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Itt doth not beseeme a proud harper

To stable him in a kyngs halle.” “My ladd he is so lither,” he sayd,

“ He will do nought that's meete; And aye that I cold but find the man,

205 Were able him to beate.” “ Thou speakst proud words,” sayd the paynim kyng,

- Thou harper here to mee :
There is a man within this halle,
That will beate thy lad and thee."

210 “O lett that man come downe,” he sayd,

“A sight of him wold I see; And whan hee hath beaten well my ladd,

Then he shall beate of mee.”

Downe then came the kemperye man,

215 And looked him in the eare; For all the gold, that was under heaven,

He durst not neigh him neare. “ And how nowe, kempe,” sayd the Kyng of Spayne, “And bow what aileth thee?”.

220 He sayes, “Itt is written in his forhead

All and in gramaryè,
That for all the gold that is under heaven,

I dare not neigh him nye.”
Kyng Estmere then pulled forth his harpe,

And played thereon so sweete:
Upstarte the ladye from the kynge,

As hee sate at the meate.

“ Now stay thy harpe, thou proud harper,

Now stay thy harpe, I say;
For an thou playest as thou beginnest,

Thou'lt till 5 my bride awaye.”

V. 202, to stable his steede. fol. MS. sie. entice.-Vide Gloss. For gramarye, see the end of this ballad.

235

240

He strucke upon his harpe agayne,

And playd both fayre and free;
The ladye was so pleasde theratt,

She laught loud laughters three.
“Nowe sell me thy harpe,” sayd the Kyng of Spayne,

“ Thy harpe and stryngs eche one,
And as many gold nobles thou shalt have,

As there be stryngs thereon.”
“ And what wold ye doe with my harpe,” he sayd,

“Iff I did sell it yee?”
“ To playe my wiffe and me a FITT, 6

When abed together we bee.”
“Now sell me," quoth hee, “ thy bryde soe gay, 245

As shee sitts laced in pall,
And as many gold nobles I will give,

As there be rings in the hall."
“ And what wold ye doe with my bryde soe gay,
lff I did sell her yee?

250 More seemelye it is for her fayre bodye

To lye by mee than thee."
Hee played agayne both loud and shrille,

And Adler he did syng,
“O ladye, this is thy owne true love;

255
Noe harper, but a kyng.
“O ladye, this is thy owne true love,

As playnlye thou mayest see ;
And Ile rid thee of that foule paynìm,
Who partes thy love and thee.”

260 The ladye looked, the ladye blushte,

And blushte and lookt agayne,
While Adler he hath drawne his brande,

And hath the Sowdan slayne. V. 253, Some liberties have been taken in the following stanzas; but wherever this edition differs from the preceding, it hath been brought nearer to the folio MS. o i.e. a tune or strain of music.—See Gloss.

265

270

Up then rose the kemperye men,

And loud they gan to crye:
“Ah! traytors, yee have slayne our kyng,

And therefore yee shall dye.”
Kyng Estmere threwe the harpe asyde,

And swith he drew his brand;
And Estmere he, and Adler yonge,

Right stiffe in stour can stand.
And aye their swordes soe sore can byte,

Throughe help of Gramaryè,
That soone they have slayne the kempery men,

Or forst them forth to flee.
Kyng Estmere tooke that fayre ladyè,

And marryed her to his wiffe,
And brought her home to merrye Englànd

With her to leade his life.

275

280

* The word Gramarye, which occurs several times in the foregoing poem, is probably a corruption of the French word Grimoire, which signifies à conjuring-book in the old French romances, if not the art of necromancy itself.

*** Termagaunte (mentioned above in p. 43) is the name given in the old romances to the god of the Saracens : in which he is constantly linked with Mahound, or Mahomet. Thus, in the legend of Syr Guy the Soudan (Sultan) swears,

“So helpe me, Mahoune of might,
And Termagaunt my God so bright.”

