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Essays on Subjects Connected with the Literature, Popular Superstitions and History of England in the Middle Ages V2

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1846 edition. Excerpt: ... the clergy assessed, but did not pay." It may be so; and we can easily fancy the poor labourer wetting his whistle perhaps with inferior swipes, and singing loudly and ferociously these homely rhymes, smothering his indignation for the present in threats of future retribution. Thus, then, or something in this manner, he sang in home-spun ballad rhyme, --" Hear their insolent clamour! The committee, what axes From us church-ridden elves Nought but rates and new taxes. There they sit in the tap-room, Nor once think of compassion: We must pummel their noddles, If they grind in this fashion. Let us stop their long speeches, Their high vaunting words; And when they're gone to pot, We shall all live like lords." In the "outlandish" tongue, indeed, which people spoke in those days, the song ran thus--" Guise guise gae'n daer! Weer schell-hey waene daer Op stuyrs aendoen stuyrs; End in melydis schem baer. Dere ei! met een ouwel-man! D'aet, woed u'aet, sie ee is Par-heers. Hye tuck heira by die left legghe End seer ruwe hem doe aen stuyrs." (p. 259 ) This song the cunning and politic monks exchanged for the following, which, as our readers will observe, might be passed upon a dull and illiterate peasantry for the original, whose meaning and point are entirely destroyed. " Goosy goosy gander! Where shall I wander? Up stairs and down stairs, And in my lady's chamber; There I met an old man That would not say his prayers: I took him by the left leg, And threw him down stairs." What the monks failed to obtain by open extortion they wheedled out of people's pockets by their cunning tales and persuasive speeches. We have at times had the luck to hear the following ditty: " Jack Sprat Had a cat: It had but one ear; It went to buy butter When butter was dear...". Hide synopsis

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