Kemps Nine Daies Wonder - Performed in a Daunce from London to Norwich
by William Kemp
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{Transcriber's notes:

Footnotes are marked thus: [xiv:2] for footnote 2 on page xiv. All other square brackets are as in the original text. The notation {19:1} indicates that the line note for page 19, line 1, refers to the word or phrase so marked.

Spelling and punctuation are idiosyncratic in the original. They have not been changed. In the original some letter combinations such as 'em' or 'an' are occasionally represented by the vowel with a line over the top (macron). Such abbreviations have been expanded.}









William Kemp was a comic actor of high reputation. Like Tarlton, whom he succeeded "as wel in the fauour of her Maiesty as in the opinion and good thoughts of the generall audience,"[v:1] he usually played the Clown, and was greatly applauded for his buffoonery, his extemporal wit,[v:2] and his performance of the Jig.[v:3]

That at one time,—perhaps from about 1589 to 1593 or later—he belonged to a Company under the management of the celebrated Edward Alleyn, is proved by the title-page of a drama[vi:1] which will be afterwards cited. At a subsequent period he was a member of the Company called the Lord Chamberlain's Servants, who played during summer at the Globe, and during winter at the Blackfriars. In 1596, while the last-mentioned house was undergoing considerable repair and enlargement, a petition was presented to the Privy Council by the principal inhabitants of the liberty, praying that the work might proceed no further, and that theatrical exhibitions might be abolished in that district. A counter petition, which appears to have been successful, was presented by the Lord Chamberlain's Servants; and, at its commencement, the names of the chief petitioners are thus arranged:—Thomas Pope, Richard Burbadge, John Hemings, Augustine Phillips, William Shakespeare, William Kempe, William Slye, and Nicholas Tooley.[vi:2]

When Romeo and Juliet and Much ado about Nothing were originally brought upon the stage, Kemp acted Peter and Dogberry;[vi:3] and it has been supposed that in other plays of Shakespeare,—in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, As you like it, Hamlet, The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, and The Merchant of Venice, he performed Launce, Touchstone, the Grave-digger, Justice Shallow, and Launcelot. On the first production of Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, a character[vii:1] was assigned to him; and there is good reason to believe that in Every Man out of his Humour, by the same dramatist, he represented Carlo Buffone.

In 1599 Kemp attracted much attention by dancing the morris from London to Norwich; and as well to refute the lying ballads put forth concerning this exploit, as to testify his gratitude for the favours he had received during his "gambols,"[vii:2] he published in the following year the curious pamphlet which is now reprinted. A Nine daies wonder was thus entered in the Stationers' Books:

"22 Aprilis [1600]

"Mr. Linge Entered for his copye vnder the } handes of Mr. Harsnet & Mr. } vi^d." Man warden a booke called Kemps } morris to Norwiche.[vii:3] }

Ben Jonson alludes to this remarkable journey in Every Man out of his Humour, originally acted in 1599, where Carlo Buffone is made to exclaim "Would I had one of Kemp's shoes to throw after you!"[viii:1] and again in his Epigrams:—

"or which Did dance the famous morris unto Norwich."[viii:2]

So also William Rowley in the prefatory Address to a very rare tract called A Search for Money, &c., 1609, 4to.:—"Yee haue beene either eare or eye-witnesses or both to many madde voiages made of late yeares, both by sea and land, as the trauell to Rome with the returne in certaine daies, the wild morrise to Norrige," &c. And Brathwait in Remains after Death, &c. 1618, 12mo. has the following lines:—

"Vpon Kempe and his morice, with his Epitaph.

"Welcome from Norwich, Kempe! all ioy to see Thy safe returne moriscoed lustily. But out, alasse, how soone's thy morice done! When Pipe and Taber, all thy friends be gone, And leaue thee now to dance the second part With feeble nature, not with nimble Art; Then all thy triumphs fraught with strains of mirth Shall be cag'd vp within a chest of earth: Shall be? they are: th'ast danc'd thee out of breath, And now must make thy parting dance with death."[viii:3]

Towards the end of a Nine daies wonder, Kemp announces his intention of setting out shortly on a "great journey;"[ix:1] but as no record of this second feat has come down to us, we may conclude that it was never accomplished.[ix:2]

The date of his death has not been determined. Malone, in the uncertainty on this point, could only adduce the following passage of Dekker's Guls Horne-booke, 1609, from which, he says, "it may be presumed"[ix:3] that Kemp was then deceased: "Tush, tush, Tarleton, Kemp, nor Singer, nor all the litter of fooles that now come drawling behinde them, neuer plaid the Clownes more naturally then the arrantest Sot of you all."[ix:4] George Chalmers, however, discovered an entry in the burial register of St. Saviour's, Southwark—"1603, November 2d William Kempe, a man;"[ix:5] and since the name of Kemp does not occur in the license granted by King James, 19th May, 1603, to the Lord Chamberlain's Company (who in consequence of that instrument were afterwards denominated his Majesty's Servants) there is great probability that the said entry relates to the comedian, and that he had been carried off by the plague of that year.

Two scenes of two early dramas, which exhibit Kemp in propria persona, must necessarily form a portion of the present essay. The Retvrne from Pernassvs: Or The Scourge of Simony. Publiquely acted by the Students in Saint Johns Colledge in Cambridge, 1606,[x:1] 4to. furnishes the first extract:

"Act 4. Scen. 5. [3.]

[Enter] Burbage [and] Kempe.

"Bur. Now, Will Kempe, if we can intertaine these schollers at a low rate, it wil be well; they haue oftentimes a good conceite in a part.

"Kempe. Its true indeed, honest Dick; but the slaues are somewhat proud, and, besides, it is a good sport, in a part to see them neuer speake in their walke but at the end of the stage, iust as though in walking with a fellow we should neuer speake but at a stile, a gate, or a ditch, where a man can go no further. I was once at a Comedie in Cambridge, and there I saw a parasite make faces and mouths of all sorts on this fashion.

"Bur. A little teaching will mend these faults, and it may bee, besides, they will be able to pen a part.

"Kemp. Few of the vniuersity pen plaies well; they smell too much of that writer Ouid, and that writer Metamorphosis,[xi:1] and talke too much of Proserpina and Juppiter. Why, heres our fellow Shakespeare puts them all downe, I,[xi:2] and Ben Jonson too. O that Ben Jonson is a pestilent fellow! he brought vp Horace giuing the Poets a pill,[xi:3] but our fellow Shakespeare hath giuen him a purge that made him beray his credit.

"Bur. Its a shrewd fellow indeed. I wonder these schollers stay so long; they appointed to be here presently that we might try them: oh, here they come.

[Enter Philomusus and Studioso.]

"Stud. Take heart, these lets[xi:4] our clouded thoughts refine; The sun shines brightest when it gins decline.

"Bur. M[aster] Phil. and M. Stud., God saue you.

"Kemp. M. Pil. and M. Otioso, well met.

"Phil. The same to you, good M. Burbage. What, M. Kempe, how doth the Emperour of Germany?

"Stud. God saue you, M. Kempe; welcome, M. Kempe, from dancing the morrice ouer the Alpes.[xi:5]

"Kemp. Well, you merry knaues, you may come to the honor of it one day: is it not better to make a foole of the world as I haue done, then to be fooled of the world as you schollers are? But be merry, my lads: you haue happened vpon the most excellent vocation in the world for money; they come North and South to bring it to our playhouse; and for honours, who of more report then Dick Burbage and Will Kempe? he is not counted a Gentleman that knowes not Dick Burbage and Wil Kempe; there's not a country wench that can dance Sellengers Round[xii:1] but can talke of Dick Burbage and Will Kempe.

"Phil. Indeed, M. Kempe, you are very famous, but that is as well for workes in print as your part in kue.

"Kempe. You are at Cambridge still with sice kue,[xii:2] and be lusty humorous poets; you must vntrusle:[xii:3] I road this my last circuit purposely, because I would be iudge of your actions.

"Bur. M. Stud., I pray you take some part in this booke, and act it, that I may see what will fit you best. I thinke your voice would serue for Hieronimo:[xii:4] obserue how I act it, and then imitate mee.

"Stud. 'Who call[s] Hieronomo from his naked bed, And,' &c.

"Bur. You will do well after a while.

"Kemp. Now for you, me thinkes you should belong to my tuition, and your face me thinkes would be good for a foolish Mayre or a foolish iustice of peace. Marke me.[xii:5] 'Forasmuch as there be two states of a common wealth, the one of peace, the other of tranquility; two states of warre, the one of discord, the other of dissention; two states of an incorporation, the one of the Aldermen, the other of the Brethren; two states of magistrates, the one of gouerning, the other of bearing rule; now, as I said euen now, for a good thing cannot be said too often, Vertue is the shooing-horne of iustice, that is, vertue is the shooing-horne of doing well, that is, vertue is the shooing-horne of doing iustly, it behooueth mee and is my part to commend this shooing-horne vnto you. I hope this word shooing-horne doth not offend any of you, my worshipfull brethren, for you, beeing the worshipfull headsmen of the towne, know well what the horne meaneth. Now therefore I am determined not onely to teach but also to instruct, not onely the ignorant but also the simple, not onely what is their duty towards their betters, but also what is their dutye towards their superiours.' Come, let me see how you can doe; sit downe in the chaire.

"Phil. 'Forasmuch as there be,' &c.

"Kemp. Thou wilt do well in time, if thou wilt be ruled by thy betters, that is by my selfe, and such graue Aldermen of the playhouse as I am.

"Bur. I like your face and the proportion of your body for Richard the 3; I pray, M. Phil., let me see you act a little of it.

"Phil. 'Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by the sonne of Yorke.'

"Bur. Very well, I assure you. Well, M. Phil. and M. Stud., wee see what ability you are of: I pray walke with vs to our fellows, and weele agree presently.

"Phil. We will follow you straight, M. Burbage.

"Kempe. Its good manners to follow vs, Maister Phil. and Maister Otioso.

[Exeunt Burbage and Kempe.]"[xiii:1]

The other drama in which Kemp personally figures is of great rarity, and has escaped the notice of those writers who have touched on his biography. It was the joint work of Day, William Rowley, and Wilkins;[xiv:1] and is entitled The Travailes of The three English Brothers. Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, Mr. Robert Shirley. As it is now play'd by her Maiesties Seruants, 1607,[xiv:2] 4to. Sir Anthony Shirley having been sent to Italy as ambassador from the Sophy, the following scene is supposed to take place at Venice.

