« VorigeDoorgaan »
three parts, containing many pleasant songs and poems. With a table to find the names of the songs. 8vo. London. Printed for G. Congers,
at the sign of the Golden-ring, in Little Britian, n.d. This edition was printed in 1709, or very soon afterwards, as appears from a list of books sold at the Golden-ring, which is inserted at the end of the volume. Thomes Deloney is the author or editor of the work, many editions of which were published in the seventeenth century. The present differs considerably from the earlier copies.
186. ROUND ABOUT OUR COAL-FIRE, OR CHRISTMAS
ENTERTAINMENTs, wherein is described the mirth and jollity of the Christmas holidays, of hobgoblins, witches, ghosts, fairies, &c., together with some curious memoirs of old Father Christmas, shewing what hospitality was in former times, and how little there remains of it at present, 1734.
12mo. Repr. 1796. A very curious tract, composed at the end of the seventeenth, or very early in the following century. The chapter on fairies is particularly interesting, and well deserves an extract:
“My grandmother has often told me of fairies dancing upon our green, and that they were very little creatures cloathed in green ; they would do good to the industrious people, but they pinch the sluts ; they would steal children, and give one of their own in the room ; and the moment any one saw them they were struck blind of one eye. All this I have heard, and my grandmother, who was a very tall woman, said she
had seen several of them, which I believe, because she said so; she said, moveover, that they lived underground, and that they generally came out of a molehill ; they had fine music always among themselves, and danced in a moon-shiny night around, or in a ring, as one may see at this day upon every common in England where mushrooms grow. But, though my grandmother told me so, it is not unlawful to enquire into a secret of this nature, and so I spoke to several good women about it.
“When I asked one whether there was such things as fairies, “Ay,' says she, “I have seen them many a time'; another said, “There's no room to doubt of it, for you may see thousands of their rings upon our common, &c.'
“I found, however, another way to be satisfied of the matter, and heard the following story of fairies from a person of reputation.
“A gentlewoman and her husband were going into the country, and thought it best to retire out of town four or five miles the night before, to receive the stage-coach, and avoid the ceremony of taking leave of their friends, which are generally more troublesome than welcome on that occasion ; and being gone to bed in a country town where fairies walked about twelve o'clock, up comes a little woman, not much bigger than one's thumb, and immediately follows a little parson, also a great number of people, and a midwife, with a child in her arms ; and I suppose by their power chairs were set for them : but it happened they wanted a godmother for the child, for it was to be christened that night; so says the good fairy, Father, the gentlewoman in the room will do us that favour': • Ay,' says the rest of the company, it is a good thought; and up brisked the fairy father to the bedside, and called out the lady, who did the office ; for which the father gave her a large diamond ring. All this while the lady's husband was as fast as a church and knew nothing of the matter. But in the morning, good lack, the case was altered ; he espied the fine ring upon his wife's finger : ‘How came you by that, my dear?' says he. “Why, my love,' replies she, "the fairies have been here to night:' and told him the story of the christening. “Zounds,' says he, 'the ring is Sir John's ring ; I know the stone : I have often seen familiarities between you and him, and now am convinced of your treachery. And so I suppose he took his wife to be a whore.
“The fairies were very necessary in families, as much as bread, salt, pepper, or any other such commodity, I believe ; because they used to walk in my father's house, and if I can judge right of the matter, they were brought into all the families by the servants; for in old times folks used to go to bed at nine o'clock, and when the master and mistress were lain on their pillows, the men and maids, if they had a game at romps, and blundered up stairs, or jumbled a chair, the next morning every one would swear it was the fairies, and that they heard them stamping up and down stairs all night, crying, 'Waters locked, waters locked,' when there was no water in any pail in the kitchen.
“So from what I have said, the hobgoblins, the witches, the conjurers, the ghosts, and the fairies, are not of any value, or worth our thought."
187. THE FAMOUS HISTORIE OF FRYER Bacon, con
taining the wonderfull things that he did in his life : also the manner of his death, with the lives and deaths of the two conjurers, Bungye and Vandermast. Very pleasant and delightfull to be read. Blüdschap doet, het leven yer Langhen. Sm. 4to. Printed at London by G. P., for Francis Grove, and are to be sold at his shop, at the upper end of Snow Hill, against the Sarazens
Head, without Newgate, 1627. In black-letter, with woodcut on title representing the two friars, Miles, and the brazen head. Miles is represented playing on the pipe and tabor. It is, unfortunately, imperfect, wanting four leaves, and is only mentioned here as being the earliest edition known to exist. Lord Ellesmere possesses a copy dated 1629. The present differs in a few readings from the reprint edited by Mr. Thoms.
188. A STRANGE AND WONDERFUL RELATION OF THE
OLD WOMAN WHO WAS DROWNED AT RATCLIFFHIGHWAY A FORTNIGHT AGO : to which is added the old woman's dream a little after her death.
In two parts. 12mo. London, n.d. Embellished with forty-three woodcuts which appear to have been obtained from varied sources. One is taken from an early edition of Bunyan's Pilgrim's
Progress, and another a portrait of Queen Elizabeth! The following one, which is placed on the title-page, is
particularly curious, as affording a representation of the manner in which the ducking-stool was suspended. Gay thus alludes to it in his Pastorals, ed. 1742, p. 27:
“I'll speed me to the pond, where the high stool
Yet sure a lover should not die so mean!" And a representation of one, more simply constructed than the above, having merely a pole stuck in the ground for the stand, is given in the frontispiece to the third pastoral
The tract itself is a curious old burlesque, and commences as follows :—“It was the last Monday morning, about four o'clock in the afternoon, before sunrising, going over Highgate Hill, I asked him if the old woman was dead that was drowned at Ratcliff