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IV.

THE TURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM:

AND

WEDDING

OR, THE WOOEING, WINNING, OF Tibbe, The Reev'S DAUGHTER there."

*

out.

It does honour to the good sense of this nation, that while all Europe was captivated with the bewitching charms of Chivalry and Romance, two of our writers in the rudest times could see thro' the false glare that surrounded them, and discover whatever was absurd in them both. Chaucer wrote bis Rhyme of fir Tropas in ridicule of the latter, and in the following poem we have a humourous burlesque of the former. Without pretending to decide, whether the inftitution of chivalry was upon the whole useful or pernicions in the rude ages, a question that has lately employed many fine pens*, it evidently encouraged a vindictive /pirit, and gave such force to the custom of duelling, that it will probably never be worn

This, together with the fatal consequences which often attended the diversion of the Turnament, was fufficient to render it obnoxious to the graver part of mankind. Accordingly the Church early denounced its censures against it, and the State was often prevailed on to attempt its fuppresion,

But fashion and opinion are superior to authority; and the proclamations against Tilting were as little regarded in those times, as the laws against Duelling are in these. This did not escape the discernment of our poet, who easily perceived that inveterate opinions must be attacked by other weapons, than proclamations and censures; he accordingly made use of the keen one of Ridicule. With this view he has here introduced, with admirable humour, a parcel of clowns, imitating all the solemnities of the Tournay. Here we have the regular challenge the appointed day--the lady for the prize --the formal preparations ---the dijplay of armour--the scuokeons and devices--the oaths taken on entering the liftsthe various accidents of the encounter the victor leading of the prize,--and, the magnificent feajiing,~-with all the other julemn fopperies, that usually attended the exercise of the barriers. And how acutely the jharpness of the author's humour musi have been felt in those days, we may learn, from what we can perceive of the keenness now, when time has sa muc! blunted the edge of his ridicule.

regular * See [Mr. Hurd's) Letters on Chivalry, 8vo. 1762. Memoires de la Cheyalerie par M. de la Curne de s, Palais, 1759.2 tom, 12010. &c,

THE TURNAMENT OF TOTTENHAM was publish'd from an ancient MS. in 1631 410, by the reo. Wilhelm Bedwell, rector of Tottenham, and one of the translators of the Bible : be tells us it was zuritten by one Gilbert Pilkington, thought to have been some time person of the same parish, and author of another treatije intitled Pailio Domini Jesu Christi. Beda quell, zubo was eminently skilled in the oriental languages, appears to have been but little conversant with the ancient writers in his own: and he jo little entered into the spirit of the poere he was publi/hing that he contends for its being å Serious narrative of a real event, and thinks it must have been written before the time of Edward III, because Turnaments were prohibited in that reiga. I do verily beleeve,

Jays he, that this Turnament was acted before this proclamation of K. Edward. For how durst any to attempt to do that, alihough in sport, which was fo Araightly forbidden, both by the civill and eccle/Safticall power? For

although they fought not with lances, jet as our authour

jayth, 66 It was no childrens game.' And what would s have become of him, thinke you, which should have slayne another in this manner of jeafting ? Would he not, trow you, have bene, HANG'D FOR IT IN EARNEST ! YEA,

AND HAVE BENE BURIED LIKE A DOGGE?? It is however well known that Turnaments were in ujë down to the reign of Elizabeth.

Without pretending to ascertain the date of this poem, the obsoleteness of the ftyle Yews it to be very ancient : It will effear from the jameness of orthography in the above extract

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that Bedwell has generally reduced that of the poem to the Standard of his own times; yet, notwithstanding this innovation, the phraseology and idiom thew it to be of an early date. The poem had in other respects suffered by the ignorance of transcribers, and therefore a few attempts are here made to reftore the text, by amending some corruptions, and removing Tome redundancies; but left this freedom should incur censure, the former readings are retained in the margin. A farther liberty is also taken, what is here given for the concluding line of each ftanza, flood in the former edition divided as two: l. g

Of them that were doughty,

And hardy indeed :" but they seemed most naturally to run into one, and the frequent neglect of rhime in the former of them seemed to prove that the author intended no such division.

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F all the ' kene conquerours to carpe is our kinde ;

Of fell fighting folke'a' ferly we finde;
The Turnament of Tottenham have I in minde;
It were harme such hardinesse were holden behinde.
In story as we reade,

5 Of Hawkin, of Harry,

Of Timkin, of Terry,
Of them that were doughty, and hardy in deed.

10

It befell in Tottenham on a deare day,
There was made a fhurting by the highway :
Thither come all the men of that countray
Of Hisselton, of High-gate, and of Hakenay,

And

Ver. 1. these. P. C.
Ver. 8. indeed. P. C.

Ver, 2. 'a' not in P. G.

And all the sweete swinkers :

There hopped Hawkin,

There daunced Dawkin,
There trumped Timkin, and were true drinkers.

IS

20

When’the day was gone, and eve-song past,
That they should reck’n their skot, and their counts cast,
Perkin the potter into the presse past,
And sayd, Randill the reve, a daughter thou haft,

Tibbe thy deare,

Therefore faine weet would I,
Whether these fellowes or I,

Or which of all this batchelery
Were the best worthy to wed her his ferę.

25

Upstart the gadlings with their lang ftaves,
And sayd, Randill the reve, lo! the ladde raves,
How proudly among us thy daughter he craves,
And we are richer men then he, and more good haves,
Of cattell, and of corne.

30 * Then fayd Perkin, I have hight

• To Tibbe in my right “To be ready to fight, and thoughe it were to morne.

Then

Ver. 17. Till, P. C. Ver, 25, in his fere, P, C. * The latter part of tbis fanza seemed embarased and redundant, we bave therefore ventured to contract it. It food thus;

Then' sayd Perkin, to Tibbe I have hight
That I will bee alwajes ready in my right,

With a Rayle for to fight

This day seaven-night, and thought it were to morne. The two last lines seem in part be borrowed from tbe following fanza, where they come in more properly.

Then fayd Randill the refe, Ever' be he waryd
That about this carping lenger would be taryd ; 35
I would not my daughter that she were miskaryd,
But at her most worship I would she were maryd,

For the turnament shall beginne

This day seav'n-night,

With a flayle for to fight, And he, that is most of might, shall brok her with winne.

40

He that bear'th him best in the turnament,
Shall be graunted the gree, by the common assent,
For to winne my daughter with doughtinesie of dent,
And Copple my brood-hen, that was brought out of Kent,

And

my dunned
For no fpence will I spare ;

For no cattell will I care ;
He shall have my gray mare, and my spotted sow.

COW:

46

There was many a bold lad their bodyes to bede; 50
Then they take their leave, and hamward they hede,
And all the weeke after they gayed her wede,
Till it come to the day, that they should do their dede :

They armed them in mattes ;
They set on their nowlls

55 Good blacke bowlls, To keep their powlls from battering of battes. VOL. II. с

They

Ver. 34. Every, P, C,

Ver. 52. her, i, eo their. So alfo V. 18.

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