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But all that served him for nought
Or therefore should they die.
The warden sealed to them againe,
And said, “In feild if ye be slain,
This condition make 1:
“We shall for you pray, sing, and read
To doomesday with hearty speede,
With all our progeny."
Then the letters well was made, (Hiatus valde deflendus.)
Bands bound with scales brade, 14
As deedes of armes should be.
These men of armes that weere so wight,
With armour and with brandes bright,
They went this sew to see ;
She made on them slike a rerd, 15
That for her they were sare afer'd,
And almost bound to flee.
She came roveing them egaine ;
That saw the bastard son of Spaine,
He braded 16 out his brand ;
Full spiteously at her he strake,
For all the fence that he could make,
She gat sword out of hand;
And rave in sunder half his shielde,
And bare him backward in the feilde,
He might not her gainstand.
She would have riven his privich geare,
But Gilbert with his sword of werre,
He strake at her full strong,
On her shoulder till she held the swerd;
Then was good Gilbert sore afer'd,
When the blade brake in throng. 17
Since in his hands he hath her tane,
She tooke him by the shoulder bane,!8
And held her hold full fast;
She strave so stiffly in that stower, 19
That through all his rich armour
The blood came at the last.
Then Gilbert grieved was sea sare,
That he rave off both hide and haire,
The flesh came fro the bone;
And with all force he felled her there,
And wann her worthily in werre,
And band her him alone.
And lift her on a horse sea hee,
Into two paniers well-made of a tre,
And to Richmond they did hay : 20
When they saw her come,
They sang merrily Te Deum,
The Fryers on that day.21
They thanked God and St. Francis,
As they had won the best of pris, 22
And never a man was slaine :
There did never a man more manly,
Knight Marcus, nor yett Sir Gui,
Nor Loth of Louthyane.23
1 This line is almost illegible.-2 Each one.—3 Since then, applied sometimes to what is supernaturally hideous. The after that. -4 The above lines are wanting in Mr. Whitaker's printed copy reads,—"The beast hath," &c.--19 Hired, a York. copr.–5 Cease, stop.--6 Run.-7 Warlock, or wizard. -- shire phrase.—13 Blow.–14 Broad, large.—15 Such like a roar. 8 Harm. -9 Need. -10 Beat. The copy in Mr. Whitaker's His- .-16 Drew out.--17 In the combat.-18 Bone. -1° Meeting, battory of Craven reads, perhaps better,
tle.-20 Hie, hasten.-21 The MS. reads, mistakenly, every day.
-29 Price—23 The father of Sir Gawain, in the romanco of "The fiend would ding you down ilk one."
Arthur and Merlin. The MS. is thus corrupted 1 "Yon guest,” may be yon gest, i. e., that adventure; or it may mean yon ghaist, or apparition, which in old poems is
More loth of Louth Ryme.
If ye will any more of this,
knyghtes to sytte at the hyghe table, and there mynstrels of In the Fryers of Richmond 'tis
another borde, and their seruauntes and varlettes at another In parchment good and tine:
byneth them, wherof by semynge they were displeased, and And how Fryar Middleton that was so kend, beheld each other, and wolde not eate, and sayde, how I wolde At Greta Bridge conjured a feind
take fro them their good usage, wherein they had been norishIn likeness of a swine.
ed. Then I answered them, smylyng, to apeace them, that it
was not honourable for their estates to do as they dyde before, It is well known to many a man,
and that they must leave it, and use the custom of Englande, That Fryar Theobald was warden than,
and that it was the kynge's pleasure they shulde so do, and And this fell in his time;
how he was charged so to order them. When they harde And Christ them bless both farre and neare, that, they suffred it, bycause they had putte themselfe under All that for solace list this to heare,
the obesyance of the Kynge of England, and parceuered in the And him that made the rhime.
same as long as I was with them; yet they had one use which
I knew was well used in their cuntre, and that was, they dyde Ralph Rokeby with full good will,
were no breches ; I caused breches of lypen clothe to be made The Fryers of Richmond he gave her till,
for them. Whyle I was with them I caused them to leaue This sew to mend their fare:
many rude thynges, as well in clothyng as in other causes. Fryar Middleton by his name,
Moche ado I had at the fyrst to cause them to weare gownes Would needs bring the fat sew hame,
of sylke, furred with myneuere and gray; for before these That rued him since full sare.
kynges thought themselfe well apparelled whan they had on a mantell. They rode alwayes without saddles and styropes, and with great payne I made them to ride after our usage."LORD BERNERS' Froissart. Lond. 1812, 4to, vol. ii. p. 621.
