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mickle there abound; There gambling thrives, and letchery, and many trained in trickery, of cunning charm and jugglery, and glamour artes that given backe Black for white and white for blacke. Thenne let us praye sweete Saint Marie, on Engleland to have pity: Her lette us praye to watche us well, and teache them wisdome that rebell, and give our Lord the King counsell, as did the loyal Menestrel.'

We do not fancy that our readers would much thank us for transcribing any part of the loyal minstrel's sage counsel; but the opening of the conversation, which paves the way for his admonition, is diverting in itself, and gives, we have no doubt, a fair notion of the fashionable wit of the times.

Lordings, list, a little space,
And I'll well repay your grace,
For of a minstrel ye shall hear
That sought adventures far and near.
Not far from London, on a day,
As through the fields he took his way,
He met the king and his menée.
Around his neck his tabour hung,
Stamped with gold and richly strung.
“ For love now (quoth the king), me tell
Who art thou, Master Menestrel?
And he replies, withouten dread,
“ My master's man, Sir King, indeed.”
“ And who, Sir, may thy master be?
“ In faith, my mistress masters me."
“ And who thy mistress ?”—“ By my word,
The goodly dame that is my lord.”
“ What name, I pray thee, dost thou bear ?”
The same that was my sire's whilere."
“ What name, then, had this sire of thine ?
“Why, just the same, Lord King, as mine.”
“Whence comest thou, Sir Minstrel ?"_" Thence".
“And whither may'st be going ?”—“ Hence.”

Speak plainly, man,—whence comest thou ?”
“Why from our own good town, I trow.”
“And what your town, then, Master Quirk ?
" The town about the Minster-kirk.”
" What Minster-kirk, Sir, tell us freely ?
“ The Minster, sure, that stands in Ely.”
" And where stands Ely ?”—“God us guide
Where but by the water-side ?”.
“ And how's this water called, I pray

?
“ Called ! not at all, Sir, by my fay,
The water chooses his own way,
And comes uncalled for every day.”—p. 98.
G 2

There

There is some more of this fencing, till the king, apparently willing to change his ground, remarks the comeliness of the Jongleur's steed, and proposes to strike a bargain

66 Come—wilt thou sell thy nag to me?
“More gladly, faith, than give it thee."
" And for what price, Sir ?" quoth the king.
" Why, e'en for that that it will bring.”
6 For how much shall I have the nag ?”
5. For just the money I shall bag."
“ Is the nag young ?”. -“ Why, well I ween
His chin hath yet no razor seen."
“ Speak truly, is he sharp of sight?"
“ More so, I think, by day than night."
“ Come, Minstrel, one plain truth declare-
Is’t a good eater?”—“That I'll swear ;
This chesnut in one single day
Will eat more trusses of fresh hay
Than you, from January to May.”
“ And drinks he well?"_“ Now God us guard
He'll drink you, by Saint Leonard,
More water at a single draught
Than ere in a whole week you quaffed,”
“ Is he a creature of good speed ?
" A pretty question's here, indeed :
Howe'er Í spur, howe'er I thump,
The head keeps still before the rump."
“ Good friend, now tell me, draws he well ?”
“ Good Lord, I scorn a lie to tell,
He's ne'er been tried, for aught I know,
Either at harquebuss or bow.”
“ A trusty beast upon the whole ?”
" I tell the truth, so thrive my soul!-
He's ne'er been charged, at any rate
Since he was mine— bare facts I'll state-
With larceny, or small, or great."
“ Now answer me—a truce to wit-
Is he an easy nag to sit ?”
6. Conscience is conscience-I declare
He's nothing to an elbow-chair."
“ These words, Sir," quoth the King, “ are folly;
Is the nag sound-completely-wholly ?"
" Why no, Lord King, I must confess
He has no claim to holiness ; *
For if he had, your Grace knows well
He'd have some shrine wherein to dwell;

* In the original, the quibble is between sein and saint.

The

The monks and priests would dress him out
With trappings gay and fine, no doubt,
And all the race of the devout
Would kiss, an't were but his thigh-bone,
And kneel, and sob, and moan, and groan,

Beseeching intercessioun.” After much more foolery of the same kind, the king asks if his feet be hard:

“ Hard say you ?-hard enough, my fay,
I wish you had his smith to pay.”
“ He never shys ?-no coward he ?”

My nag a coward ! no, pardie ;
Give him enough of hay and corn,
And he fears nothing night or morn.
I doubt if, since he first drew breath,
He ever spent one thought on death."
" His tongue is good ?"-" Yea, by Saint John,
'Twixt this and Lyons on the Rhone
There's not a better :-sure am I,
He never told a single lie ;
Nor would a hundred marks in gold
Bribe him one secret to unfold.-
Steal, rob, or slay, you sin secure,
He'll ne'er betray, of that be sure.”
""Knave," quoth the King, "I value not
These ribald turns and quirks a jot.”
“I'd rather that you did by half,
For ’tis my trade to make folks laugh ;
And when great princes cross my way

I give them still the best I may.” A new series of conundrums ensues upon this, and the king's patience is at last fairly exhausted with the inveterate jester

“ The devil's in thy mother's son,
Still quirking, quibbling, pun on pun!
I never met buffoon like this
Pray tell us what thy business is ?
"“ My business? By our lord the pope,
No harm's in telling that I hope !
I'm one, of many, Sire, whose trade
Is most to eat where least is paid ;
As also when a cup's in hand
To sit much liefer than to stand ;
Especially when dinner's o'er,
For then one's heavier than before,
As doctors tell us by their lore.
In short, to have good drink and victual,
And work, an't please you, very little.” &c. &c.-P. 104.

