Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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REIGN OF ELIZABETn.
107
The former is thus described in a MS. of the time of James I., in the pos­session of Mr. Payne Collier:—
" Will. Elderton's red nose is famous everywhere,
And many a ballet shows it cost him very dear;
In ale, and toast, and spice, he spent good store of coin,
You need not ask him twice to take a cup of wine.
But though his nose was red, his hand was very white,
In work it never sped, nor took in it delight;
No marvel therefore 'tis, that white should be his hand,
That ballets writ a score, as you well understand."
Nashe, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, says of Deloney, " He hath rhyme enough for all miracles, and wit to make a Garland of Good Will, &c, but whereas his muse, from the first peeping forth, hath stood at livery at an ale-house wisp, never exceeding a penny a quart, day or night—and this dear year, together with the silencing of his looms, scarce that—he is constrained to betake himself to carded ale" {i.e., ale mixed with small beer), "whence it proceedeth that since Candlemas, or his jigg of John for the king, not one merry ditty will come from him; nothing but The Thunderbolt against swearers, Repent, England, repent, and the Strange Judgments of God."
In 1581, Thomas Lovell, a zealous puritan, (one who objected to the word Christmas, as savouring too much of popery, and calls it Chx'istide), published "A Dialogue between Custom and Verity, concerning the use and abuse of dauncinge and minstralsye." From this", now rare book, Mr. Payne Collier has printed various extracts. The object was to put down dancing and minstrelsy ; Custom defends and excuses them, and Verity, who is always allowed to have the best of the argument, attacks and abuses them. It shows, however, that the old race of minstrels was not quite extinct. Verity says :— " But this do minstrels clean forget: Some godly songs they have, Some wicked ballads and unmeet,
As companies do crave. For filthies they have filthy songs;
For ' some' lascivious rhymes ; For honest, good; for sober, grave Songs ; so they watch their times. Among the lovers of the truth,
Ditties of truth they sing; Among the papists, such as of
Their godless legends spring.....
The minstrels do, with instruments,
With songs, or else with jest, Maintain themselves: but, as they use, [act] Of these naught is the best."
Collier's Extracts Jteg. Stat. Comp., vol. ii., pp. 144, 145. Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, 1602, speaking of Tregarrick, then the