Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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96                THOMAS OF EESSELDOUNE.
was included in the domain of Abbotsford. (See Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, iv. 110, v. 1.)
"During the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, to get up a prophecy in the name of Thomas the Khymer appears to have been found a good stroke of policy on many occasions. Thus was his authority employed to countenance the views of Edward III. against Scottish independence, to favor the ambitious views of the Duke of Albany in the minoritj of James V., and to sustain the spirits of the nation under the harassing invasions of Henry VIII. A small volume containing a collection of the rhymes thus put into circulation was published by Andro Hart in Edinburgh, in 1615." — Chambers, Pop. Rhymes of Scotland, p. 6.
" This poem," says Mr. Laing, " is preserved in three ancient manuscripts, each of them in a state more or less mutilated, and varying in no inconsiderable de­gree from the others. A portion of it was first printed in the Border Minstrelsy, [iv. 122,] from the fragment in the British Museum, among the Cotton MSS.; and the one which Mr. Jamieson adopted in his collection of Popular Ballads and Songs [ii. 11,] was carefully deciphered from a volume of no ordinary curiosity, in the University Library, Cambridge, written in a very illegible hand, about the middle of the 15th century. It is now printed from the other copy, as it occurs in a volume, compiled at a still earlier period, which is preserved in the Cathedral Library of Lincoln. On comparison, it will be readily perceived, that the text is in every respect preferable to that of either of the other manuscripts. . . . An endeavor has been made to fill up the defective parts from the Cambridge copy, though in some instances, as will be seen, without







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