The influence of these bards upon their patrons, and their admitted title to interfere in matters of the weightiest con
cern, may be also proved from the behaviour of one of them NOTE 3 C.
at an interview between Thomas Fitzgerald, son of the Earl of
Kildare, then about to renounce the English allegiance, and The Filca of O'Neale was he.-P. 327.
the Lord Chancellor Cromer, who made a long and goodly
oration to dissuade him from his purpose. The young lord The Filea, or Ollamh Re Dan, was the proper bard, or, as the name literally implies, poet. Each chieftain of distinctioned by seven score horsemen in their shirts of mail; and to
had come to the council “armed and weaponed," and attend. had one or more in his service, whose office was usually here
are assured that the chancellor, having set forth his oration ditary. The late ingenious Mr. Cooper Walker has assem
“ with such a lamentable action as his cheekes were all bebled a curious collection of particulars concerning this order blubbered with teares, the horsemen, namelie, such as under of men, in his Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. There stood not English, began to diuine what the lord-chancellor were itinerant bards of less elevated rank, but all were held
meant with all this long circumstance ; some of them reportin the highest veneration, The English, who considered them as chief supporters of the spirit of national indepon making of some heroicall poetry in the praise of the Lord
ing that he was preaching a sermon, others said that he stood dence, were much disposed to proscribe this race of poets, as
Thomas. And thus as every idiot shot his foolish bolt at the Edward I. is said to have done in Wales. Spenser, while he
wise chancellor his discourse, who in effect had nought else admits the merit of their wild poetry, as "savouring of sweet
but drop pretious stones before hogs, one Bard de Nelan, an wit and good invention, and sprinkled with some pretty flowers
Irish rithmour, and a rotten sheepe to infect a whole flocke, of their natural device," yet rigorously condemns the whole
was chatting of Irish verses, as though his toong had run on application of their poetry, as abased to “the gracing of wickedness and vice." The household minstrel was admitted even pattens, in commendation of the Lord Thomas, investing him
with the title of Silken Thomas, bicaus his horsemens jacks 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, told him that he lingered there ouer long; whereat the Lord
were gorgeously imbroidered with silke: and in the end he to whose charge Richard II. committed the instruction of four Irish monarchs in the civilisation of the period, found it most
Thomas being quickened," ! as Holinshed expresses it, bid
defiance to the chancellor, threw down contemptuously the difficult to break his royal disciples, though he had also much ado to subject them to other English rules, and particularly sword of office, which, in his father's absence, he held as de to reconcile them to wear breeches. “ The kyng, my souer
puty, and rushed forth to engage in open insurrection. evigne lord's entent was, that in maner, countenaunce, and apparel 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,
Note 3 D. and sayde nothyng to them, but folowed their owne appetytes: they wolde sitte at the table, and make countenance nother
Ah, Clanacboy! thy friendly poor good nor fayre. Than I thought I shulde cause them to chaunge
Slieve- Donard's oak shall light no more.-P. 3.-7. that maner; they wolde cause their mynstrells, their seruantes, and varlettes, to sytte with them, and to cate in their Ciandeboy is a district of Ulster, formerly possessed by the owne dyssche, and to drinke of their cuppes; and they shewed sept of the O'Neales, and Slieve-Donard, a romantic mountain me that the usage of their cuntre was good, for they sayd in in the same province. The clan was ruined after Tyrene's all thyngs (except their beddes) they were and lyved as co- great rebellion, and their places of abode laid desolate. The men. So the fourthe day I ordayned other tables to be couered ancient Irish, wild and uncultivated in other respects, did not in the hall, after the usage of Englande, and I made these four rield even to their descendants in practising the most free and
1 Well known, or perhaps kind, well disposed.
2 Hollinshed. Lond. 1808, 4to, vol. vi p. 291.
This hearth, will it not be overgrown with spreading
brambles ! Till now, logs of burning wood lay on it, Accustom'd to prepare the gifts of Reged!
Note 3 E.
This hearth, will it not be covered with thorns ! More congenial on it would have been the mixed group of Owain's social friends united in harmony.
This hearth, will it not be covered with ants !
This hearth, will it not be covered with dock-leaves !
This hearth, will it not be turned up by the swine !
Heroic Elegies of Llywarc llen, by Owen.
Lond. 1792, 8vo, p. 41.
