Choyce drollery: songs & sonnets. Being a collection of divers excellent pieces of poetry, of several eminent authors online

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the ball this night before the King. He brought me first to the
Duke [of York]'s chamber, where I saw him and the Duchesse at
supper ; and thence into the room where the ball was to be ;
crammed with fine ladies, the greatest of the Court. By and by,
comes the King and Queene, the Duke and Duchesse, and all the
great ones ; and after seating themselves, the King takes out the
Duchesse of York ; and the Duke, the Duchesse of Buckingham ;
the Duke of Monmouth, my Lady Castlemaine; and so other lords
other ladies : and they danced the Brantle {? Braule] . After that
the King led a lady a single Coranto ; and then the rest of the
lords, one after another, other ladies : very noble it was, and great
pleasure to see. Then to country dances ; the King leading the
first, which he called for, which was, says he, * Cuckolds all
awry [a-row],' the old dance of England. Of the ladies that
danced, the Duke of Monmouth's mistress, and my Lady Castle-
maine, and a daughter of Sir Harry de Vicke's, were the best.
The manner was, when the King dances, all the ladies in the
room, and the Queene herself, stand up : and indeed he dances
rarely, and much better than the Duke of York. Having staid
here as long as I thought fit, to my infinite content, it being the
greatest pleasure I could wish now to see at Court, I went home,
leaving them dancing." (Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S.,
Secretary to the Admiralty, &c.)

170 Arthur rf Bradley.

ing gaily into all the mirth with that grave, swarthy
face of his; not noticing the pouts of Catherine, who
sits neglected while The Castlemaine laughs loudly,
the fair Stewart simpers, and the little spaniels bark
or caper through the palace, snapping at the dancers'
heels ? Be sure that pretty Nelly and saucy Knipp
were also well acquainted with the music of " rare
Arthur o' Bradley," as indeed were thousands of the
play-goers to whom the former once sold oranges.

And lower ranks delighted in it. Pierce, the Bag-
piper, is himself the central figure, when we look
again, " with cheeks as big as a mitre," such time as
that table-full of Restoration revellers (whom we catch
sight of in our frontispiece to the Antidote, 1661) are
beginning to shake a toe in honour of the music.

So it continues for two centuries more, with all
varieties of costume and feature. Certain are we that
plump Sir Richard Steele whistled the tune, and Dean
Swift gave the Dublin ballad-singer a couple of thir-
teens for singing it. Dr. Johnson grunted an accom-
paniment whenever he heard the melody, and James
Boswell insisted on dancing to it, though a little
" overtaken," and got his sword entangled betwixt his
legs, which cost him a fall and a plastered head-piece,
by no means for the only time on record. It is re-
ported that good old George the Third was seen en-
deavouring to persuade Queen Charlotte to accom-

Arthur d Bradley. 171

pany him on the Spinnet, while he set their numerous
olive-branches jigging it delightedly "for the honour of
Arthur d Bradley." But whenever Dr. John Wolcot
was reported to be prowling near at hand, with Peter
Pindaresque eyes, the motion ceased. Well was it
loved by honest Joseph Ritson, impiger, iracundus
inexorabilis, acer better than vegetable diet and
eccentric spelling, or the flagellation of inexact anti-
quarian Bishops. We ourselves may have beheld
him in high glee perusing the black-letter ballad, and
rectifying its corrupt text by the Antidote against
Melancholy's. How lustily he skipped, shouting mean-
while the burden of "brave Arthur d Bradley!" so
that unconsciously he joined the ten-mile train of
dancers. They are still winding around us, some in
a Nineteenth-Century garb (a little tattered, but it
adds to the picturesqueness), blithe Hop-pickers of
West-Bridge Deanery. There are a few New Zea-
landers, we understand, waiting to join the throng,
(including Macaulay's own particular circumnavigating
meditator, yet unborn) ; so that as long as the world
wags no welcome may be lacking to the mirth and
melody, jigging and joustling,

" For the honour 0/ Arthur o 9 Bradley,
O rare Arthur o 9 Bradley,
O brave Arthur o 9 Bradley,
Arthur o 9 Bradley. O ! "

1/2 Arthur d Bradley.

