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Fourpence halfpenny farthing
Pepys, i, 274, B.L., three woodcuts, four columns.
The ballad was licensed to Francis Grove on June 22, 1629 (Arber's Transcript, iv, 216), though it was printed by Cuthbert Wright. An extract of one stanza from the Pepysian copy is printed in the Roxburghe Ballads, vm, 720.
This ditty shows Martin Parker in a naughty mood, but seems desirable in print merely because it is his work. No other ballad-writer was half so clever in dealing inoffensively, so far as concerns language, with an offensive situation. In his class he was a master of innuendo. This "Jest" maintained its popularity for years: answers and imitations, dating from the years 1685-1689, will be found in the Pepys Collection, in, 41, 238; iv, 249, 257, and in the Roxburghe Ballads, vm, 710. The tune is given in ChappelPs Popular Music, 1, 366.
To the tune of Bessy Bell, or a Health to Betty.
I ONe Morning bright, (for my delight) Into the Fields I walked, There did I see A Lad, and hee
with a faire Maiden talked. It seem'd to me, they could not agree, About some pretty bargaine, He offer'd a groat, But still her note was foure pence halfe penney farthing.