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MAG
NA
CHAR
TA

DACIE $2 SONGS AND BALL ADS,

&C.

SERIES THE SECOND.

BOOK I.

I.

RICHARD OF A L MAIGNE,

A ballad made by one of the adherents to Simon de " Montfort, earl of Leicester, Yoon after the battle of Lewes, which was fought May 14, 1264,"

- affords ą curious specimen of ancient Satire, and jews that the liberty, afumed by the good people of this realm, of VOL. II.

B

abusing

abusing their kings and princes at pleasure, is a privilege of very long standing.

To render this antique libel intelligible, the Reader is to understand that just before the battle of Lewe swhich proved So fatal to the interests of Henry III, the barons had offered his brother Richard King of the Romans 30,000l, to procure a peace upon such terms, as would have divested Henry of all his regal power, and therefore the treaty proved abortive.-The consequences of that battle are well known: the king, prince Edward his son, his brother Richard, and many of his friends fell into the hands of their enemies: while two great barons of the king's party John earl of Warren, and Hugh Bigot the king's fufticiary had been glad to escape into France.

In the 1st stanza the aforesaid sum of THIRTY THOUSAND"pounds is alluded to, but with the usual misrepresentation of party malevolence, is asserted to have been the exorbitant demand of the king's brother.

With regard to the 2d jt. the Reader is to note that Richard, along with the earldom of Cornwall, had the honours of WALINGFORD and Eyre confirmed to him on bis marriage quith Sanchia daughter of the Count of Provence, in 1243.

-Windsor castle was the chief fortress belonging to the king, and had been garrisoned by foreigners: a circumstance, which furnishes out the burthen of each fanza.

The 3d ft. very humorously alludes to some little falt, which history hath not condescended to record. Earl Richard pobeljed some large WATER-MILLS near Iftleworth, which had been plundered and burnt by the Londoners : in these perhaps by way of defence he had lodged a party of foldiers.

The 4th ft. is of obvious interpretation : Richard, who had been elected king of the Romans in 1256, and had afterwards gone over to take poression of his dignity, was in the year 1259, about to return into England, when the barons raised a popular clamour, that he was bringing with him foreigners to over-run the kingdom ; upon which he was

forced

forced to dismiss almost all his followers, otherwise the barons would have opposed his landing.

In the 5th it. the writer regrets the escape of the Earl of Warren, and in the 6th, and 7th fts. insinuates that if he and Sir Hugh Bigod once fell into the hands of their adverJaries, they should never more return home.

A circumstance, which fixes the date of this ballad; for in the year 1265 both thejè noblemen landed in South Wales, and the royal party foon after gained the ascendant. See Holingshed, Repin, &c.

The following is copied from a very ancient MS. in the British Museum. [Harl. MSS. 2253. f. 23.) This MS. is judged, from the peculiarities of the writing, to be not later than the time of Richard Il; th being every where expressed by the character þ; the ù is pointed after the Saxon manner; and the í hath an oblique stroke over it.

Prefixed to this ancient libel on government is a small design, which the engraver intended should correspond with the subject. On the one fide a Satyr, (emblem of Petulance and Ridicule) is trampling on the enligns of Royalty; on the other Faction under the masque of Liberty is exciting Ignorance and Popular Rage to deface the Royal Image ; which Stands on a pedestal inscribed MAGNA CHARTA, to denote

. that the rights of the king, as well as those of the people, are founded on the laws; and that to attack one, is in effect to demolish both.

;

"ITTETH alle stille, ant herkneth to me

The kyng of Alemaigne, bi mi leaute,
Thritti thousent pound askede he
For te make the

pees

in the countre,

Ant fo he dude more.
Richard, thah thou be ever trichard,
Tricthen shalt thou never more.

B 2
Ver. 2. kyn. MS,

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Richard of Alemaigne, whil that he wes kying,
He spende al is trefour opon swyvyng,
Haveth he nout of Walingford oferlyng,
Let him habbe, ase he brew, bale to dryng,

Maugre Wyndesore.
Richard, thah thou be ever &c.

15

The kyng of Alemaigne wende do ful wel,
He faisede the mulne for a castel,
With hare-sharpe swerdes he grounde the stel,
He wende that the fayles were mangonel

To helpe Wyndefore.
Richard, thah thou be ever &c.

20

The kyng of Alemaigne gederede ĝs hoft,
Makede him a castel of a mulne poft,
Wende with is prude, ant is muchele bost,
Brohte from Alemayne mony fori gost

To store Wyndefore.
Richard, thah thou be ever &c.

25

By God, that is aboven ous, he dude muche sønne,
That lette passen over see the erl of Warynne :
He hath robbed Engelond, the mores, ant th fenne,
The gold, ant the felver, and y-boren henne,

For love of Wyndefore.
Richard, thah thou be ever &c.

30

Sire Simond de Mountfort hath fuore bi ys chyn,
Hevede he nou here the erl of Waryn,
Shuld he never more come to is yn,
Ne with fheld, ne with spere, ne with other gyn,

To help of Wyndefore
Richard, thah thou be ever &c.

35

40

Sire Simond de Montfort hath suore bi ys .fot,'
Hevede he nou here Sire Hue de Bigot:
Al he fulde grante here twelfmoneth scot,
Shulde he never more with his fot pot

To helpe Wyndefore.
Richard, thah thou be ever trichard,

Tricthen shalt thou never more.

Ver. 38. top. or cop.
Ver. 40. g'te here. MS.i. , grant their. Vid. Gloss.

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** The Series of Poem's given in this volume will Joer the gradual changes of the English Language thro? a succession of five HUNDRED years.

This and the foregoing article may be considered as specimens of it in its most early state, almost as soon as it ceased to be Saxon. Ina deed ibe annals of this kingdom are written in the Saxon language almost down to the end of K. Stephen's reign : for so far reaches the Saxon Chronicle: within little more than a century of the date of this poem.

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