Having relieved our feelings, for once, we resume the
sober duties of Annotation in a chastened spirit :

In Merry Drollery Compleat, Reprint (Appendix, p.
401), we gave the full quotation from a Sixteenth Century
Interlude, The Contract of Marriage betiveen Wit and
Wisdom, the point being this :

" For the honour of Artrebradley,
This age tvould make me ywear madly ! "

Arthur o' Bradley is mentioned by Thomas Dekker,
near the end of the first part of his Honest Whore, 1604;
when Bellafront, assuming to be mad, hears that Mattheo
is to marry her, she exclaims

" Shall he ? O brave Arthur of Bradley, then ?"

In Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair, 1614, (which covers
the Puritans with ridicule, for the delight of James 1st.),
Act ii. Scene I, when Adam Overdo, the Sectary, is dis-
guised in a "garded coat" as Arthur o' Bradley, to
gesticulate outside a booth, Mooncalf salutes him thus :
" O Lord ! do you not know him, Mistress ? 'tis mad
Arthur of Bradley that makes the orations. Brave
master, old Arthur of Bradley, how do you do? Wel-
come to the Fair ! When shall we hear you again, to
handle your matters, 'with your back against a booth, ha?"

In Richard Brathwaite's Strappado for the Diuell, 1615,
p. 225 (in a long poem, containing notices of Wakefield,
Bradford, and Kendall, addressed " to all true-bred Nor-
therne Sparks, of the generous Society of the Cottoneers,"
&c.) is the following reference to this tune, and to other
two, viz. " Wilson's Delight," and Mai Dixon's Round :"

" So each (through peace of conscience] rapt ivith pleasure
Shall ioifully begin to dance his measure.
One footing a&iuely Wilson's delight, ....

Arthur c? Bradley. 173

The fourth is chanting of his Notes so gladly,
Keeping the tune for th' honour of Arthura Bradly ;
The 5[th] so pranke he scarce can stand on ground,
Asking ivho'le sing ivith him Mai Dixon's round.' 9

(By the way: The same author, Richard Brathwaite, in
his amusing Shepherds Tales, 1621, p. 211, mentions as
other Dance-tunes,

Roundelayes, || \r\s\\-hayes,

Cogs and rongs and Peggie Ramsie,
Spaniletto \\ The Venetto,
John come kisse me, Wilson's Fancied)

Again, Thomas Gayton writes concerning the hero :
" 'Tis not alwaies sure that 'tis merry in hall 'when beards
Wag all, for these men's beards wagg'd as fast as they
could tag 'em, but mov'd no mirth at all : They were
verifying that song of

Heigh, brave Arthur 0' Bradley,
A beard 'without hair looks madly."

( Festivous Notes on Don Quixot, 1654, p. 141.)

On pp. 540, 604, of William Chappell's excellent work,
The Popular Music of the Olden Time, are given two
tunes, one for the Antidote version, and the other for
the modern, as sung by Taylor, " Come neighbours, and
listen a while." He quotes the two lines from Gayton,
and also this from Wm. Wycherley's Gentleman Dancing
Master, 1673, Act i, Sc. 2, where Gerrard says :
" Sing him ( Arthur of Bradley, 9 or ( I am the Duke of

It is quite evident, from such passages, that during a
long time a proverbial and popular character attached to
this noisy personage : such has not yet passed away. The
earliest complete imprint of " Arthur o' Bradley " as a
Song, (from a printed original, of 1656, beginning "All

174 Arthur d Bradley.

you that desire to merry be") in our present APPENDIX,
Part iv. Quite distinct from this hitherto unnoticed ex-
amplar, not already reprinted, is "Saiv you not Pierce,
the piper" &c., the ballad reproduced by us, from
Merry Drollery, 1661, Part 2nd., p. 124, (and ditto,
Compleat 1670, 1691, p. 312); which agrees with the
Antidote against Melancholy, same date, 1661, p. 16.
More than a Century later, an inferior rendering was com-
mon, printed on broadsheets. It was mentioned, in 1797,
by Joseph Ritson, as being a "much more modern ballad
[than the Antidote version] upon this popular subject, in
the same measure intitled Arthur o' Bradley, and begin-
ning C A11 in the merry month of May.' '' (Robin Hood,
1797, ii. 211.) Of this we already gave two verses, (in
Appendix to M. Drollery C., p. 400), but as we believe
the ballad has not been reprinted in this century, we may
give all that is extant, from the only copy within reach,

' ( All in the merry month of May,

The maids [ they 'will be gay,

For ] a May-pole they 'will have, c.

