A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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58
A he-devil
Pepys i, 398, B.L., one woodcut, four columns.
"The Hee divell" was registered for publication by Francis Grove on March 12, 1630 (Arber's Transcript, iv, 230). Several ballads are sung to a tune named from it (cf. Roxburghe Ballads, 11, 509).
Martin Parker here espouses the cause of ill-treated married women, but not, one fears, with any real sympathy. The tune of The She-Devil is not known ("The she Divell of Westminster" was registered by Francis Coles on June 24, 1630), but at once suggests that Parker had first written a ballad of that title for the delectation of harassed husbands before turning to the woes of married women. This habit of his has already been men­tioned: undoubtedly one reason for his enormous popularity with the common people was his impartiality, his custom of writing ditties on both sides of every question. Thus his satire against women, "Keep a Good Tongue in Your Head," was immediately followed by a ballad against brutal husbands called "Hold Your Hands, Honest Men. To the Tune of Keep a Good Tongue in Tour Head'''' {Roxburghe Ballads, in, 237, 243).
To the tune of, The Shee-diuell.
I W Hen I a Maiden was, I long'd to be married, But now (alas) such is my case,
I wish I had longer tarried, Matching ouer hastily
hath wrought me mickle euill. She that weds such a knaue as I, were as good to marry the Deuill.
33*
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