British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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OCT. 30.]                  CHETWODE " RHYNE TOLL."                          393
his attacks, and strangers who heard of his ferocity were afraid to visit or pass through the district, so that traffic and friendly intercourse were seriously impeded, as well as much injury done to property by this savage monster. The lord of Chetwode, like a valiant knight, determined to rid his neighbourhood from this pest, or to die in the attempt. Bent on this generous purpose, he sallied forth into the forest, and, as the old song has it,—
" Then he blowod a blast full north, south, east, and west— Wind well thy horn, good hunter; And the wild boar then heard him full in his den, As he was a jovial hunter.
Then he made the best of his speed unto him—
Wind well thy horn, good hunter; Swift flew the boar, with his tusks smeared with gore,
To Sir Kyalas, the jovial hunter.
Then the wild boar, being so stout and so strong—
Wind well thy horn, good hunter; Thrashed down the trees as he ramped him along
To Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter.
Then they fought four hours in a long summer day—
Wind well thy horn, good hunter ; Till the wild boar fain would have got him away
From Sir Ryalas, the jovial hunter.
Then Sir Ryalas he drawed his broad-sword with might—
Wind well thy horn, good hunter; And he fairly cut the boar's head off quite,
For he was a jovial hunter."
Matters being thus settled, the neighbourhood rung with the praises of the gallant deed of the lord of Chetwode, and the news thereof soon reached the ears of the king, who " liked him so well of the achievement," that he forthwith made the knight tenant in capite, and constituted his manor paramount of all the manors within the limits and extent of the royal forest of Eookwoode. Moreover, he granted to him, and to his heirs for ever, among other immunities and privileges, the full right and power to levy every year the " Ehyne Toll,'' which has already been described.
Such a custom as the " Rhyne Toll" is not without its use. It is a perpetual memorial, perhaps more convincing than written history, of the dangers which surrounded our
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