"Enter seruant.

"Ser. Sir, heres an Englishman[xiv:3] desires accesse to you.

"Sir Ant. An Englishman? whats his name?

"Ser. He calls himselfe Kempe.

"Sir Ant. Kemp! bid him come in. [Exit Seruant]. Enter Kempe. Welcome, honest Will; and how doth all thy fellowes in England?

"Kemp. Why, like good fellowes, when they haue no money, liue vpon credit.

"Sir Ant. And what good new Plays haue you?

"Kemp. Many idle toyes; but the old play that Adam and Eue[xiv:4] acted in bare action vnder the figge tree drawes most of the Gentlemen.

"Sir Ant. Jesting, Will.

"Kemp. In good earnest it doth, sir.

"S. Ant. I partly credit thee; but what Playe[s] of note haue you?

"Kemp. Many of name, some of note; especially one, the name was called Englands Ioy;[xv:1] Marry, hee was no Poet that wrote it, he drew more Connies in a purse-nette, then euer were taken at any draught about London.

"[Re]Enter Seruant.

"Seru. Sir, heres an Italian Harlaken come to offer a play to your Lord-ship.

"Sir Ant. We willingly accept it. [Exit Seruant.] Heark, Kempe: Because I like thy iesture and thy mirth, Let me request thee play a part with them.

"[Enter Harlaken and Wife.]

"Kem. I am somewhat hard of study, and like your honor, but if they well inuent any extemporall meriment, ile put out the small sacke of witte I ha' left in venture with them.

"S. Ant. They shall not deny 't. Signior Harlaken, he is content. I pray thee question him. Whisper.

"Kemp. Now, Signior, how many are you in companie?

"Harl. None but my wife and my selfe, sir.

"Kemp. Your wife! why, hearke you; wil your wife do tricks in publike?

"Harl. My wife can play.

"Kemp. The honest woman, I make no question; but how if we cast a whores part or a courtisan?

"Harl. Oh, my wife is excellent at that; she's practisd it euer since I married her, tis her onely practise.

"Kemp. But, by your leaue, and she were my wife, I had rather keepe her out of practise a great deale.

"Sir Anth. Yet since tis the custome of the countrie, Prithe make one, conclude vpon the proiect: We neither looke for Schollership nor Arte, But harmlesse mirth, for thats thy vsuall part.

"Kemp. You shall finde me no turne-coate. [Exit Sir Anth.] But the proiect, come; and then to casting of the parts.

"Harl. Marry, sir, first we will haue an old Pantaloune.

"Kemp. Some iealous Coxcombe.

"Harl. Right, and that part will I play.

"Kemp. The iealous Cox-combe?

"Harl. I ha plaid that part euer since—

"Kemp. Your wife plaid the Curtizan.

"Harl. True, and a great while afore: then I must haue a peasant to my man, and he must keepe my wife.

"Kemp. Your man, and a peasant, keepe your wife! I haue knowne a Gentleman keepe a peasants wife, but 'tis not vsuall for a peasant to keepe his maisters wife.

"Harl. O, 'tis common in our countrey.

"Kem. And ile maintaine the custome of the country. Offer to kisse his wife.

"Harl. What do you meane, sir?

"Kemp. Why, to rehearse my part on your wiues lips: we are fellowes, and amongst friends and fellowes, you knowe, all things are common.

"Harl. But shee shall bee no common thing, if I can keepe her seuerall: then, sir, wee must haue an Amorado that must make me Cornuto.

"Kemp. Oh, for loue sake let me play that part!

"Harl. No, yee must play my mans part, and keepe my wife.

"Kemp. Right; and who so fit to make a man a Cuckold, as hee that keepes his wife?

"Harl. You shall not play that part.

"Kemp. What say you to my boy?

"Harl. I, he may play it, and you will.

"Kemp. But he cannot make you iealous enough?

"Harl. Tush, I warrant you, I can be iealous for nothing.

"Kemp. You should not be a true Italian else.

"Harl. Then we must haue a Magnifico that must take vp the matter betwixt me and my wife.

"Kemp. Any thing of yours, but Ile take vp nothing of your wiues.

"Harl. I wish not you should: but come, now am I your Maister.

"Kemp. Right, and I your seruant.

"Harl. Lead the way then.

"Kemp. No, I ha more manners then so: in our countrie 'tis the custome of the Maister to go In-before his wife, and the man to follow the maister.

"Harl. In—

"Kemp. To his Mistresse.

"Harl. Yee are in the right—

"Kemp. Way to Cuck-holds-hauen; Saint Luke bee your speede!


When, in the former of these scenes, Kemp is said to be "famous for workes in print," I understand the ironical compliment as an allusion to his Nine daies wonder only; for I feel assured that all the other pieces which I now proceed to notice, have been erroneously attributed to his pen.

A Dvtifvl Invective, Against the moste haynous Treasons of Ballard and Babington: with other their Adherents, latelie executed. Together with the horrible attempts and actions of the Q. of Scottes: and the Sentence pronounced against her at Fodderingay. Newlie compiled and set foorth, in English verse: For a Newyeares gifte to all loyall English subiects, by W. Kempe. Imprinted at London by Richard Jones, dwelling at the signe of the Rose and crowne, neere Holborne bridge, 1587. 4to. (four leaves) is assigned to our comedian in Ritson's Bibl. Poet., Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet.[xviii:1] &c., &c. The writer calls it "the first fruites of his labour," and dedicates it "To the right honorable my very good Lord, George Barne, L. Maior of the Cittie of London." It opens thus:

"What madnes hath so mazd mens minds, that they cannot forsee The wretched ends of catiues vile, which work by treacherie, To ouerthrowe the blessed state of happie common wealth, Or to depriue their soueraigne prince of her long wished health. If feare of God and of his lawes were clearlie out of minde, If feare of death (by Princes lawes) might not their dueties binde, If vtter ruine of the Realme, and spoile of guiltlesse blood, Might not suffice to stay the rage of traitors cruell moode, Yet might they well consider howe treasons come to nought, But alwaies worke their ouerthrowe by whom they first were wrought," &c.

Towards the end, the loyalty of the author becomes so extravagant, that in a prayer for Queen Elizabeth, he exclaims:—

"Prolong her daies we pray thee, Lord, and if it be thy will, Let vs not ouerliue her raigne, but let vs haue her still!"

As the comedian expressly declares that the Nine daies wonder was the "first Pamphlet that euer Will Kemp offred to the Presse,"[xix:1] there can be no doubt that this Dvtiful Invective was written by some other individual of the name; perhaps by the William Kempe who published in the following year a book entitled The Education of Children in learning, and who is supposed to have been a schoolmaster at Plymouth.[xix:2]

During the earlier period of the English stage, after the play was concluded, the audience were commonly entertained by a Jig. As no piece of that kind is extant, we are unable to ascertain its nature with precision; but it appears to have been a ludicrous metrical composition, either spoken or sung by the Clown, and occasionally accompanied by dancing and playing on the pipe and tabor. More persons than one were sometimes employed in a jig; and there is reason to believe that the performance was of considerable length, occupying even the space of an hour.[xx:1] The following entries are given verbatim from the Stationers' Books:

"28 December [1591]

"Thomas Gosson Entred for his copie vnder thand } of M^r Watkins, the Thirde and last } vi^d." parte of Kempes Iigge, soe yt } apperteyne not to anie other."[xx:2] }

"11^do die Maii [1595]

"William Blackwall Enterd for his copie vnder M^r warden } Binges hande, a ballad, of M^r } Kempes Newe Jigge of the } vi^d." Kitchen stuffe woman.[xx:3] }

"21 October [1595]

"Tho. Gosson Entred for his copie vnder thande of } the Wardenes, a Ballad } called Kemps J[xxi:1] newe Jygge } vi^d." betwixt a souldior and a Miser } and Sym the clown.[xxi:2] }

These entries are quoted (imperfectly) by several antiquarian writers who have enumerated the comedian's "works;" but his own express declaration, which has already[xxi:3] removed the Dvtiful Invective from the list, can only be evaded, in the present case, by weakly arguing—that he did not consider a Jig as a pamphlet, or that the preceding entries relate to pieces which had been conveyed to the printer without his permission. My belief is that the Jigs in question were composed by regular dramatists, and that they were called "Kemp's" merely because he had rendered them popular by his acting, and probably by flashes of extemporal wit. He tells us that he had "spent his life in mad Jigges[xxi:4]"; and to one of those many entertainments Marston alludes in The Scovrge of Villanie, 1599:

"Praise but Orchestra and the skipping Art, You shall commaund him; faith, you haue his hart Even capring in your fist. A hall, a hall, Roome for the spheres! the orbes celestiall Will daunce Kempes Jigge."[xxii:1]

I may also remark, that, if Kemp had been a practised jig-maker, he would hardly have required the assistance of a friend to furnish him with verses for the Nine daies wonder.[xxii:2]

A most pleasant and merie new Comedie, Intituled, A Knacke to knowe a Knaue. Newlie set foorth, as it hath sundrie tymes bene played by Ed. Allen and his Companie. With Kemps applauded Merrimentes of the men of Goteham, in receiuing the King into Goteham, was printed in 1594, 4to., having been entered in the Stationers' Books[xxii:3] to Rich. Jones, 7th January of the preceding year. The accounts of Henslowe shew that it was performed, not as a new piece, 10th June, 1592[xxii:4]; and there is no doubt that it was originally produced several years before that date. The name of its author has not been ascertained. That portion of it which the title-page distinguishes as "Kemps applauded Merrimentes of the men of Goteham" is comprehended in the following scene:

"Enter mad men of Goteham, to wit, a Miller, a Cobler, and a Smith.

"Miller. Now let vs constult among our selues how to misbehaue our selues to the Kings worship, Iesus blesse him! and when he comes, to deliuer him this peticion. I think the Smith were best to do it, for hees a wise man.

"Cobler. Naighbor, he shall not doe it as long as Jefferay the Translater is Maior of the towne.

"Smith. And why, I pray? because I would haue put you from the Mace?

"Miller. [Cobler.] No, not for that, but because he is no good fellow, nor he will not spend his pot for companie.

"Smith. Why, sir, there was a god of our occupation; and I charge you by vertue of his godhed to let me deliuer the petition.

"Cob. But soft you; your God was a Cuckold, and his Godhead was the horne; and thats the Armes of the Godhead you call vpon. Go, you are put down with your occupation; and now I wil not grace you so much as to deliuer the petition for you.

