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every street; and from London this evil has overspread Essex and the adjoining* counties. There is many a tradesman of a worshipful trade, yet no stationer, who after a little bringing up apprentices to singing brokery, takes into his shop some fresh men, and trusts his old servants of a two months' standing with a dozen groats-worth of ballads. In which, if they prove thrifty, he makes them pretty chapmen, able to spread more pamphlets by the state forbidden, than all the booksellers in London."
This Anthony Munday, by the way, was a famous ballad-singer of his day, who got his nickname of Anthony Now-Now from the fact that one of his favourite songs was the one beginning
When shall a man shew himself gentle and kinde ? When should a man comfort the sorrowful minde ?
O Anthony, now, now, now,
O Anthony, now, now, now.
Elsewhere in the same pamphlet the author makes special mention of the sons of one Barnes, who "most frequented Bishop's Stortford, the one with a squeaking treble, the other with an ale-blown base, and used to brag that they earned twenty shillings a day."
It appears abundantly evident that ballads, whilst increasing in quantity, had begun to deteriorate considerably in quality. "I loathe to
speak of it," says Bishop Hall in Martin Mar-c