Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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REIGNS OF JAMES I. AND CHARLES I.                                329
where. A curious letter on the subject of a mask, -which for some unexplained reason did not, take place, may be seen in Collier's History of Early Dramatic Poetry and Annals of the Stage, vol. i., p. 268. It is addressed to-Lord Burghley, by " Mr. Frauncis Bacon " (afterwards Lord Bacon), who in 1588 dis­charged the office of Reader of Gray's Inn. Many other curious particulars of their masks may be found in the same work, and some in Sir J. Hawkins' History of Music. For the Christmas Revels of the bar, see Mr. Payne Collier's note to Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. vii., p. 311. Lawyers are now, generally speaking, a music-loving class. The enjoyment of sweet sounds is to many the most accept­able recreation after long study. They were also famous in former days for. songs and squibs. Some, too, were tolerable composers, for every one claiming to be a gentleman learnt music. As their compositions are rather out of my present subject, I will refer only to their rhyming propensities; and, although much more ample illustration might be given, two passages from letters of John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, printed in The Court of James I. (1849), will probably suffice. On May 20,1615, Chamberlain says, " On Saturday last the King went again to Cambridge to see the play, Ignoramus, which hath so nettled the lawyers, that they are almost out of all patience; and the Lord Chief Justice [Sir E. Coke] both openly at the King's Bench, and divers other places, hath galled and glanced at scholars with much bitterness; and there be divers Inns at Court have made rhymes and ballads against them, which they have answered sharply enough." (i. 363.) Again in the letter of Nov. 23, 1616, " Here is a bold rhyme of our young gallants of Inns of Court against their old benchers, and a pretty • epigram upon the Lord Coke, and no doubt more will follow; for when men are down, the very drunkards make rhymes and songs upon them." (i. 444.)
The authorship of the music of this song has been a subject of contention; and so little have dates been regarded, that it has long passed as the composition of Henry Purcell, and is still published with his name. Walsh paved the way to this error (in which Ritson and many others followed), by including it in a collection of " Mr. Henry Purcell's Favourite Songs, out of his most cele­brated Orpheus Britannicus, and the rest of his works." It is not contained in the Orpheus Britannicus (which was published by Purcell's widow), and the music may still be seen as printed eight years before Purcell's birth.
In a note upon the passage before quoted from Walton's Angler, Sir J. Hawkins adds, " This song, beginning, ' Forth from my dark and dismal cell,' with the music to it, set by Henry Laices, is printed in a book, entitled Choice Ayres, Songs, and Dialogues to sing to the Theorbo-Lute and Bass Viol, fol. 1675; and in Playford's Antidote against Melancholy, 8vo., 1669."
dancings for their recreations and delight, commonly      Feb. 1 Jac., it appears that the under-barristers were by
called Revels, allowed at certain seasons; and that, by      decimation put out of Commons for example's sake, be-
special order of the society, as appeareth in 9 Hen. VI.,       cause the whole bar offended by not dancing on the
there should he four Revels that year, and no more," &c.       Candlemas-day preceding, according to the ancient order
And again he says, " Nor were these exercises of dancing      of this society, when the judges were present; with this,
merely permitted, hut thought very necessary, as it seems,      that if the like fault were afterwards committed, they
and much conducing to the making of gentlemen more fit      should he fined or disbarred." for their books at other times; for, by an order made 6th