"Smith. What, dispraise our trade?

"Cob. Nay, neighbour, be not angrie, for Ile stand to nothing onlie but this.

"Smith. But what? bear witnesse a giues me the But, and I am not willing to shoot. Cobler, I will talke with you: nay, my bellowes, my coletrough, and my water shall enter armes with you for our trade. O neighbour, I can not beare it, nor I wil not beare it.

"Mil. Heare you, neighbour; I pray conswade yourself and be not wilful, and let the Cobler deliuer it; you shal see him mar all.

"Smith. At your request I will commit my selfe to you, and lay myselfe open to you lyke an Oyster.

"Mil. Ile tell him what you say. Heare you, naighbor: we haue constulted to let you deliuer the petition; doe it wisely for the credite of the towne.

"Cob. Let me alone; for the Kings Carminger was here, he sayes the King will be here anon.

"Smith. But heark, by the Mas he comes.

"Enter the King, Dunston, and Perin.

"King. How now, Perin, who haue we here?

"Cob. We the townes men of Goteham, Hearing your Grace would come this way, Did thinke it good for you to stay— But hear you, neighbours, bid somebody ring the bels— And we are come to you alone, To deliuer our petition.

"Kin. What is it, Perin? I pray thee reade.

"Per. Nothing but to haue a license to brew strong Ale thrise a week, and he that comes to Goteham and will not spende a penie on a pot of Ale if he be a drie, that he may fast.

"Kin. Well, sirs, we grant your petition.

"Cob. We humblie thanke your royall Maiesty.

"King. Come, Dunston, lets away. Exeunt omnes."[xxiv:1]

Like the pieces already noticed, "Kemps applauded Merrimentes of the men of Goteham" have been inserted in the catalogue of his "works."[xxiv:2] But surely the words of the title-page mean nothing more than 'merriments in which Kemp had been applauded;' and since it is not easy to imagine that the scene, as preserved in the printed copy, could have been received with any unusual degree of approbation even by the rudest audience, the probability is, that he enlivened his part,[xxv:1] not only by his ever-welcome buffoonery, but also by sundry speeches of extemporal humour: see a passage in The Travailes of The three English Brothers, cited at p. xv. There can be no doubt that Kemp figured in other "merrimentes" besides those "of the men of Goteham," though they have not descended to our times: "But," says Nash to Gabriel Harvey, "by the meanes of his [Greene's] death thou art depriued of the remedie in lawe which thou intendedst to haue had against him for calling thy Father Ropemaker. Mas, thats true, what Action will it beare? Nihil pro nihilo, none in law; what it will doe vpon the stage I cannot tell, for there a man maye make action besides his part, when he hath nothing at all to say: and if there, it is but a clownish action that it will beare; for what can bee made of a Ropemaker more than a Clowne? Will Kempe, I mistrust it will fall to thy lot for a merriment one of these dayes." Strange Newes, Of the intercepting certaine Letters, &c. 1592.[xxv:2]

I have only to add, that the present edition of the Nine daies wonder exhibits faithfully the text of the original 4to, which is preserved in the Bodleian Library,[xxvi:1] and which Gifford declared to be "a great curiosity, and, as a rude picture of national manners, extremely well worth reprinting."[xxvi:2]



[v:1] Heywood's Apology for Actors, Sig. E 2, 1612, 4to.—Tarlton died in Sept. 1588. A tract by Nash, entitled An Almond for a Parrat, n. d. but published about 1589, is dedicated "To that most Comicall and conceited Caualeire Monsieur du Kempe, Jestmonger and Vice-gerent generall to the Ghost of Dicke Tarlton."


"Letoy.—But you, Sir, are incorrigible, and Take licence to yourselfe to adde unto Your parts your owne free fancy; and sometimes To alter or diminish what the writer With care and skill compos'd; and when you are To speake to your coactors in the Scene, You hold interloquutions with the Audients.

Byplay.—That is a way, my Lord, has bin allow'd On elder stages to move mirth and laughter.

Letoy.—Yes, in the dayes of Tarlton and Kempe, Before the stage was purg'd from barbarisme, And brought to the perfection it now shines with; Then fooles and jesters spent their wits, because The Poets were wise enough to save their owne For profitabler uses."

—Brome's Antipodes, 1640, Act ii. sc. 1, Sig. D. 3.

The passage on this subject in Hamlet, Act iii. sc. 2, must be familiar to every reader.

[v:3] The term Jig will be afterwards explained.

[vi:1] A Knack to know a Knaue.—Alleyn was concerned in several theatres: the Company mentioned above seems to have acted at the Rose.

[vi:2] Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. i. 297, 298.

[vi:3] In the second 4to. of the former play, 1599, and in the only 4to. of the latter, 1600, "Kemp" is prefixed to some speeches of Peter and Dogberry.

[vii:1] What character is uncertain: see the names of "The principall Comoedians" at the end of the play in B. Jonson's Workes, 1616, fol.

[vii:2] See pp. 1, 2, 19.

[vii:3] Liber C. fol. 58 b.

[viii:1] Act iv. sc. 4.—Works, ii. 165, ed. Gifford.

[viii:2] On the Famous Voyage, Ibid. viii. 242.

[viii:3] Sig. F. 8.—In Dekker's Owles Almanacke, 1618, 4to, under "A memoriall of the time sithence some strange and remarkeable Accidents vntill this yeare 1617," we find "Since the horrible dance to Norwich ... 14 [years]." Sig. B. 4,—a mistake either of the author or printer. Allusions to Kemp's morris may also be found in Dekker and Webster's Westward Ho, 1607, Act v. sc. 1,—see my ed. of Webster's Works, iii. 103; and in Old Meg of Herefordshire for a Mayd Marian, and Hereford Towne for a Morris Daunce, &c. 1609, 4to.,—see p. 10 of reprint in Miscell. Ant. Anglic. 1816.

[ix:1] P. 20.

[ix:2] The passages in The Retvrne from Pernassus (see p. xi.) "What, M. Kempe, how doth the Emperour of Germany?" and "Welcome, M. Kempe, from dancing the morrice ouer the Alpes," are, I conceive, only sportive allusions to his journey to Norwich.

[ix:3] Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 198.

[ix:4] Sig. B. 2.—Malone chose to read "played the clownes part more naturally," &c.

[ix:5] Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 490—Yet the name William Kemp appears to have been not uncommon; for Chalmers (ubi supra) mentions that he found "in the parish register of St. Bartholomew the Less, the marriage of William Kempe unto Annis Howard, on the 10th of February, 1605-6;" and I shall presently shew that another individual so called has been confounded with the actor.

[x:1] It was probably written about 1602,—certainly before the death of Queen Elizabeth.

[xi:1] George Chalmers, who cites the present passage, observes, that Kemp "was as illiterate, probably, as he was certainly jocose. The Cambridge scholars laughed at his gross illiterature." Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 491. What folly to take the measure of Kemp's acquirements from such a scene as this! He may have had no classical learning; but assuredly, as the Nine daies wonder shews, he was not grossly illiterate.

[xi:2] i. e. ay.

[xi:3] An allusion to B. Jonson's Poetaster, Works, ii. 525, seq. ed. Gifford: the words "Shakespeare hath given him a purge," &c. have occasioned considerable discussion; see Gifford's Memoirs of Jonson, p. lx. and p. cclv.

[xi:4] i. e. hindrances.

[xi:5] See note p. ix.

[xii:1] i. e. St. Leger's Round, an old country dance.

[xii:2] Terms used in the Buttery Books at the universities: see Minsheu in v. v. Size and Cue.

[xii:3] An allusion to Dekker's Satiromastix, or The Vntrussing of the Humorous Poet.

[xii:4] A character in Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. The speech here given by Studioso from that celebrated piece (and which Burbage of course ought previously to recite), begins in the earlier 4tos.

"What outcries pluck me from my naked bed;"

and in the later—

"What outcry calls," &c.

See Dodsley's Old Plays, iii. 130, last ed.

[xii:5] From this passage it has been conjectured that Kemp acted Justice Shallow.

[xiii:1] Sigs. G. 2, 3.

[xiv:1] Their names are attached to the Dedication.

[xiv:2] It must have been produced, however, at an earlier date. It is not divided into Acts.

[xiv:3] As early as 1589, in the Dedication to a tract already cited (p. v.), Nash had fabled that Kemp was known by reputation in Italy:—"Comming from Venice the last Summer, and taking Bergamo in my waye homeward to England, it was my happe soiourning there some foure or fiue dayes, to light in felowship with that famous Francatrip' Harlicken, who, perceiuing me to bee an English man by my habit and speech, asked me many particulars of the order and maner of our playes, which he termed by the name of representations: amongst other talke he enquired of me if I knew any such Parabolano here in London as Signior Chiarlatano Kempino. Very well (quoth I), and haue beene oft in his company. He hearing me say so, began to embrace me a new, and offered me all the courtesie he colde for his sake, saying, although he knew him not, yet for the report he had hard of his pleasance, hee colde not but bee in loue with his perfections being absent."—An Almond for a Parrat, Sig. A. 3.

[xiv:4] Dr. W. Marriott, the editor of A Collection of English Miracle Plays, &c. Basel, 1838, has been led into a strange mistake by this passage, which, in his Introductory Essay, p. lxii. he cites from Bibliographical Memoranda, Bristol, 1816. After observing that according to the stage direction in one of the Chester Plays, Adam and Eve stabunt nudi et non verecundabuntur, he continues, "Perhaps our forefathers thought it no indecency to give such representations, considering they had the authority of Scripture for such exhibitions; but it must, nevertheless, strike us as not a little extraordinary, that at least as late as the close of the sixteenth century such scenes were to be found in England. We learn this fact [!!] from a play entitled The Trailes of The three English Brothers, 1607," &c.

[xv:1] This piece was an allegorical representation of some of the chief events of the reign of Elizabeth, who was personated under the character of England's Joy: the author was named Vennard: see Collier's Hist. of Eng. Dram. Poet. iii. 405. The Plot of the Play called England's Joy. To be playd at the Swan this 6. of Nov. 1602, is reprinted (from a broadside) in The Harl. Miscell. x. 198, ed. Park.

[xvii:1] Sigs. E. 4., F.

[xviii:1] iii. 28.

[xix:1] P. 19.

