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The cheating age
Pepys, i, 158, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.
"The Cheating Age," one of a series of "Age" ballads, was printed before 1626. Cf. the introductions to Nos. 41 and 42. Lincolnshire Leonard tells rather a stupid story, though not half bad are his descriptions of typical London sharpers. Presumably the Poet whom he mentions as being among his dubious companions was a ballad-writer. William Cooke is not, so far as I can find, represented by other extant ballads. The "pleasant new tune" to which the ballad is to be sung is equivalent to Whoop, do me no harm, good man (cf. No. 41).
To a pleasant new tune.
1 FRom olde famous Lincolne that's seated so hye, Well mounted and furnisht, with gold did I flye, To Londons fam'd Citie some wit for to buy. Which cost me so deare, makes me sigh, sob, and cry.
For this is the cheating Age, For this is the cheating Age.
2 Before I had entered Bishops wide gate,
The Mouth made an offer as if it would prate: But one scrapt acquaintance vnto my hard fate, And made me consume there most part of my state. For this is the cheating Age, &c.
3 For after a neate comly French salutation, His tongue he did order in such a feat fashion,