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One of the least offensive. The Reader will pardon the meanness of the composition for the sake of the anecdote, u bich firongly marks the spirit of the times.

In the present Edition this song is much improved by some new readings communicated by a friend; who thinks by the Seven Bairns,in ft. 2d are meant the Seven Sacraments; five of which were the spurious offspring of Mother Church : as the firft stanza contains a satirical allufion to the luxury of the popish clergy.

The aslaptation of solenn church music to these ludicrous pieces, and the jumble of ideas, thereby occasioned, will account for the following fact. From the Records of the Geo neral Assembly in Scotland, called, " The Book of the UniTerfal Kirk," p. So, 7th July, 1568, it appears, that Thomas Balenyne printer in Edinburgh, printed "a pfalme buik, in the end whereof was found printit ane baudy "fang, called, " Welcome Fortunes *."

TOHN Anderson my jo, cum in as ze gae bye,

And ze fall get a fheips heid weel baken in a pye;
Weel baken in a pye, and the hagaris in a pat:
John Anderson my jo, cum in, - .d ze's get that.

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And how doe ze, Cummer? and how hae ze threven?
And how mony bairns haeze? Wom.Cummer, I hae seven.
Man. Are they to zour awin gude man? Wom. Na,

Cummer, na;
For five of tham were gotten, quhan he was awa'.

* Se also Biograph. Britan, if Edit. ve!. I. p. 177.


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We have here a witty libel on the Reformation under king Edward VI. written about the year 1550, and preserved in the Pepys collection, British Museum, and Strype's Mem. of Cranmer. The author artfully declines entering into the merits of the cause, and wholly reflects on the lives and actions of many of the Reformed. It is so easy to find flaws and imperfections in the conduct of men, even the best of them, and still eafier to make general exclamations about the profligacy of the present times, that no great point is gained by arguments of that fort, unless the author could have proved that the principles of the Reformed Religion had a natural tendency to produce a corruption of manners : whereas he indirectly owns, that their REVEREND FATHER [archbishop Cranmer) hail used the most proper means to ftem the torrent, by giving the people access to the scriptures, by teaching them to pray with understanding, and by publishing homilies, and other religious tracts. It must however be acknowledged, that our libeller had at that time sufficient room for just satire For under the banners of the Reformed had inlisted themselves, many concealed papisis, who had private ends to gratify; many that were of no religion ; many greedy courtiers, zubo thirfted after the posterions of the church; and many disolute persons, who wanted to be exempt from all ecclefiaftical censures : And as these men were loudest of all others in their cries for Reformation, so in effect none obstructed the regular progress of it so much, or by their vicious lives brought vexation and Mane more on the truly venerable and pious Reformers.

The reader will remark the fondness of our Satiris for alliteration : in this he was guilty of no affectation or singularity; his verfification is that of Pierce Plowman's Visions, in which a recurrence of similar letters is essential: to this he has only superadded rhyme, which in his time began to be the general practice. See an Essay on this very peculiar kind of metre, prefixed to Book III. in this Volume.


N december, when the dayes draw to be short,

After november, when the nights wax noyfome and As I past by a place privily at a port,

(long; 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 f' that freake, Whether he wanted wit, or some had done him wrong. He said, he was little John Nobody, that durft not speake.

John Nobody, quoth I, what news? thou foon note and
What inaner men thou meane, thou are so mad. (tell
He said, These gay gallants, that wil conftrue the gospel,
As Solomon the fage, with femblance full fad;
To discuffe divinity they nought adread;
More meet it were for them to milk kye at a fleyke.
Thou lyesi, quoth I, thou losel, like a leud lad. [speake.

He said, he was little John Nobody, that durft not

Its meet for every man on this matter to talk,
And the glorious gospel ghostly to have in mind;
It is fothe said, that lect but much unseamly skalk,
As boyes babble in books, that in fcripture are blind:

* Perhaps He left talk,

† feyned MSS. and P.C.


Yet to their fancy foon a cause will find ;
As to live in luit, in lechery to leyke:
Such caïtives count to be come of Cains kind ;

But that I little John Nobody durft not speake.

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

But that I little John Nobody dare not speake.

For bribery was never fo great, fince born was our Lord,
And whoredom was never les hated, fith Christ hare

rowed hel,
And poor men are so fore punished commonly through

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

so 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 lit le 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 ;

Ver. Cain's kind. ] So in Pierce the Ploruman's creed, the proud friars
are said to be
« DE Laymes kind." Vid. Sig. ij. b.


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For al the preaching of Paul, yet many a proud knave
Wil move mischiefe in their mind both to maid and wife
To bring them in advoutry, or else they wil ftrife,
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 forbear: Both 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. Thus in no place, this Nobody, in no time I met, Where no man, 'ne NOUGHT was, nor NOTHING did

appear ; Through the sound of a synagogue for forrow I swett, That. Aeolus f' through the eccho did cause me to hear. Then I drew me down into a dale, whereas the dūmb deer Did shiver for a shower; but I Munted from a freyke : For I would no wight in this world wist who I were, But little John Nobody, that dare not once speake. * then, MSS. and PC. + Hercules, MSS. and PC.

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