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from an ancient manuscript in the year 1631, and reduced to a more modern style, by William Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, and one of the translators of the Bible. He says it was written by Gilbert Pilkington, supposed to have been rector of the same parish, and author of an unknown tract, called PASSIO DOMINI JESU. But Bedwell, without the least comprehension of the scope and spirit of the piece, imagines it to be a serious narrative of a real event; and, with as little sagacity, believes it to have been written before the year 1330. Allowing that it might originate from a real event, and that there might be some private and local abuse at the bottom, it is impossible that the poet could be serious. Undoubtedly the chief merit of this poem, although not destitute of humour, consists in the design rather than the execution. As Chaucer, in the RIME OF SIR THOPAS', travestied the romances of

[The Rev. Wilhelm Bedwell, who published the Turnament of Tottenham, from an ancient MS. in 1631, 4to, says, in his Epistle to the reader, "It is now seven or eight years since I came to the sight of the copy, and that by the meanes of the worthy and my much honoured good friend, M. George Withers, of whom also, now at length, I have obtained the use of the same. And because the verse was then by him ( a man of so exquisite judgement in this kinde of learning) much commended, as also for the thing it selfe, I thought it worth while to transcribe it and to make it public," &c.PARK.]

2 I take this opportunity of observing, that the stanza of one of Laurence Minot's poems on the wars of Edward the Third, is the same as Chaucer's Sir Topas. Minot was Chaucer's contemporary. MSS. Cott. Galb. E. ix.

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chivalry, the TOURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM is a burlesque on the parade and fopperies of chivalry itself. In this light, it may be considered as a curiosity; and does honour to the good sense and discernment of the writer, who seeing through the folly of these fashionable exercises, was sensible at the same time, that they were too popular to be attacked by the more solid weapons of reason and argument. Even on a supposition that here is an allusion to real facts and characters, and that it was intended to expose some popular story of the amours of the daughter of the Reve of Tottenham, we must acknowledge that the satire is conveyed in an ingenious mode. He has introduced a parcel of clowns and rustics, the inhabitants of Tottenham, Islington, Highgate, and Hackney, places then not quite so polished as at present who imitate all the solemnities of the barriers. The whole is a mockparody on the challenge, the various events of the encounter, the exhibition of the prize, the devices and escocheons, the display of arms, the triumphant procession of the conqueror, the oath before the combat, and the splendid feast which followed, with every other ceremony and circumstance which constituted the regular tournament. The reader will form an idea of the work from a short extracta.

He that bear'th him best in the tournament,
Shal be graunted the greeb by the common assent,

For to winne my daughter with doughtinesse of dent,
And Copple my broode hen that was brought out of Kent,

He traisted of no better bote,
Bot both on hors and on fote,

He hasted him to fle.

It semid he was ferd for strokes,
When he did fell his grete okes

Obout his pavilyoune.
Abated was than all his pride,
For langer thare durst he noght bide,
His bost was broght all doune.
The king of Beme had cares colde,
That was ful hardy, and bolde,

A stede to umstride:
[He and] the king als of Naverne
War faire ferd in the ferne

Thaire heviddes for to hide.
And leves wele, it is no lye,
The felde hat Flemangrye

That king Edward was in;
With princes that war stif ande bolde,
And dukes that war døghty tolde,
In batayle to begin.

The princes that war riche on raw,
Gert nakers strikes and trumpes blaw4,

And made mirth at thaire might;
Both alblast and many a bow
War redy railed opon a row,

And ful frek for to fight.

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4 In glittering ranks, made the drums beat and trumpets blow.

And my dunned cow:

He shall have my gray mare, and my spotted sow.
There was many a bold lad their bodyes to bede*;
Then they toke their leave, and hamward they hede';
And all the weke after they gayed her wede,

Till it come to the day that they should do their dede1:

They armed them in mattes;

They sett on their nowls

Good blacke bowlsk,

To keep their powls' from battering of battes.

They sewed hem in sheepskinnes for they should not brest",
And every ilk of them had a blacke hatte instead of a crest;
A baskett or panyer before on their brest,

And a flayle in her hande, for to fight prest",

Forthe con thei fare".


expence. e bid, offer.

For no spenced will I spare,
For no cattell will I care.

There was kid mickle force.

Who should best fend his corse,

He that had no good horse, borrowed him a mare, &c.t

It appears to me, that the author, to give dignity to his narrative, and to heighten the ridicule by stiffening the familiarity of his incidents and characters, has affected an antiquity of style. This I could prove from the cast of its fundamental diction and idiom, with which many of the old words do not agree. Perhaps another of the author's affectations is the alliterative manner; for although other specimens of alliteration, in smaller pieces, are now to be found, yet it was a singularity. To those which I have mentioned, of this reign, I take this opportunity of adding an alliterative poem, which may be called the FALCON AND THE PIE, who support a DYALOgue DefensyvE FOR WOMEN AGAYNST MALICYOUS DETRACTOURS, printed in 1542". The

made their clothes gay.

h fight for the lady. iheads.

on they went.

kithed, i. e. shown.

