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“Now (as I love you well] quoth she
(Lay &c.) “I pray sir knight will you marry me?”
The young brave knight to her replied
(Lay &c.) Thy suit fair maid shall not be denied; (Lay &c.)
“ If thou canst answer me questions three,
(Lay &c.) “ This very day will I marry thee?"
“ Kind sir, in love O then ” quoth she
(Lay &c.) “ Tell me what your questions be?”
“O what is longer than the way
“ Or what is louder than the horn ?
“ Or what is greener than the grass ?
“O true love is longer than the way,
“ And thunder is louder than the horn,
1 Probably the Via lactæa or “milky way," which the peasantry of the North frequently designate « the way."
“ And hunger is sharper than a thorn 1
“And poison is greener than the grass,
(Lay &c.) « And the Devil is worse than woman e'er was.”
When she these questions answered had,
(Lay &c.) The knight became exceeding glad ;
And having tried so hard her wit,
(Lay &c.) He much commended her for it.
And after, as it is verified,
(Lay &c.) He made of her his lovely bride.
Now fair maidens all adieu,
(Lay &c.) This song I dedicate to you.
I wish that you may constant prove,
(Lay &c.) To the men that you do love.
1 This is a favourite line with the London mendicants; I have in all parts of town met beggars with the words “hunger is sharper than a thorn,” either pinned to them in M. S., or chalked on a board suspended to the neck.
Legends respecting Huge Stones.
CONTRIBUTED BY MR. JAMES HARDY.
Veteres tellure recludit
VIRGIL Æn. I, 358, 359
ID. Æn. III. 55–57.
SIR W. Scott.
LARGE stone in the middle of a field, or laid in cumbrous bulk by a pathway side, has little to commend itself to the attention of the passer by, beyond the conjectures that may be raised as to the causes that have detached such a huge mass from its parent rock, and have conveyed it to the situation it occupies. To the individ
uals however under whose recognition it has habitually fallen, during a lifetime spent in its neighbourhood, it possesses an interest due to something more than to a mere aggregation of unconscious matter, transported from its parent site, by some unknown operation of nature. Besides serving as the emblem that recalls many a scene of youthful frolic-many an hour of “perfect gladsomeness," spent around its base, in the “careless hour," which even to the busiest affords a lucid interval,-it in all likelihood has become interwoven with their higher principles—the reverence with which they regard things of ancient date, -and the veneration attached to the works and memories of their sires. These sympathies it has enlisted in its favour, from certain presumed purposes it may
• His ancient hoards, from out the earth he drew,
And open'd countless treasures to the view. J, H.
to seize the gold
have served in the economy of their remote ancestors, or from some history "passing strange," of which it is the memorial. Perhaps, it stands as one of those primitive landmarks, which it would be sacrilege to remove; perhaps it is the trophy of some old battle-field, memorable in proportion to the carnage with which it was bedewed, and the obstinacy with which it was contested; perhaps, reared by the might of armies over the tomb of some ancient chieftain, whose "soul brightened in danger,"—in the days of yore, ere an oblivious generation had forgotten the story,-it bore a name, "at which the world grew pale”; or perhaps, it was the rude and unhewn altar, on which during the days of heathen idolatry, the Druid priest did cruel and detestable sacrifice to sanguinary divinities, and from the recesses of the sacred grove, with which it might have been environed, promulgated his decrees of horror and of blood. The general opinion, however, with regard to any unusually bulky stone, which the strength and means of the agriculturalist cannot remove beyond the precincts of his field, or which, variegated with the accumulated lichens of centuries, catches the eye, in solitary massiveness, upon
the waste, is, that it marks the spot where “bones of mighty chiefs lie hid”men who like the northern Vikingr, had their ill-gotten booty inhumed with them, in order that their posterity, with no other heritage than the sword, might not indulge in disgraceful inaction, or sully the fierce fame of their ruthless race. It is also an accredited belief, that in the troublous times, with which past history toems, many people were constrained to adopt the means of concealment, which the covert of such stones offered, to secure their valuables from marauding Dane, or Scot, or Pict, or Saxon; till more pros-perous times should dawn, and they coming back from long exile, or from the battle-field, should possess their patrimonial property,
But the expected calm returned not-or the owner having fallen in distant lands, the prospect of his native scenes never gladdened his bosom more; and his relinquished wealth lies mouldering and gathering dross, in the fields from which hard industry had wrung it, excluded from all benefits it might confer as a portion of the circulating medium.
In consequence of such various surmises, while these stones, on some occasions, awaken undefined misgivings, from the wild tales associated with them, they have likewise become themes of livelier interest, from the incentives they supply to avarice, as being the depositaries of unsunned treasures. But fearful barriers, sufficient to deter the devoutest champion in the cause of Mammon, separate the eagerness of adventurers and “the all-wished-for gold.” Arguseyed monsters, more hideous and dread than “Demogorgon," have
had it entrusted to their vigilant superintendence, and spells which bafle human ingenuity and might to unlock, have interposed their potent seal, against all attempts to recall the buried stores to their legitimate purposes. And even though these portentous bugbears be disregarded, as fictions of a terrified imagination, the uncertainty of money-finding is so proverbial, and the indications of its existence so deceptive, that even the most enthusiastic votary of the trade, seldom ventures upon its practice, without some more certain intiinations, than the floating traditions of a past age. How then shall it be determined, that his labour shall not be disconcerted—the time for securing the prize has arrived—and that his hopes are not placed on perishable foundations? The usual intelligence of this fact,leaving out of view the aid of the enchanter's wand, which with magnetic certainty, vibrates to the emanations evolved from its sympathetic metal—is obtained by dreams :—three unvarying dreams, and the mind is set at rest, as to every circumstance connected with the accomplishment of its desires !
Out of the many tales, tradition has preserved, of endeavours after stone-concealed riches, two may be selected, in neither of which, the lords of the manor, were entitled to lay claim to treasure trove.
In a field near Meldon, a favourite site in the records of local treasure quests, was placed a slab of stone, under which a person named James K— dreamt successively there was hid a coffer of a threesided figure filled with gold.* James was unfortunately destitute of one of the prime qualities of an adept in money explorations,—the capacity of being “sworn to deepest secresy.” Unlike those prudential persons, who preserve their respect and influence in society,
, by keeping
“Something to themselves
They will not tell to any," James was one of those frank, open-hearted individuals, who can
* A money coffer of a triangular shape is not a Northumbrian peculiarity, as Hogg, in his “Winter Evening Tales," has related a tradition respecting a “three neukit stane, like a cockit hat,” under which was hid a purse, or pose,—the scene being Kelso-bridge. Three, has been a favourite number, in the religious creed of different nations. It bore a conspicuous share, in the incantations and magical rites of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was a favourite number during the middle ages. In 1192, Richard Caur de Lion, concluded a truce with the renowned Saladin, for the talismanic interval of three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours. Even at the present time, it might be amusing to enquire, how much, in customs of daily occurrence, and in the literature in which popular usages is reflected, is ascribed to the efficacy of a threefold arrangement. In some of the ancient philosophical systems founded on numbers, tnree was reckoned not only the paragon of notation, but the epitome of the uni
This pre-eminence it owed, according to Aristotle, to its being the only one of the