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He called then up his litle foot-page,
And made him there his heyre ;
And countrye I forsweare.
He shope the crosse on his right shoulder,
Of the white clothe' and the redde*,
Wheras Christ was quicke and dead.
Ver. 118. fleshe, MS. * Every person, who went on a Croisade to the Holy Land, usually wore a cross on his upper garment, on the right shoulder, as a badge of his profession. Different nations were distinguished by crosses of different colours : The English wore white; the French red; &c. This circumstance seems to be confounded in the ballad. [V. Speiman, Gloss.]
6 In the foregoing piece, Giles, steward to a rich old merchant trading to Portugal, is qualified with the title of Sir, not as being a knight, but rather, I conceive, as having received an inferior order of priesthood.
Child is frequently used by our old writers, as a Title. It is repeatedly given to Prince Arthur in the Faerie Queen: and the son of a king is in the same poem called “ Child Tristram.” [B. 5. c. 11. st. 8. 13. -B. 6. c. 2. st. 36.- Ibid. c. 8. st. 15.] In an old ballad quoted in Shakespeare's King Lear, the hero of Ariosto is called Child Roland. Mr. Theobald supposes this use of the word was received along with their romances from the Spaniards, with whom Infante signifies
“ Prince.” A more eminent critic tells us, that « in “the old times of chivalry, the noble youth, who were “ candidates for knighthood, during the time of their "probation were called Infans, Varlets, Damoysels, “ Bacheliers. The most noble of the youth were par
ticularly called Infans.” [Vid. Warb. Shakesp.] A late commentator on Spenser observes, that the Saxon word cnihz knight, signifies also a “ Child.” [See Upton's Gloss. to the F. Q.]
The Editor's folio MS. whence the following piece is taken (with some corrections), affords several other ballads, wherein the word Child occurs as a title : but in none of these it signifies
“ Prince.” See the song intitled Gill Morrice, in this volume,
It ought to be observed, that the word Child or CHIELD is still used in North Britain to denominate a Man, commonly with some contemptuous character affixed to him, but sometimes to denote Man in general.
CHILDE Waters in his stable stoode
And stroakt his milke white steede : To him a fayre yonge ladye came
As ever ware womans weede.
Sayes, Christ you save, good Childe Waters;
Sayes, Christ you save, and see : My girdle of gold that was too longe,
Is now too short for mee.
And all is with one chyld of yours,
I feele sturre att my side :
Before, it was too wide.
If the child be mine, faire Ellen, he sayd,
Be mine as you tell mee; Then take
Cheshire and Lancashire both, 15 Take them your owne to bee.
If the childe be mine, faire Ellen, he says,
Be mine, as you doe sweare : Then take
Cheshire and Lancashire both, And make that child your heyre.
Shee saies, I had rather have one kisse,
Child Waters, of thy mouth; Than I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both,
That lye by north and south.
Ver. 13. be inne, MS.
And CHILD WATERS.
And I had rather have one twinkling,
Childe Waters, of thine ee: Then I wolde have Cheshire and Lancashire both,
To take them mine owne to bee.
To morrow, Ellen, I must forth ryde
Farr into the north countrie ; The fairest lady that I can find,
Ellen, must goe with mee.
Thoughe I am not that lady fayre,
pray you, Child Waters, Your foot-page let me bee.
If you will my foot-page be, Ellen,
doe tell to mee;
Soe must you doe your yellowe lockes,
An inch above your ee :
My foot-page then you shall bee.
Shee, all the long day Child Waters rode,
Ran barefoote by his side ;
To say, Ellen, will you ryde?
Shee, all the long day Child Waters rode,
Ran barefoote thorow the broome;
To say, put on your shoone.
Ride softlye, shee sayd, O Childe Waters,
Why doe you ryde soe fast?
My bodye itt will brast.
Hee sayth, seest thou yonder water, Ellen,
That flows from banke to brimme. I trust to God, O Child Waters,
You never will see mee swimme.
But when shee came to the waters side,
Shee sayled to the chinne :
Now must I learne to swimme.
The salt waters bare up her clothes;
Our Ladye bare upp her chinne:
To see faire Ellen swimme.
And when shee over the water was,
Shee then came to his knee:
Loe yonder what I see,
* i. e. permit, suffer, &c.