[xix:2] "The Education of Children in learning; declared by the dignitie, vtilitie, and methode thereof, by W. K. (Wm. Kempe, who seems to have been a schoolmaster at Plymouth). Dedicated to Maister Wm. Hawkins, Esq. maior of Plymouth, &c. Quarto, 1588." Ames's Typ. Antiq. by Herbert, ii. 1242.

I may here observe that Herbert (ii. 1046) has given by mistake the following prose piece to "W. Kempe," in consequence, probably, of having seen it bound up with the "Dvtiful Invective," in a volume of the Royal Library: The Censure of a loyall Subiect: Vpon certaine noted Speach and behauiours, of those fourteene notable Traitors, at the place of their executions, the xx. and xxi. of September last past. Wherein is handled matter of necessarye instruction for all dutifull Subiectes: especially, the multitude of ignorant people. Feare God: be true to thy Prince: and obey the Lawes. At London. Printed by Richarde Jones, dwelling at the Signe of the Rose and Crowne, neere Holborne bridge, 1587, 4to. The author was George Whetstone. An Address to the Reader signed T. C. [Thomas Churchyard] sets forth that "my good friend M. G. W. at his departure into the Country, left this most honest work to be censured by me; being right well assured, by the continuance of our true friendshippes, that I would not deceiue him with a flattering iudgement: and (trust me) vpon a considerate reading, I found it a little booke, containing a large testimony of his loyaltie to his prince and countrie," &c. Then follows the Dedication "To the Right honorable, Sir William Cicill, knight, Baron of Burleigh," &c. signed G. W., who trusts that this piece "will merite the acceptance of my former bookes."

[xx:1] See Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell) iii. 135, seq., Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 378, seq.

[xx:2] Liber B. fol. 282 b.

[xx:3] Liber B. fol. 132.

[xxi:1] So in MS.

[xxi:2] Liber C. fol. 3 b.

[xxi:3] P. xix.

[xxi:4] P. 2.

[xxii:1] Lib. iii. Sat. xi. p. 225. ed. 1764.—"Orchestra" is an allusion to Sir J. Davies's poem of that name.

Augustine Phillips, an actor contemporary with Kempe, has also been mentioned as "an author," in consequence of the following entry in the Stationers' Books:

"xxvi^to Maii [1595]

"Raffe Hancock Entred for his copie vnder the } handes of the Wardens, Phillips } vi^d." his gigg of the slyppers.... }

(Liber B. fol. 132 b.)

George Chalmers erroneously makes the date of this entry "1593," Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 469.

[xxii:2] Pp. 10. 13.

[xxii:3] Liber B. fol. 304. As this entry is nearly in the words of the title-page, I have not cited it at length. In Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 197, and Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 27, the date is wrongly given "Sept. 7."

[xxii:4] Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 299.

[xxiv:1] Sig. F.—This play is not divided into acts.

[xxiv:2] Ritson (vide Bibl. Poet.) was evidently not aware that these "Merriments" formed part of an extant drama.

[xxv:1] He played, I presume, the Cobler.

[xxv:2] Sig. E. 4.—Mr. Collier's conjecture (Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 33) that Nash "refers possibly" to the "Merrimentes of the men of Goteham" was thrown out, I think, somewhat hastily.

[xxvi:1] Among the books given to it by Robert Burton. No other copy is extant. Blomefield mistook it for a MS.: "In 1599 ... one Kemp came dancing the whole Way from London to Norwich, and there is a MSS. in the Bodleian Library containing an Account of it."—Hist. of Norf. ii. 250.

[xxvi:2] Note on B. Jonson's Works, ii. 166.

Kemps nine daies vvonder. Performed in a daunce from London to Norwich.

Containing the pleasure, paines and kinde entertainment of William Kemp betweene London and that Citty in his late Morrice.

Wherein is somewhat set downe worth note; to reprooue the slaunders spred of him: many things merry, nothing hurtfull.

Written by himselfe to satisfie his friends.


Printed by E. A. for Nicholas Ling, and are to be solde at his shop at the west doore of Saint Paules Church 1600.

To the true Ennobled Lady, and his most bountifull Mistris, Mistris Anne Fitton, Mayde of Honour to the most sacred Mayde, Royall Queene Elizabeth.{1:2}

Honorable Mistris, in the waine of my litle wit I am forst to desire your protection, else euery Ballad-singer will proclaime me bankrupt of honesty. A sort{1:6} of mad fellows, seeing me merrily dispos'd in a Morrice, haue so bepainted mee in print since my gambols began from London to Norwich, that (hauing but an ill face before) I shall appeare to the world without a face, if your fayre hand wipe not away their foule coulors. One hath written Kemps farewell to the tune of Kery, mery, Buffe;{1:11} another, His desperate daungers in his late trauaile; the third, His entertainement to New-Market; which towne I came neuer neere by the length of halfe the heath. Some sweare, in a Trenchmore{1:14} I haue trode a good way to winne the world; others that guesse righter, affirme, I haue without good help daunst my selfe out of the world; many say many thinges that were neuer thought. But, in a word, your poore seruant offers the truth of his progresse and profit to your honorable view: receiue it, I beseech you, such as it is, rude and plaine; for I know your pure iudgement lookes as soone to see beauty in a Blackamoore, or heare smooth speech from a Stammerer, as to finde any thing but blunt mirth in a Morrice dauncer, especially such a one as Will Kemp, that hath spent his life in mad Iigges{2:2} and merry iestes. Three reasons mooue mee to make publik this iourney: one to reproue lying fooles I neuer knew; the other to commend louing friends, which by the way I daily found; the third to shew my duety to your honorable selfe, whose fauours (among other bountifull friends) makes me (dispight of this sad world) iudge my hart Corke and my heeles feathers, so that me thinkes I could flye to Rome (at least hop to Rome, as the olde Prouerb is) with a morter on my head.{2:8} In which light conceite I lowly begge pardon and leaue, for my Tabrer strikes his huntsup{2:11}, I must to Norvvich: Imagine, noble Mistris, I am now setting from my Lord Mayors, the houre about seauen, the morning gloomy, the company many, my hart merry.

Your worthy Ladiships most vnworthy seruant, WILLIAM KEMP.



Wherein euery dayes iourney is pleasantly set downe, to satisfie his friends the truth against all lying Ballad-makers; what he did, how hee was welcome, and by whome entertained.

* * * * *

The first daies iourney, being the first Munday in cleane Lent, from the right honorable the Lord Mayors of London.

The first mundaye in Lent, the close morning promising a cleere day, (attended on by Thomas Slye{3:10} my Taberer, William Bee my seruant, and George Sprat, appointed for my ouerseer, that I should take no other ease but my prescribed order) my selfe, thats I, otherwise called Caualiero Kemp, head-master of Morrice-dauncers, high Head-borough of heighs, and onely tricker of your Trill-lilles and best bel-shangles{3:15} betweene Sion and mount Surrey,[3:1] began frolickly to foote it from the right honorable the Lord Mayors of London towards the right worshipfull (and truely bountifull) Master Mayors of Norwich.

My setting forward was somewhat before seauen in the morning; my Taberer stroke up merrily; and as fast as kinde peoples thronging together would giue mee leaue, thorow London I leapt. By the way many good olde people, and diuers others of yonger yeers, of meere kindnes gaue me bowd sixepences and grotes, blessing me with their harty prayers and God-speedes.

Being past White-chappell, and hauing left faire London with all that North-east Suburb before named, multitudes of Londoners left not me: but eyther to keepe a custome which many holde, that Mile-end is no walke without a recreation at Stratford Bow with Creame and Cakes, or else for loue they beare toward me, or perhappes to make themselues merry if I should chance (as many thought) to giue over my Morrice within a Mile of Mile-end; how euer, many a thousand brought me to Bow; where I rested a while from dancing, but had small rest with those that would haue vrg'd me to drinking. But, I warrant you, Will Kemp was wise enough: to their ful cups, kinde thanks was my returne, with Gentlemanlike protestations, as "Truely, sir, I dare not," "It stands not with the congruity of my health." Congruitie, said I? how came that strange language in my mouth? I thinke scarcely that it is any Christen worde, and yet it may be a good worde for ought I knowe, though I neuer made it, nor doe verye well understand it; yet I am sure I have bought it at the word-mongers at as deare a rate as I could haue had a whole 100 of Bauines{4:18} at the wood-mongers. Farwell, Congruitie, for I meane now to be more concise, and stand upon eeuener bases; but I must neither stand nor sit, the Tabrer strikes alarum. Tickle it, good Tom, Ile follow thee. Farwell, Bowe; haue ouer the bridge, where I heard say honest Conscience was once drownd: its pittye if it were so; but thats no matter belonging to our Morrice, lets now along to Stratford Langton.

Many good fellows being there met, and knowing how well I loued the sporte, had prepared a Beare-bayting; but so unreasonable were the multitudes of people, that I could only heare the Beare roare and the dogges howle; therefore forward I went with my hey-de-gaies{4:30} to Ilford, where I againe rested, and was by the people of the towne and countrey there-about very very wel welcomed, being offred carowses in the great spoon,[4:1] one whole draught being able at that time to haue drawne my little wit drye; but being afrayde of the olde Prouerbe (He had need of a long spoone that eates with the deuill), I soberly gaue my boone Companyons the slip.

From Ilford, by Moone-shine, I set forward, dauncing within a quarter of a myle of Romford; where, in the highway, two strong Iades (hauing belike some great quarrell to me vnknowne) were beating and byting either of other; and such through Gods help was my good hap, that I escaped their hoofes, both being raysed with their fore feete ouer my head, like two Smithes ouer an Anuyle.

There being the end of my first dayes Morrice, a kinde Gentleman of London lighting from his horse, would haue no nay but I should leap into his saddle. To be plaine with ye, I was not proud, but kindly tooke his kindlyer offer, chiefely thereto vrg'd by my wearines; so I rid to my Inne at Romford.

In that towne, to giue rest to my well-labour'd limbes, I continued two dayes, being much beholding to the townsmen for their loue, but more to the Londoners that came hourely thither in great numbers to visite me, offring much more kindnes then I was willing to accept.

The second dayes iourney, beeing Thursday of the first weeke.

