Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 4 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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The copy here given of this favorite popular ballad is derived from Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, Percy Society, xvii. 60. It is there printed from a modern broadside," care-
1 fully collated " with a copy in the Bagford collection. In Percy's edition, (Reliques, ii. 171,) besides many trivial emendations, eight modern stanzas (said to be the work of Robert Dodsley) are substituted for the first five of the Beggar's second song, " to remove abĀ­surdities and inconsistencies," and to reconcile the story to probability and true history ! The copy in A Collection of Old Ballads, ii. 202, is not very diiferent from the present, and the few changes that have been made in the text selected, unless otherwise accounted for, are adoPYEd from that.
"Pepys, in his diary, 25th June, 1663, speaks of going with Sir William and Lady Batten, and Sir J. Minnes, to" Sir W. Rider's at Bednall Green, to din-
i ner,' a fine place;' and adds, ' This very house was built by the Blind Beggar of Bednall Green, so much talked of and sung in ballads; but they say it was
, only some outhouses of it.'" Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time, p. 159. VOL. IV.                          11