The

The gaiety of this gentleman's attire and conversation affords a fine contrast to the miserable condition of the minstrel in the later days of the craft; when even so true a poet as the author of the elder ballad of Chevy Chase' was accustomed to indite such verses as the following

• Now for the good chear that Y have had heare
I give you hartty thankes, with bowing off my shankes;
Desiring you, by petycyon, to grante me such commission,
Because my name is SHEALE, that both by meate and meale
To you I maye resorte, some tyme to my comforte;
For I perceive heare at all tymes is good chere,
Both ale, wine, and beere, as hit dothe now appeare.
I perseive without fable ye kepe a good table.
Some tyme I will be your geste, or els I were a beaste;
Knowynge off your minde, yff I wold not be so kinde,
Some tyme to taste your cuppe, and with you dyne and suppe;
I can be contente, yff hit be oute of Lente,
A peace of byffe to take, mye hunger to aslake,
Both mutton and veile is goode for Rycharde Sheale.
Thogge I look so grave, I were a veri knave
Yf I wold think scorne, ethar even or morne,

Beyng in hongar, of fresshe samon or konger ; &c. The reader will find the continuation of this melancholy ditty in Mr. Conybeare's • Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry,'p. 28where it was first printed from one of the Ashmolean MSS.; a highly-curious volume, of which we shall shortly have occasion to treat at length.

Art. IV.-Hebrew Tales; selected and translated from the

Writings of the ancient Hebrew Sages: to which is prefixed, an Essay on the Uninspired Literature of the Hebrews. “By Hyman

Hurwitz, Author of Vindiciæ Hebraicæ, &c. &c. London. 1826. TOWA

WARDS the close of the second century, the Jews began

to be sensible that their chance of re-establishment in the Holy Land was almost hopeless. For a long time after the destruction of their city and temple in the year 70, they cherished ideas of the speedy appearance of their Messiah in the only form in which they would acknowledge him-as a great temporal deliverer--an Avatar of victory and revenge. They then doubted not that his advent was destined about that period, and quoted the prophecies, which they have since learned to interpret differently, in support of the correctness of their belief. But having rejected Him in whom all the characteristics of the true Messiah were united, but who wanted the one mark of temporal power,

which their national prejudices exalted into the most important of all the tokens of Messiahship, they were obliged to look for another, and Barchochoba (the son of the star*) appeared to gratify their desires. They exaggerated his victories, in reality trifling when considered in opposition to the power of Rome, into absolute proofs of his claims to the title which he assumed, and clung to him with their national obstinacy, and occasional displays of bravery worthy of a more successful cause. He was proclaimed as the star of Jacob, and the sceptre of Israel, foredoomed, by the reluctant prophecy of Balaam, to smite the comers of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. The sword of the Romans speedily dispelled these visions; and Adrian proved, by the enactment of oppressive laws, and the infliction of the most cruel punishments, that no temporal Messiah should arise to the Jews in his dominions. After defeating them with merciless slaughter, he banished them from Judea, persecuted them in all parts of the empire, and insulted their religion by erecting altars to Pagan deities on the very ground where the Shechina once had been. Some specimens of his cruelty are related in Mr. Hurwitz's little volume, (p. 106, &c.,) and the Jewish records would supply many more. In the pages of Roman history his character is represented in at least mixed colours :-he is severus, mitis, sævus, clemens. In the records of the Jews there is no redeeming trait : he appears as the very incarnation of cruelty.

This persecution by Adrian appears to have destroyed or interrupted the succession of the Hebrew schools, which had flourished unbroken since the days of Ezra. In the insane insurrection of Barchochoba, Akiba, the most learned of the rabbis, and the then president of the schools, took a most active part, although we are assured that he had arrived at the age of one hundred and twenty ; a circumstance that does not appear very probable. He publicly proclaimed the impostor as the Messiah, and even acted as his armour-bearer. On the overthrow of his party he was taken prisoner, and carded to death, the horrible tortures of which he bore with the greatest courage, showing himself so attentive to the ceremonies of his religion, as to repeat the proper prayer in the regular manner while under the hands of the executioners. His biographers have noted the very letter at which he was stopped by death. Mr. Hurwitz (pp. 119, 120) insinuates that he was executed for his zeal in teaching the Jewish doctrines, but this is incorrect; he was put to death for his peculiar activity in the rebellion, and the obstinacy with which he advocated the impostor's cause. The memory of few persons has been more cherished by

* On his defeat, they altered this name to Bar-Chuziba—the son of lying. This is not unlike the treatment King James II, has received from his Irish partisans.

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