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The present is the completest copy known to us of this capital story. Wynkyn de Worde's, reprinted with collations) by Mr. W.C. Hazlitt (“Early Popular Poetry,” v. 3, p. 54–81), runs with it, though less smoothly, to l. 456, but there suddenly throws up its six-line stanzas, and ends the story with six four-line stanzas, a circumstance not noticed by Mr. Hazlitt. The present copy either wants half a stanza after 1. 495, or a stanza of 9 lines is given at l. 493–501, as in stanzas of four lines one is often increased to six. Mr. Hazlitt's introduction gives all the bibliography of the poem, except a notice of Mr. Halliwell's print of it in the Warton Club “ Early English Miscellanies,” 1854, p. 46–62, from Mr. Ormsby Gore’s Porkington MS. No. 10. This Porkington copy is in seventy-one six-line stanzas (426 lines), but does not contain the citation of the boy before the “ officiall” and the scene in court. The tale ends at l. 402 (corresponding with 1. 396 here, no doubt the end of the first version of the tale), the last four stanzas winding it up with a moral.

bless us !

4

THAT god that dyed for vs all

[page 97.) May God & dranke both vinigar & gall,

bringe vs out of balle,3
and giue them both good life & longe
which listen doe ynto my songe,

or tend vnto my talle4 ! | The rhyme every where requires p. 209, col. 1. E. E. Text Soc. 1867.-F. that it should be written or pronounced 2 Collated with a copy in Pepys library, FRERE, as in Chaucer.-P. In our 12°, Vol. No. 358. Lettered, Wallace.-P. earliest Rhyming Dictionary, Levins's This song is very different and much suManipulus, 1570, under the words in perior to the common printed story book. eare, are entered a Bryar, a Fryar, a For date see st. 71 (1. 428, p. 25).-P. Whyer, chorus, a Quear of paper, liber,

3 bale.-P. 4 tale.-P.

8

A man, thrice married, has a son by his first wife,

there dwelt a man in my countrye
which in his life had wiues 3,

a blessing full of loye!
By the first wife a sonne he had, 2
which was a prettye sturdye ladde,

a good vnhappy3 boye.

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whom he loves well, but the stepmother spites.

His father loued him well,4
but his stepmother neue[r] a deale,-

I tell you as I thinke,–
16 All things shee thought lost, by the roode,
which to the boy did anye good,5

as either meate or drinke;

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The husband

will not,

Then said the goodman, “dame, not soe, 32 I will not lett the yonge boy goe,

he is but tender of age ;

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7

1. who.-P.
2 his first a child. .-P.
3 i.e. unlucky, full of waggery.

:-P.
4 loved him very well.-P.
5 which might the boy do.-P.

that wrought.-P.

so far forth.-P. 8 I would ye put.-P. 9 wicked lad.-P. 10 i.e. chasten, chastise.-P. 11 dane in MS.--F.

He's but of tender age.—P.

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then bids the boy choose three presents.

Sonne,” he sayd, “ thou hast giuen meate to me, 80 & I will giue 3 things to thee, 10

what ere thou wilt intreat."
Then sayd the boy, "tis best, I trow, 11
that
yee

bestow on me 12 a bowe
84

with which I burds may gett.”

He chooses 1. a bow.

The old man promises him a right good one,

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1 Who said my son now God thee seo. -P.

2 full welcome father
3 did say.-P.
4 Jack, hast.-P.
5 mayest.-P.
6 the boy.-P.
; he ate.-P.

.

12

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The old man sayd, “my troth is plight;
thou shalt haue all I thee behight 10;

say on now, let me see.”
112 “Att home I haue,” the boy replyde,

a cruell step dame full of pride,
who is most curst to mee;

1 walking: del. or.-P.
2 [insert] still.-P.
3 the, del.-P.
* He merry was I, &c.—P.
5 Though ne'er so little.—P.
6 I had all that I wish.-P.

shalt thou have.-P. s that whoso-over.-P. 9 will I give.—P. 10 behight, printed copy, behett; behight, behote, promittere, vovere, pro

missus, pollicitus.-P.

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