Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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Hollanders, as Ghent (called then by the English Gaunt), Antwerp, Mechlin, &c. See Show's Annals, p. 711. Some attempt made with the assistance of English volunteers to retrieve the former of those places, probably gave occasion to this ballad. I can find no mention of our heroine in history, but the following rhymes rendered her famous among our poets. Ben Jonson often mentions her, and calls any remarkable virago by her name. See his Epicmne, first acted in 1609, Act 4, sc. 2? his Tale of a Tub, Act 4, sc. 4: and his masque entitled The Fortunate Isles, 1626, where he quotes the very words of the ballad,
----Mart Ambbee,
(Who marched so free
To the siege of Gaunt,
And death could not daunt,
As the ballad doth vaunt)
Were a braver wight, &c.
She is also mentioned in Fletcher's Scornful tZady, Act 5, sub finem.
" This ballad is printed from a black-letter copy in the Pepys Collection, improved from the Editor's folio MS., and by conjecture. The full title is, "The valourous acts performed at Gaunt by the brave bonnie lass Mary Ambree, who, in revenge of her lovers death, did play her part most gallantly. The tune, is, The blind beggar, &c."Perct.
When captaines couragious, whom death cold not
daunte, Did march to the siege of the citty of Gaunt,

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