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33. Another Romance, that seems to be a kind of continuation of this last, entitled Otuel a Knight (no. xxviii.), in 11 leaves and a half. The two first lines are,

Herkneth both zinge and old.

That willen heren of battailes bold. 34. The King of Tars (no. iv. in 5 leaves and a half; it is also in the Bodleian library, MS. Vernon, f. 304), beginning thus:

Herkneth to me both eld and zing,

For Maries love that swete thing. 35. A Tale or Romance (no. i. 2 leaves) that wants both beginning and end. The first lines now remaining are,

Th Erl him graunted his will y-wis. that the knicht him haden y told. The Baronnis that were of mikle pris. befor him thay weren y-cald.

36. Another mutilated Tale or Romance (no. iii. 4 leaves) The first lines at present are,

To Mr. Steward will y gon. and tellen him the sothe of the
Reseyved bestow sone anon. gif zou will serve and with hir be.

37. A mutilated Tale or Romance (no. xi. in 13 leaves) The two first lines that occur are,

That riche Dooke his fest gan hold

With Erls and with Baronns bold. I cannot conclude my account of this curious manuscript, without acknowledging that I was indebted to the friendship of the Rev. Dr. Blair, the ingenious Professor of Belles Lettres in the University of Edinburgh, for whatever I learned of its contents, and for the important additions it enabled me to make to the foregoing list.

To the preceding articles, two ancient metrical romances in the Scottish dialect may now be added, which are published in Pinkerton's Scottish Poems, reprinted from scarce editions, Lond. 1792, in 3 vols. 8vo, viz.

38. Gawan and Gologras, a Metrical Romance; from an edition printed at Edinburgh, 1508, 8vo, beginning,

In the tyme of Arthur, as trew men me tald. It is in stanzas of thirteen lines.

39. Sir Gawan and Sir Galaron of Galloway, a Metrical Romance, in the same stanzas as no. 38, from an ancient MS. beginning thus:

In the tyme of Arthur an aunter2 betydde
By the Turnwathelan, as the boke tells;

Whan he to Carlele was comen, and conqueror kyd, &c. Both these (which exhibit the union of the old alliterative metre, with rhyme, &c., and in the termination of each stanza the short triplets of the Turnament of Tottenham) are judged to be as old as the time of our King Henry VI., being apparently the production of an old poet, thus mentioned by Dunbar, in his " Lament for the Deth of the Makkaris:"

Clerk of Tranent eik he hes take,

That made the aventers of Sir Gawane.

It will scarce be necessary to remind the reader, that Turnewathelan is evidently Tearne-Wadling, celebrated in the old ballad of the Marriage of Sir Gawaine. See p. 42, and no. xix. book iii. of this volume.

Many new references, and perhaps some additional articles might be added to the foregoing list from Mr. Warton's History of English Poetry, 3 vols. 4to, and from the Notes to Mr. Tyrwhitt's improved edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, &c., in 5 vols. 8vo, which have been published since this Essay, &c. was first composed; but it will be sufficient once for all to refer the curious reader to those popular works.

The reader will also see many interesting particulars on the subject of these volumes, as well as on most points of general literature, in Sir John Hawkins's curious History of Music, &c., in 5 volumes, 4to; as also in Dr. Burney's Hist., &c., in 4 vols. 4to.

2 i. e. adventure.



The Boy and the Wantie, Is printed verbatim from the old MS. described in the Preface. The Editor believes it more ancient than it will appear to be at first sight; the transcriber of that manuscript having reduced the orthography and style in many instances to the standard of his own times.

The incidents of the mantle and the knife have not, that I can recollect, been borrowed from any other writer. The former of these evidently suggested to Spenser his conceit of Florimel's girdle, b. iv. c. 5, st. 3.

That girdle gave the virtue of chaste love

And wivehood true to all that did it beare;
But whosoever contrarie doth prove,
Might not the same about her middle weare,

But it would loose or else asunder teare.
So it happened to the false Florimel, st. 16, when

being brought, about her middle small
They thought to gird, as best it her became,
But by no means they could it thereto frame,
For ever as they fastned it, it loos'd

And fell away, as feeling secret blame, &c.
That all men wondred at the uncouth sight

And each one thought as to their fancies came.
But she herself did think it done for spight,
And touched was with secret wrath and shame
Therewith, as thing deviz'd her to defame:
Then many other ladies likewise tride
About their tender loynes to knit the same,

But it would not on none of them abide,
But when they thought it fast, eftsoones it was untide.
Thereat all knights gan laugh and ladies lowre,

Till that at last the gentle Amoret
Likewise assayed to prove that girdle's powre.
And having it about her middle set
Did find it fit withouten breach or let,
Whereat the rest gan greatly to envie.
But Florimel exceedingly did fret,
And snatching from her hand, &c.


Percy. III.

As for the trial of the horne, it is not peculiar to our poet; it occurs in the old romance, entitled Morte Arthur, which was translated out of French in the time of King Edward IV., and first printed anno 1484. From that romance Ariosto is thought to have borrowed his tale of the Enchanted Cup, C. 42, &c. See Mr. Warton's Observations on the Faerie Queen, &c.

The story of the horn in Morte Arthur varies a good deal from this of our poet, as the reader will judge from the following extract: - "By the way they met with a knight that was sent from Morgan la Faye to king Arthur, and this knight had a fair horne all garnished with gold, and the horne had such a virtue, that there might no ladye or gentlewoman drinke of that horne, but if she were true to her husband: and if shee were false she should spill all the drinke, and if shee were true unto her lorde, shee might drink peaceably: and because of queene Guenever and in despite of Sir Launcelot du Lake, this horne was sent unto King Arthur.” This horn is intercepted and brought unto another king named Marke, who is not a whit more fortunate than the British hero; for he makes “his qeene drinke thereof, and an hundred ladies moe, and there were but foure ladies of all those that drank cleane," of which number the said queen proves not to be one. [Book ii. chap. 22, ed. 1632.]

In other respects the two stories are so different, that we have just reason to suppose this ballad was written before that romance was translated into English.

As for Queen Guenever, she is here represented no otherwise than in the old histories and romances. Holinshed observes, that “she was evil reported of, as noted of incontinence and breach of faith to hir husband.” Vol. i. p. 93.

*** Such readers as have no relish for pure antiquity, will find a more modern copy of this ballad at the end of the volume.

In the third day of may,
To Carleile did come
A kind curteous child,
That cold much of wisdome.



A kirtle and a mantle
This child had uppon,
With “brouches' and ringes
Full richelye bedone.
He had a sute of silke
About his middle drawne;
Without he cold of curtesye
He thought itt much shame.
God speed thee, king Arthur,
Sitting at thy meate:
And the goodly queene Guenever,
I cannott her forgett.


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