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This was done, and the first course being announced with trumpets, pipes, and tabours, the ambassadors beheld with horror the heads of their unhappy countrymen with the fatal scroll affixed on each. The tears ran down their eyes for the loss of their friends, and filled with dismay, they rued the time that they ventured into the hero's presence.

Kynge Rycharde bebelde them well
How that they ete no morcell
The knyght that sholde Rychardo serue
With a knyfe he gan the heed carue
Kynge Rycharde ete with herte good
The Sarasynes wende that he were wood
Euery che sate styll and plucked other
And sayd "this is the deuylles brother
That sleeth our men and thus eteth.”
But kynge Rycharde not forgeteth
Aboute hym he loked gerne
With wrothe semblaunt and with sterne
The messengers tho he badde
“For my loue be you gladde
And loke ye be well at ease set
Wby kerue ye uot of your mete
And ete faste as I do
Tell me why ye loure so ? "
The messengers for quoke
They ne durst speke ne loke
Into the ertbe they wolde haue cropen
For to haue ben slayne they hopen

They answered hym neuer a worde.
The first course was then removed, and

Men brought brede without boost
Venyson, cranes, and roost
Pyment, clare, and drynke of the best
Kynge Rycharde bad be mery his gest
There was none of them that ete lyste
Kynge Rycharde theyr thought well wyste
And sayd “frendes be not squemous
This is the maner of my hous
To be serued fyrst God it wote
With a sarasynes heed all hote:
But your maner not I knewe
As I am a kynge crysten and trewe
But ye sball be in certayne
All safe to wende home agayne

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For I ne wolde for no thynge
Tbat worde of me sholdbe sprynge
That I were so vylayne of maners

For to mysdo messengers. The king, having thus apologized for what had happened, which he attributed to his ignorance of their taste, and having promised to grant them a safe return to the Soldan, then addressed one of their number thus :

Kynge Rycharde spake to an olde man
Wonde home, and tell thy Sowdan
His malyncholy that he abbate
And also sayo yo come to late
To slowly was the message gessed
Or that ye came, the flesshe was dressed
That men sholde therwith serue me
Thus at none, and all my meyne
And saye hym it shall not auayle
Agenst us to gyue bataylo
Brede, wyne, flesshe, fysshe and kunger,
We will neuer dye for hunger
Whyle that we may wende to fyght
And slee the sarasynes downe ryght
Wasshe the flesshe, sethe and brethyn
With one sarasyne

I
may

well fedyn
Well on nyne or on ten
Of my good Englysshe men.
Kynge Rycharde sayd I you wraunt
There is no flesshe so nouryssant
To none Englysshe crysten man
Partryche, heron, fesaunt, ne swan,
Cowe, ne oxe, shepe, ne swyne,
Than is the flesshe of a sarasyne
For they ben both fat and tender
And my men lene and sclender
But whyle that ony sarasynes be
Alyue in this countree
For mete wyll we not care
Aboute shall we faste fare
And euery daye we wyll ete
As many as we may gete,
In to Englonde wyll we not gone

Tyll they be eten euery chone.
The remainder of the romance is occupied with the relation of many

other wonderful and strange adventures of King Richard in the siege of Babylon* and other places; that of Jaffa being the last, the description of which is introduced with the ensuing prologue, enumerating various other romances, at that time current on the heroes of antiquity, for the sole object of shewing the manifest superiority of King Richard.

Herken now how my tale goth
Though I swere to you no othe
I wyll you rede romaynes none
Of Pertonape ne of Yponydone
Ne of Alysaunder ne of Charlemagne
Ne of Arthur ne of Gawayne
Ne of Launcelot de lake
Ne of Beuys ne Guy of Sydrako
No of Ury ne of Octauyan
Ne of Hector the stronge man
Ne of Jason, neyther of Achylles.
They ne wanne neuer parmafaye
In theyr tyme by theyr daye
And anone of them so doughty dode
Ne so stronge batayll ne of felowrede
As dyde kynge Rycharde without fayle
At Jaffa at that stronge batayle
With his axe and his swerde

Assoyle his soule, Jesu lorde. The volume concludes in the last chapter with an account “ How Kynge Rycharde was slayne before the castell gaylarde, and how the castell was wonne, and all were slayne that were therin.” At the end is the colophon as given before, and on the last page the large device of Wynken de Worde.

