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In the former Book ave brought down this second Series of poems, as low as about the middle of the sixteenth century. We now find the Majes deeply engaged in religious controversy. The sudden revolution, wrougiat in the opin nions of mankind by the Reformition, is chat of the most striking events in the history of the human mind. It could

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not bui engross the attention of every individual in that

aze, aid therefore no other writings would bave any chance to be read, lut Juch os related to this grand topic.

The alterations tant in the eji aviijneu itligion by Genry VIII, the judaen changes it underwent in tie three succeeding reigns within jo jhort 2 /pere as e!rz'en or truelve years, and the violent firuzgles between ex; iring Popery, and growing Protesiantijm, could not but interiji all mankind. Accordinzly every pen was engaged in the difjrte. I be fillowers of the old and New Profesion ( us it was called) bad their rejjective Ballad-makers; and every day produced some popular soninet for, or against the Reformation. The following ballad, and that intitled LITTLE JOHN NOBODY, may yerve for lpecimens of the critings of cach fariy. Both were written in the reign of Edward VI; and are not the worst that were compojeditpon the occasion. Controversial divinity is no friend 10 poutic siguts. I ct this ballad of Lutber and

« the Poje," is not altogether cevoid of spirit; it is of the dramatic kind, and the characters are tolerably well Justain ed; ejpecially that of Luther, which is made 10 speak in a manner not unbecoming tne spirit and courage of that viyor. ous Reforner. It is printed from the original black-letter copy (in the Pepys collection, vol. I. folio,) to which is prefixed a laige coocen cut, designe, and executed by some emirent matter. This is copied in miniature in the Imall Engravsing injerted above.

We ar? not to wonder that the Ballad-writers of that age should be ir/pired with the zeal of controversy, when the very fiage teemed wiib pole iic divinity. I have now before we tailo very ancient quarto bluck-leite Flays : the Oile-utlished in ihe time of Henry VIII, intitled, Evern nian; the other, caller Lusty Juventug printed in the reign you ward VI. In the former of tbele, occasion is taken to inculcate great reverence for od mother church and her superHitiens : in the other, the poet (one R. Wever ) with great juccess ottacks both. So that the Stage in thojė days literally was, what wile men have always we bidit, —-:


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to the Pulpit :- This was so much the case, that in the play
of Luty Juventus, chapter and verje aré every where quoted
as formüily, as in a firmon ; take an infance,
" The Lord by his prophet Ezechiel sayeth in this wife

As in the xxxiij chapter it doth appere :

Be converted, O;E children, &c.From this picy we learn, that m ? of the young c07e were New Gofrelers, or friends to the Reformation; and that the old were tenacious of the doctrines imbibed in their youth : for thus the Devil is introduced lamenting the downjal of fuperftition,


The olde people would believe stil in my

laques, so But the yonger jort leade them a contrary way,

Tic, lyd not ick v., tb.ilay.g, il,
In olde iraditions, and made by men, &c"
And in another place Hypocrif; urges,

" The oworlde was never meri
" Sirice i hyldren were buulie :
Nozu a very boy wil be a teccher,

The father a foole, the chylu a preacher.Of the pla;s abivementioned, to the firji is fubjoined the fol. lovin's Printer's Colophon, Thus videt! this mrrall prape of e:erraan. Improntew at Louvor: 1.2 Kowles chpiche parde tn mi Finn Blit. Ta. I » M:. G:2:;iir's cutieiiuun as aimerject copy of the jom. play, printing Wynkyn de Wnide.

The oiber is intitled, an enterlude called L1117. I 197&ntut. and is plans dimingui nec of the curt: IP p. 19. Quod P. Wever. Impri:trd at London in Pauli churche nearð b. Ibrahell Pule 2: thc 1150e of the Lille. 'inis too ir. Garrick has an imperfect copy of a diferent cdition.




ET us lyft up our hartes all,

And prayse the lordes magnificence,
Which hath


the wolues a fall, And is become our strong defence : For they thorowe a false pretens

From Christes bloude dyd all us leade, Gettynge from every man his pence,

As satisfactours for the deade.

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For what we with our FLAYLES coulde get
To kepe our house, and servauntes,

That did the freers from us fet,
And with our foules played the marchauntes :
And thus they with theyr false warantes

Of our sweate have easelye lyved,
That for fatnesse theyr belyes pantes,

So greatlye have they us deceaued.



They spared not the fatherlesse,
The carefull, nor the pore wydowe;

They wolde have somewhat more or lesse,
If it above the ground did growe:
But now we husbandmen do knowe

Al their subteltye, and their false cafte;
For the lorde hath them overthrowe,

With his swete word now at the laste.



Thou antichrift, with thy thre crownes,
Haft ufurped kynges powers,

As having power over realmes and townes,
Whom thou oughtest to serve all houres :
Thou thinkest by thy jugglyng colours

Thou maift lykewise Gods word oppreffe ;
As do the deceatful foulers,

Whan they theyr nettes craftelye drefie.



Thou flattereft every prince, and lord,
Thretening poore men with swearde and fyre;

All those, that do followe Gods worde,
To make them cleve to thy defire,
Theyr bokes thou burneft in flaming fire ;

Cursing with boke, bell, and candell,
Such as to reade them have desyre,

Or with them are wyllynge to meddell,

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Thy false power wyl I bryng down,
Thou shalt not raygne many a yere,

I shall dryve the from citye and towne,
Even with this Pin that thou seyfte here :
Thou fyghtest with swerd, Thylde, and speare, 45

But I wyll fyght with Gods worde;
Which is now so open

and cleare,
That it shall brynge the under the borde.


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