Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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him by George Withers. In the first edition of the Reliques, Percy reprinted Bedwell's text, with some conjectural emendations, but for the revised edition he employed a manuscript in the Harleian collection (No. 5396), pointed out to him by Tyrwhitt. This manuscript is thought to have been written in the reign of Henry VI. Since the publication of the Harleian text, the manuscript used by Bedwell has been found in the Public Library of the University of Cambridge, (Pf. 5, 48,) and a correct copy pub­lished by Mr. Wright in a miniature volume. We have given this last text, as on the whole the best, though in places it requires emendation from the Harleian copy. The Cambridge manuscript (the same as that which contains the ballad of Robin Hood and the Monk,") Mr. Wright believes to have been written as early as the reign of Edward II. In this MS. there is subjoined to the Turnamenl an extrava­gantly burlesque account of the feast mentioned in the last stanzas.
Percy's copy will be found in the Reliques, ii. 13. Ritson's (Ancient English Songs, i. 85,) is nearly identi­cal.
This ballad, it has been observed, appears to be " a burlesque upon the old feudal custom of marrying an heiress to the knight who should vanquish all his opponents, at a solemn assembly holden for that pur­pose." Seo the remarks in the Gentleman's Magazine for July, 1794, p. 613.
Of alle these kene conqueroures to carpe is oure
kynde; Off fel feghtyng folke ferly we fynde ;