صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Let the letter and language be such like.
Sen all the world changes so many faces,
I trust I will caist cases upon cases;
And so let see what case ye think most
nice ;

Wisdom umquhile1 holdis the nicest wise;
So that it be sport in discretion
Without odious cruel comparison.

Protesting against being actuated by particular malice, or malice of any sort,. he proceeds to the consideration of the case in the said "mad metre."

FITT FIRST.

2

Here I give you a case;
Umquhile, a merry man was,
Called Cockelbie:

He had a simple black sow,
And he sold her, but how?

For pennies three, as after ye may see.
And verily, as I heard,

Thus, the money he wared.

The FIRST PENNY of the three,
For a girl gave he;

The SECOND fell in a ford :
The THIRD he hid in a hoard.
Now, whilk penny of the three
Was best bestowed, say ye?
The lost penny was uplesit ; 3
The girl for the time pleasit;
But the penny that was hid,
I hold, least good did :

For in old proverb we sing,
"Comes little good of gathering;"
Where wretched avarice burnis,
Hiding hoards into hirnis ;4
And knowis never whom till,
Letting worschep 5 to go till.
Great labour is to get gear,
And to conserve it is feir,6

[blocks in formation]

And more anger is to leise,

And thir. three perversed properteis,
I find in scarce keeping,

And avaricious winning;
Where measure is not mistress,
But gathering for greediness.
The hid penny, thinks me,
Was worst bestowed of the three;
For it was for the use of man:
Let world's goods go, than,
With measure and merryness:
Yet there is more of this case.
The penny lost in the lake
Was fundin and uptake;
And he that fand it did buy,
With the samyn penny,
A little pig, for his prow,3
Of Cockelbie's sow.

A harlot winnit4 near by,

And she would make at mangery;5
And had no substance at all,
But this poor pig stall,

To furnish a great feast
Withoutin stuff, but this beast;
And yet she called to her cheer
An apostita friar,

A perversed pardoner,
And practand palmer,

A witch, and a wobstar;6

and nearly a hundred more guests, of which the above are by no means the least respectable, or most appropriate to grace the table of so disreputable a hostess.

Yet many in a great rout,

For lack of room, stood about.
Now, would I wit, at this feast,
Who fure7 best of this beast;

I hold, the folk best fure
That stood without the dure; 8

[blocks in formation]

Fro this cursed company
And mensless 1 mangery;
Yet of this case there is more
The poor pig gave a roar,
Him to kill, when they pynit,"
So sore,
the silly pig quhrynit3
Quhill4 all the swine thereabout
Rushed forth in a rout.

I keep5 not now to commoun,
All beastis for to blassoun ;6
Of their divers naturis,
Complexions, and colouris;
Whom the law leaves to eat,
Or who should be no man's meat.
Nor of the fowlis of the air,
How some with close feet they fare,
And some divided the nails;
Nor of the fish with their scales:
All this I set aside now,
Have, at Cockelbie's sow
For to say the verity;
Lovand7 beastis swine be,
Contrair houndis nature;
For brawle doggis at the dure,
All, setts on the sorry hound
That lies ever at the ground;
And he that cries most, and roaris,
Overthrown, schent, and most sore

[blocks in formation]

To rescue, as they may ;
So did they this day.

That sowis sons heard I never
Win so great worship1 for ever.
For Stiftapill all the store
Rushed out with a roar,

This pig, when they heard him,
They come golfand 2 full grim.
Many long toothed boar,
And many galt 3 come before,
And many great Gunnald,
Gruntillot and gamald;4

and a whole host of other pigs equally noteworthy and appropriately entitled;

With sic a din and a dirdy,

A garray, and a hirdy girdy, 5 that the whole company was dispersed, and the hostess herself wounded by the tusks of a boar; while the little pig that was designed for the feast made his escape in the scramble. Nor did the commotion end with the escape of the intended victim; for the owners of the swine, alarmed by their violent distraction, and seeing so questionable a company, concluded that there was a design upon their property. They turned out, and, with blowing on stock-horns, roused the whole rustic community, who rushed to the rescue mounted and armed:

Gilby on his gray mare,
And Fergy on his sow fair,
Hodge Higgin by the hand hint,"
And Simmy that was sun brint,
With his lad Lowry,

And his gossip Glowry,

[blocks in formation]

and a motley assemblage of herds of sheep, swine, and cattle, with banners displayed, headed by their minstrels, Dicky Doit playing on his flute, and Davy Doyle, who blew on a pipe made of a "borit boutre," (alder-tree). These are met by another motley array, headed by a piper, who are at first taken for foes, but turn out to be friends. Their meeting brings them to a standstill, and, inspired by the increased accession of music, they, for a while forgetting the object of their turn-out, set to dancing, which gives the humorous bard an opportunity of giving a long list of the airs that were played, and the dances that were danced, led off by "Doby Drymouth" to the air of "The Sone Shene in the South;" until at length

Quhorlorehusty cried,

Oh cease this brangling and bere,'
Remember why ye come here!

