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- The Visions of the Sleeping Bard - 21/21 -


{95b} Sir Edmundbury Godfrey.--A London magistrate who took prominent part against the Catholics in the reign of Charles II. At the time the panic which the villainy of Titus Oates had fomented was at its height, Sir Edmundbury was found dead on Primrose Hill, with his sword through his body; his tragic end was attributed to the Papists, and many innocent persons suffered torture and death for their supposed complicity in his murder.

{102a} Einion the son of Gwalchmai.--This is a reference to a fable entitled "Einion and the Lady of the Greenwood," where the bard is led astray by "a graceful, slender lady of elegant growth and delicate feature, her complexion surpassing every red and every white in early dawn, the snow-flake on the mountain-side, and every beauteous colour in the blossoms of wood, meadow, and hill." (v. Iolo MSS.) Einion was an Anglesey bard, flourishing in the twelfth century.

{104a} Walking round the church.--Referring to a superstitious custom in vogue in some parts of Wales as late as the beginning of the present century. On All Souls' Night the women-folk gathered together at the parish church, each with a candle in her hand; the sexton then came round and lit the candies, and as these burnt brightly or fitfully, so would the coming year prove prosperous or adverse. When the last candle died out, they solemnly march round the church twice or thrice, then home in silence, and in their dreams that night, their fated husbands would appear to them.

{106a} Cerberus, et seq.--Compare the seven deadly sins in Langland's Vision of Piers Plowman, Pride, Luxury (lecherie), Envy, Wrath, Covetousness, Gluttony, and Sloth. See also Chaucer's Persones Tale, passim. A description of these seven sins occurs very frequently in old authors.

{107a} What brought you here.--Pride is the greatest of all the deadly sins. Compare Spenser's Faery Queen I. c. IV, where "proud Lucifera, as men did call her," was attended by "her six sage counsellors"--the other sins. Shakespere names this sin Ambition:

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition, For by this sin fell the angels.

{108a} Sarah.--v. Apocrypha, the book of Tobit, c. VI.

{110a} If she and her scholars--Cp.:

At nos virtutes ipsas invertimus atque sincerum cupimus vas incrustare. probus quis nobiscum vivit multum demissus homo: illi tardo cognomen pingui damus. his fugit omnes insidias nullique malo latus obdit apertum pro bene sano at non incauto fictum astutumque vocamus.

- Horace: Sat. I. iii.


The Visions of the Sleeping Bard - 21/21

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