doors. She now turned pedlar, selling “points and pins,” and occasionally crying “Maids, have you any coney-skins.” The end of her career was fast approaching. She turned fortune-teller;
“And something leaned to cutpurse of quick hand.”
Farone “Sim,” whose surname is not stated, she undertook to secure the affections of “Mistress Annis Low.” Failing in this, the ungallant Sim called her witch, “beat her then with all his might,” (a reminiscence of her early bangings) and tore her hair out by handsful. After kicking her piteously in addition, the ruffian took his departure. And now comes the catastrophe of this most moving of epics. It is sudden, it is terrible, but it is not very clear;
“Ashame of all such arts, quoth
In vain I make my moan,
Shall I be fortune teller still
And cannot tell my own.
With that she stepped aside
Not thinking any ill
And there came one in height of pride
And did poor Gillian kill.”
Who was “one in height of pride?” Why and how did he kill Gillian?
In the “Northern Garland,” printed at Newcastle in this present year, we have “The life and death of Sir Hugh of the Grime,” the “Blythesome Wedding,” the “Sporting Haymakers,” “Sawney and Teague,” and half-a-score more old ballads which you may hear roared forth to this day in North Country alehouses. Sir Hugh of the Grime was a great character.
“As it befell upon a time
About Midsummer of the year
Every man was tart of his crime
For stealing the Lord Bishop’s mare
The Good Lord Screw saddled a horse
And rid him for some time
Before he got over the Moss
There he was aware of Sir Hugh of the Grime.”
The knightly horse-stealer, as some of our readers may have heard before, was vanquished to the good Lord Screw, and with the assistance of ten yeomen, who came through the moss, captured and conveyed to “Garland Town,” where the good Lord Bishop, sitting as judge in his own cause, condemned him to be hanged; and notwithstanding the intercession of “Lord Bowles,” and “good Lady Ward,” hanged was Sir Hugh accordingly. This fine old border ballad was otherwise known as Johnny Armstrong.
Newcastle, and this “present year,” are yet rich in “Histories and Merriments,” but I can do little else than enumerate them. There is the “Friar and the Boy” – the further progress of Jack’s frolicsome intrigues, full of mirth and reception. Jack’s exploits were principally devoted to the annoyance of his step-mother, who had used him cruelly. There is a gorgeous history of Jack Horner, containing not only the Christmas pie-eating performances of that young gentleman, but also his “witty tricks and pleasant pranks which he played from his youth to his riper years;” how he “frightened the poor taylor for cabbaging cloth out of his livery coat;” how he “served six fiddlers;” how he “slew a monstrous giant,” and at last how he came to marry a knight’s daughter.
There, in this “canny” book, is to be found the “Welsh Traveller,” or the unfortunate Welshman; the “History of Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesdale;” the curious old story of “Ambrose Gwynnett,” and finally, a “Relation of the Surprising Adventures of Houran Banow, a Turkish Merchant, as related by himself before the Great Mogul.” From one of Houran Banow’s adventures I find has been taken the plot and incidents of the farce of the “Illustrious Stranger” in which we all remember the inimitably humorous performance of Mr. Harley.
With the surprising adventures of Houran Banow, I shut up my canny little Newcastle book.
** The rest of this article is missing from the printed version of the edition held by UMKC Libraries Special Collections.
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