Being thus reminded of the object of their gathering, they proceed to the house of the harlot,

And overthrew all the ediotis,
Both of the swine and the men ;

at which pass in the story the bard again reminds the company that it is all a fantasy,

And little in point of poetry,

But sport to make us merry:

Nothing stable we see

In this world of variance;

which he illustrates by putting his boar through all the adventures of his famous in his encounter with Hercules; for he prototype of Caledon, with better fortune escapes all his dangers unhurt. This good fortune of his hero gives the bard another opportunity of insisting upon the advantages of the company's investing their pennies instead of

Scarce spending that scathis gentriss.1

Thus concludes the history of the first penny, which is detailed

To set you in solace;

For our exceeding study
May cause while melancholy;
Therefore, to make us merrier,
Thus did my fantasy fare;
And this hirdy girdy, I,

And dirdy, cry you mercy.

Could we be sure that the reference to exceeding study is not ironical, it might be inferred that the author was one of those jolly monks who preferred the private enjoyment of such Gestes Romanorum in rhyme, to the reputation of being known as the writer of them. He then proceeds to the history of THE

SECOND PENNY.

FITT SECOND.

After which he opens a new chapter in Of thir mocking metres, and mad mattere,

the history of his little pig, now

Growin to a great boar:

Lo such is this worldis glore!
Now low, now high,

I Roaring noise.

Your high reverence humbly oft I require;
All ye heareris pardon with patience
My noius noyse, nicety and negligence;
And to satisfy my foresaid simple dite,2
In recompense of it, now will I write

[blocks in formation]

Of THE SECOND PENNY, for the girl cost, How it did thrive that once was thrall' half lost.

A year after, walking in his disport
By a river, Cockelbie, saw resort
Ane auld blind man, with a pretty maid,
Not twelve year old I hold of age she
had;

But sooth to say, she was not like to be.
A wordly wicht, so wonder fair was she.
So well nurturèd, as she had nourished
been

In cloister or court, daughter to king or queen.

Innocently she salust 3 on her knee,
This carlage4 man, this foresaid Cockelbie.
Yet, for to tell the very truth of it,

He was ane man both of substance and wit;

And said, "daughter have God's blessing and mine."

[ocr errors]

The auld man asked, le pour amour devine, Charity; and he said, father come to my house :"

He had him home, and gave him fair almous;

And intently inquirèd, where he had Gotten that fair innocent goodly maid; And if she were his daughter, or kin, to say. He said soothly, "She is neither perfay, But one palmer, ane honest man was he, One alien, come from beyond the sea, With his ain wife, a blessèd creature, Lodged with me, suppose that I be poor; And through the will of God, so as it was, They were wasted with sudden sore sick

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

4 Common man. 5 Beloved.

3 For if.

4 Bought.

5 Praise.
6 Very wonderful.

7 To all his guests?

8 Pliant, good natured.

That all that saw her they loved her as
their life;

And specially this Cockelbie's wife;
A worshipful woman unto her house,
They called her to name, Bellamerouse.
Betwixt her and her husband, Cockelbie,
They had a son, called Flammeslie :
Gallant he was, and good in all his feir;"
And of all others, oddly, the best archer
In any land, right worshipful and wise,
Big of bones, a strong man of devise.
And, as his father and mother did oft espy,
He coppeit this young wench attentively;
In his consait with sad digestion 3
Her most pleasant perfect person.
Her fresh figure formed of form and face;
Given to all good, fulfilled of God's grace.
That all bounty and beauty that might be
Worthy comprise, thereof enough had she.
He loved so well, there was none other,
But with consent of friends, father and
mother,

He wedded her to wife, wit ye for aye.
This amiable innocent, Adria,

Where Flammeslie o'er all wan victory.
The king saw him so big a man, and strong,
And goodly als, to tarry you not long,
For his body, a squire he him made;
And in his wars so well he him behaid,
He was made knight in court to continue;
And then he send for his fair lady, true,
Dame Adria, whom the king did com-
mend,

In his chalmer, upon the queen to attend.
Best beloved and most perfect was she,
For his gestis and beauty and bontie,
O'er all the lave of the ladies that there

were.

And Flammeslie so well in waris him bare,
That the king, after, made him earl royal,
And a corner of a country several,
Not then invent, inhabit as it lay,
Gave him by seal heritable for aye;
Which he plenished with people and policy,
And named it after him and his lady:
This is to say, Flammeslie and Adria,
His whole earldom called Flandria;
Flan frae the first silab of Flammeslie;

Was called, to name, and this in France fell, And Dria driven frae Adria the free:

Into the first o rising 4 of it to tell,
Or5 it prevelit planeist and popelus 6
Where now Paris city is situate thus.
This Cockelbie wonèd there, where the case
Of the pig, fools, and all that foresaid was,
Till on a time that, he [of] France the
king,

Rode to visit the bounds there as reign;7
And in the place there, as Cockelbie dwelt
A man of scoir, with such thing he dealt;
For then none could have craft cornis to
win,

That king of might lodged into his inn; 9
And on the morn a great shooting did they
try,

[blocks in formation]

The which famous earldom of Flanders aye
Holds of Frankland and Duchpeir to this

day.

Of the SECOND PENNY, thus, come great grace

With correction, and this I call a case.

Before proceeding with the history of the third penny, the humorous bard informs his audience that his story is not derived from the authentic sources; but from

Ane full auld wife,

My great grandame, men called her
Gurgunnald;

She knew the life of many faderis auld ;2
Notable gestis 3 of peace and war in story
Fresh in her mind, and recent of memory.

8 Eminence.

9 Castle, mansion.

[blocks in formation]
« السابقةمتابعة »