Sign. p. iij. b. This word is derived by the very learned editor of Junius from the Anglo-Saxon Tyn very, and Magan mighty. As this word has so sublime a derivation, and was so applicable to the true God, how shall we account for its being so degraded ? Perhaps Tyr-magan or Termagant had been a name originally given to some Saxon idol, before our ancestors were converted to Christianity, or had been the peculiar attribute of one of their false deities; and therefore the first Christian missionaries rejected it as profane, and improper to be applied to the true God. Afterwards, when the irruptions of the Saracens into Europe, and the Crusades into the East, had brought them acquainted with a new species of unbelievers, our ignorant ancestors, who thought all that did not receive the Christian law were necessarily Pagans and Idolaters, supposed the Mahometan creed was in all respects the same with that of their Pagan forefathers, and therefore made no scruple to give the ancient name of Termugant to the god of the Saracens; just in the same manner as they afterwards used the name of Sarazer to express any kind of Pagan or Idolater. In the ancient romance of Merline (in the Editor's folio MS.) the Saxons themselves that came over with Hengist, because they were not Christians, are constantly called Sarazens.

However that be, it is certain that, after the times of the Crusades, both Mahound and Termagaunt made their frequent appearance in the Pageants and religious Enterludes of the barbarous ages; in which they were exhibited with gestures so furious and frantic, as to become proverbial. Thus Skelton speaks of Wolsey,

6 Like Mahound in a play,
No man dare him withsay."

Éd. 1736, p. 158. And Bale, describing the threats used by some Papist magistrates to his wife, speaks of them as “grennyng upon her lyke Termagauntes in a playe.” [Actes of Engl. Votaryes, pt. 2, fo. 83, ed. 1550, 12mo.] Hence we may conceive the force of Hamlet's expression in Shakspeare, where, condemning a ranting player, he says, “I could have such a fellow whipt for ore-doing Termagant: it out-herods Herod.”—A. 3. sc. 3. By degrees the word came to be applied to an outrageous turbulent person, and especially to a violent brawling woman, to whom alone it is now confined ; and this the rather, as, I suppose, the character of Termagant was anciently represented on the stage after the Eastern mode, with long robes or petticoats.

Another frequent character in the old Pageants or Enterludes of our ancestors, was the Sowdan or Soldan, representing a grim Eastern tyrant. This appears from a curious passage in Stow's Annals (p. 458). In a stage-play " the people know right well that he that plaith the Sowdain, is percase a sowter (shoe-maker], yet if one should cal him by his owne name, while he standeth in his majestie, one of his tormentors might hap to break his head.” The Sowdain, or Soldan, was a name given to any Sarazen king (being only a more rude pronunciation of the word Sultan), as the Soldan of Egypt, the Soudan of Persia, the Sowdan of Babylon, &c., who were generally represented as accompanied with grim Sarazens, whose business it was to punish and torment Christians.

I cannot conclude this short memoir without observing, that the French romancers, who had borrowed the word Termagant from us, and applied it, as we see in their old romances, corrupted it into Tervagaunte: and from them La Fontaine took it up, and has used it more than once in his tales. This may be added to the other proofs adduced in these volumes, of the great intercourse that formerly subsisted between the old minstrels and legendary writers of both nations, and that they mutually borrowed each other's romances.

VII.
Sir Patrick Spence,

A SCOTTISH BALLAD, is given from two MS. copies, transmitted from Scotland. In what age the hero of this ballad lived, or when this fatal expedition happened that proved so destructive to the Scots nobles, I have not been able to discover; yet am of opinion that their catastrophe is not altogether without foundation in history, though it has escaped my own researches. In the infancy of navigation, such as used the northern seas were very liable to shipwreck in the wintry months : hence a law was enacted in the reign of James the Third (a law which was frequently repeated afterwards), * That there be na schip frauched out of the realm with any staple gudes, fra the feast of Simons day and Jude, unto the feast of the purification of our Lady, called Candelmess.”—Jam. III., Parlt. 2, ch. 15.

In some modern copies, instead of Patrick Spence hath been substituted the name of Sir Andrew Wood, a famous Scottish admiral, who flourished in the time of our Edward IV., but whose story hath nothing in common with this of the ballad. As Wood was the most noted warrior of Scotland, it is probable that, like the Theban Hercules, he hath engrossed the renown of other heroes.

The king sits in Dumferling toune,

Drinking the blude-reid wine :
“O quhar will I get guid sailòr,

To sail this schip of mine ?”
Up and spak an eldern knicht,

Sat at the kings richt kne :
“ Sir Patrick Spence is the best sailor,

That sails upon the se.”
The king has written a braid letter,

And signd it wi' his hand,
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spence,

Was walking on the sand.
The first line that Sir Patrick red,

A loud lauch lauched he:
The next line that Sir Patrick red,

15 The teir blinded his ee.

1 A braid letter, i. e, open or patent; in opposition to close rolls.

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