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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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72
Knavery in all trades
Pepys, i, 166, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.
Francis Grove registered this ballad on July 16,1632 (Arber's Transcript, iv, 281). In it Martin Parker gives a mournful account of the evils of his time, but no doubt his disgust and cynicism were assumed for the occasion. Probably it was nothing but an answer to Laurence Price's "Honest Age" (No. 71). In the second stanza of part two, however, there are some bitter comments on persons who evade paying their scores in taverns and inns which may have been due to Parker's own experience. He is known to have been an ale-house keeper, and one of his lost ballads, licensed on July 19, 1636, had the significant tide of "Certaine verses of Martin Parker against trusting to sett vp in Alehouses."
For the tune see Chappell's Popular Music, 1, 267.
To the tune of, Ragged and torne and true.
i AS I was walking of late, within the fields so faire, My minde to recreate,
well nye orecome with care: I heard two men discourse,
as I along did walke, It mou'd mee with remorse,
to hearken to their talke, Full oftentimes they said,
(to heare them I was sad) All honesty is decay d,
here's an age would make a man mad.
410
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