Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 3 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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From Percy's Reliquea, iii. 316.
The three following pieces are here inserted merely as specimens of a class of tales, horrible in their inci­dents but feeble in their execution, of which whole dreary volumes were printed and read about two cen­turies ago. They were all of them, probably, founded on Italian novels.
" The subject of this ballad is taken from a folio collection of tragical stories, entitled, The Theatre of God's Judgments, by Dr. Beard and Dr. Taylor, 1642. Pt. 2, p. 89. The text is given (with corrections) from two copies; one of them in black-letter in the Pepys Collection. In this every stanza is accompa­nied with the following distich by way of burden :
Oh jealousie! thou art nurst in hell: Depart from hence, and therein dwell."
All tender hearts, that ake to hear
Of those that suffer wrong; All you that never shed a tear,
Give heed unto my song.
Fair Isabella's tragedy                                                g
My tale doth far exceed: Alas, that so much cruelty
In female hearts should breed 1