A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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them in the satires of John Marston and Edward Guilpin1. Hardly less popular, perhaps, were Augustine Phillips— an actor in Shakespeare's plays—whose "Jig of the Slippers2" was licensed in May, 1595; George Attowell, who danced "Francis' New Jig" in 1595; John Shank, who is mentioned in "Turner's Dish" (No. 5); and, much later, Robert Cox.
Of the widespread influence of the jigs a bare mention must suffice. Through the visits of English comedians to the Continent after 1585, a lively imitation of English ballad-tunes and jigs grew up, especially in the Nether­lands, Scandinavia, and Germany. A particularly notable result in Germany was the Singspiele of Jacob Ayrer and his successors3. In England itself, until the closing of the theatres by the Long Parliament, jigs lost none of their popularity. In 1633 Lupton wrote that "most commonly when the play is done, you shal haue a lige or dance of all trads, they mean to put their legs to it, as well as their tongs4." After the severe anti-stage laws of 1642 and 1649, jigs continued to be performed regularly, though the term usually applied to them nowaday is droll. "The incomparable Robert Cox, who," as Francis Kirkman5 wrote, "was not only the principal actor, but also the con­triver and author of most of these farces," did not flatter himself on inventing a new type of amusement. He merely substituted jigs for the plays themselves; his perform­ances were called jigs by some of his contemporaries6; and in several of them, like "Singing Simpkin," he merely
1   Marston's Works, ed. A. H. Bullen, in, 372; Guilpin's Skialethia, Satire V.
2  Arber's Transcript, 11, 298.
3  Cf. J. Bolte's Die Singspiele der englischen Komoedianten und ikrer Nachfolger in Deutschland, Holland, und Skandinavien, 1893, and a re­view by B. Hoenig in Anzeigerfiir Deutsches Altertum, xxn, 296-319.
4  London and Country Carbonadoed, p. 81.
5  Preface to The Wits, or Sport upon Sport, 1672.
6  Thus Mercurius Democritus for June 22—29, x^53» te^s OI" now soldiers raided the Red Bull playhouse and arrested Cox who was per­forming "a modest and ha[r]mless jigge, calle[d] Swobber'''—one of the drolls on which Kirkman lavished praise.
xix                                           b 2
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