Mr. Weber, who reprinted this poem in his Metrical Romances, 8vo, 1810, vol. ii, from the text of the present edition, collated with the ancient MSS., remarks, that “the savage meal which Richard made upon the heads of the Saracens, and the feast he prepared for the messengers of Soliman, are omitted in the present edition.” But in this he is strangely in error, as

* Babylon here, said to be besieged by King Richard, and so frequently mentioned by the romance writers and the chroniclers of the Crusades, is Cairo or Bagdat. These cities of recent foundation were perpetually confounded with Babylon, which had been destroyed many centuries before. Geography was not much understood or cultivated at that time. - WARTON.

the reader will already have seen from our copious quotations from it, the whole of these events being related in this edition equally with the other. Mr. Ellis has given an interesting abstract of this poem in his Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances, vol. ii, p. 171, which he has chiefly taken from the MS. in the library of Caius College, Cambridge. It varies in the phraseology and events very much from the present edition, and the conclusion is altogether different. Both he and Mr. Weber are of opinion that, could a copy of the original French MS. be recovered, it would be found to have corresponded more with the genuine history of king Richard, and that the fabulous and strange stories with which it is now filled were introduced afterwards, and most probably added by some Norman minstrel at a later period. Mr. Ellis calls the English version a translation, and says, that “if merely considered as a poem, it possesses considerable merit. The verse, it is true, is generally rough and inharmonious, but the expression is often forcible, and unusually free from the drawling expletives which so frequently annoy the reader in the compositions of the minstrels. As recording many particulars of the dress, food, and manners of our ancestors, it possesses rather more claims on our curiosity than other romances of the same period, because it was compiled within a very few years of the events which it professes to describe ; indeed there are strong reasons for believing that the first French original, and even the earliest English version, contained an authentic history of Richard's reign, compiled from contemporary documents, although that history was afterwards enlarged and disfigured by numerous and most absurd interpolations."

Sir Walter Scott, in the introduction to the Talisman, has alluded to this romance, and to the extraordinary relation of cannibalism here attributed to king Richard, which he has transcribed at length from Mr. George Ellis's account of it in his edition of the Early Eng. Metr. Romances, vol. ii, p. 226, and further remarks of this poem, “The most curious register of the history of King Richard is an ancient romance, translated originally from the Norman, and at first certainly having a pretence to be termed a work of chivalry, but latterly becoming stuffed with the most astonishing and monstrous fables. There is perhaps no metrical romance upon record, where, along with curious and genuine history, are mingled more absurd and exaggerated incidents."

Warton, in his Hist. Eng. Poet., vol. i, sect. iv, pp. 162–180, and vol. iii, p. 425, 8vo edit., has given a long and interesting account of this work, with very copious extracts from it, and the reader will find much further valuable information on the subject on consulting Dibdin's Typogr. Antiq., vol. ii, p. 273; Edes Althorp, vol. i, p. 193; Hearne's Robert of Gloucester, vol. i, p. Ivii; Brit. Bibliogr., vol. i, p. 61 ; Drake's Hist. Shakesp., vol. i, p. 566; Park's Royal and Noble Authors, vol. i, p. 13, and vol. i, p. 1, edit. 1758; Percy's Reliques, vol. iii, p. 17, edit. 1812 ; Ritson's Anc. Eng. Metr. Romances, vol. i, p. Ixxxvi; Ellis's Do., vol. ii, p. 171; and Weber's Do., vol. i, p. xlv, and vol. ii, pp. 1-278.

We have already noticed the four manuscript versions of this romance known to exist, all of them unfortunately imperfect, and now preserved in public libraries; and of the printed copies of the present edition, Mr. Heber’s, which was formerly in the Lansdowne collection, sold for 25l. 148. 6d., pt. iv, No. 2443; Mr. Hibbert's do., No. 7115, for 35l. 148., and was purchased by Mr. Wilkes, and at the sale of the latter gentleman's library, in April 1847, No. 2062, brought 471. These are the only two copies which appear to have occurred for public sale. A copy of this edition, wanting the title-page, is in the Bodleian library, and another, quite perfect, was in the Harleian collection. There is a copy of the first edition by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1509, 4to, in the collection of Earl Spencer, at Althorpe, another in the British Museum, and a third in the Bodleian library. We have not been enabled to ascertain with certainty whether the usual statement of bibliographers that an edition of this romance was printed by Copland be correct, but as far as our researches have at present been made, we are greatly inclined to think that the assertion is entirely an error, arising from Warton having mistaken the Wynkyn de Worde colophon of W. C., implying that it was originally Caxton's, for the name of William Copland. Warton gives the signatures as the same which are in the edition of 1528, and the collation is repeated by Lowndes without any further information. Purfoote owned the copyright in 1568-9, and, according to Mr. Collier (Ext. Reg. Stat. Comp., p. 199), the work was reprinted as lately as 1615.

The present is a remarkably fine large clean copy, bound in Calf extra, gilt leaves, with the original very curious stamped leather sides.

RIPLEY, (George.)— The Compound of Alchymy. Or, the ancient

hidden Art of Archemie : Conteining the right and perfectest meanes to make the Philosophers Stone, Aurum potabile,

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