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Let the letter and language be such like.
Wisdom umquhile1 holdis the nicest wise;
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."
Here I give you a case;
He had a simple black sow,
For pennies three, as after ye may see.
Thus, the money he wared.
The FIRST PENNY of the three,
The SECOND fell in a ford :
For in old proverb we sing,
And more anger is to leise,
And thir. three perversed properteis,
And avaricious winning;
A harlot winnit4 near by,
And she would make at mangery;5
To furnish a great feast
A perversed pardoner,
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.
I hold, the folk best fure
Fro this cursed company
I keep5 not now to commoun,
To rescue, as they may ;
That sowis sons heard I never
This pig, when they heard him,
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 his gossip Glowry,
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
Oh cease this brangling and bere,'
Being thus reminded of the object of their gathering, they proceed to the house of the harlot,
And overthrew all the ediotis,
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
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
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!
I Roaring noise.
Your high reverence humbly oft I require;
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
But sooth to say, she was not like to be.
In cloister or court, daughter to king or queen.
Innocently she salust 3 on her knee,
He was ane man both of substance and wit;
And said, "daughter have God's blessing and mine."
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
4 Common man. 5 Beloved.
3 For if.
7 To all his guests?
8 Pliant, good natured.
That all that saw her they loved her as
And specially this Cockelbie's wife;
He wedded her to wife, wit ye for aye.
Where Flammeslie o'er all wan victory.
In his chalmer, upon the queen to attend.
And Flammeslie so well in waris him bare,
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,
Rode to visit the bounds there as reign;7
That king of might lodged into his inn; 9
The which famous earldom of Flanders aye
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
She knew the life of many faderis auld ;2
9 Castle, mansion.