M'Curtin's harp.-P. 329. “ MacCurtin, hereditary Ollamh of North Munster, and Filea to Donough, Earl of Thomond, and President of Mun. ster. This nobleman was amongst those who were prevailed upon to join Elizabeth's forces. Soon as it was known that he had basely abandoned the interests of his country, MacCurtin presented an adulatory poem to MacCarthy, chief of Sounh 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 MacCarthy; 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 am I aftlicted (says he) that the descendant of the great Brion Boiromh cannot furnish me with a theine 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 county of Cork. One day observing the exasperated nobleman and his equi. page at a small distance, he thought it was in vain to fly, and pretended to be suddenly seized with the pangs of death ; directing his wife to lament 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. That nobleman was moved to compassion, and not only declared that he most heartily forgave him, but, opening his purse, presented the fair mourner 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 extemporaneous ode in praise of Donough, and, reentering into his service, became once more his favourite."Walker's Memoirs of the Irish Bards. Lond. 1786. 4to,
“ The hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night, Without fire, without bedI must weep a while, and then be silent !
The hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,
The hall of Cynddylan is gloomy this night,
The hall of Cynddylan, gloomy seems its roof
NOTE 3 F.
The ball of Cynddylan is without love this night,
The ancient English minstrel's dress.-P. 329. Among the entertaininents presented to Elizabeth at Kenil. worth Castle, was the introduction of person designed to
represent a travelling minstrel, who entertained her with a horseman bound her eyes, and placed her on a pillion behind solemn story out of the Acts of King Arthur. Of this person's him. After proceeding in silence for many miles through dress and appearance Mr Lanehain has given us a very accu- rough and dirty lanes, they stopped, and the midwife was led rate account, transferred by Bishop Percy to the preliminary into a house, which, from the length of her walk through the Dissertation on Minstrels, prefixed to his Reliques of Ancient apartments, as well as the sounds about her, she discovered Poetry, vol. i.
to be the seat of wealth and power. When the bandage was removed from her eyes, she found herself in a bedchamber, in which were the lady on whose account she had been sent for,
and a man of a haughty and ferocious aspect. The lady was Note 3 G.
delivered of a fine boy. Immediately the man commanded
the midwife to give him the child, and catching it from her, Littlecote Hall.-P. 332
he hurried across the room, and threw it on the back of the The tradition from which the ballad is founded, was sup. tire, that was blazing in the chimney. The child, however, plied by a friend, (the late Lord Webb Seymour,) whose ac- was strong, and, by its struggles, rolled itself upon the hearth, count I will not do the injustice to abridge, as it contains an when the ruftian again seized it with fury, and, in spite of the admirable picture of an old English hall :
intercession of the midwife, and the more piteous entreaties “ Littlecote House stands in a low and lonely situation. of the mother, thrust it under the grate, and, raking the live On three sides it is surrounded by a park that spreads over coals upon it, soon put an end to its life. The midwife, after the adjoining hill; on the fourth, by meadows which are spending some time in affording all the rehef in her power to watered by the river Kennet. Close on one side of the house the wretched mother, was told that she must be gone. Her is a thick grove of lofty trees, along the verge of which runs former conductor appeared, who again bound her eyes, and one of the principal avenues to it through the park. It is an conveyed her behind him to her own home; he then paid ber irregular building of great antiquity, aud was probably erected handsomely, and departed. The midwife was strongly agiabout the time of the termination of feudal warfare, when tated by the horrors of the preceding night; and she imme. defence came no longer to be an object in a country man. diately made a deposition of the facts before a magistrate. sion. Many circumstances, however, in the interior of the Two circumstances afforded hopes of detecting the house in house, seem appropriate to feudal times. The ball is very which the crime had been committed ; one was, that the midspacious, floored with stones, and lighted by large transom wife, as she sat by the bedside, had, with a view to discover windows, that are clothed with casements. Its walls are the place, cut out a piece of the bed-curtain, and sewn it in hung with old military accoutrements, that have long been again; the other was, that as she had descended the staircase left a prey to rust. At one end of the hall is a range of coats she had counted the steps. Some suspicions fell upon one of mail and helmets, and there is on every side abundance of Darrell, at that time the proprietor of Littlecote House, and old-fashioned pistols and guns, many of them with match the domain around it. The house was examined, and identi. locks. Immediately below the cornice hangs a row of leathern fied by the midwife, and Darrell was tried at Salisbury for the jerkins, made in the forin of a shirt, supposed to have been murder. By corrupting his judge, he escaped the sentence of worn as armour by the vassals. A large oak table, reaching the law; but broke his neck by a fall from his horse in hunt. nearly from one end of the room to the other, might