⚫ defend.


instead of helmets. I poles. cudgels. they sewed themselves up in sheep skins, by way of armour, to avoid being burt.

。 each.



f hied.

I have before observed, that it was a disgrace to chivalry to ride on a mare.

The poems of this manuscript do not seem to be all precisely of the same hand,

and might probably once have been separate papers, here stitched together. At the end of one of them, viz. fol. 46. The lysom ledys the Blynde, mention is inserted of an accompt settled ann. 34. Hen. VI. And this is in the hand and ink of that poem, and of some others. The Tournament of Tottenham, which might once have been detached from the present collection, comes at some distance afterwards, and cannot perhaps for a certainty be pronounced to be of the same writing. Coloph. "Thus endeth the faucon and pie anno dni 1542. Imprynted by me Rob. Wyer for Richarde Bankes."

I have an ancient manuscript allitera tive poem, in which a despairing lover bids farewell to his mistress. At the end

author's name Robert Vaghane, or Vaughan, is prefixed to some sonnets which form a sort of epilogue to the performance.

For the purpose of ascertaining or illustrating the age of pieces

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which have been lately or will be soon produced, I here stop to recall the reader's attention to the poetry and language of the last century, by exhibiting some extracts from the manuscript romance of YWAIN AND GAWAIN, which has some great outlines of Gothic painting, and appears to have been written in the reign of king Henry the Sixth". I premise, that but few circumstances happened, which contributed to the improvement of our language, within that and the present period.

The following is the adventure of the enchanted forest attempted by sir Colgrevance, which he relates to the knights of the round table at Cardiff in Wales.

That was my blisful an under croun,
And coronde wern alle 10 of the same


Depaynt in perles and wedes qwhyte11.

On golden gates that glent 12 as glas.

But mylde as mayden sene at mas. The poem begins,

Perle plesant to princes raye,
So clanly clos in golde so cler 13.

In the same manuscript is an alliterative poem without rhyme, exactly in the versification of Pierce Plowman, of equal or higher antiquity, viz.

Olde Abraham in erde 14 over he syttes, Even byfor his house doore under an oke grene,

Bryzt blikked the bem15 of the brod he


In the hyze hete 16 therof Abraham bides. The hand-writing of these two last-mentioned pieces cannot be later than Edward the Third. [See supr. vol. ii. p. 106.]

MSS. Cott. Galb. E. ix. [Ritson considers this MS. to be at least as old as the time of king Richard II. Obs. P. 34. The language, he adds, "of all the poems in the same MS. is a strong northern dialect, from which it may be inferred that they are the composition of persons, most likely monks, resident in that part of England, where in former times were several flourishing monasteries. Notes to Met. Romances, iii. 229.-PARK.]

x [The present text has been corrected by Mr. Ritson's edition of this romance. - PRICE.]

King Arthur,
He made a feste, the sothe to say,
Opon the Witsononday,

At Kerdyf, that es in Wales,
And efter mete thar in the hales 17,
Ful grete and gay was the assemble
Of lordes and ladies of that cuntre.
And als of knightes, war and wyse,
And damisels of mykel pryse,
Ilkane with other made grete gamin,
And grete solace, als thai war samin,
Fast thai carped, and curtaysli,
Of dedes of armes, and of veneri,
And of gude knightes, &c.

It is a piece of considerable length, and contains a variety of GESTS. Sir Ywain is sir Ewain, or Owen, in Morte Arthur. None of these adventures belong to that romance. But see B. iv. c. 17. 27. etc. The story of the lion and the dragon in this romance, is told of a Christian champion in the Holy War, by Berchorius, Reductor. p. 661. See supr. vol. i. Diss. on the Gest. Romanor. ch. civ. The lion being delivered from the dragon by sir Ywain, ever afterwards accompanies and defends him in the greatest dangers. Hence Spenser's Una attended by a lion. F. Qu. i. iii. 7. See sir Percival's lion in Morte Arthur, B. xiv. c. 6. The dark ages had many stories and traditions of the lion's gratitude and generosity to man. Hence in Shakspeare, Troilus says, Tr. and Cress. act v. sc. 3.

Brother, you have a vice of mercy in

Which better fits a lion than a man.

[The darker ages had many stories of the
gratitude and generosity of lions towards

10 all wore a crown.

11 white robes.

13 cleanly, a pearl beautifully inclosed or set in gold.

15 Bright shone the beam.

16 high heat.

12 glanced, shone.

14 earth. 17 halls.

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