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House, would have given him all the money she had in the house, but he returned her thanks, and told her that he had so ill kept his own, that he would not tempt his governor with more; but that if she would give him a shirt or two, and some handkerchiefs, he would keep them as long as he could for her sake. She fetched him some shifts of her own, and some handkerchiefs, saying, that she was ashamed to give them to him, but having none of her son's shirts at home, she desired him to wear them. Thus passed the time till orders came to carry my husband to Whitehall, where, in a little room, (yet standing in the Bowling-green,) he was kept prisoner without the speech of any (so far as they knew) for ten weeks, and in expectation of death. They then examined him, and at last he grew so ill in health, by the cold and hard marches he had undergone, and being pent up in a room close and small, that the scurvy brought him down almost to death's door. During the time of his imprisonment I failed not, constantly, when the clock struck four in the morning, to go with a dark lanthorn in my hand, all alone and on foot, from my lodgings in Chancery Lane, at my cousin Young's, to Whitehall, by the entry that went out of King's Street into the Bowling-green. There I would go under his window, and call him softly. He, excepting the first time, never afterwards failed to put out his head at the first call. Thus we talked together, and sometimes I was so wet with rain that it went in at my neck, and out at my heels. My husband directed me how to make
addresses for his delivery to the General Cromwell, who had a great respect for your father, and would have bought him off to his service upon any terms.
52.—THE NUT-BROWN MAID. [In a singular book, first printed about 1502, called · Arnold's Chronicle,' the strangest medley of the most prosaic things-appears, for the first time, as far as we know, the ballad of · The Nut-Brown Maid.' Upon this ballad Prior founded his poem of Henry and Emma.' Thomas Warton, in his ' History of English Poetry,' truly says that Prior “ paraphrased the poem without improving its native beauties ;” and he adds," there is hardly an obsolete word, or that requires explanation, in the whole piece." Prior spoilt the story, enfeebled the characters, and utterly obliterated the simplicity of his original. The reader will bear in mind that the poem, after the first sixteen lines, is conducted in dialogue. We distinguish the beginning and end of each speech by inverted commas.]
Be it right or wrong, these men among, on women do complain,
say not nay, but that all day it is both writ and said, That woman's faith is, as who saith, all utterly decayed ; But, nevertheless, right good witness in this case might be laid, That they love true, and continue ; record the Nut-Brown Maid; Which from her love, when her to prove, he came to make his moan, Would not depart, for in her heart she loved but him alone.
Then between us let us discuss, what was all the manere +
" And I
will for to fulfil, in this will not refuse;
“ It standeth so; a deed is do wherefore much harm shall grow,
“ O Lord, what is the worldē's bliss, that changeth as the moon,
done? All my
welfare to sorrow and care should change if ye were gone; For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone.”
“ I can believe it shall you grieve, and somewhat you distrain ;
“ Now sith that ye have shewed to me the secret of your mind,
os Yet I
you rede to take good heed what men will think and say, Of young
and old, it shall be told, that ye be gone away, Your wanton will for to fulfil, in
Though it be sung of old and young that I should be to blame,
your distress and heaviness, to part with you the same ; And sure all tho's that do not so, true lovers are they none; But, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone.”
“ I counsel you, remember how it is no maiden's law, Nothing to doubt, but to run out to wood with an outlaw :
ye must there in your hand bear a bow ready to draw,
I think not nay, but as ye say, it is no maiden's law,
“For an outlaw this is the law, that men him take and bind
find ? Forsooth I trow, you and your bow for fear would draw behind ; And no marvel, for little avail were in your counsel than * ; Wherefore I to the wood will go, alone, a banished man."
" Full well know ye that women be full feeble for to fight,
you to save, as women have, from death many one; For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but
" Yet take good heed for ever I drede | that ye could not sustain
“Sith I have here been partyneres with you of joy and bliss,
Without more speech, I you beseech, that we were soon agone;
“If ye go thider*, ye must consider, when ye have lust to dine,
that Among the wild deer, such an archere, as men say ye
Lo yet before, ye must do more, if ye
will all this fulfil, do it shortly as ye can, Else will I to the green wood go, alone, a banished man."
“ I shall as now, do more for you than 'longeth to womanhede,
Nay, nay, not so, ye shall not go, and I shall tell you why;
company. It is said of old, soon hot soon cold, and so is a woman; Wherefore I to the wood will go, alone, a banished man.