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For example, we have Taliours,1 Telers,2 Marchandes, Parnters, 3 Bochers, Fferrers, Spicers, Carpenters, and Coucheours.6
While convinced, from the Scottish names, that this was a Scottish list, and further, that this was the list of the Crafts and Guildry of the Scottish capital, because containing the names of some trades that could not possibly exist or be found in any smaller or less important town than the capital, by comparing it with the tradesmen named in the Banes of the Chester Plays, with the very full and exhaustive catalogue in Cocke Lorelles Bote, and with those in the Liber Albus of London, it was manifest that it was not the compilation of an Englishman, either of the Midland Counties or of London. Below we give the full list of the Chester Craftsmen in alphabetical order. The "Drawers in Dee" stamp the locality of the list, which has no equivalent for not less than 19 of the Craftis of our poem. It will be seen, moreover, that the Scottish Souter is a Corvisor in the Chester list, a Webster is a Waver or Weaver, the Walker of clothe, usually conjoined with the Litster, is represented by the Dier, a Baxter is a Baker, a Teler is a Linendraper, a Taverner is a Merchant Vintner, a Corior of ledur is a Skinner or Tanner, a Marchand is a Mercer, a Carpenter is a Fuster, and a Condler is a Wax-Chandler. In Cocke Lorelles Bote we have
Tailleurs, anciently Tailleors or Tailleres.
2 Drapers or Linen-drapers, from Telier, Lat. Telarius, qui facit aut vendit telam.
Decorators, from Parementier or Paramentier, Lat. Parator. has parements, ornamental furniture or clothes,
Ferre, or feure, from ferrarius.
5 Espicier, now épicier.
Stone-setters or jewellers, from collocare. Couched work was applied technically to artist's work.
"Alle of palle werke fyne
Cowchide with newyne."-MS. Lincoln, A. i. 17, fol. 133. Chaucer has "couched with perles," laid or trimmed with pearls. "Stuffit and coutchit full of irne and lede."-Doug. Virg. 141. 11. Coucheour, however, may mean a couch, or bed-maker, in Cocke Lorelles Bote, an Upholsterer.
7 Bakers, barbers, bowyers, buchers, cappers, cloth-workers, cookes, coopers, corvisors, diers, drapers, drawers in dee, fish-mongers, flechours, fusters, glassiers, glovers, goldsmiths, hewsters, ironmongers, linen-drapers, masons, mercers, merchant-vintners, painters, saddlers, shermen, skinners, slaters, smiths, stringers, tanners, taylours, water-leaders, wax-chandlers, wavers, wrights.
But the last is "The Websters Playe."
Cordwainer and Cobeler for Souter, Spinsters and Vestment Swoers for Semsteris, Fullers and Cloth-thickers for Walkers of clothe, Arrowheders for Arowsmythis, Fleshmongers for Bochers, Webbers for Websters, Bakers for Baxters, Tapestry workers and Garnishers for Parnters, Grote Clyppers for Monymakers, &c.
In the Liber Albus of London, as the compilers did not always translate the names of the craftsmen into Latin and Norman French, we get still more evidence that the list of the poem was not made up from the workmen and craftsmen of that city. The Baxter is usually represented by the Nor. Fr. Pestour; but as a compound, we meet with py-bakeres. The Glover was a Gaunter, the Spynner of Cloth, or producer of yarn, was the Buriller, while the Weaver of woollen cloth was the Telour or Telarius. The Spicer was a Grossour or Pepperer, the Belmaker was a Belle-zetter, and hence Bulliter Lane. The Walker of Cloth was a Fullour, Souters were Cordwaners and Cobelers, Ferrers, or Shoe-Smiths, were Mareschalls, Monymakers were Moneours, and Condlers were Wex-Chaundelers.
Before leaving this passage it may not be uninteresting or uninstructive to compare it with the parallel passage of Lydgate, which we shall give here entire as it is given in the Douce MS. Oxford, supplying from the Digby MS. two lines that are awanting in that and the Cambridge MS. :
'Goldsmythes furst ande ryche Ieweleres,
Of clothes of golde of damaske and satyn,
Thare was also crafty armourers,
Bowers eke, ande fast by fleggerers,
Ande suche as couth maken yschaftes pleyn,
Ande uthere eke yat dyde yar besye peyn;
