Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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part of the 17th century (Lane's Thousand and One Nights, ii. 376), while in Europe the story is related of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, by Heuterus, Rerum Burgund. lib. iv.; of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, by Sir Bichard Barckley, in A Discourse on the Felicitie of Man, 1598 ; and of the Marquess of Wor­cester, in The Apothegms of King James, King Charles, the Marquess of Worcester, fyc. 1658. Warton had seen among Collins's books a collection of prose tales in black-letter, dated 1570, among which was this story. It was until lately, and no doubt is still, found in the stalls, under the title of The Frolicksome Courtier and the Jovial Tinker. (See Douce's Illus­trations, and Malone's Shakespeare.)
Which of the many forms of the story was known to the author of the old play of The Taming of a Shrew, on which Shakespeare's comedy is founded, it would be more difficult than important to determine. Mr. Halliwell mentions a Dutch comedy, called Dronk-ken Hansje, (1657,) having the plot of the Induction to these plays.
This ballad was given from a black-letter copy in the Pepys collection.
Now as fame does report, a young duke keeps
a court, One that pleases his fancy with frolicksome sport: But amongst all the rest, here is one I protest, Which will make you to smile when you hear the
true jest: A poor tinker he found, lying drunk on the
ground,                                                           «
As secure in sleep as if laid in a swound.