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A knight amongst the Scotts there was,
Which saw Erle Douglas dye,

170

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Sir Ralph Raby there we pinne.

W nose prowesse did surmont

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**Since the former impression of these volumes, hath been published a new edition of Collins's Peerage, 1779, &c. 9 vols. 8vo, which contains, in volume ii. p. 334, an historical passage that may be thought to throw considerable light on the subject of the preceding ballad: viz.

....

"In this. year, 1436, according to Hector Boethius, was fought the battle of Pepperden, not far from the Cheviot Hills, between the Earl of Northumberland [second Earl, son of Hotspur] and Earl William Douglas, of Angus, with a small army of about 4000 men each, in which the latter had the advantage. As this seems to have been a private conflict between these two great chieftains of the Borders, rather than a national war, it has been thought to have given rise to the celebrated old ballad of Chevy Chase, which, to render it more pathetic and interesting, has been heightened with tragical incidents wholly fictitious." See Ridpath's Border Hist. 4to. p. 401.

The surnames in the foregoing ballad are altered, either by accident or design, from the old original copy, and in common editions extremely corrupted. They are here rectified, as much as they could be. Thus,

Page 227, ver. 202. Egerton.] This name is restored (instead of Ogerton, com. ed.) from the Editor's folio MS. The pieces in that MS. appear to have been collected, and many of them composed (among which might be this ballad) by an inhabitant of Cheshire; who was willing to pay a compliment here to one of his countrymen, of the eminent family De or Of Egerton, (so the name was first written,) ancestors of the present Duke of Bridgwater: and this he could do with the more propriety, as the Percies had formerly great interest in that county: at the fatal battle of Shrewsbury all the flower of the Cheshire gentlemen lost their lives fighting in the cause of Hotspur.

Ver. 203. Ratcliff.] This was a family much distinguished in Northumberland. Edw. Radcliffe, mil. was sheriff of that county in 17 of Hen. VII., and others of the same surname afterwards. (See Fuller, p. 313.) Sir George Ratcliff, knt.

was one of the commissioners of inclosure in 1552. (See Nicholson, p. 330.) Of this family was the late Earl of Derwentwater, who was beheaded in 1715. The Editor's folio MS. however, reads here "Sir Robert Harcliffe and Sir William."

The Harcleys were an eminent family in Cumberland. (See Fuller, p. 224.) Whether this may be thought to be the same name I do not determine.

Ver. 204. Baron.] This is apparently altered (not to say corrupted) from Hearone, in page 12, ver. 114.

Ver. 207. Raby.] This might be intended to celebrate one of the ancient possessors of Raby Castle, in the county of Durham. Yet it is written Rebbye in the fol. MS. and looks like a corruption of Rugby or Rokeby, an eminent family in Yorkshire. See pp. 12, 29. It will not be wondered that the Percies should be thought to bring followers out of that county, where they themselves were originally seated, and had always such extensive property and influence.

Page 228, ver. 215. Murray.] So the Scottish copy. In the common edition it is Carrel or Currel; and Morrell in the fol. MS.

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Ver. 217. Murray.] So the Scot. edit. The com. copies read Murrel. The fol. MS. gives the line in the following peculiar manner,

"Sir Roger Heuer of Harcliffe too."

Ver. 219. Lamb.] The folio MS. has

"Sir David Lamwell well esteemed."

This seems evidently corrupted from Lwdale or Liddell, the old copy, pp. 12, 30.

II.

Death's Final Conquest.

in

THESE fine moral stanzas were originally intended for a solemn funeral song in a play of James Shirley's, entitled The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses: no date, 8vo. - Shirley flourished as a dramatic writer early in the reign of

Charles I.; but he outlived the Restoration. His death happened Oct. 29, 1666, æt. 72.

This little poem was written long after many of those that follow, but is inserted here as a kind of dirge to the foregoing piece. It is said to have been a favourite song with King Charles II.

THE glories of our birth and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate:
Death lays his icy hands on kings:
Scepter and crown

Must tumble down,

And in the dust be equal made

With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels where they kill;

But their strong nerves at last must yield,
They tame but one another still.
Early or late

They stoop to fate,

And must give up their murmuring breath,
When they pale captives creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds;

Upon death's purple altar now

See where the victor victim bleeds:
All heads must come

To the cold tomb,

Only the actions of the just

Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust.

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