Thursday being Market day at Burnt-wood, Tom Slye was earlyer up then the Lark, and sounded merrily the Morrice: I rowsed my selfe, and returned from Romford to the place wher I tooke horse the first night, dauncing that quarter of a myle backe againe thorow Romford, and so merily to Burnt-wood. Yet, now I remember it well, I had no great cause of mirth, for at Romford townes end I strained my hip, and for a time indured exceeding paine; but being loath to trouble a Surgeon, I held on, finding remedy by labour that had hurt mee, for it came in a turne, and so in my daunce I turned it out of my seruice againe.

The multitudes were so great at my comming to Burntwood, that I had much a doe (though I made many intreaties and staies) to get passage to my Inne.

In this towne two Cut-purses were taken, that with other two of their companions followed mee from London (as many better disposed persons did): but these two dy-doppers{6:9} gaue out when they were apprehended, that they had laid wagers and betted about my iourney; wherupon the Officers bringing them to my Inne, I iustly denyed their acquaintance, sauing that I remembred one of them to be a noted Cut-purse, such a one as we tye to a poast on our stage, for all people to wonder at, when at a play they are taken pilfring{6:13}.

This fellow, and his half-brother, being found with the deed, were sent to Iayle: their other two consorts had the charity of the towne, and after a dance of Trenchmore{6:18} at the whipping crosse, they were sent backe to London, where I am afraide there are too many of their occupation. To bee short, I thought myselfe well rid of foure such followers, and I wish hartily that the whole world were cleer of such companions{6:22}.

Hauing rested well at Burntwood, the Moone shining clearely, and the weather being calme, in the euening I tript it to Ingerstone, stealing away from those numbers of people that followed mee; yet doe I what I could, I had aboue fiftie in the company, some of London, the other of the Country thereabout, that would needs, when they heard my Taber, trudge after me through thicke and thin.

The third dayes iourney, being Friday of the first weeke.

On Friday morning I set forward towardes Chelmsford, not hauing past two hundred, being the least company that I had in the day-time betweene London and that place. Onward I went, thus easily followed, till I come to Witford-bridge, where a number of country people, and many Gentlemen and Gentlewomen were gathered together to see mee. Sir Thomas Mildmay, standing at his Parke pale{7:7}, receiued gently a payre of garters of me; gloues, points{7:9}, and garters, being my ordinary marchandize, that I put out to venter for performance of my merry voyage{7:9}.

So much a doe I had to passe by the people at Chelmsford, that it was more than an houre ere I could recouer my Inne gate, where I was faine to locke my selfe in my Chamber, and pacifie them with wordes out of a window insteed of deeds: to deale plainely, I was so weary, that I could dance no more.

The next morning I footed it three myle of my way toward Braintree, but returned backe againe to Chelmsford, where I lay that Satterday and the next Sunday. The good cheere and kinde welcome I had at Chelmsford was much more than I was willing to entertaine; for my onely desire was to refraine drinke and be temperate in my dyet.

At Chelmsford, a Mayde not passing foureteene yeares of age, dwelling with one Sudley, my kinde friend, made request to her Master and Dame that she might daunce the Morrice with me in a great large roome. They being intreated, I was soone wonne to fit her with bels{7:26}; besides she would haue the olde fashion, with napking on her armes{7:26}; and to our iumps we fell. A whole houre she held out; but then being ready to lye downe I left her off; but thus much in her praise, I would haue challenged the strongest man in Chelmsford, and amongst many I thinke few would haue done so much.

The fourth dayes iourney, beeing Munday of the second weeke.

On Munday morning, very early, I rid the 3 myles that I daunst the satterday before; where alighting, my Taberer strucke up, and lightly I tript forward; but I had the heauiest way that euer mad Morrice-dancer trod; yet,

With hey and ho, through thicke and thin, The hobby horse quite forgotten{8:8}, I follow'd, as I did begin, Although the way were rotten.

This foule way I could finde no ease in, thicke woods being on eyther side the lane; the lane likewise being full of deep holes, sometimes I skipt vp to the waste; but it is an old Prouerb, that it is a little comfort to the miserable to haue companions, and amidst this miry way I had some mirth by an vnlookt for accident.

It was the custome of honest Country fellows, my vnknowne friends, upon hearing of my Pype (which might well be heard in a still morning or euening a myle), to get vp and beare mee company a little way. In this foule way two pretty plaine youthes watcht me, and with their kindnes somewhat hindred me. One, a fine light fellow, would be still before me, the other euer at my heeles. At length, comming to a broad plash{8:23} of water and mud, which could not be auoyded, I fetcht a rise, yet fell in ouer the anckles at the further end. My youth that follow'd me tooke his iump, and stuck fast in the midst, crying out to his companion, "Come, George, call yee this dauncing? Ile goe no further," for, indeede hee could goe no further, till his fellow was faine to wade and help him out. I could not chuse but lough to see howe like two frogges they laboured: a hartye farwell I gaue them, and they faintly bad God speed me, saying if I daunst that durtie way this seauen yeares againe, they would neuer daunce after me.

Well, with much a doo I got unto Braintree by noone, tarried there Munday night and the next day; onely I daunst three miles on Tewsday, to ease my Wednesdaies iourney.

If I should deny that I was welcome at Braintree, I should slander an honest crew of kind men, among whome I far'd well, slept well, and was euery way well usde.

The fift dayes iourney, being Wednesday of the second weeke.

Taking aduantage of my 3 miles that I had daunst y^e day before, this wednesday morning I tript it to Sudbury; whether came to see a very kinde Gentleman, Master Foskew, that had before trauailed a foote from London to Barwick, who, giuing me good counsaile to obserue temperate dyet for my health, and other aduise to bee carefull of my company, besides his liberall entertainment, departed, leauing me much indebted to his loue.

In this towne of Sudbury there came a lusty, tall fellow, a butcher by his profession, that would in a Morrice keepe mee company to Bury: I being glad of his friendly offer, gaue him thankes, and forward wee did set; but ere euer wee had measur'd halfe a mile of our way, he gaue me ouer in the plain field, protesting, that if he might get a 100 pound, he would not hold out with me; for indeed my pace in dauncing is not ordinary.

As he and I were parting, a lusty Country lasse being among the people, cal'd him faint hearted lout, saying, "If I had begun to daunce, I would haue held out one myle though it had cost my life." At which wordes many laughed. "Nay," saith she, "if the Dauncer will lend me a leash of his belles, Ile venter to treade one mile with him my selfe." I lookt vpon her, saw mirth in her eies, heard boldnes in her words, and beheld her ready to tucke vp her russet petticoate; I fitted her with bels, which [s]he merrily taking, garnisht her thicke short legs, and with a smooth brow bad the Tabrer begin. The Drum strucke; forward marcht I with my merry Maydemarian, who shooke her fat sides, and footed it merrily to Melfoord, being a long myle. There parting with her, I gaue her (besides her skinfull of drinke) an English crowne to buy more drinke; for, good wench, she was in a pittious heate: my kindnes she requited with dropping some dozen of short courtsies, and bidding God blesse the Dauncer. I bad her adieu; and to giue her her due, she had a good eare, daunst truely, and wee parted friendly. But ere I part with her, a good fellow, my friend, hauin writ an odde Rime of her, I will make bolde to set it downe.

A Country Lasse, browne as a berry, Blith of blee{10:15}, in heart as merry, Cheekes well fed, and sides well larded, Euery bone with fat flesh guarded, Meeting merry Kemp by chaunce, Was Marrian in his Morrice daunce. Her stump legs with bels were garnisht, Her browne browes with sweating varnish[t]; Her browne hips, when she was lag To win her ground, went swig a swag; Which to see all that came after Were repleate with mirthfull laughter. Yet she thumpt it on her way With a sportly hey de gay{10:27}: At a mile her daunce she ended, Kindly paide and well commended.

At Melford diuers Gentlemen met mee, who brought me to one Master Colts, a very kinde and worshipfull Gentleman, where I had vnexpected entertainment till the Satterday. From whose house, hauing hope somewhat to amend my way to Bury, I determined to goe by Clare, but I found it to be both farther and fouler.

The sixt dayes iourney, being Satterday of the second weeke.

From Wednesday night til Satterday hauing bin very troublesome but much more welcome to master Colts, in the morning I tooke my leaue, and was accompanied with many Gentlemen a myle of my way. Which myle master Colts his foole would needs daunce with me, and had his desire, where leauing me, two fooles parted faire in a foule way; I keeping on my course to Clare, where I a while rested, and then cheerefully set forward to Bury.

Passing from Clare towards Bury, I was inuited to the house of a very bountifull widdow, whose husband during his life was a Yeoman of that Countrie; dying rich no doubt, as might well appeare, by the riches and plentie that abounded in euery corner of the house. She is called the widdow Eueret.

At her house were met aboue thirty Gentlemen. Such, and so plentifull variety of good fare I haue very sildome seene in any Commoners house. Her behauiour being very modest and freendly, argued her bringing vp not to be rude. She was a woman of good presence, and, if a foole may iudge, of no smal discretion.

From this widdowes I daunst to Bury, comming in on the Satterday in the afternoone, at what time the right Honorable the Lord Chiefe Justice{11:25} entred at an other gate of the towne. The wondring and regardles multitude making his honor cleere way, left the streetes where he past to gape at me; the throng of them being so great that poore Will Kemp was seauen times stayed ere hee could recouer his Inne. By reason of the great snow that then fell, I stayd at Bury from Satterday in the second week of my setting foorth til Thursday night the next weeke following.

The seauenth dayes iourney, being Friday of the third weeke.

Vpon Fryday morning I set on towardes Thetford, dauncing that tenne mile in three houres; for I left Bury somewhat after seauen in the morning, and was at Thetford somewhat after ten that same forenoone. But, indeed, considering how I had been booted the other iourneys before, and that all this way, or the most of it, was ouer a heath, it was no great wonder; for I far'd like one that had escaped the stockes, and tride the vse of his legs to out-run the Constable: so light was my heeles, that I counted the ten mile no better than a leape.

At my entrance into Thetford the people came in great numbers to see mee; for there were many there, being Size time. The noble Gentleman, Sir Edwin Rich{12:13}, gaue me entertainment in such bountifull and liberal sort, during my continuance there Satterday and Sunday, that I want fitte words to expresse the least part of his worthy vsage of my vnworthines; and to conclude liberally as hee had begun and continued, at my departure on Munday his worship gaue me fiue pound.

The eyght dayes iourney, being Munday of the fourth weeke.