have ing, in a few months after. The place where this happened feasted the whole neighbourhood, and an appendage to one is still known by the name of Darrell's Style,-a spot to be end of it made it answer at other times for the old game of dreaded by the peasant whom the shades of evening have overshuffleboard. The rest of the furniture is in a suitable style, I taken on his way. particularly an arm-chair of cumbrous workınanship, con- “ Littlecote House is two miles from Hungerford, in Berkstructed of wood, curiously turned, with a high back and trian- shire, through which the Bath road passes. The fact occurred gular seat, said to have been used by Judge Popham in the in the reign of Elizabeth. All the important circumstances ! reign of Elizabeth. The entrance into the wall is at one end, have given exactly as they are told in the country; some trifles by a low door, communicating with a passage that leads from only are added, either to render the whole connected, or to the outer door in the front of the house to a quadranglel increase the impression." within ; at the other, it opens upon a gloomy staircase, by To Lord Webb's edition of this singular story, the author which you ascend to the first floor, and, passing the doors of can now add the following account, extracted from Aubrey's some bedchambers, enter a narrow gallery, which extends Correspondence. It occurs among other particulars respect. along the back front of the house from one end to the other ing Sir John Popham :of it, and looks upon an old garden. This gallery is hung
* * * Dayrell, of Littlecote, in Com. Wilts, havwith portraits, chietly in the Spanish dresses of the sixteenth ing gott his lady's waiting woman with child, when her travell century. In one of the bedehambers, which you pass in going came, sent a servant with a horse for a midwife, whom he towards the gallery, is a bedstead with blue furniture, which was to bring hood-winked. She was brought, and layd the time has now made dingy and hreadbare, and in the bottom woman, but as soon as the child was born, she sawe the kniglit of one of the bed curtains you are shown a place where a take the child and murther it, and burn it in the fire in the small piece has been cut out and sewn in aquin,-a circum. chamber. She having done her businesse, was extraordinarily stance which serves to identify the scene of the following rewarded for her paines, and sent blindfolded away. This story:
horrid action did much run in her mind, and she had a desire “ It was on a dark rainy night in the month of November, to discover it, but knew not where 'twas. She considered that an old midwife sat musing by her cottage fire-side, when with herself the tim that she was riding, and how many miles on a sudden she was startled by a loud knocking at the door. she might have rode at that rate in that time, and that it On opening it she found a horseman, who told her that her must be some great person's house, for the roome was 12 foot assistance was required immediately by a person of rank, high; and she should know the chamber if she sawe it. She and that she should be handsomely rewarded; but that went to a Justice of Peace, and search was made. The very there were reasons for keeping the affair a strict secret, chamber found. The Knight was brought to his tryall; and, and, therefore, she must submit to be blindfolded, and to to be short, this judge had this noble house, parke and manbe conducted in that condition to the bedchamber of the ner, and (I thinke) more, for a bribe to save his life. lady. With some hesitation the midwife consented; the “ Sir John Popham gave sentence according to lawe, but
being a great person and a favouriie, he procured a holi preI think there is a chapel on one side of it, but am not sequi." quite sure
With this tale of terror the author has e mbined some cireumstances of a similar legend, which was current at Edin: ! “Enmity did continue betweene Howell ap Rys ap Howel burgh during his childhood.
Vaughan and the sonnes of John ap Meredith. After the About the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the death of Evan ap Rebert, Griffith ap Gronw (cosen-german to large castles of the Scottish nobles, and even the secluded John ap Meredith's sonnes of Gwynfryn, who had long served hotels, like those of the Prench noblesse, which they possessed in France, and had charge there) comeing home to live in the in Edinburgh, were sometimes the scenes of strange and mys- countrey, it happened that a servant of his, comeing to fish in terious transactions, a divine of singular sanctity was called Stymllyn, his fish was taken away, and the fellow beaten by up at midnight to pray with a person at the point of death. Howell ap Rys his servants, and by his commandment. This was no unusual summons; but what followed was alarm- Grifhth ap John ap Gronw took the matter in such dudgeon ing. He was put into a sedan-chair, and after he had been that he challenged Howell ap Rys to the field, which he retransported to a remote part of the town, the bearers insisted fusing, assembling his cosins John ap Meredith's sonnes and upon his being blindfolded. The request was enforced by a his friends together, assaulted Howell in his own house, after cocked pistol, and submitted to; but in the course of the dis- the maner he had seene in the French warres, and consumed cussion, he conjectured, from the phrases employed by the with fire his barnes and his out-houses. Whilst he was thus aschairmen, and from some part of their dress, not completely saulting the ball, which Howell ap Rys and many other people concealed by their cloaks, that they were greatly above the kept, being a very strong house, he was shot, out of a crevice menial station they