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 my 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



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[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,
Affirming this, how that it is a labour spent in vain

To love them well, for never a deal they love a man again;

For let a man do what he can their favour to attain,

Yet if a new do them pursue, their first true lover than *

Laboureth for nought, for from her thought he is a banished man.


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 +
Between them two; we will also tell all the pain and fear
That she was in. Now I begin, so that ye me answere.
Wherefore all ye that present be, I pray you give an ear:
"I am the knight, I come by night, as secret as I can,
Saying-Alas, thus standeth the case, I am a banished man!"


And I your will for to fulfil, in this will not refuse;
Trusting to shew, in wordes few, that men have an ill use,
To their own shame, women to blame, and causeless them accuse;
Therefore to you I answer now,
all women to excuse;

Mine own heart dear, with you what cheer? I pray you tell anon,
For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

"It standeth so; a deed is do wherefore much harm shall grow,

My destiny is for to die a shameful death I trow,

Or else to flee; the one must be; none other way I know
But to withdraw, as an outlaw, and take me to my bow;
Wherefore adieu, my own heart true, none other rede ‡ I can,
For I must to the green wood go, alone, a banished man."

■ then.


† manner.

+ counsel.


"O Lord, what is the worlde's bliss, that changeth as the moon,
My summer's day, in lusty May, is darked before the noon:
I hear you say farewell; nay, nay, we depart* not so soon;
Why say ye so? whither will ye go? alas, what have ye 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;
But afterward, your painēs hard within a day or twain

Shall soon aslake, and ye shall take comfort to you again.

Why should ye nought? for to make thought your labour were in vain, And thus I do, and pray you lot, as heartily as I can,

For I must to the green wood go, alone, a banished man."


Now sith that ye have shewed to me the secret of your mind,

I shall be plain to you again, like as ye shall me find;

Sith it is so, that ye will go, I will not leave behind,

Shall never be said, the Nut-Brown Maid was to her love unkind; Make you ready, for so am I, although it were anon,

For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

"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 green wood yon to play,
And that ye might, from your delight, no longer make delay.
Rather than ye should thus for me be called an ill woman,
Yet would I to the green wood go, alone, a banished man.'


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Though it be sung of old and young that I should be to blame,
Theirs be the charge that speak so large in hurting of my name;
For I will prove that faithful love, it is devoid of shame;
In your distress and heaviness, to part with you the same;
And sure all tho' 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 :



† mark.

+ those.

For ye must there in your hand bear a bow ready to draw,
And as a thief thus must ye live, ever in dread and awe,

By which to you great harm might grow, yet had I liefer then
That I had to the green wood go, alone, a banished man."

"I think not nay, but as ye say, it is no maiden's law,
But love may make me for your sake, as I have said before,
To come on foot, to hunt and shoot to get us meat in store,
For so that I your company may have, I ask no more;
From which to part, it maketh mine heart as cold as any stone,
For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

"For an outlaw this is the law, that men him take and bind
Without pity, hanged to be, and waver with the wind.
If I had need, as God forbid, what rescues could ye 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,
No womanhedef it is indeed to be bold as a knight;
Yet in such fear if that ye were, with enemies day or night,
I would withstand, with bow in hand, to grieve them as I might,
And you to save, as women have, from death many one;
For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

"Yet take good heed for ever I drede ‡ that ye could not sustain
The thorny ways, the deep valleys, the snow, the frost, the rain,
The cold, the heat; for dry or wete§ we must lodge on the plain;
And us above none other rofe || but a brake bush or twain;
Which soon should grieve you, I believe, and ye would gladly than,
That I had to the green wood go, alone, a banished man."

"Sith I have here been partynere ¶ with you of joy and bliss, I must also part of your woe endure, as reason is;

Yet am I sure of one pleasure; and, shortly, it is this,

That where ye be me seemeth, perdie, I could not fare amiss;

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Without more speech, I you beseech, that we were soon agone;
For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."


If ye go thider*, ye must consider, when ye have lust to dine, There shall no meat be for you get, nor drink, beer, ale, nor wine, Nor sheetes clean to lie between, maden of thread and twine; None other house, but leaves and boughs, to cover your head and mine: Lo, mine heart sweet, this ill diet should make you pale and wan, Wherefore I to the wood will go, alone, a banished man."

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that ye

Among the wild deer, such an archere, as men say
Ne may not fail of good victaile, where is so great plenty,
And water clear, of the rivere, shall be full sweet to me,


With which in hele †, I shall righte wele endure, as ye shall see;
And, ere we go, a bed or two I can provide anon,

For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

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Lo yet before, ye must do more, if ye will go with me,

As cut your hair up by your ear, your kirtle by your knee;
With bow in hand, for to withstand your enemies, if need be ;
And this same night, before daylight, to wood ward will 1 flee.
If that 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,
To short my hair, a bow to bear, to shoot in time of need.
O my sweet mother, before all other, for you have I most drede;
But now adieu! I must ensue where fortune doth me lead;
All this make ye; now let us flee, the day comes fast upon;
For, in my mind, of all mankind, I love but you alone."

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Nay, nay, not so, ye shall not go, and I shall tell you why;
Your appetite is to be light of love, I well espy;
For like as ye have said to me, in like wise hardely,
Ye would answere who so ever it were, in way of 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.”

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