On Munday morning I daunst to Rockland ere I rested, and comming to my Inne, where the Hoast was a very boone companion, I desired to see him; but in no case he would be spoken with till he had shifted himselfe from his working dayes sute. Being armed at all poyntes, from the cap to the codpeece, his blacke shooes shining and made straght with copper buckles of the best, his garters in the fashion, and euery garment fitting Corremsquandam (to use his owne word), hee enters the Hall, with his bonnet in his hand, began to crye out:

"O Kemp, deere Master Kemp! you are euen as welcome as—as—as—," and so stammering he began to study for a fit comparison, and, I thanke him, at last he fitted me; for saith he, "thou art euen as welcome as the Queenes best grey-hound." After this dogged yet well-meaning salutation, the Carrowses were called in; and my friendly Hoast of Rockland began withall this, blessing{13:5} the houre vppon his knees, that any of the Queenes Maiesties well-willers or friends would vouchsafe to come within his house; as if neuer any such had been within his doores before.

I tooke his good meaning, and gaue him great thankes for his kindenesse; and hauing rested mee well, began to take my course for Hingham, whether my honest Hoast of Rockland would needs be my guide: but, good true fat-belly, he had not followed mee two fieldes, but he lyes all along, and cryes after me to come backe and speake with him. I fulfild his request: and comming to him, "Dauncer," quoth hee, "if thou daunce a Gods name, God speede thee! I cannot follow thee a foote farther; but adieu, good dauncer; God speed thee, if thou daunce a Gods name!"

I, hauing haste of my way, and he being able to keep no way, there wee parted. Farewell he: he was a kinde good fellow, a true Troyan; and if euer be my lucke to meete him at more leasure, Ile make him full amendes with a Cup full of Canarie. But nowe I am a little better aduis'd, wee must not thus let my madde Hoast passe; for my friend, late mentioned before, that made the odde rime on my Maide-marian, would needes remember my Hoast. Such as it is, He bluntly set downe.

He was a man{13:26} not ouer spare; In his eyebals dwelt no care. "Anon, anon," and "Welcome{13:28}, friend," Were the most words he vsde to spend, Saue sometime he would sit and tell What wonders once in Bullayne fell{13:31}, Closing each Period of his tale With a full cup of Nut-browne Ale. Turwin and Turneys siedge were hot{14:1}, Yet all my Hoast remembers not: Kets field{14:3} and Muscleborough{14:3} fray Were battles fought but yesterday. "O, 'twas a goodly matter then To see your sword and buckler men! They would lye heere, and here and there, But I would meete them euery where: And now a man is but a pricke; A boy, arm'd with a poating sticke{14:10}, Will dare to challenge Cutting Dicke{14:11}. O 'tis a world{14:12} the world to see! But twill not mend for thee nor mee." By this some guest cryes "Ho, the house!" A fresh friend hath a fresh carouse: Still he will drinke, and still be dry, And quaffe with euery company. Saint Martin send him merry mates, To enter at his hostree gates! For a blither lad than he Cannot an Inkeeper be.

Well, once againe farewell mine Hoast at Rockland. After all these farewels, I am sure to Hingham I found a foule way, as before I had done from Thetford to Rockland.

Yet, besides the deep way, I was much hindred by the desire people had to see me. For euen as our Shop-keepers will hayle and pull a man with "Lack ye? what do you lack, Gentlemen?"{14:27} "My ware is best," cryes one, "Mine best in England," sayes an other, "Heere shall you haue choyse," saith the third; so was the dyuers voyces of the young men and Maydens, which I should meete at euerie myles ende, thronging by twentie, and sometime fortie, yea, hundreths in a companie; one crying "The fayrest way was thorow their Village," another, "This is the nearest and fayrest way, when you haue past but a myle and a halfe;" an other sort{15:2} crie "Turne on the left hand," some "On the right hand;" that I was so amazed I knewe not sometime which way I might best take; but haphazard, the people still accompanying me, wherewith I was much comforted, though the wayes were badde; but as I said before at last I ouertooke it.

The ninth dayes iourney, being Wednesday of the second weeke.

The next morning I left Hingham, not staying till I came to Barford-bridge, fiue young men running all the way with me, for otherwise my pace was not for footemen.

From Barford bridge I daunst to Norwich; but comming within sight of the Citty, perceiuing so great a multitude and throng of people still crowding more and more about me, mistrusting it would be a let{15:15} to my determined expedition and pleasurable humour, which I long before conceiued to delight this Citty with (so far as my best skill and industry of my long trauelled sinewes could affoord them), I was aduised, and so tooke ease by that aduise, to stay my Morrice a little aboue Saint Giles his gate, where I tooke my gelding, and so rid into the Citty, procrastinating my merry Morrice daunce through the Citty till better opportunitie.

Being come into the Citty, Master Roger Wiler the Maior{15:23}, and sundry other of his worshipfull Brethren, sent for me; who perceiuing howe I intended not to daunce into the Cittye that nyght, and being well satisfied with the reasons, they allotted me time enough not to daunce in till Satterday after; to the end that diuers knights and Gentlemen, together with their wiues and children (who had beene many dayes before deceyued with expectation of my comming), might nowe haue sufficient warning accordingly by satterday following.

In the meane space, and during my still continuaunce in the Cittye afterwardes, they not onely very courteously offered to beare mine owne charges and my followers, but very bountifully performed it at the common charges: the Mayor and many of the Aldermen often times besides inuited vs priuately to theyr seuerall houses.

To make a short end of this tedious description of my entertainment; Satterday no sooner came but I returned without the Citty through Saint Giles his gate, and beganne my Morrice where I left at that gate, but I entred in at Saint Stephens gate, where one Thomas Gilbert in name of all the rest of the Cittizens gaue me a friendly and exceeding kind welcome; which I haue no reason to omit, vnlesse I would condemne my selfe of ingratitude, partlye for the priuate affection of the writer towardes me, as also for the generall loue and fauour I found in them from the highest to the lowest, the richest as the poorest. It followes in these few lynes.

Master Kemp his welcome to Norwich.

W With hart, and hand, among the rest, E Especially you welcome are: L Long looked for as welcome guest, C Come now at last you be from farre. O Of most within the Citty, sure, M Many good wishes you haue had; E Each one did pray you might indure, W With courage good the match you made. I Intend they did with gladsome hearts, L Like your well willers, you to meete: K Know you also they'l doe their parts, E Eyther in field or house to greete M More you then any with you came, P Procur'd thereto with trump and fame. your well-willer, T. G.

Passing the gate, Wifflers{17:1} (such Officers as were appointed by the Mayor) to make me way through the throng of the people which prest so mightily vpon me, with great labour I got thorow that narrow preaze{17:4} into the open market place; where on the crosse, ready prepared, stood the Citty Waytes, which not a little refreshed my wearines with toyling thorow so narrow a lane as the people left me: such Waytes (under Benedicite be it spoken) fewe Citties in our Realme haue the like, none better; who, besides their excellency in wind instruments, their rare cunning on the Vyoll and Violin, theyr voices be admirable, euerie one of them able to serue in any Cathedrall Church in Christendoome for Quiristers.

Passing by the Market place, the presse still increasing by the number of boyes, girles, men and women, thronging more and more before me to see the end; it was the mischaunce of a homely maide, that, belike, was but newly crept into the fashion of long wasted peticotes tyde with points{17:17}, and had, as it seemed, but one point tyed before, and comming vnluckily in my way, as I was fetching a leape, it fell out that I set my foote on her skirts: the point eyther breaking or stretching, off fell her peticoate from her waste, but as chance was, thogh hir smock were course, it was cleanely; yet the poore wench was so ashamed, the rather for that she could hardly recouer her coate againe from vnruly boies, that looking before like one that had the greene sicknesse, now had she her cheekes all coloured with scarlet. I was sorry for her, but on I went towards the Maiors, and deceiued the people by leaping ouer the church-yard wall at S. Johns, getting so into M. Mayors gates a neerer way; but at last I found it the further way about, being forced on the Tewsday following to renew my former daunce, because George Sprat, my ouer-seer, hauing lost me in the throng, would not be deposed that I had daunst it, since he saw me not; and I must confesse I did not wel, for the Cittizens had caused all the turne-pikes to be taken vp on Satterday that I might not bee hindred. But now I returne againe to my Jump, the measure of which is to be seene in the Guild-hall at Norwich,{18:2} where my buskins, that I then wore and daunst in from London thither, stand equally deuided, nailde on the wall. The plenty of good cheere at the Mayors, his bounty and kinde vsage, together with the general welcomes of his worshipful brethren, and many other knights, Ladies, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, so much exceeded my expectation, as I adiudg'd my selfe most bound to them all. The Maior gaue me fiue pound in Elizabeth angels{18:10}; which Maior (faire Madame, to whom I too presumptuously dedicate my idle paces) is a man{18:11} worthy of a singuler and impartiall admiration, if our criticke humorous mindes could as prodigally conceiue as he deserues, for his chast life, liberality, and temperance in possessing worldly benefits. He liues vnmarried, and childlesse; neuer purrchased house nor land, the house he dwels in this yeere being but hyred: he liues vpon marchandies, being a Marchant venturer. If our marchants and gentlemen wold take example by this man, Gentlemen would not sell their lands to become banckrout Marchants, nor Marchants liue in the possessions of youth-beguiled gentlemen, who cast themselues out of their parents heritages for a few out-cast commodities{18:22}. But, wit, whither wilt thou?{18:22} What hath Morrice tripping Will to do with that? it keeps not time w^t his dance; therefore roome, you morral precepts, giue my legs leaue to end my Morrice, or, that being ended, my hands leaue to perfect this worthlesse poore tottered{18:26} volume.

Pardon me, Madame, that I am thus tedious; I cannot chuse but commend sacred liberality, which makes poore wretches partakers of all comfortable benefits: besides the loue and fauour already repeated, M. Weild the mayor{18:30} gaue me 40.s. yeerely during my life, making me a free man of the marchant venterers. This is the substance of al my iourney; therefore let no man beleeue, how euer before by lying ballets and rumors they haue bin abused, y^t either waies were laid open for me, or that I deliuered gifts to her Maiesty. Its good being merry, my masters, but in a meane, and al my mirths, (meane though they be) haue bin and euer shal be imploi'd to the delight of my royal Mistris; whose sacred name ought not to be remembred among such ribald rimes as these late thin-breecht lying Balletsingers haue proclaimed it.

