Page images
PDF
EPUB

down your finger benedictions like hail, employ the homesteads as if all the things in them were your right and due.

tiii is as the mass-man or priest; so designated from an assumption of the Catholic priest, by which he deems the partaking of the cup in the ceremony of the communion to be competent to himself alone, to the exclusion of the layman to whom he doles out the bread or wafer, without the wine, in giving the sacrament. Hey, hye, as the metaphor for peasant or labourer, has been explained in No. 3, page 252, and sounds I. Maeck 'et wie's T, is to make the form of the T with the finger, and thus to cross or bless in the Catholic form. Maeck, make, fashion, sounds mark.

31. — Little boy blue, come blow your horn.

The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the

corn.

What? this is the way you mind your sheep!
Under the haycock fast asleep.

Lij t 'el boeye! Bije-luy! kom Blo6 uwer hoy

er 'un! De suijp's in de med-hoeve. De gauw's in te

koren.

Wat! dies is de wee u meyndt uwer suijpe?
Ander de Hey-Ghack vast er sluijpe.

You curse to other men's storehouse! You drone! Come, you sly-one. Get your hay in there. The sot's in the ale-house. The sly dog is only gone in there just for a taste. What! is this all the reproof you have in store for a drunkard of your own order? The poor hard-working layman comes off in a case like this in a very different manner with you; (if it was one of us, you would treat him very differently).

A countryman apostrophizes some lazy friar wbo had the charge of the farm lands belonging to his monastery. He calls upon him to come out and attend to his harvest work. A brother of the same order answers to the call, and says, the sot's at the mead-house (the ale-houae of the time); but that he is only gone in just for a sup. The countryman is proroked at this palliatory rebnke, and replies, that if it had been one of them that had neglected his work to get drunk, the business would have been viewed in a very different light by him. The lines seem to be simply a reproach to the lazy friars for their partiality to their own order in meting out their reproofs, as compared with the strictness and austerity with which they scanned the failings of the benoodled peasantry, out of whose labour they were kept in idleness. LiJ t 'el and Inu'iie have already been explained. Bije-luy (luybije), a drone bee, and sounds blue. Med-hoeve, mead-house, seems to have been a resort for ihe labouiing class, of the same nature as the present beer-shop or ale-house. Heyghack, labouring fool, the cat's-paw of the idle friar. Hey, as the metaphor for labourer, has been explained.

32.—Sing a song of six-pence

A pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds

Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened

The birds began to sing;
And was'nt this a dainty dish

To set before a king?
The king was in the parlour

Counting out his money;
The queen was in the kitchen

Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden

Hanging out the clothes;
There came a little blackbird

And snap'd off her nose.

Sing! er saeg inn! hof! Sechs-pensse!

Er poch 'et vuijl af rye!
Voor-hand tweyn dij plack-boerts!

Beck 'et in er Pye!
When de Pye was op in 'et,

Die boerts begae aen toe sieing.
Aenwassend dies, er dije in te disch

Te sed-behoor ecking;
Die ging wars in de baer leer

Koen ding houdt 'es mene.

Die Queue was bin te kitsen

Hieting breed aen hunne je.
Die mede wasse in te Gardiaen

Hen ging houde de kluysse.
D' Heer gee 'em er licht-hel plack-boert

End snapt af hier-her noose.

Carol away, there! Entertain them with your stories! Cheer away, you feast-loving holy one! Hold forth in your usual strain of ribaldry! Keep spinning out your ready-made and smutty jokes! Season them well for your company, my Man of the Cowl (friar)! And when this Man of the Cowl was once up to his mark, he kept on from one joke to another till daylight. At last all at table began to be infected by this example, and the scene became offensive to all order. From bad to worse they began to fall foul of the church-doctrines (began to talk sheer deism); and many of them broached some over-bold opinions. As for the Man of the Frock (the friar), he had become nearly dead-sick, and kept on roaring out imperiously for the rest to attend to him and do as he bid them (to behave themselves properly). All this, as the uproar became louder, at last reached from the friar's cell to the ears of the guardian of the convent. This gentleman came in and cracked some practical jokes upon the back of the jolly father, and put a stop to all the disturbance at once.

