Wild Boar of Ardennes to Wilfer

Wild Boar of Ardennes, William de la Marck.—Sir W. Scott: Quentin Durward (time, Edward IV.).

(The count de la Marck was third son of John count de la Marck and Aremberg. He was arrested at Utrecht, and beheaded by order of Maximilian emperor of Austria, in 1485.)

Wild Boy of Hameln, a human being found in the forest of Hertswold, in Hanover. He walked on all fours, climbed trees like a monkey, fed on grass and leaves, and could never be taught to articulate a single word. He was discovered in 1725, was called “Peter the Wild Boy,” and efforts were made to reclaim him, but without success. He died at Broadway Farm, near Berkhampstead, in 1785.

Mlle. Lablanc was a wild girl found by the villagers of Soigny, near Chalons, in 1731. She died in Paris in 1780.

Wild-Goose Chase (The), a comedy by John Fletcher (1652). The “wild goose” is Mirabel, who is “chased” and caught by Oriana, whom he once despised.

Wild Horses (Death by). The hands and feet of the victim were fastened to two or four wild horses, and the horses, being urged forward, ran in different directions, tearing the victim limb from limb. The following are examples:—

(1) Mettius Suffetius was fastened to two chariots, which were driven in opposite directions. This was for deserting the Roman standard (B.C. 669).—Livy: Annals, i. 28.

(2) Salcède, a Spaniard, employed by Henri III. to assassinate Henri de Guise, failed in his attempt, and was torn limb from limb by four wild horses.

(3) Nicholas DE Salvado was torn to pieces by wild horses for attempting the life of William prince of Orange.

(4) Balthazar De Gerrard was similarly punished for assassinating the same prince (1584).

(5) John Chastel was torn to pieces by wild horses for attempting the life of Henri IV. of France (1594).

(6) Francois Ravaillac suffered a similar death for assassinating the same prince (1610).

Wild Huntsman (The), a spectral hunter with dogs, who frequents the Black Forest to chase wild animals.—Sir W. Scott: Wild Huntsman (from Bürger’s ballad).

(The legend is that this huntsman was a Jew, who would not suffer Jesus to drink from a horse-trough, but pointed to some water collected in a hoof-print, and bade Him go there and drink.— Kuhn von Schwarz: Nordd. Sagen, 499.)

The French story of Le Grand Veneur is laid in Fontainebleau Forest, and is supposed to refer to St. Hubert.— Father Matthieu.

The English name is “Herne the Hunter,” once a keeper in Windsor Forest. —Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, act iv. ch. 4.

The Scotch poem called Albania contains a full description of the wild huntsman.

(The subject has been made into a ballad by Bürger, entitled Der Wilde Jäger.)

Wild Man of the Forest, Orson, brother of Valentine, and nephew of king Pepin.—Valentine and Orson (fifteenth century).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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