Page:An Elizabethan garland; being a descriptive catalogue of seventy black-letter ballads, printed between the years 1559 and 1597.djvu/13

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would seem in particular to have patronised this "upstart generation of ballad-singers." This peripatetic harmony however had its jarring notes of discord, Philip Stubbes the puritan, in his "Anatomy of Abuses," denounces fiercely "Songs, filthy ballads, and scurvy rhymes." Bishop Hall (see Virgedemiarum, 1597) lashes the "drunken rimer" (probably the "peerless Elderton"!) who

Sees his handselle have such faire successe.
Sung to the wheel, and sung unto the payle.

Chettle gives no quarter to certain licentious ballads, viz., "Watkins Ale, The Carmans Whistle, Chopping Knives, and Frier Fox-taile," and Shakespeare has his satirical hit at "metre balladmongers."

The Carmen of ancient times made "the welkin dance," and "rouzed the night-owl" with their uproarious catches, which Justice Shallow, "ever in the rear-ward of the fashion," palmed upon "the over-scutcht huswives" as his own "fancies, or his good nights."

The Spinsters and the knitters in the sun,

and the milk-maids were chanters of ancient ballads. So too were the weavers. In Deloney's History of Jack of Newbery the Weavers song is thus introduced: "Then came his highness? (Henry VIII., who was upon a visit to Jack) where he saw a hundred looms standing in one room, and two men worldng in every one, who pleasantly sung in this sort," Whether its carmen of the present day are as musical as of yore we know not. But this we know that the song of the spinster, the milkmaid, and the knitter, "pillow and bobbins all her little store," is still to be heard in the remote, retired and rural village that the lailrcad has not yet invaded, and in daisy-dappled fields respited for a season from a brick-and-mortary end!

In the succeeding reign "ballad-brokery" continued in full bearing!