1 Sic for "mayme," to maim.
2 Embroidered. Sir Gawan.
Ande by dewyse standars ande pennons,
On examination it will be seen that Lydgate has evidently borrowed or adapted his list from that of our author, for of the ten or eleven Crafts expressly named or indicated in this extract it may be remarked that only two, viz. Goldsmiths and Weavers, are found in Guido's list, as aurifices and textores respectively, while the order in which these two occur renders the borrowing or adaptation still more probable. Goldsmiths are the first named in the list of our author and the first likewise in that of Lydgate, and may have suggested the ryche Ieweleres, represented by "Coucheours fyn," 1. 1597. Then follow in the next line of Lydgate Crafty broderes, who are manifestly the "Semsteris fyn" in the next line also of the Stately Poem. The "Taliours, Telers, Websters and Walkers of clothe" that come next in our poem have evidently suggested the "Wewars of wolne and lynnyn," and of various other "clothes" given next by Lydgate. Then follow in our poem
Armurers, Arowsmythis with Axes of Werre,"
and further on, "Bladsmythis." And just so follow in Lydgate the "Smythes that coude forge wel swerdes, pollex, sperys, dartes, daggers, and quarele heddes," and the "Crafty Armourers." Again in our poem we have next
"( fferrers, flecchours, fele men of crafte;" which Lydgate duly in order caps with
"Bowers eke, ande faste by fleggerers."
That this should be so is surely more than a mere coincidence. If Lydgate has not borrowed or adapted, it is very singular that he should have given just these names and in this order; for while all the various workers in metal are named by Guido, such as Goldsmiths and gilders, silversmiths, coppersmiths or brasiers, plumbers, founders or bell-makers, pin-makers, spindle-makers, &c., curiously enough, smiths, blacksmiths, or forgers in iron are not mentioned, nor is a single weapon of war named. Lydgate, however as he
often does, having opened out, or set off in a particular line, so to speak, continues it, and so having given the weapons, the stern realities of war, he gives as an appropriate finishing its ornamental garniture, viz. its trappouers, bete banners, cote armoures, standars, pennons, and gay ghetons-the skilled workmanship, we have no doubt, of the "Parnters," and perhaps "Coucheours fyn." There are in the two poems very many similar parallel passages, from which it may be seen plainly enough that Lydgate was much beholden to the Destruction of Troy for words, expressions, and texts or hints, which don't appear in Guido, whom he professes to translate. We may give here one such example. Priam had determined to rebuild Troy strong enough to withstand all future assaults from Greeks or other foes.
"Hinc est quod quaesitis undique fabris et peritis in aedificandis artibus et marmoriis Celaturis, lapidariis, et doctissimis architectis, omnis generis marmora coegit," &c.
So wrote Guido, and we may translate his words literally thus:
'Accordingly, having from all quarters sought for workmen and such as were skilled in building arts and in marble-carving, stonecutters, and the most skilful builders, he collected marble of every kind.'
Our author has,
"Gate masons full mony that mykull fete couthe;
Qwariours qweme, qwaint men of wit;
Mynors of marbull ston & mony other thinges."
Guido's three lines Lydgate has contrived to paraphrase or expand into 44, thus
"And all aboute the countreyes enuiron,
He made seke in euery regyon,
For suche workemen as were curyous,
And for euery such as was a good deuysour,
Or such as had connynge in their head,
Or marbell grey for to pullyshe playne," &c.
The passage in the Stately Poem has evidently been the text from which Lydgate has amplified the portion above, every word almost of the four lines having been copied, enlarged upon, and cleverly set, or couched, in this piece of poetical mosaic. As we have examined and compared scores of such passages, we have most earnestly wished that we had Lydgate's Troy Book and other similar works in a more accessible form than the MSS. of our public libraries, or blackletter reprints of the 16th century-a wish that we hope we may live to see yet realized.
There was a method or line of proof which the writer of this thought of and attempted to follow out, in order to show that the author of the Destruction of Troy was a Scotsman, but from which he was deterred by the time that it would have involved, and the space that it would have occupied for its complete and satisfactory prosecution. This was the making out of a pretty full list of those peculiar, idiomatic, Scottish words and phrases, which are still in common use throughout Scotland, and which occur in almost every line and sentence of our poem, and marking how often they occur, and then turning to the Glossaries respectively of Piers Ploughman and Chaucer, and to Stratmann's Dictionary of Old English, to ascertain how often they occurred in known English authors, if they occurred at all, with what meanings they were used, and in what connection. So far as this line of proof was pursued the result was curious. While not a few were found to occur occasionally in one or other of them, some of these words and phrases were conspicuous by their absence from them all. And the farther we went the stronger did the conviction grow, that what was written and especially spoken in Scotland was a language, and no mere dialect or form of that of England, formed or evolved from it, or exclusively derived from the Anglo-Saxon, but an original, independent tongue of itself, already formed and spoken along with, or by the side of, these, if not even before them. This was the idea of George Ellis, Dr Jamieson, and the late Dr Clarke of Aberdeen, and it has been the opinion of many more who have studied the subject; but this is not the place or the occasion to enter upon the question.'
We may refer especially on this point to the Introductory remarks of