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THE COMMONWEALTH.
419
is mentioned with two others,—Taylor, the Water-poet, and Thomas Herbert.* " Article 2.—We appoint John Taylor, Martin Parker, and Herbert, all three English poetical, papistical, atheistical ballad-makers, to put in print rhyme-doggery from the river of Styx, against the truest Protestants, in railing lines; and, in the end, young Gregory" [Gregory Brandon, the common hangman] " shall be their paymaster.""
Martin Parker was probably at one time an alehouse-keeper, for the author of Vox Borealis says, " But now he swears he will never put pen to paper for the prelates again, but betake himself to his pitcht" [spouted] " can and tobacco pipe, and learn to sell his frothy pots again, and give over poetry."
In the " Actor's Remonstrance or Complaint for the silencing of their profes­sion, and banishment from their several Play-houses," 1643, the author expresses his fear that " some of our ablest ordinary Play-Poets, instead of their annual stipends and beneficial second-days, being for mere necessity compelled to get a living, . . . will shortly (if they have not been forced to do it already) be incited to enter themselves into Martin Parker's Society, and write ballads." This sounds like a covert threat to the puritan magistrates, or, at least, as intended to let them understand that their pens would be employed in a manner which might be less agreeable to them. Martin Parker's ballad-writing society is again men­tioned in " The Downefall of Temporizing Poets, unlicenst Printers, upstart Booksellers, trotting Mercuries, and bawling Hawkers," 1641.—" You [ballad-writers] are very religious men; rather than you will lose half-a-crown, you will write against your own fathers. You will make men's wills before they be sicke, hang them before they are in prison, and cut off heads before you know why or wherefore. You have an indifferent strong corporation; twenty-three of you sufficient writers, besides Martin Parker !" Twenty-four able ballad-writers ! and yet all their productions are now so scarce as to be marketably worth their weight in gold.
" Inspired with the spirit of lallating" says Flecknoe, in a whimsey printed at the (nd of his Miscellanea, 1653, " I shall sing in Martin Parker's vein:— ' 0 Smithfiekl, thou that in times of yore, With thy ballets did make all England roar,' " &o.
'In Brand's Sale-Catalogue, Part 2, No. 2923, is      sempsters, that they may have handkerchers in readiness "Merci.rie's Message defended against the vain, foolish,      to wipe their eyes when they shall weep for their just-simple, and absurd cavils of Thomas Herbert, ridiculous      deserved downfall."
Ballad-naker. Portraits, 4 to., 1G41." Several of Her-         "6. Whereas the English Prelates and prestigious"
bert's p.oductinns are mentioned by Lowndes.                       [juggling] *' Priests, being well affected to Popish rites,
b As this pamphlet is very scarce, and exhibits an at-      vested their black insides with white Rochets and Sur-
tempt 8t humour, not usual in puritanical pamphlets, a      plices, if they can procure them, let them be turned into
few spe< imens are subjoined.                                                shirts for them ; we counsel them henceforth to vest them-
"Article 1. We leave the great Archbishop's cause"      selves outwardly in mourning black."
[Laud's " to the mercy of the parliament, because it is          "7. We advise the Bishops to stuff their Cater-caps
not in oi.i power to help him."                                             with feathers, to serve them for cushions in their closets,
"3.1 counsel the English Bishops to send their Mitres      that they may sit at ease after they are driven to study
to the book-binders' shops, and bespeak them bibles well      thither."
bossed therewith, because we apprehend no means to keep          " 8. It is our provident care that their scarlet robes be
them lor ger from their studies."                                           given to their eldest daughter, wife, or nearest kinswoman,
" 4. We advise them to send their crosier staves to the      to be worn in a petticoat for posterities, as an emblem of
joiners, to be translated into crutches ; for we see that      the predecessor's crimes."
(with great sorrow) they must be forced to stoop."                    " H. We censure the Organ-pipes to be burned in the
" 5. We advise them to send their lawn sleeves to the      founder's melting pot, because we cannot help it."







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