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The reader will remark the fondness of our Satirist for alliteration : in this he was guilty of no affectation or singularity; his versification is that of Pierce Plowman's Vifions, in which a recurrence of fimilar letters is cffential : to this be has only superadded rhyme, which in his time began to be the general practice. See farther remarks on this kind of metre in the preface to Book 111. BALLAD I.

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N december, when the dayes draw to be short,

After november, when the nights wax noysome and long; As I past by a place privily at a port, I saw one fit by himself making a song : His last * talk of trifles, who told with his tongue That few were fast i’th' faith. I“freyned t'that freake, Whether he wanted wit, or some had done him wrong. He said, he was little John Nobody, that durit not speake.


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John Nobody, quoth I, what news? thou foon note and tell
What maner men thou meane, that are so mad.
He said, These gay gallants, that wil conttrue the gospel,
As Solomon the fage, with semblance full fad;
To discufie divinity they nought'adread :
More meet it were for them to milk kye at a fizyke.
Thou lyeit, quoth I, thou losel, like a leud lad.

He said, he was little Jolin Nobody, that durft not speake,


Its meet for every man on this matter to talk,
And the glorious gospel ghostly to have in mind;
It is fothe faid, that feat but much unseemly skalk,
As boyes babble in books, that in scripture are blind :
Vol. II.


Yet Perhaps He left talk, + feyned. MSS. and P, C,

Yet to their fancy soon a cause wil find;
As to live in luft, in lechery to leyke :
Sạch caitives count to be come of Cains kind ;

But that I little John Nobody durft not speake.

For our reverend father hath set forth an order,
Our service to be faid in our seignours tongue;
As Solomon the fage set forth the scripture;
Our suffrages, and service, with many a sweet song,
With homilies, and godly books us among,
That no ftiff, iubborn stomacks we should freyke :
But wretches nere woșse to do poor men wrong;

But that I little John Nobody dare not speake.

For bribery was never so great, fince born was our Lord, Andwhoredom was never les hated, fith Christ harrowedhel, And poor men are so fore punished commonly through

the world, That it would grieye any one, that good is, to hear tel : For al the homilies and good books, yet their hearts be

fo quel, That if a man do amisse, with mischiefe they wil him

wreake; The fashion of these new fellows it is so vile and fell:

But that I little John Nobody dare not speake.

Thus to live after their luft, that life would they have,
And in lechery to leyke al their long life ;
For al the preaching of Paul, yet many a proud knave
Wilmove mischiefe in their mind both to maid and wife


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To bring them in advoutry, or else they wil strife,
And in brawling about baudery, Gods commandments

breake : But of these frantic il fellowes, few of them do thrife;

Though I little John Nobody dare not speake.

If thou company with them, they wil currilhly carp, and

not care According to their foolish fantacy; but fast wil they

naught : Prayer with them is but prating; therefore they it forhear: Bath almes deeds, and holiness, they hate it in their

thought : Therefore pray we to that prince, that with his bloud us

bought, That he wil mend that is amiss : for many a manful freyke Is sorry for these fects, though they say little or nought

And that I little John Nobody dare not once speake.

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Thus in no place, this NOBODY, in no time I met,
Where no man,

NOUGHT was, nor NOTHING did
appear ;
Through the sound of a fynagogue for forrow Į swett,
That · Aeolus t'through the eccho did cause me to lear,
Then I drew me down into a dale, wheras the dumb deer
Iid shiver for a shower ; but I lhunted from a freyke:
For I would no wight in this world wist who I were,
But little John Nobody, that dare not once speake.

IV. then. MSS. and P.C. + Hercules, MSS. and 2.6



I 2





-are preserved by Hentzner, in that part of his Travels, which has lately been reprinted in jo elegant a manner at STRAWBERRY-HILL. In Hentzer's book they were wretchedly corrupted, but are here given as emended by his ingerigus Editor. The old orthography, and one or two ancient readings of Hentzner's copy are here restored.

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H, Fortune! how thy restlesfe wavering state

Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
Witnes this present prisonn, whither fate

Could beare me, and the joys I quitt.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bandes, wherein are innocents inclosed :

Causing the guiltles to be fraite reserved,

And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envie can be nothing wroughte,
So God send to my foes all they have thoughte.




* Ver. 4. Could beare, is an ancient idiom, equivalent to Did bear or Hath borne. See below the Brgsar of Bedra! Green, Ver. 57: Could say.



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Mof of the circumstances in this popular story of king Henry II and the beautiful Rosamond have been taken for fact by our English Historiens; who unable to account for the unnatural conduct of queen Eleanor in stimulating her sons to rebellion, have attributed it to jealousy, and supposed that Henry's' ax:our with Rofamond was the object of that pasion.

Our old English annalists seem, most of them, to have followed Higden the monk of Chester, whoje account with some enlargements is thus given by Stow. Rofamond the fayre

daughter of Walter, lord Clifford, concubine to Henry II. (poisoned by queen Elianor, as some thought) dyed at

Woodstocke [Ă. D. 1177.] where king Henry had made for her a house of wonderfull working ; so that no man " or woman might come to her, but he that was instructed

by the king, or such as were right secret with him touch

ing the matter. This kouse after some was named Labya rinthus, or Dedalus worke, which was wrought like unto

a knot in a garden, called a Maze but it was commonly " said, that lastly the qucene came to her by a clue of thridde,

or silke, and so dealt with her, that be lived not long afas ter : but when frec was dead fe was buried at God low in

an house of nunres, beside Oxford, with these verses upon 66 ber tombe,

“ Hic jacet in tumba, Rosa mundi, non Rofa munda: “ Non redolet, sed olet, quæ redolere folet.

* Consisting of vaults under ground, arched and walled with brick and slone, according to Drayton. See note on his Eviji. of Roam.


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