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Of a Puritane.
[Page 182 of MS.]
THERE are several other ballads of this kind extant, about Puritans and holy sisters. They were a favourite topic with the Cavaliers, more especially after the Puritans came into
" Alas! what wold they wicked say?"
quoth shee, “if they had seene itt!
appocrypha were in itt !”
Before we part,
Ile not away
Thé huft & puft with many heaues,
till that the both were tyred,
my peticoates all Myred !
[Page 182 of MS.]
This song is from Ben Jonson's “ Masque of the Metamorphosed Gipsies, as it was thrice presented to King James — first at Burleigh-on-the-Hill, next at Belvoir, and lastly at Windsor, August, 1621.” (Ben Jonson's Works, ed. Procter (after Gifford), 1838, p. 618.) Puppy the Clown terms it “an excellent song," and of its singer says, “a sweet songster, and would have done rarely in a cage, with a dish of water and hemp-seed! a fine breast of his own !” Gifford also says: “ This song' continued long in favour. It is mentioned with praise not only by the poets of Jonson's age, but by many of those who wrote after the Restoration.” The present copy contains eight more stanzas than Jonson's own MS. printed by Gifford, and (after him) by Mr. Procter at p. 626 of his edition of Jonson's Works. The presence of these additional stanzas may be explained by Gifford's remarks on the Masque itself:
“This Masque, as the title tells us, was performed before James and his Court at three several places. As the actors, as well as the spectators, varied at each, it became necessary to vary the language; and Jonson, who always attended the presentation of his pieces, was called on for additions adapted to the performers and the place. These unfortunately are not very
distinctly marked either in the MS. or the printed copies, though occasional notices of them appear in the former. As everything that was successively written for the new characters is not come down to us, the Gipsies Metamorphosed
| By Ben Jonson. See Dryden's Misc. vol. 2. page 142. See also Ben Jonson's Works, vol. 6. p. 103. See Pepys Collection, vol. 4. page 284.-P. See Chappell’s Popular Music, p. 160-1. Another copy of this Ballad is in the Roxburghe Collection, ii. 445. Percy's reference to Dryden's Miscellanies is to the fourth edi
tion of 1716, where Cook Laurel is called “ A Song on the Devil's Arse of the Peak. By Ben Jonson.” It is reprinted from the folio edition, as it has the three extra verses at the end, and slirted for flirted in the stanza before them. This poem is not in the original edition of the Miscellanies, Part II., in 1685.-F.
appears of immoderate length; it must however have been highly relished by the Court; and the spirit and accuracy with which the male characters are drawn, and the delicacy and sweetness with which some of the female ones are depicted, though they cannot delight (as at the time) by the happiness of their application, may yet be perused with pleasure as specimens of poetic excellence, ingenious flattery, or adroit satíre.”—Ben Jonson's Works (ed. Gifford, 1816), vol. vii. p. 366.
On the text of this Metamorphosed Gipsies Gifford says in his Introduction :
“A MASQUE, &c.] From the folio 1641. But a copy of it had stolen abroad, and been printed the year before, together with a few of Jonson's minor poems, by J. Okes, in 12mo.
“The folio, never greatly to be trusted, is here grievously incorrect, and proves the miserable incapacity of those into whose hands the poet's papers fell. The surreptitious copy in 12mo. is somewhat less imperfect, but yet leaves many errors.
These I have been enabled in some measure to remove, by the assistance of a MS. in the possession of my friend Richard Heber, Esq., to whose invaluable collection, as the reader is already apprised, I have so many obligations. This, which is in his own hand, and is perhaps the only MS. piece of Jonson's in existence, is more full and correct than either of the printed copies, the folio in particular, and is certainly prior to them both. It fills up many lacunæ and, in once instance, completes a stanza, by furnishing three lines, which no ingenuity could have supplied.”
In speaking of Jonson's Masques, Mr. Procter says, “ Jonson returned to London in May, 1619," and “speaks of his welcome by King James, who was pleased to see him. Towards the end of May our author went to Oxford, where he resided for some time at Christchurch, with Corbet, afterwards Bishop of Norwich, with whom he was on terms of friendship. During his stay at Oxford he composed several of his Masques and other works; quitting the place occasionally, however, to accompany the Court in its royal progresses, and probably visiting the gentry around. Amongst these Masques, the best were, The Vision of Delight, Pleasure reconciled to Virtue, and The Gypsies Metamorphosed. Although the dialogue in the Masques, generally, strikes us as being tedious and somewhat too pedantic, yet the contrast of the Masque with the Anti-Masque—the mixture of the elegant with the grotesque, the introduction of graceful dances, the ingenious machinery, and the music' married' to the charming lyrics, of which these little dramas are full, must have rendered them in the main very delightful performances. . . . The