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thorn. Then followed six young maidens of the village, dressed in blue kirtles, with garlands of primroses on their heads, leading a fine sleek cow, decorated with ribands of various colours, interspersed also with flowers, and the horns of the animal were tipped with gold. These were succeeded by six foresters, equipped in green tunics, with hoods and hose of the same colour; each of them carried a bugle horn, attached to a baldric of silk, which he sounded as he passed the barrier, which gave the proceedings a noble form.

After them came the baron's chief follower, who personified ROBIN HOOD. He was attired in a bright grass-green tunic, fringed with gold; his hood and his hose were party-coloured, blue and white; he had a large garland of rose buds on his head, a bow bent in his hand, a sheaf of arrows in his girdle, and a bugle horn dependent upon a baldric of light blue, embroidered with silver. He had also a sword and a dagger, the hilts of both being richly embroidered with gold. Trabeau, a page, as Little John, walked by his side on the right hand; and Ceal Cellerman, the butler, as Will Stukely, on his left. These, with ten other of the jolly outlaws who followed, were habited in green garments, bearing their bows bent in their hands, and their arrows in their girdles. The whole bore the look of a stout band.

Then followed two maidens, in orange coloured kirtles, with white courtpieces, strewing flowers, followed immediately by Maid Marian, riding on an uncouth beast, elegantly habited in a watchetcoloured tunic, reaching to the ground, over which she wore a white linen rocket, with loose sleeves, fringed with silver, and very neatly plaited; her girdle was of silver baudekin, fastened with a double

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bow on the left side; her long flaxen hair was divided into many ringlets, and flowed from her shoulders; the top part of her head was covered with a net-work cawl of gold, upon which was placed a garland of silver, ornamented with blue violets. She was supported by noble esquires, richly habited in blue and gold, and near her were two bride maidens, in sky-coloured rockets, girt with crimson girdles, wearing garlands upon their heads of blue and white violets. After them came four other females, in green courtpieces and garlands of violets and cowslips. Then Lawson, the smith, as Friar Tuck, carrying a huge quarter staff on his shoulder, and Morris, the undertaker, who represented Muck, the miller's son, having a long pole with a “blown bladder" attached to one end. And after them the Maypole, drawn by six fine oxen, decorated with scarfs, ribbons, and flowers of divers colours, and the tips of their horns embellished with gold. The rear was closed by the hobby horse and the dragon.

When the Maypole was drawn into the square, the foresters sounded their horns, and the populace expressed their pleasure by shouting unceasingly, until it reached the place assigned for its elevation; and during the time the ground was preparing for its reception, the barriers of the bottom of the enclosure were opened for the villagers to approach and adorn it with ribands, garlands, and flowers, as their inclination prompted them. The pole being sufficiently ornamented with finery, the square was cleared from such as had no part to perform in the pageant, and then it was elevated midst the loud shouts of the spectators.

Now the woodmen and the milkmaidens danced around it according to the rustic fashion; the measure was played by Peretto Cheveritti, the Baron's chief minstrel, on the bagpipes, accompanied

by the pipe and tabor, played by one of his associates. When the dance was finished, Gregory, the jester, who undertook to play the hobby-horse, came forward with his appropriate equipment, and frisking up and down the square without restriction, imitated the galloping, curveting, ambling, trotting, and other paces of a horse, to the infinite amusement of the younger spectators.

This caperer was followed by Peter Porker, the Baron's ranger, who personated a dragon, with yelling, hissing, and shaking his wings with wonderful ingenuity; and to complete the mirth, Morris, in the character of Muck, having small bells attached to his knees and elbows, capered here and there between the two monsters in the form of a dunce; and as often as he came near to the sides of the enclosure, he cast slighly a handful of meal into the faces of the laughing visitors, or rapped them about the head with the bladder at the end of his pole. In the meantime, Sampson, representing Friar Tuck, walked with much gravity around the square, and occasionally let fall his heavy staff upon the toes of such of the crowd as he thought were approaching more forward than they ought to do; and if the sufferers cried out from the sense of pain, he addressed them in a solemn tone of voice, advising them to count their beads, say a paternoster or two, and to beware of purgatory.

These vagaries were highly palatable to the populace, who expressed their delight by repeated plaudits and loud bursts of laughter; for this reason they were continued for a considerable length of time; but Gregory, the jester, on his wooden horse, beginning to falter in his paces, ordered the dragon to fall back; the well-natured boast, being out of breath, readily obeyed, and then their two companions followed the example, which concluded this part of the pastime.

Now came the archers. They set up a target at the lower part of the green, and made trial of their skill in regular succession. Robin Hood and Will Stukely excelled their comrades, and both of them lodged an arrow in the centre circle of gold so near to each other that the difference could not readily be decided, which occasioned them to shoot again, when Robin's struck the gold a second time, and Stukely's arrow was affixed upon the edge of it. Robin was therefore adjudged the conqueror; and the prize of honour, a garland of laurel, embellished with variegated ribbons, was put upon his head, and to Stukely was given a garland of ivy, because he was the second-best performer in the contest.

The pageant was finished with the archery, and the procession began to move away to make room for the villagers, who afterwards assembled in the square, and amused themselves by dancing round the Maypole in various companies.

Such is a description of the May games three hundred years ago, and I wish I could admit that our modern amusements were as invigorating. But this year, at least, we may be content, for we shall have a May Fair for the whole world, and our Maypoles will be the north pole and the south, for from each division of the sphere we hope to have friends to dance at our festival. The great May fair was formerly held near Piccadilly, as this will be; and there, a hundred years ago, were mountebanks, fire eaters, ass racing, sausage tables, dice tables, ups and downs, merry go rounds, bull baiting, grinning for hats, running for shirts, hasty pudding eaters, eel divers, jugglers; prize fighting, both at cudgels and back swords; boxing matches, and wild beasts. But now we may expect something rather different.

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