It resteth now that in a word I shew what profit I haue made by my Morrice. True it is I put out some money to haue threefold gaine at my returne{19:8}: some that loue me, regard my paines, and respect their promise, haue sent home the treble worth; some other at the first sight haue paide me, if I came to seek them; others I cannot see, nor wil they willingly be found, and these are the greater number. If they had al usd me wel, or al ill, I would haue boldly set downe the true sum of my smal gain or losse; but I wil haue patience, some few daies longer: at y^e end of which time, if any be behinde, I wil draw a cattalogue of al their names I ventur'd with; those y^t haue shewne themselues honest men, I wil set before them this Caracter, H. for honesty; before the other Bench-whistlers{19:19} shal stand K. for ketlers and keistrels{19:19}, that wil driue a good companion without need in them to contend for his owne; but I hope I shall haue no such neede. If I haue, your Honourable protection shall thus far defend your poore seruant, that he may, being a plain man, call a spade a spade. Thus fearing your Ladyship is wearier with reading this toy then I was in all my merry trauaile, I craue pardon; and conclude this first Pamphlet that euer Will Kemp offred to the Presse, being thereunto prest on the one side by the pittifull papers, pasted on euery poast, of that which was neither so nor so, and on the other side vrg'd thereto in duety to expresse with thankefulnes the kind entertainment I found.

Your honors poore seruant, W. K.

Kemps humble request to the impudent generation of Ballad-makers and their coherents; that it would please their rascalities to pitty his paines in the great iourney he pretends{20:3}, and not fill the country with lyes of his neuer done actes, as they did in his late Morrice to Norwich.

To the tune of Thomas Delonies Epitaph.

My notable Shakerags, the effect of my sute is discouered in the Title of my supplication; but for your better vnderstandings, for that I know you to be a sort{20:9} of witles beetle-heads that can understand nothing but what is knockt into your scalpes, These are by these presentes to certifie vnto your block-headships, that I, William Kemp, whom you had neer hand rent in sunder with your vnreasonable rimes, am shortly, God willing, to set forward as merily as I may; whether I my selfe know not. Wherefore, by the way, I would wish ye, imploy not your little wits in certifying the world that I am gone to Rome, Jerusalem, Venice, or any other place at your idle appoint. I knowe the best of ye, by the lyes ye writ of me, got not the price of a good hat to couer your brainles heads: if any of ye had come to me, my bounty should haue exceeded the best of your good masters the Ballad-buiers, I wold haue apparrelled your dry pates in party coloured bonnets, and bestowd a leash of my cast belles to haue crown'd ye with cox-combs. I haue made a priuie search what priuate Jigmonger{20:24} of your jolly number hath been the Author of these abhominable ballets written of me. I was told it was the great ballet-maker T. D., alias Tho. Deloney, Chronicler of the memorable liues of the 6. yeomen of the west, Jack of Newbery, the Gentle-craft{20:26}, and such like honest men, omitted by Stow, Hollinshead, Grafton, Hal, froysart, and the rest of those wel deseruing writers; but I was giuen since to vnderstand your late generall Tho. dyed poorely, as ye all must do, and was honestly buried, which is much to bee doubted of some of you. The quest of inquiry finding him by death acquited of the Inditement, I was let to wit y^t another Lord of litle wit, one whose imployment for the Pageant was vtterly spent, he being knowne to be Eldertons immediate heyre{21:7}, was vehemently suspected; but after due inquisition was made, he was at that time knowne to liue like a man in a mist, hauing quite giuen ouer the mistery{21:11}. Still the search continuing, I met a proper vpright youth, onely for a little stooping in the shoulders, all hart to the heele, a penny Poet, whose first making{21:14} was the miserable stolne story of Macdoel, or Macdobeth{21:15}, or Macsomewhat, for I am sure a Mac it was, though I neuer had the maw to see it; and hee tolde me there was a fat filthy ballet-maker, that should haue once been his Journeyman to the trade, who liu'd about the towne, and ten to one but he had thus terribly abused me and my Taberer, for that he was able to do such a thing in print. A shrewd presumption! I found him about the bankside{21:21}, sitting at a play; I desired to speake with him, had him to a Tauerne, charg'd a pipe with Tobacco, and then laid this terrible accusation to his charge. He swels presently, like one of the foure windes; the violence of his breath blew the Tobacco out of the pipe, and the heate of his wrath drunke dry two bowlefuls of Rhenish wine. At length hauing power to speake, "Name my accuser," saith he, "or I defye thee, Kemp, at the quart staffe." I told him; and all his anger turned to laughter, swearing it did him good to haue ill words of a hoddy doddy{21:29}, a habber de hoy{21:30}, a chicken, a squib, a squall{21:30}, one that hath not wit enough to make a ballet, that, by Pol and Aedipol, would Pol his father, Derick{21:32} his dad, doe anie thing, how ill so euer, to please his apish humor. I hardly beleeued this youth that I tooke to be gracious had bin so graceles; but I heard afterwards his mother in law was eye and eare witnes of his fathers abuse by this blessed childe on a publique stage, in a merry Hoast of an Innes part. Yet all this while could not I finde out the true ballet-maker, till by chaunce a friend of mine puld out of his pocket a booke in Latine, called Mundus Furiosus{22:6}, printed at Cullen, written by one of the vildest and arrantest lying Cullians{22:7} that euer writ booke, his name Jansonius, who, taking vpon him to write an abstract of all the turbulent actions that had beene lately attempted or performed in Christendome, like an vnchristian wretch, writes onely by report, partially, and scoffingly of such whose pages shooes hee was vnworthy to wipe, for indeed he is now dead: farewell he! euery dog must haue a day. But see the luck on't: this beggerly lying busie-bodies name brought out the Ballad-maker{22:13}, and, it was generally confirmd, it was his kinsman: he confesses himselfe guilty, let any man looke on his face; if there be not so redde a colour that all the sope in the towne will not washe white, let me be turned to a Whiting as I passe betweene Douer and Callis. Well, God forgiue thee, honest fellow, I see thou hast grace in thee; I prethee do so no more, leaue writing these beastly ballets, make not good wenches Prophetesses, for litle or no profit, nor for a sixe-penny matter reuiue not a poore fellowes fault thats hanged for his offence; it may be thy owne destiny one day; prethee be good to them. Call vp thy olde Melpomene, whose straubery quill may write the bloody lines of the blew Lady, and the Prince of the burning crowne; a better subiect, I can tell ye, than your Knight of the Red Crosse. So, farewel, and crosse me no more, I prethee, with thy rabble of bald rimes, least at my returne I set a crosse on thy forehead that all men may know thee for a foole.



[3:1] Sion neere Brainford, and Mount Surrey by Norwich (Marg. note in old ed.).

[4:1] A great spoone in Ilford, holding aboue a quart (Marg. note in old ed.).


Page 1, line 2, Mistris Anne Fitton, Mayde of Honour to ... Queene Elizabeth.]—A Mary Fitton, daughter to Sir Edward Fitton, of Gawsworth, and maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, is mentioned by Ormerod, Hist. of Cheshire, iii. 293; and "Mrs. Fitton" is noticed as holding that office in several letters of Rowland Whyte, printed among the Sydney Papers. It seems unlikely that the Queen should have had two maids of honour called Fitton; and yet we can hardly suppose that Kemp mistook the Christian name of his patroness. I may add, that an examination of Sir E. Fitton's will in the Prerogative Court has proved to me that his daughter was named Mary.

P. 1, l. 6, sort.]—set, band.

P. 1, l. 11, Kery, mery, Buffe.]—Compare Nash's Haue with you to Saffron-walden, 1596, "Yea, without kerry merry buffe be it spoken," &c. Sig. F. 4; and Middleton's Blurt Master Constable, "Tricks, tricks; kerry merry buff." Act i. sc. 1; Works, i. 235, ed. Dyce.

P. 1, l. 14. Trenchmore.]—a boisterous sort of dance to a lively tune in triple time.

P. 2, l. 2, Jigges.]—See Introduction.

P. 2, l. 8, I could flye to Rome (at least hop to Rome, as the olde Proverb is) with a morter on my head.]—So in Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn, "He did measure the stars with a false yard, and may now travel to Rome with a mortar on 's head, to see if he can recover his money that way," Act v. sc. 2, Works, ix. 498, ed. Weber; and in Middleton and Rowley's Spanish Gipsy, "A cousin of mine in Rome, I['ll] go to him with a mortar," Act ii. sc. 2, Middleton's Works, iv. 135, ed. Dyce.

P. 2, l. 11, huntsup.]—a tune played to rouse the sportsmen in a morning.

P. 3, l. 10, Thomas Slye.]—A relation, probably, of William Slye, the actor.

P. 3, l. 15, bel-shangles.]—A cant term, which is also used by Nash: "Canonizing euerie Bel-shangles the water-bearer for a Saint."—Haue with you to Saffron-walden, 1596, Sig. I.

P. 4, l. 18, Bauines.]—small faggots.

P. 4, l. 30, hey-de-gaies.]—a kind of rural dance: the word is variously written.

P. 6, l. 9, dy-doppers.]—didappers, dabchicks.

P. 6, l. 13, a noted Cut-purse, such a one as we tye to a poast on our stage, for all people to wonder at, when at a play they are taken pilfring.]—Mr. Collier, who has cited the present passage, observes, that this method of treating cutpurses, when detected at theatres, is no where else adverted to by any writer.—Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 413.

P. 6, l. 18, Trenchmore.]—See note, p. 25.

P. 6, l. 22, companions.]—scurvy fellows—a play on the word.

P. 7, l. 7, Sir Thomas Mildmay, standing at his Parke pale.]—Sir Thomas Mildmay, Knt., of Moulsham-hall. He married the Lady Frances, only daughter, by his second wife, of Henry Ratcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter and Earl of Sussex; from which marriage his descendants derived their title and claim to the Barony of Fitzwalter. He died in 1608.—Morant's Hist. of Essex, ii. 2; Dugdale's Baron. ii. 288.

P. 7, l. 9, points.]—tagged laces.

P. 7, l. 9, being my ordinary marchandize, that I put out to venter for performance of my merry voyage.]—This "marchandize" was instead of a deposit in money: but we learn from a passage towards the end of the tract (p. 19), that our Morrice-dancer had also "put out some money to have threefold gain at his return,"—it being then a common custom for those who undertook expeditions to put out sums of money on condition of receiving them back trebled, quadrupled, or quintupled, at the completion of the voyages or journies. Kemp (ibid.) complains that the greater number of those with whom he had deposited money would not "willingly be found:" compare A Kicksey Winsey, or, A Lerry Come-twang; Wherein John Taylor hath Satyrically suted seuen hundred and fifty of his bad debtors, that will not pay him for his returne of his iourney from Scotland. Taylor the Water-poet's Workes, 1630, p. 36.

