Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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This ballad has been handed down, through manu­script and oral tradition, in several forms. The oldest copy is furnished by the Bannatyne MS., and this has been often printed, with more or less correctness: as in Ramsay's Eoergreen, ii. 137 ; Lord Hailes's Ancient Scotish Poems, fyc. p. 215 ; Herd's Scotish Songs, ii. 237; Pinkerton's Select Scottish Ballads, ii. 97. Our text is that of Laing, Select Remains, fyc, which pro­fesses to be carefully given from the manuscript. Mr. Laing has added in the margin the most important variations of other editions. Allan Ramsay altered several verses and added others.
In the Bannatyne MS. this piece is subscribed with the name of " Mofat," and on this ground the author­ship has been attributed to Sir John Moffat, who is supposed to have lived in the earlier part of the 16th century.
Ritson, who intended to insert the Wife of Auch-
termuchty in a projected volume of Select Scotish
Poems, says in a manuscript note, " The subject of
this poem seems to be borrowed from the first part of
a story in the Silva Sermonum Jucundissimorum, Basil.
1568,8vo. p. 116, though certainly from a more ancient
authority." (Laing.) This story is cited at the end
of the volume from which we print. In Wright and
Halliwell's Keliquice Antigua;, ii. 195, is the first ft
/ f jw, of an English ballad on the same subject, " from a
•^f '{/„<.•'« i,, MS. on paper, of the reign of Henry VII," (Ballad
I t-'-L) of a Tyrannical Husband.) John Grumlie in Can-

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