Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 7 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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And heaven by nature in this kind
Unto his heart did call. His brothers they did envy him,
But yet he need not care,                                   mo
And of his wealth, in portions large,
Unto them he did share.
This ballad is taken from The Crowne-Garland of Golden Roses, p. 20, Percy Society, vol. vi. An­other copy is in A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 130. A play called The History of Whittington was entered on the Stationers' books in Feb. 1604, and the "fa­mous fable of Whittington and his puss" is mentioned in Eastward Hoe, 1605. (Weber and Halliwell.)
" There is something so fabulous," (says the editor of Old Ballads, following Grafton and Stow,) " or at least, that has such a romantic appearance, in the history of Whittington, that I shall not choose to relate it; but refer my credulous readers to common tradition, or to the penny histories. Certain it is that there was such a man ; a citizen of London, by trade a mercer, and one who has left public edifices and charitable works enow behind him, to transmit his name to posterity. Amongst others, he founded a house of prayer; with an allowance for a master, fel­lows, choristers, clerks, &c., and an almshouse for