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III.

AN ORIGINAL BALLAD BY CHAUCER.

This little fonnet, which hath escaped all the editors of Chaucer's works, is now printed for the first time from an ancient MS in the Pepysian library, that contains many other poems of its venerable author. The verification is of that species, 'which the French call RONDE A U, very naturally englished by our honest countrymen Round O. The so early adopted by them, our ancestors had not the boncur of inventing it : Chaucer picked it up, along with other better things, among the neighbouring nations. A fondnejš for laborious trifles hath always prevailed in the dawn of literature. The ancient Greek poets had their wings and AXES: the great father of English poefy may therefore be pardoned one poor solitary RONDEAU.-Dan Geofrey Chaucer died Oet. 25. 1400. aged 72.

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OURE two eyn will ne me fodenly,

I may the beaute of them not sustene,
So wendeth it thorowout my herte kene.

Y

2.

And but your words will helen hastely
My hertis wound, while that it is grene,
Youre two eyn will se me fodenly.

3.
Upon my trouth I sey yow feithfully,
That ye ben of my liffe and deth the quene;
For with my deth the trouth shal be sene.
Youre two eyn &c.
3

II. i. Se

II. I.

So hath youre beaute fro your herte chased
Pitee, that me n'availeth not to pleyn;
For daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.

2.

Giltless my deth thus have ye purchased;
I sey yow foth, me nedeth not to fayn:
So hath your beaute fro your herte chased,

4.
Alas, that nature hath in yow compassed
So
grete

beaute, that no man may atteyn To mercy, though he sterve for the peyn.

So hath youre beaute &c.

III. I.

Syn I fro love escaped am fo fat,
I nere thinke to ben in his prison lene ;
Syn I am fre, I counte hym not a bene.

2.

He may answere, and sey this and that,
I do not fors, I speak ryght as I mene ;.
Syn I fro love escaped am so fat.

3.
Love hath my name i-strike out of his sclat,
And he is strike out of

my

bokes clene : For ever

* this is non other mene. Syn I fro love escaped &c.

mo

# Ther,

IV. THE

IV.

THE TURNAMENT OF TOTTÈNHAM:

OR, THE WOOEING, WINNING,

AND WEDDING “ OF Tibee, THE REEV'S DAUGHTER THERE.”

out.

It does horour to the good sense of this notion, that while all Europe was captivated with the bewitching charms of Ghivalry and Romance, two of our writers in the rule 13 m2 could see thro' the falle glare that surrounded them, and dataver whatever was abfurd in them both. Chaucer wrote his Rhyme of fir Tropas in ridicule of the latter, and in the following poem we have a humourous burlesque of the former. Without pretending to decide, whether the institution of ibivalry was upon the whole useful or pernicious in the rude ages, a question that has lately employed many fine pens *, it evidently encouraged a vindiétive spirit, and gave such force to the custom of duelling, that it will probably never be worn

This, together with the fatal consequences wbich often attended the diversion of the Turnament, was suficient to render it obnoxious to the graver part of mankind. cordingly the Church early denounced its crures again it, and the State was often prevailed on to attempt its supprefron. But fasnion and opinion are superior to authority; and the proclamations against Tilting were as little regaried in thnje times, as the laws against Duelling are in theje. This di: not escape the discernment of our poet, who easily perceived that inveterate opinions must be attacked by other weapons, than proclamations and censures; he accordingly made use of the keen one of RIDICULE. With this view he has here introduced, with admirable humour, a parcel of clowns, initating all the folemnities of the Tournay. Here we have the

regular * See {Mr. Hurd's] Letters on Chivalry, 8vo. 1762. Merroires de la Chevalerie par M. de la Curne de s. Palais, 1759.2 tom, 12mo. &c.

reu.

regular challenge the appointed day-the lady for the prize --the formal preparations--the display of armour--the scucheons and devices- the oaths taken on entering the lifts-the various accidents of the encounter--the victor leading off the prize,-and, the magnificent feasting, with all the other Folemn fopperies, that usually attended the exercise of the barriers. And how acutely the sharpness of the author's humour must have been felt in those days, we may learn, from what we can perceive of the keenness now, when time has so much blunted the edge of his ridicule.

THE TURNAMENT OF Tottenham was publish'd from an ancient MS. in 1631 4to, by the Wilhelm Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, and one of the translators of the Bible : he tells us it was written by one Gilbert Pilkington, thought to have been some time parson of the Jame parish, and author of another treatise intitled Passio Domini Jesu Christi. Bedwell, who was eminently skilled in the oriental languages, appears to have been but little conversant with the ancient writers in his own : and he so little entered into the spirit of i he poem he was publishing that he contends for its being a Serious narrative of a real event, and thinks it must have been written before the time of Edward III, because Turnaments were prohibited in that reign. I do verily beleeve,

says he, that this Turnament was acted before this proclamation of K. Edvard. For how durst any to attempt to " do that, although in sport, which was so straightly for« bidden, both by the civill and ecclefiafticall power? For although they fought not with lances, yet as our authour Sayth, It was no childrens

game.And what would « have become of him, thinke you, which should have slayne 66 another in this manner of jeafting ? Would he not, trow you, have bene HANG’D FOR IT IN EARNEST ? YEA,

AND HAVE BENE BURIED LIKE A DOGGE?" It is however well known that Turnaments were in ujë down to the reign of Elizabeth.

Without pretending to ascertain the date of this poem, the obsoleteness of the style fhews it to be very ancient : It will appear from the sameness of orthography in the above extract

60

that

that Bedwell has generally reduced that of the poem to the Standard of his own times; yet, notwithstanding this innovation, the phraseology and idiom shew it to be of an early date. The poem had in other respects suffered by the ignorance of transcribers, and therefore a few attempts are here made to restore the text, by amending some corruptions, and removing Jome redundancies; but left this freedom should incur cenfure, the former readings are retained in the margin. A farther liberty is also taken, what is here given for the concluding line of each stanza, food in the former edition divided as

two: l. 8

Of them that were doughty, And hardy indeed :" but they seemed most naturally to run into one, and the frequent neglect of rbime in the former of them seemed to prove that the author intended no such division.

0

Fall the kene conquerours to carpe is our kinde;

Of fell fighting folke.a' ferly we finde;
The Turnament of Tottenham have I in minde;
It were harme such hardinesse were holden behinde.
In story as we reade,

S
Of Hawkin, of Harry,

Of Timkin, of Terry,
Of them that were doughty, and hardy in deed.

It befell in Tottenham on a deare day,
There was made a fhurting by the highway :
Thither come all the men of that countray
Of Hiffelton, of High-gate, and of Hakenay,

And

Ver, 1. these. P. C.
Ver. 8. indeed. P. C.

Ver. 2. 'a' not in P. C,

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