(See the present Appendix, Part iv.)

In this, doubtless, we detect two versions, garbed to-
gether. What is now the final verse is merely a variation
of the sixth : probably the broadsheet-printer could not
meet with a genuine eighth verse. Robert Bell denounced
the whole as "a miserable composition" ( even as he had
declared against the amatory Lyrics of Charles the
Second's time ): but then, he might have added, with
Goldsmith, "My Bear dances to none but the werry
genteelest of tunes."

Far superior to this was the "Arthur o' Bradley's
Wedding :

" Come, neighbours, and listen a*while,
If ever you 'wished to smile," &c.,

Arthur o y Bradley. .175

which was sung by ... Taylor, a comic actor, about the
beginning of this century. It is not improbable that he
wrote or adapted it, availing himself of such traditional
scraps as he could meet with. Two copies of it, duplicate,
on broadsheets, are in the Douce Collection at Oxford,
vol. iv. pp. 18, 19. A copy, also, in J. H. Dixon's Eds. and
Sgs. of the Peasantry, Percy Soc., 1845, v l- xvn - (and in
R. B.'s Annotated Ed. B. P., p. 138.)

There is still another "Arthur o' Bradley," but not
much can, or need, be said in its favour; except that it
contains only three verses. Yet even these are more
than two which can be spared. Its only tolerable lines
are borrowed from the Roxburghe Ballad. It is the nadir
of Bradleyism, and has not even a title, beyond the burden
" O rare Arthur o 9 Bradley, O !" Let us, briefly, be in
at the death : although Arthur makes not a Swan-like
end, with the help of his Catnach poet. It begins thus ;

3 T e was in the siveet month of May, I ivalked out to take

the air,

My Father he died one day, and he left me his son and heir ;
He left me a good 'warm house, that 'wanted only a

A strong oak door to my chamber, that only 'wanted a

latch ;

He left me a rare old co<w, I 'wish he'd ha'ue left me a so r w,
A cock that infighting ivas shy, and a horse 'with a sharp

'wall eye, &c.

(Universal Songster, 1826, i. 368.)

Even Ophelia could not ask, after Arthur sinking so low,
"And will he not come again ?"

September, 1875. J. W. E.

[So far as possible, to give completeness to our Reprint of West-
minster Drollery of 1671-2, and Merry Drollery, Compleat, 1670-
1691, we now add the Extra Songs belonging to the former work,
edition 1674; and to the latter, in its earlier edition, 1661 : with
their respective title-pages.]




Or, A Choice


of the Newest



Cotijrt anU Cheaters:*


A Person of Quality.

The third Edition, with many more


Printed hrff.Brome, at the Gun inSt Paul's

Church Yard, near the West End.







Edition 1674.

A Song. [p. in.]

O wretched are the sick of Love,
No Herb has vertue to remove
The growing ill :

But still,

The more we Remedies oppose
The Feaver more malignant grows.

Doubts do but add unto desire,
Like Oyl that's thrown upon the fire,
Which serves to make the flame aspire ;

And not t' extinguish it :
Love has its trembling, and its burning fit.

N 2


180 Additional Songs, from the

2. Fruition which the sick propose [ p . n 2 .]
To end, and recompence their woes,

But turns them o're
To more.

And curing one, does but prepare
A new, perhaps a greater care.

Enjoyment even in the chaste,
Pleases, not satisfies the taste,
And licens'd Love the worst can fast.

Such is the Lovers state,
Pining and pleas'd, alike unfortunate.

