Page images

Sir Walter then upstarted strayghte
At Pyrkyne's harshe decree,
Cry'd, If that be a poore mann's fate,
What will become of me ;

For he had many a want I weene,
When I have only one,

His rayment thynne, his stomache keene,
To aggravate his boone.

But I'll desemble now no more,
No longer weare disguyse,

I was the beggar at thy doore,
Who su'd with pytyous cryes.

Who drench'd with rayne, and pynch'd with colde,
Did aske for foode and reste,

Who feygn'd to be bothe poore and olde,
Forsaken and distress'd.

Confusion flush'd on Pyrkyne's face,
He had no worde to saye,

Guilte made him feele his owne disgrace,
Which heavy on him laye.

Sir Walter then coulde playnly see,
That Pyrkyne was afrayde,
He looked on him steedfastlye
And thus to him he sayde.

Well may'st thou blushe, well may'st thou bende,
While I thy shame reveale;

If thou wou'dst wish me still thy friende,
There's yet one waye to heale.

This fayre young damsell give to me,
There is no other waye

To recompence the injurie

Thou didst me yesterdaye.

I ask no treasure thou cans't give
To add to fortune's store;

For had I myllyons to receive,
I value Rachel more.

She has a mynde that's rycher farre
Than myser's can possesse,
Her mynde is a celestial starre
Which guydes to happinesse.

If lovely Rachel can approve
A lover lyke to mee,

She to a stately hall shall move,
And dwelle with qualytie.

At lengthe the tymorous Rachel spake
In accents sweete and slowe,
If you would for poor Rachel's sake,
Such dygnities bestowe;

If you would make her ladye fyne
In pompous state to live,
Where qualitie in splendoure shyne,
And flattery receive:

When they shall meete with one so lowe As Rachel shall have beene,

A colde contempte they'll try to shewe To one who's born so meane.

Sir Walter then in warmth reply'de,
Contempte shall lyght on those;
It soone will vanquishe all their pryde,
When I thy worthe dysclose.

When I thy wealthe shall bring to view Thy qualities so rare,

Foul Envie shall their hearts bestrewe, To see such virtue there.

It is too much then, Rachel cry'de,
To yielde such prayse to me,
Let all my deeds by years be try'd,
Ere you so lavish be.

If you in others vyrtue love,

You must have vyrtue too; If truthe in others you approve, There must be truthe in you.

Then if my father yields consente,
My hand shall readie be;
For ladies fine would sore repente
To loose a knyghte lyke thee.

Now Pyrkyne he uplifted was

With rapture and delyghte,
Extatic joy o'erspread his face,
His eyne they twynkl'd bryghte.

If this be not the happiest day
I ever liv'd to see,

May ev'ry rising hope decay,
To breede up miserie.

To that fayre mayde shall praise be sung, Who listens to distress;

[merged small][merged small][graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]



[ocr errors]

En the Saxon times;






HE primitive and continued connection of the house of Nevill with the northern districts of this country, and the influence which at one time it exercised over the destinies of England, will demand or justify the appending here a somewhat lengthened notice of it.

Its chief genealogical peculiarity, is that, when all else that was illustrious around it was derived from a Norman origin, it continued to preserve, in the male line, an unbroken Saxon descent.

Waltheof, the elder, who was earl of Northumberland in the reign of Ethelred, A. D. 969, had two sons: Uchtred, who succeeded his father; and Edulph the first, who was made the earl afterwards, by Canute the Dane. The elder of these sons, earl Uchtred, whose


ARMS:-Neville, old, Or, fretty Gules, on a canton Sable, an ancient Ship; 2nd Nevill or Fitz-Maldred, Gules, a saltier Argent. CREST: out of a ducal coronet Or, a bull's head Sable, armed Or. Motto of the house of Raby: "Esperance me comfort."

+ The historian Hume, gives at the commencement of the reign of Henry VI, a sketch of the family of Nevill, in which he speaks of it, as " perhaps, at that time, the most potent, both from their opulent possessions and from the character of the men, that has ever appeared in England."

second wife was Elgiva, daughter of king Ethelred, was married three times, and his descendants formed the stock from which during the next century the earls of Northumberland were principally taken. By his first wife he was father of Aldred, who eventually became earl, and had several daughters: of these the youngest, Aldgi was married to Lyulf and was ancestor of the great Northern family of Lumley, earls of Scarborough; the eldest, Aelfled, was married to Siward who, after slaying Edulph the second, the brother of his then deceased father-inlaw, who had become earl, obtained for himself the earldom of Northumberland with an authority extending from the Humber to the Tweed.

This was the doughty Siward whose prowess was so extraordinary that the romancers of the following age, in order to account for it, invented for him a most fantastic genealogy. His grandmother, a Danish princess, had, they said, been ravished by a bear, and, in order to carry conviction to the most incredulous they added, that his father bore visible traces of his geniture in long hairy ears, whence he was called Berne. In the time of Edward the confessor he (the earl Siward of Shakspere) commanded the English forces in Scotland which assisted in vanquishing Macbeth and placing Malcolm, the rightful heir, on the throne. He had by Aelfled a son, Osbern, called young Siward in the play, who was killed by the Scots: * and the exclamations over his body, put in the mouth of the father by our great dramatist, are said to have had a foundation in history.†

Had he his hurts before?

Rosse. Ay, on the front.

Why then, God's soldier be he!
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,

I would not wish them to a fairer death.‡

But to return to earl Uchtred, the grandfather of Siward's wifeDescended from him, as genealogists agree, though they differ as to the line through which the descent is to be traced, was Dolfin, to whom the prior of Durham, in 1131, granted the district of Staindropshire, subject to the annual reserved rent of £5.§ His grandson,

Siward had, by the same wife, another son who after an interval succeeded to his father's earldom, under the name of Waltheof II; the daughter and coheiress of whom married king David I. of Scotland. Hodgson suggests that the title to the possessions the kings of Scotlaed long held in Tynedale, which is partly in Cumberland, and partly in Northumberland, may have originated in this marriage. History of Northumberland, Part 3. Vol iii. p. 5.

† See Historical Division, Vol. I. P. 38.
Macbeth, Act 5, scene 7.

§ It soon became, whether originally from right or courtesy, a part of the tenure of Raby, that its Lord should also offer to the prior of Durham a stag, on Holy Rood Day, accompanied with the blowing of horns. The skill in this accomplishment of Robert

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »