A PEPYSIAN GARLAND - online book

Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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Francis' new jig
Pepys, i, 226, B.L., two woodcuts, five columns.
This ballad is of the very highest importance, for it is the only printed copy extant, so far as is known, of a genuine Elizabethan dramatic jig (cf. pp. xivff.). It belongs to the original edition that was licensed for publica­tion to Thomas Gosson on October 14, 1595 (Arber's Transcript, 111, 49), as "A pretie newe J[i]gge betwene ffrancis the gentleman Richard the farmer and theire wyves." Another version is preserved in manuscript (Clark's Skirburn Ballads, pp. 244-254) under the title, " Mr. Attowel's Jigge: betweene Francis, a Gentleman; Richard, a farmer; and their wives." The printed sheet has a number of misprints, and is occasionally inaccurate in its attribution of lines to the speakers, but is far superior to the Shirburn copy (<9.). It differs from S. in many details, corrects it in others, and is three stanzas longer. A collation of the two versions is made in the notes. A few stage directions have been inserted in the text between square brackets.
George Attowell, or Atwell, was himself a prominent Elizabethan actor. He is mentioned in Henslowe's Diary (ed. W. W. Greg, 1, 6, 11, 240; cf. Murray's English Dramatic Companies, 1, 15) three times: on Decem­ber 27, 1 590, and February 16, 1591, when he received payment on behalf of the combined Lord Strange's and Lord Admiral's players for perform­ances at the Court; and on June 1, 1 595, when he was probably a member of the Queen's Company. It may well be doubted whether Atwell did anything more than dance in the jig; his name was probably signed to it from that fact alone—not because he was the author—just as the author­ship of the jigs in which William Kemp danced was foisted on that famous comedian (see his Nine Days' Wonder, 1600). It is strange, however, that for more than three hundred years the jig itself and Atwell's connection with it have remained unknown.
The tune of As I went to Walsingham is given both in the Shirburn Ballads and in William Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, 1 121. It applies only to the first division of the ballad. Bugle Bow and the Jewish Dance are apparently unknown: with the latter Clark suggests a comparison with the ballad of eighteen-line stanzas in the Roxburghe Ballads, vi, 490; with the former may be compared a ballad of "The Bugle Bow, or A Merry Match of Shooting. The Tune is, My Husband is a Carpenter; or, The Oil of Care " (Pepys, in, 118; Crawford, No. 12 31; British Museum, C. 22. f. 14(90)). With the plot itself compare Measure for Measure and the analogues of the story cited by various Shakespearean scholars.
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