3. Sabina and Camilla share
An equal interest in care,

Fear hath each brest


In different Fortunes, one pure flame
Makes their unhappiness the same.

Love begets fear, fear grief creates,
Passion still passion animates,
Love will be love in all estates :
His power still is one
Whether in hope or in possession.

Westminster-Drollery, 1674 181

A Song. [ P . 113.]

i. 'TT^O Arms ! to Arms ! the Heroes cry,

JL A glorious Death, or Victory.
Beauty and Love, although combin'd,

And each so powerful alone,
Cannot prevail against a mind

Bound up in resolution.
Tears their weak influence vainly prove,
Nothing the daring breast can move
Honour is blind, and deaf, ev'n deaf to Love.

2. The Field ! the Field ! where Valour bleeds,
Spurn'd into dust by barbed steeds,

Instead of wanton Beds of Down

Is now the Scene where they must try,
To overthrow, or be 'rethrown ;

Bravely to overcome, or dye.
Honour in her interest sits above
What Beauty, Prayers, or tears can move :
Were there no Honour, there would be no Love.

1 82 Additional Songs, from the

[ P . 114.] A Song.

1. T) Eauty that it self can kill,

J_) Through the finest temper'd steel,
Can those wounds she makes endure,

And insult it o're the brave,
Since she knows a certain cure,

When she is dispos'd to save :
But when a Lover bleeding lies,

Wounded by other Arms,

And that she sees those harms,

For which she knows no remedies ;

Then Beauty Sorrows livery wears,

And whilst she melts away in tears,

Drooping in Sorrow shews
Like Roses overcharg'd with morning dews.

2. Nor do women, though they wear
The most tender character,

Suffer in this case alone :

Hearts enclos'd with Iron Walls,

In humanity must groan

When a noble Hero falls.


Westminster-Drollery, 1674 183

Pitiless courage would not be [p. "5*]

An honour, but a shame \
Nor bear the noble name
Of valour, but barbarity ;
The generous even in success
Lament their enemies distress :

And scorn it should appear
Who are the Conquer'd, with the Conqueror.

A Song. (I

i. 'THHe young, the fair, the chaste, the good,
-I The sweet Camilla, in a flood

Of her own Crimson lies
A bloody, bloody sacrifice
To Death and man's inhumane cruelties.
Weep Virgins till your sorrow swells
In tears above the Ivory Cells

That guard those Globes of light ;
Drown, drown those beauties of your eyes.
Beauty should mourn, when beauty dies ;

And make a general night,
To pay her innocence its Funeral rite.

N 4 2. Death

184 Additional Songs y from the

2. Death since his Empire first begun, [ p . n6.]

So foul a conquest never won,

Nor yet so fair a prize :
And had he had a heart, or eyes,
Her beauties would have charm'd his cruelties.
Even Savage Beasts will Beauty spare,
Chaft Lions fawn upon the fair ; [Fierce Lions]

Nor dare offend the chaste :
But vitious man, that sees and knows
The mischiefs his wild fury dqes,
Humours his passions haste,
To prove ungovern'd man the greatest beast.

A Song.

i. T T Ow frailty makes us to our wrong

JLl Fear, and be loth to dye,
When Life is only dying long

And Death the remedy !

We shun eternity,
A nd still would gravel her beneath, [Stii., grovel]

Though still in woe and strife,
When Life's the path that leads to Death,

And Death the door to Life.

2. The

Westminster-Drollery, 1674. 185

2. The Fear of Death is the disease [p. 117.]

Makes the poor patient smart ;
Vain apprehensions often freeze

The vitals in the heart,

Without the dreaded Dart.
When fury rides on pointed steel

Death's fear the heart doth seize,
Whilst in that very fear we feel

A greater sting than his.

3. But chaste Camilla's vertuous fear

Was of a noble kind,
Not of her end approaching near

But to be left behind,

From her dear Love disjoyn'd ;
When Death in courtesie decreed,

To make the fair his prize,
And by one cruelty her freed

From humane cruelties.


Thus heav'n does his will disguise,
To scourge our curiosities,
When too inquisitive we grow
Of what we are forbid to know.


