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News from the Tower Hill
Pepys, i, 266, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.
E[dward]B[lackmore] registered "Pegand Kate"on November 4,1631 (Arber's Transcript, iv, 263). Parker was evidently fond of this "jest," to which he refers in his "Good Throw" (No. 67). But it is not edifying or, for that matter, moral, though Parker undoubtedly intended it to be a warning to young roarers to shun evil women. He commends his hero as a model, but most readers would be inclined to feel some indignation at the scurvy trick that insufferable young person plays on the two London prostitutes. As a picture of the times and for the light it throws on M.P. himself, the ballad is not without some interest. What appears to be a reference to it occurs in the two lines,—
And have I met thee, sweet Kate? I will teach thee to walk so late,—
sung by Cuddy Banks in Ford, Dekker, and Rowley's Witch of Edmonton (printed 1658), in, i, although this play is usually regarded as having been acted circa 1621.
The music for The North-Country Lass which Chappell printed, with a specific reference to "News from the Tower Hill," in Popular Music, 11, 457, is adapted neither to the measure nor to the stanza-form. In the same measure as the "News" and to the tune of The North-Country Lass is a ballad of "The Turtle Dove" in the Roxburghe Ballads, 11, 592.
To the tune of the North countrey Lasse.
1 A Pretty iest He tell,
which was perform'd of late, Let Lasses all in generall, be warned by Peg and Kate.