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THE COMMONWEALTH. 423
In Rowley's A Woman never vext (1632), act i., sc. 1— " And I'll proclaim thy baseness to the world, Ballads I'll make, and make 'em tavern music To sing thy churlish cruelty." In Ford's Tlie Lady's Trial, act ii., sc. 2—
" You are grown a tavern talk Matter for fiddlers' songs."
In Ford's Love's Sacrifice, act iii., sc. 1—
------------" Ballad singers and rhymers
Shall jig out thy wretchedness and abominations To new tunes."-In Shirley's The Court Secret, act v., sc. 1—
" I have prepar'd a ballad, Sir, Before I die, to let the people know How I behav'd myself upon the scaffold. With other passages that will delight The people, when I take my leave of the world, Made to a Pavan tune."
In Davenport's The City Night-cap, act i., sc. 1—
" Let ballad-mongers crown him with their scorns."
In Killegrew's Parson's Wedding, act i., sc. 1—
'' I'll put the cause in print too; I'm but a scurvy poet, yet I'll make a ballad shall tell how, &c."
The political importance of songs and ballads in aiding great changes, whether reformatory, revolutionary, or otherwise, has been proved not only in our own country, but in almost every other. A well-known passage in Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun's Political Works (often quoted, but not always correctly given), is so peculiarly to the purport, that I hope to be excused for again citing it.— " 1 knew a very wise man so much of Sir Christopher [Musgrave]'s sentiment," [a? to the effect of songs and ballads, both in a political and moral sense], " that he believed 'if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation." (p. 266, 12mo., Glasgow, 1749.)
It was during the Commonwealth that " honest John Playford" commenced publishing music, and The English Dancing Master, or plaine and easie rules for the dancing of Country Dances, with the time to each dance, appears to have been his first musical publication.8 Thomason has marked the date on the copy among the King's pamphlets, as 10th of March, 1650, which, according to the ne^ style, would be 1651. In the preface, Playford speaks of "the sweet and airy activity of the Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, which has crowned their
* I find entries of books printed by Playford, as early In 1652, besides a second edition of The Dancing Master,
as 16H, in the Registers of the Stationers'Company, but he published Mustek's Recreation on the Lyra Viol,
no mvnc before 1650, old style. In 1651, he published Hilton's Catch that Catch can (of which a second edition
"A Musical Banquet, in three books, consisting of Les- was printed in 1658), and Choice Ayres, &c. His musical
sons for the Lyra Viol, Allmains, and Sarabands, Choice publications after this date are (with the exception of the
Catchisand Rounds," &o. A copy of this rare work is Court Ayres, referred to in the text) more generally
in the Donee Collection, Bodleian Library. Playford was known. not on y a printer, but also Clerk of the Temple Church.