1 86 Additional Songs, from the

Fond humane nature that will try [p. n8.]

To sound th' Abiss of Destiny !

Alas ! what profit can arise

From those forbidden scrutinies,

When Oracles what they foretel

In such ^Enigma's still conceal,

That self indulging man still makes

Of deepest truths most sad mistakes !

Or could our frailty comprehend

The reach those riddles do intend :

What boots it us when we have done,

To foresee ills we cannot shun ?

But 'tis in man a vain pretence,

To know or prophesie events,

Which only execute, and move,

By a dependence from above.

7 Tis all imposture to deceive

The foolish and inquisitive,

Since none foresee what shall befal,

But providence that governs all.

Reason wherewith kind Heav'n has blest

His creature man above the rest,

Will teach humanity to know

All that it should aspire unto ;

And whatsoever fool relies

On false deceiving prophesies,

Striving by conduct to evade

The harms they threaten, or perswade, Too

Westminster-Drollery, 1674. 187

Too frequently himself does run [ p. 1 19.]

Into the danger he would shun,

And pulls upon himself the woe

Fate meant he should much later know.

By such delusions vertue strays

Out of those honourable ways

That lead unto that glorious end,

To which the noble ever bend.

Whereas if vertue were the guide,

Mens minds would then be fortified

With constancy, that would declare

Against supineness, and despair.

We should events with patience wait,

And not despise, nor fear our Fate.


1 88 Additional Songs, from the

[P. 120.]



The Quakers Madrigall In Rime

THe Quaker and his Brats,
Are born with their Hats,

Which a point with two Taggs,

Ty's fast to their Craggs,

Nor King nor Kesar,

To such Knaves as these are,
Do signifie more than a Tinker.

His rudeness and pride

So puffs up his hide
That He's drunk though he be no drinker.


Now since Mayor and Justice

Are assured that thus 'tis
To abate their encrease and redundance

Let us send them to WI CKHA M

For there's one will kick 'um
Into much better manners by abundance.


Westminster-Drollery. 1674. 189

Once the Clown at his entry

Kist his golls to the Gentry :

When the Lady took upon her,

'Twas God save your Honor :

But now Lord and Pesant,

Do make but one messe on't
Then farewel distinction 'twixt Plowman and Knight.

If the world be thus tost

The old Proverb is crost,
For Joan's as good as my Lady in th' Light.

Now since Mayor and Justice, &c.

'Tis the Gentry that Lulls 'urn

While the Quaker begulls 'um :

They dandle 'um in their Lapps,

Who should strike of[f] their Capps ;

And make 'um stand bare

Both to Justice and Mayor,
Till when 'twill nere be faire weather ;

For now the proud Devel

Hath brought forth this Level
None Knows who and who is together.

Now since Mayor and justice, &c.


I go Additional Songs, from the

Now silence and listen [p. 12:

Thou shalt hear how they Christen :

Mother Midnight comes out

With the Babe in a Clout,

Tis Rachell you must know tis,

Good friends all take notice,
Tis a name from the Scripture arising.

And thus the dry dipper

(Twere a good deed to whip her)
Makes a Christning without a Baptizing.

Now since Mayor and Justice, &>c.

Their wedlocks are many,

But Marriages not any,

For they and their dull Sows,

Like the Bulls and the mull Cows,
Do couple in brutify'd fashion :

But still the Official,

Declares that it is all
Matrimoniall Fornication.

Now since Mayor and Justice, 6*v.

Their Lands and their Houses
Wont fall to their Spouses :
They cannot appoint her
One Turif for a Joynter.


Westminster-Drollery, 1674. 191

His son and his daughter, [p- 123.]

Will repent it hereafter ;
For when the Estate is divided ;

For the Parents demerit

Some Kinsman will inherit ;
Why then let them marry as I did.

But since Mayor and Justice, 6<r.

Now since these mad Nations

Do cheat their relations,

Pray what better hap then

Can we that are Chap men,

Expect from their Canting,

The sighing and panting ?
We are they use the house with a steeple,

And then they may Cozen

All us by the Dozen ;
For Israel may spoyle Pharaohs people.
Now since Mayor and Justice, &c.