had assumed. After many turns and of the house, through the sight of his beaver into the head, windings, the chair was carried up stairs into a lodging, where and slayne outright, being otherwise armed at all points. Nothis eyes were uncovered, and he was introduced into a bed- withstanding his death, the assault of the house was continued room, where he found a lady, newly delivered of an infant. with great vehemence, the doores fired with great burthens of He was commanded by his attendants to say such prayers straw; besides this, the smoake of the out-houses and barnes by her bedside as were fitting for a person not expected not farre distant annoyed greatly the defendants, for that most to survive a mortal disorder. He ventured to remonstrate, of them lay under boordes and benches upon the floore, in the and observe, that her safe delivery warranted better hopes. hall, the better to avoyd the smoake. During this scene of conBut he was sternly commanded to obey the orders first fusion onely the old man. Howell ap Rys, never stooped, but given, and with difficulty recollected himself sufficiently to stood valiantly in the midst of the floore, armed with a gleve in acquit himself of the task imposed on him. He was then his hand, and called unto them, and bid them arise like men, again hurried into the chair ; but as they conducted him for shame, for he had knowne there as great a smoake in that down stairs, he heard the report of a pistol. He was safely hall upon Christmas-ever.' In the end, seeing the house conducted home ; a purse of gold was forced upon him ; could noe longer defend them, being overlayed with a multibut he was warned, at the same time, that the least allusion tude, upon parley betweene them, Howell ap Rys was conto this dark transaction would cost him his life. He betook tent to yeald himself prisoner to Morris ap John ap Merehimself to rest, and, after long and broken musing, fell into dith, John ap Meredith's eldest sonne, soe as he would swear deep sleep. From this he was awakened by his servarlt, with unto him to bring him safe to Carnarvon Castle, to abide the the dismal news that a fire of uncommon fury bad broken out 'triall of the law for the death of Graff' ap John ap Gronw, in the house of ****, near the head of the Canorigate, and who was cosen-german removed to the said Howell ap Rys, that it was totally consumed ; with the shocking addition, that and of the very same house he was of. Which Morris ap John the daughter of the proprietor, a young lady eminent for ap Meredith undertaking, did put a guard about the said beauty and accomplishments, had perished in the fames. Howell of his trustiest friends and servants, who kept and deThe clergyman had his suspicions, but to have made them fended him from the rage of his kindred, and especially of public would have availed nothing. lle was timid; the family Owen ap John ap Meredith, his brother, who was very eager was of the first distinction; above all, the deed was done, and against him. They passed by leisure thence like a campe to could not be amended. Time wore away, however, and with Carnarvon : the whole countrie being assembled, Howell his it his terrors. fle became unhappy at being the solitary de- friends posted a horseback from one place or other by the positary of this fearful mystery, and mentioned it to some of way, who brought word that he was come thither safe, for they his brothren, through whom the anecdote acquired a sort of were in great fear lest he should be murthered, and that publicity. The divine, however, had been long dead, and the Morris ap John ap Meredith could not be able to defend him, story in some degree forgotten, when a fire broke out again on neither durst any of Howell's friends be there, for fear of the the very same spot where the house of * * * * had formerly kindred. In the end, being delivered by Morris ap John ap stood, and which was now occupied by buildings of an inferior Meredith to the Constable of Carnarvon Castle, and there kept description. When the flames were at their height, the tumult, safely in ward untill the assises, it fell out by law, that the burnwhich usually attends such a scene, was suddenly suspended ing of Howell's houses, and assaulting him in his owne house, by an unexpected apparition. A beautiful female, in a night was a more haynous offence in Morris ap John ap Meredith and dress, extremely rich, but at least half a century old, appeared the rest, than the death of Graff" ap John ap Gronw in Howell, in the very midst of the fire, and uttered these tremendous who did it in his own defence; whereupon Morris ap John ap words in her vernacular idiom : “ Anes burned, twice burned; Meredith, with thirty five more, were indicted of felony, as the third time I'll scare you all !” The belief in this story appeareth by the copie of the indictment, which I had from was formerly so strong, that on a fire breaking out, and seem the records."—Sir John Wynne's History of the Guydir ing to approach the fatal spot, there was a good deal of anxiety Family. Lond. 1770, 8vo, p. 116. testified, lest the apparition should make good her denunciation,
Note 3 I.
Note 3 H.
As thick a smoke these hearths have given al Halione-tule or Christmas-even.-P. 334.
O'er Hexham's altar hung my glove.-P. 341. This custom among the Redesdale and Tynedale Borderers is mentioned in the interesting Life of Barnard Gilpin, where some account is given of these wild districts, which it was the custom of that excellent man regularly to visit.
** This custom (of duels) still prevailed on the Borders, where Saxon barbarism held its latest possession. Those
Such an exhortation was, in similar circumstances, actually given to his followers by a Welsh chieftain :