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Black-letter Broadside Ballads Of The years 1595-1639

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John Jarret
Pepys, i, 170, B.L., four woodcuts, four columns.
There is no colophon, but the ballad was no doubt printed by Francis Grove, to whom it was licensed as "John Jarrett" on December 20, 1630 (Arber's Transcript, iv, 246).
New Year's gifts in verse were great favourites, and here the complacent Mrs Jarret is represented as sending to her thoroughly dissolute husband a "gift" in rhyme, urging him to repent. The gift was printed in good time for the beginning of the new style year (January 1), for although England retained the old style of dating until 1752, there were many seventeenth-century printers who consistently dated their publications stilo novo. A most forbearing and stolid wife was Mrs Jarret: apparently her objections to gentle John's bad courses are based sheerly on the economic misfortunes that will result, not at all on moral grounds. She feels little or no sense of personal injury because of his gross infidelity and libertinism. One hopes that her husband saw the error of his ways.
For the tune see the introduction to No. 41.
To the tune of the wiuing Age.
I PRay gentle Iohn I arret, give eare to my words, It is my true kindnesse this counsel! affords, And euery good husband to his wife accords: If your time you wast away at Alehouse boords, / tell you, Iohn I arret, you I breake, I tell you, Iohn I arret, you I breake.
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