The Quaker who before
Did rant and did roare ;
Great thrift will now tell yee on.
But it tends to Rebellion :
For his tipling being don,
He hath bought him a gun


1 92 Westminster-Drollery, 1674.

Which hee saves from his former vain spending.

O be drunk agen Quaker, [p. 1 24.]

Take thy Canniken and shake her,
For thou art the worse for the mending.

Now since Mayor and Justice, 6^.

Then looke we about,

And give them a Rout,

Before they Encumber

The Land with their number :

There can be no peace in

These Vermins encreasing ;
For tis plaine to all prudent beholders,

That while we neglect,

They do but expect
A new head to their old mans Shoulders.

Now since Mayor and Justice

Are assured that thus 'tis :
To abate their encrease and redundance

Let us send them \.o WICKHAM

For therms one will Kick 'um
Into much better manners by abundance.

[Here ends the 1674 edition; for account of which, and the
1 66 1 Merry Drollery, see our present Appendix, Parts Third
and Fourth.]






/- Jovial Poems,
Of ) Merry Songs,
( Witty Drolleries.

Intermixed with Pleasant

The First Part

Collected by

W.N. C.B. R.S. y.G.
Lovers of Wit.

[is. 3d.]


Printed by J. W. for P. H. and are to

be Sold at the New Exchange, Westminster-

Hall, Fleet Street, and Pauls

Church-Yard. [May





Merry Drollery , 1661 :

(Omitted from the Editions of 1670, 1691, when
New Songs were substituted for them.)


A Puritan. [for. 2.]

A Puritan of late,
And eke a holy Sister,
A Catechizing sate,
And fain he would have kist her
For his Mate.

But she a Babe of grace,
A Child of reformation,
Thought kissing a disgrace,
A Limbe of prophanation
In that place.


O 2

196 Merry Drollerie, 1661.

He swore by yea and nay (fol. 2b.]

He would have no denial,
The Spirit would it so,
She should endure a tryal
Ere she go.

Why swear you so, quoth she ?
Indeed, my holy Brother,
You might have forsworn be
Had it been to another [,]
Not to me.

He laid her on the ground,

His Spirits fell a ferking,

Her Zeal was in a sound, [i.e. swoon,]

He edified her Merkin

Upside down.

And when their leave they took,
And parted were asunder,
My Muse did then awake, *
And I turn'd Ballad-monger
For their sake.


Merry Dr oiler ie, 1661. 197

Loves Dream. [page u.]

I Dreamt my Love lay in her bed,
It was my chance to take her,
Her arms and leggs abroad were spread,
She slept, I durst not wake her ;
O pitty it were, that one so rare
Should crown her head with willow :
The Tresses of her golden hair
JL)id crown her lovely Pillow. [al. kct., Did kisse]

Me thought her belly was a hill
Much like a mount of pleasure,
At foot thereof there springs a well,
The depth no man can measure ;
About the pleasant Mountain head
j There grows a lofty thicket,
Whither two beagles travelled
To rouze a lively Pricket.

They hunted him with chearful cry
About that pleasant Mountain,
Till he with heat was forc'd to fly -
And slip into that Fountain ;
The Dogs they follow'd to the brink,
And there at him they baited :
They plunged about and would not sink, [p. 12.]

His coming out they waited. Then

o 3

198 Merry Dr oiler ie, 1661.

Then forth he came as one half lame,

All very faint and tired,

Betwixt her legs he hung his head,

As heavy heart desired ;

My dogs then being refresht again,

And she of sleep bereaved,

She dreamt she had me in her arms,

And she was not deceived.

The good Old Cause.

NOw Lamberfs sunk, and valiant M- [Monk]
Does ape his General Cromwel,
And Arthur's Court, cause time is short,

Does rage like devils from hell ;
Let's mark the fate and course of State,

Who rises when f other is sinking,
And believe when this is past
'Twill be our turn at last
To bring the Good Old Cause by drinking.

First, red nos'd Nol he swallowed all,

His colour shew'd he lov'd it :

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

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