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The pedlar opening his pack
Pepys, i, 238, B.L., two woodcuts, five columns.
A highly interesting picture of the cosmetics, gew-gaws, and trinkets that formed the mysteries of a seventeenth-century woman's toilet is given in this satirical song. The pack itself was a chest with drawers and compartments for the various articles here enumerated. Strangely enough, the pedlar does not mention ballads—something that every self-respecting member of his trade invariably carried. A similar ballad, written some twenty-five years later, is "The New Exchange" in Merry Drollery, 1661 (ed. J. W. Ebsworth, pp. 134-138).
The stanza-form is unusual but attractive. I have not met with the tune elsewhere. The printer was E[dward] A[llde], whose publications appeared during 1584—1628. The date may be assumed to be 1620, but was probably much earlier.
To the tune of, Last Christmas 'twas my chance.1
1 WHo is it will repaire,
or come and see my packet: Where there's store of Ware, if any of you lacke it, view the Fayre.
2 Faire Maydens come and see,
if heere be ought will please you: And if we can agree,
He giue you iust your due, or nere trust me.
1 Comma in the text.