A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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THE ARRAIGNMENT OF JOHN FLODDER
7   As Rogues and Beggars wandring vp and downe, They went to seeke reliefe from towne to towne: And liued by the vsage of bace sinne,
As custome trayneth all such liuers in.
8    [But] sure the Diuell, or else some Feend of his, [Persujaded1 them vnto this foule amisse, With Fire to wast so braue a Market towne, That florisht faire, with Riches and Renowne.
9   A Fier that was deuised of the Diuell,
A Fier of all the worst, and worse then euill: Wilde fier it was, that could not quenched bee, A Ball thereof lay kindling secretly,
io Within an Eaues, not seene of any man, A Match gaue fier, and so it first began: In Seruice time, when people were at Prayers, As God required, and not on worldly cares.
11    A time that such a chaunce could hardly bee Preuented by mans helpe, as man might see: For on a sodaine kindled so the flame,
That mazed people could not quench the same.
12   Within two howers the towne was burned quite, And much good Wealth therin consumd outright: The Free-schoole house, with many a gallant Hall With Aged people, and poore Children small.
13   Such woes were neuer seene in any place, Nor neuer men remaind in heauier case: Strange doubts were made how first the fire begun That hath so many good mens states vndone.
14   At last this Flodder, with his wandring Mates, Which daily beg'd for food at rich mens Gates, Examined were, where soone their guiltie tongues Confest the chiefe occasions of these wronges.
1 Margin torn.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III