Sechs-pensse, feast-gut; as the sobriquet by which this pattern of a friar was known. Plach-boerts, smutty jokes, sounds black-birds, the h and p being convertible sounds, and bird is pronounced burd by us; t and d interchange. Pye, a monk's cowl, and metaphorically the friar himself. Boer, natural, naked, unsophisticated. Leer, doctrine, tenet, precept. Queue, frock, the friar's frock; the common French phrase for to quit the state of monkhood or holy orders is quitter le froe; and quene is here as monk or friar. Guardiaen the title for the superior of such convents as belonged to the mendicant orders of monkhood. Mene, menig, manig (the many, majority) sounds money. See page 4, art. Money Makes The Hare To co. Ecken acken, to corrupt, to become corrupt, to turn into bad matter, to become offensive, in the participle present ecking, and sounds a king. The above seems to be a lampoon upon the community of tramping friars, personified by this jolly brother, here signalized as the concocter of smutty stories, the broacher of profane opinions, and habitual drunkard. Baer leer, natural religion, as opposed to revealed religion, and is here intended for an additional stigma to the monks, «ho after making the Christian doctrine the means of their livelihood suffered it to be profaned in their presence at their social orgies; it sounds, by the interchanging b and p, parlour. Tweyn, the imperative of tweynen, to twist together, as is done when the thread is drawn out in spinning; voorhand tweyn dij, spin thou, make thon ready beforehand. Plack has the meaning both of smut or stain, and also of ferula or stick used by the schoolmaster to punish the scholar; and in the penultimate line, plack-boert is as a joke made by means of this stick, and thus a practical joke. Gee em, gave him, sounds came. Sieing, seeing time, i. e. daylight, the old participle present of sien, and sounds sing.

33.—The fox had a hole,

He did'nt know where;
He looked in his tail
And he found it was there.

De volcks hate er holle,
Hij dijd in te no6-weer;
Hijt lucht in hys stel
End hij vond 'et wass teer.

The public was maddened by the state of its affairs and put on a stormy aspect. It pryed into the state of the government and found it had gradually got into the hands of corruption.

The only composition of this nature T have yet lit upon which leaves the lawyer and priest out of the question. It seems to have been produced on the occasion of some popular dissension with the managers of the concerns of the commonwealth; by whom the people began to fancy they had been defrauded. Volcks, the people, sounds^/or. Dijd in te, literally •—grew gradually into, sounds did'nt.

34.—Eggs, butter, cheese, bread,
Stick, stock, stone, dead,
Stick him up, stick him down,
Stick him in the old man's crown.
Egg's Botter, schie ijse bereedt,
Stick' stock's, toe on daed.
Stick hem hope, stick hem toe hun,
Stick hem in de ouwel-man's krouwen.

The stirrer of all mischief is the Hypocrite [the confessor]; he is the one who quickly spreads terror in every direction he appears in; he is the cause, he is the exciter of all foul play. Stifle him in the cradle of his hope; stifle him in his own den; stifle him in the craving and extorting of the rector [church man]. That is, starve him. Evidently the apostrophe of some sufferer from that most dangerous pest to domestic happiness, the conscienceless and intriguing confessor; in regard to whom he proposes to take the bull by the horns, and extinguish the whole kit, root and branch, by not paying the clerical dues, and so starving the race out, or smothering it in the wet blanket of an anti-tithe resistance.

Egge, harrow, turner up, exciter. Hotter, hypocrite, foul player. Stick, stuck, cause. Tach, attraction, traction. 5, is, is. Toe, to. Ondaed, znalefice, indefinite doing of mischief. Stwkint, to stiffle, to smother, to suffocate. Hope, as with us. Hem, him. Toe hun, at his home dies hit sounds down. Ouwel, wafer, host, consecrated wafer. Waferer was once the term for a baker. (See Vis. Pierce Plowm.) Ouwel-man, always travestied in these lampoons by old-man, seems to nave been the then well known nick-name for the priest, as the one by whom the monopoly of host-making was held. Krouwen, krauwen, to claw together greedily, and hese used as a substantive.

35.There was a man in Thessaly,

And he was wondrous wise,
Hejumpt into a quickset hedge

And scratch'd out both his eyes;
And when he saw his eyes were out

And he was in great pain,
He jumpt into a holly-bush

And scratch'd 'em in again.

« PreviousContinue »