempt to do that, although in sport, which was so straightly forbidden, both by the civill and ecclesiasticall power ? For although they fought not with lances, yet, as our author sayth, “It was no children's game. And what would have become of him, thinke you, which should have slayne another in this manner of jeasting ? Would he not, trow you, have been hang'd for it in earnest ? yea, and have bene buried like a dogge?" It is, however, well known that turnaments were in use down to the reign of Elizabeth.
In the former editions of this work, Bedwell's copy was reprinted here, with some few conjectural emendations ; but as Bedwell seemed to have reduced the orthography at least, if not the phraseology, to the standard of his own time, it was with great pleasure that the Editor was informed of an ancient MS. copy preserved in the Museum (Harl. MSS. 5396), which appeared to have been transcribed in the reign of King Henry VI., about 1456. This obliging information the Editor owed to the friendship of Thomas Tyrwhitt, Esq., and he has chiefly followed that more authentic transcript, improved however by some readings from Bedwell's book.
Of all thes kene conquerours to carpe it were kynde;
Of Hawkyn, of Herry,
And stalworth in dede.
Ther hopped Hawkyn,
And all were trewe drynkers.
Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past,
Therfor faine wyt wold I,
To wed hur to hys fere."
Then sayd Perkyn, “ To Tybbe I have hyzt,
Or elles zet to morn.”
Thys day sevenyzt,-
Schal brouke hur wyth wynne.
And my spottyd sowe.” Ver. 20. It is not very clear in the MS. whether it should be conts o! conters.
V. 48, dozty. MS. V. 49, coppeld. We still use the phrase "a copple-crowned hen.”
Ther was many 'a' bold lad ther bodyes to bede :
Thay set on ther nollys,
For bateryng of bats.
Ther was kyd mekyl fors,
He gat hym a mare.
For cryeng of the men
Set in hur Lap.
V. 57, gayed. P.C. V. 66 is wanting in MS. and supplied from P.C. V. 72, he borrowed him. P.C.
V. 76, the MS. had once sedys, i.e. secd3, which appears to have been altered to fedyrs, or feathers. Bedwell's copy has senvy, i. e. mustard-seed.
V. 77, And led hur to cap. MS. V. 83, Bedwell's P.c. has ruel-bones.
V. 84, safer stones. MS. V. 85, wrotyn, i. e. wrought. P.C. reads written. VOL. I.
For no “spendings' thay had spared.
When joly Gyb saw hur thare,
At the rereward.
“I wow to God,” quoth Herry,“ I schal not lefe behynde;
“Wele sayd,” quoth Hawkyn,
Hys flayle 1 schal hym reve.”
"I make a vow," quoth Hud, “ Tyb, son schal thou se,
In ycha cornere.”
“I vow to God,” quoth Hawkyn, “yf 'I' have the gowt,
I make avowe that I ne schall,
115 Or I be thryes don fall,
Ryzt onys com away.”
V. 86, no catel (perhaps chatel] they had spared. MS. V. 89, Then . . . faucon. MS.
V. 101, grant. MS. V. 109, yf he have. MS. V. 110, the MS. literally has th'. sand here.
Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede:
In myn armys I bere wele
125 Wyth a fles of woll.” “I make a vow," quoth Dudman, and swor be the stra, “ Whyls me ys left my mare,' thou gets hurr not swa ; For scho ys wele schapen and lizt as the rae, Ther is no capul in thys myle befor hur schal ga. 130 Sche wul ne nozt begyle;
Sche wyl me bere, I dar say,
135 “I make a vow," quoth Perkyn, “ thow speks of cold rost, I schal wyrch wyselyer' without any bost. Five of the best capulys that ar in thys ost, I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bryng thaym to my cost, And here I grant thaym Tybbe.
Wyth so forth, Gybbe.”
150 The cheveron of a plow-mell, And the schadow of a bell,
Quartred' wyth the mone lyst. V. 128, merth. MS. V. 137, swyselior. MS. V. 146, failes, and harnisse. P.C. V. 151, The chiefe. P.C. V. 153, Poudred. MS.