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“Now help me up, thou fine fellowe,
'Tis time that I were gone :
Sheel say I am a gentilmon.”
The tanner a f** lett fall;
120 When the tanner he was in the kinges sadelle,
And his foote in the stirrup was,
Whether it were golde or brass.
And eke the blacke cowe-horne,
As the devill had him borne.
130 At length the tanner came tumbling downe,
His necke he had well-nye brast. “ Take thy horse again with a vengeance," he sayd,
“ With mee he shall not byde." “My horse wolde have borne thee well enoughe, 135
But he knewe not of thy cowe-hide.
As change full well may wee,
I will have some boote of thee."
“ Nowe tell me in this stounde ?”. “No pence nor half-pence, sir, by my faye,
But I will have twentye pound.” “ Here's twentye groates out of my purse,
145 And twentye I have of thine; And I have one more, which we will spend
Together at the wine."
The king set a bugle-horne to his mouthe,
And blewe both loude and shrille;
Fast ryding over the hille.
“ That ever I sawe this daye!
Will beare my cowe-hide away."
“I sweare, soe mote I thee;
Here come to hunt with mee."
And knelt downe on the grounde;
He had lever than twentye pounde.
“A coller ” he loud gan crye;
He had not beene so nighe.
“I trowe it will breed sorrowe;
I trowe I shall be hang'd to-morrowe.”
“I tell thee, so mought I thee,
That is in the north countrie.
6 This stanza is restored from a quotation of this ballad in Selden's Titles of Honour, who produces it as a good authority to prove that one mode of creating Esquires at that time was by the imposition of a collar. His words are, “Nor is that old pamphlet of the Tanner of Tamworth and King Edward the Fourth so contemptible, but that wee may thence note also an observable passage, wherein the use of making Esquires, by giving Collars, is expressed.”_Sub. Tit. Esquire; and vide in Spelmanni Glossar. Armiger. This form of creating Esquires actually exists at this day among the Sergeants at Arms, who are invested with a Collar (which they wear on Collar days) by the king himself.
This information I owe to Samuel Pegge, Esq., to whom the public is indebted for that curious work the Curialia, 4to.
“For Plumpton-Parke I will give thee,
With tenements faire beside,
To maintaine thy good cowe-hide.”
“For the favour thou hast me showne,
Neates leather shall clout thy shoen."
As Ye came from the Holy Land.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN A PILGRIM AND A TRAVELLER. The scene of this song is the same as in No. xiv. The pilgrimage to Walsingham suggested the plan of many popular pieces. In the Pepys Collection, vol. i. p. 226, is a kind of Interlude in the old ballad style, of which the first stanza alone is worth reprinting.
“ As I went to Walsingham,
To the shrine with speede,
In a pilgrimes weede.
Welcome, lady gay,
-Oft have I said you nay.”
The pilgrimages undertaken on pretence of religion were often productive of affairs of gallantry, and led the votaries to no other shrine than that of Venus.
The following ballad was once very popular; it is quoted in Fletcher's Knight of the burning Pestle, act ü. sc. ult., and in another old play, called Hans beer-pot, his invisible Comedy, &c., 4to, 1618, act i. The copy below was communicated to the Editor by the late Mr. Shenstone,
1 Even in the time of Langland, pilgrimages to Walsingham were not unfavourable to the rites of Venus. Thus, in his Visions of Pierce Plowman, fo. 1.
“ Hermets on a heape, with hoked staves,
2 i. e. their.
as corrected by him from an ancient copy, and supplied with a concluding stanza.
We have placed this, and Gentle Herdsman, &c., thus early in the volume, upon a presumption that they must have been written, if not before the dissolution of the monasteries, yet while the remembrance of them was fresh in the minds of the people.
“ As ye came from the holy land
Of blessed Walsingham,
As by the way ye came ?”
That have met many a one,
That have both come, and gone?”
But as the heavens faire ;
Either in earth, or ayre.”
With an angellicke face,
Both in her gait, her grace.”
And left me all alone,
And called me her owne."
And a new way doth take,
And thee her joy did make ?”
Growe old now as you see;
Nor yet the withered tree.
Forgetting promise past;
3 Sc. pale.
15 “His fond desire is fickle found,
And yieldes a trustlesse joye ;
And lost ev'n with a toye.
Or Loves faire name abusde,
And follyes are excusde.
Which viewless vestals 4 tend,
* Sc. angels.
A SCOTTISH FRAGMENT. As this fine morsel of heroic poetry hath generally passed for ancient, it is here thrown to the end of our earliest pieces; that such as doubt of its age may the better compare it with other pieces of genuine antiquity. For after all, there is more than reason to suspect that it owes most of its beauties (if not its own existence) to the pen of a lady, within the present century. The following particulars may be depended on. One Mrs. Wardlaw, whose maiden name was Halket (aunt to the late Sir Peter Halket, of Pitferran, in Scotland, who was killed in America, along with General Braddock, in 1755), pretended she had found this poem, written on shreds of paper, employed for what is called the bottoms of clues. A suspicion arose that it was her own composition. Some able judges asserted it to be modern. The lady did in a manner acknowledge it to be so. Being desired to show an additional stanza, as a proof of this, she produced the two last, beginning with “ There's nae light,” &c., which were not in the copy that was first printed. The late Lord President Forbes, and Sir Gilbert Elliot, of Minto (late Lord Justice Clerk for Scotland), who had believed it ancient, contributed to the expense of publishing the first edition, in folio, 1719. This account was transmitted from Scotland, by Sir David Dalrymple, the late Lord Hailes, who yet was of opinion that part of the ballad may be ancient, but retouched and much