P. 7, l. 26, bels.]—"The number of bells round each leg of the morris-dancers amounted from twenty to forty. They had various appellations, as the fore-bell, the second bell, the treble, the tenor, the base, and the double-bell. Sometimes they used trebles only; but these refinements were of later times. The bells were occasionally jingled by the hands, or placed on the arms or wrists of the parties."—Douce's Illust. of Shakespeare, ii. 475. The same writer mentions that in the time of Henry the Eighth the Morris-dancers had "garters to which bells were attached," 473.

P. 7, l. 26, the olde fashion, with napking on her armes.]—"The handkerchiefs, or napkins, as they are sometimes called, were held in the hand, or tied to the shoulders." Douce, ubi supra, 475.

P. 8, l. 8, The hobby-horse quite forgotten.]—When the present tract was written, the Puritans, by their preachings and invectives, had succeeded in banishing this prominent personage from the Morris-dance, as an impious and pagan superstition. The expression in our text seems to have been almost proverbial; besides the well-known line cited in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act iii. sc. 2, (and in his Love's Labours Lost, Act iii. sc. 1.)

"For, O, for, O, the hobby-horse is forgot,"

parallel passages are to be found in various other early dramas. As the admirable scene in Sir Walter Scott's Abbot, I. ch. xiv. (Wav. Novels, xx.) must be familiar to every reader, a description of the hobby-horse is unnecessary.

P. 8, l. 23, plash.]—pool.

P. 10, l. 15, blee.]—complexion, countenance.

P. 10, l. 27, hey de gay.]—See note, p. 26.

P. 11, l. 25, the Lord Chiefe Justice.]—Sir John Popham: he was appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1592.

P. 12, l. 13, Sir Edwin Rich.]—Third son of Robert Lord Rich, was knighted at Cadiz in June 1596: see Account of the expedition to Cadiz in Hakluyt's Voyages, I. 617. ed. 1599 (where, by mistake, he is called Sir Edmund), and Stow's Annales, p. 775. ed. 1631. About three years after, he purchased the manor of Mulbarton in Norfolk from William Gresham, Esq. In 1604, when Sir Anthony Shirley went as ambassador from the Emperor of Germany to the King of Morocco, in his suite was Sir Edwin Rich, "whose behauiour was good, and well spoken of in euery place where he came," &c. He married Honora, daughter of Charles Worlick, Esq.; and died, and was buried (I know not in what year) at Hartlepool. A monument is erected to his memory, and to that of his sons, Robert and Sir Edwin, in Mulbarton church. Collins's Baron. III. P. ii. 592. ed. 1741; Le Neve's Mon. Angl. Suppl. 113; Purchas's Pilgrimes, Sec. Part. p. 863. ed. 1625; Blomefield's Hist. of Norf. III. 52.

P. 13, l. 5, began withall this, blessing, &c.]—Old ed. "began with. All this: blessing," &c.

P. 13, l. 26, He was a man, &c.]—Warton thinks that this description of the Innkeeper at Rockland, "which could not be written by Kemp, was most probably a contribution from his friend and fellow player Shakespeare [?]. He may vie with our Host of the Tabard." Hist. of Eng. Poet. IV. 63, ed. 4to.

P. 13, l. 28, Welcome.]—"coming," apud Warton (ubi supra, 64,) by mistake.

P. 13, l. 31, What wonders once in Bullayne fell.]—At the siege of Boulogne: on the 14th of Sept. 1544, it surrendered to Henry the Eighth, who entered it in triumph on the 18th of the month.

P. 14, l. 1, Turwin and Turneys siedge were hot.]—After the Battle of the Spurs, which took place August 16th, 1513, Terouenne surrendered to Henry the Eighth on the 22nd of that month, and on the 27th its defences were razed to the ground: Tournay surrendered to the English monarch on the 29th of the ensuing September. Historians differ somewhat as to the dates of these events: I have followed Lingard.

P. 14, l. 3, Kets field.]—The battle near Norwich, August 27th, 1549, when the Earl of Warwick routed Ket and the Norfolk rebels.

P. 14, l. 3, Muscleborough fray.]—The battle of Pinkey, in which the Protector Somerset defeated the Scots with great slaughter, September 10th, 1547.

P. 14, l. 10, poating sticke.]—Or poking-stick, an instrument for setting the plaits of ruffs. Poting-sticks were originally made of wood or bone; afterwards of steel, that they might be used hot.

P. 14, l. 11, Cutting Dicke.]—Is thus mentioned by Wither:

"Yet this is nothing; if they looke for fame, And meane to haue an everlasting name Amongst the Vulgar, let them seeke for gaine With Ward the Pirat on the boisterous maine; Or else well mounted keepe themselues on land, And bid our wealthy trauellers to stand, Emptying their full-cram'd bags; for that's a tricke Which sometimes wan renoune to Cutting Dicke."

Abvses Stript and Whipt, Lib. II. Sat. 2. Sig. P. ed. 1613.

From the following entry by Henslowe we learn that this worthy figured in a play: "Pd. unto Thomas Hewode, the 20th of september [1602], for the new adycions of Cutting Dick, the some of xxs." Malone's Shakespeare, (by Boswell,) III. 333.

P. 14, l. 12, 'tis a world.]—Equivalent to—it is a wonder.

P. 14, l. 27, Lack ye? what do you lack, Gentlemen?]—The usual address of the London tradesmen to those who passed by their shops, which were formerly open like booths or stalls at a fair.

P. 15, l. 2, sort.]—set, band.

P. 15, l. 15, let.]—hindrance.

P. 15, l. 23, Master Roger Wiler the Maior.]—An error, it would seem, not of the author, but of the printer, for afterwards (p. 18), the name is given more correctly, Weild. In the list of Mayors of Norwich during Elizabeth's reign, drawn up by Blomefield, we find—

"1598, Francis Rugg, 2. 1599, Roger Weld. 1600, Alex. Thurston."

Hist. of Norf. ii. 252.

P. 17, l. 1, Wifflers.]—Persons who clear the way for a procession: see Douce's Ill. of Shakespeare, I. 506. I may just notice that when Grose compiled his Prov. Gloss., the word whifflers had not become obsolete in the city of which Kemp is now speaking.

P. 17, l. 4, preaze.]—press.

P. 17, l. 17, points.]—tagged laces.

P. 18, l. 2, my Jump, the measure of which is to be seene in the Guild-hall at Norwich, &c.]—It is hardly necessary to inform the reader that no memorial of Kemp is now extant in that building.

P. 18, l. 10, angels.]—Gold coins, worth about 10s. each.

P. 18, l. 11, is a man.]—Old ed. "as a man."

P. 18, l. 22, commodities.]—goods, in which needy prodigals took either part or whole of the sum they wanted to borrow, and for which they gave a bond: these commodities (sometimes consisting of brown paper!) they were to turn into ready money. Our early writers have innumerable allusions to the custom.

P. 18, l. 22, wit, whither wilt thou?]—A kind of proverbial expression, by no means unfrequent: see, for instance, Shakespeare's As you like it, Act iv. sc. 1.

P. 18, l. 26, tottered.]—tattered.

P. 18, l. 30, M. Weild the mayor.]—See note, p. 29.

P. 19, l. 8, I put out some money to haue threefold gaine at my returne.] See note, p. 26.

P. 19, l. 19, Bench-whistlers.]—perhaps, sottish idlers on ale-house benches; see Gifford's note in B. Jonson's Works, i. 103.

P. 19, l. 19, ketlers and keistrels.]—The first of these terms I am unable to explain; but it occurs in Middleton's Black Book, "So, drawing in amongst bunglers and ketlers under the plain frieze of simplicity, thou mayest finely couch the wrought velvet of knavery;" and in his Father Hubburd's Tales, we find "like an old cunning bowler to fetch in a young ketling gamester:" see Middleton's Works, v. 543, 589, ed. Dyce. Keistrels are hawks of a worthless and degenerate breed.

P. 20, l. 3, pretends.]—intends.

P. 20, l. 9, sort.]—set, band.

P. 20, l. 24, Jigmonger.]—ballad maker.

P. 20, l. 26, the great ballet-maker T. D., alias Tho. Deloney, Chronicler of the memorable liues of the 6. yeomen of the west, Jack of Newbery, the Gentle-craft.]—Thomas Deloney succeeded Elderton as the most popular ballad-writer of the time: for an account of his poetical pieces, see Ritson's Bibl. Poet. and Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 100. The pleasing ballad of Fair Rosamond, reprinted in Percy's Rel. of An. Engl. Poet. ii. 143. ed. 1794, is probably the composition of Deloney, as it is found in more than one of his publications. In 1596, had he not eluded the search of the Mayor of London, he would have been punished for writing "a certain Ballad, containing a Complaint of great Want and Scarcity of Corn within the Realm ... bringing in the Queen speaking with her People Dialogue-wise, in very fond and undecent sort," &c., Stow's Survey, B. v. 333. ed. 1720, where he is described as "an idle Fellow, and one noted with the like Spirit in printing a Book for the Silk Weavers, wherein was found some such like foolish and disorderly matter." Nash terms him "the Balletting Silke-weauer," Haue with you to Saffron-walden, 1596, Sig. N. 3. Deloney was no less celebrated among the vulgar for his prose-romances than for his ballads. Thomas of Reading, or the sixe worthie Yeomen of the West, is noticed in the present passage as a well-known work, and was dramatized in 1601 (Malone's Shakespeare, by Boswell, iii. 325-6; Collier's Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poet. iii. 99), but no impression has been discovered earlier than the fourth, 1612, 4to: this tale is reprinted in Thoms's Early Prose Rom. i. Of The pleasant Historie of John Winchcomb, in his younguer yeares called Jack of Newbery, the famous and worthy Clothier of England; declaring his life and loue, together with his charitable deeds and great Hospitalitie, &c., the earliest edition extant is the eighth, 1619, 4to: its entry in the Stationers' Books stands thus:

"7 Maii [1596].

"Tho. Millington Entered for his copie a book } called Jack of Newbery So } vi^d." that he haue yt lawfully aucthorised }

(Liber C. fol. 19)

The Gentle Craft, A most merry and pleasant History, not altogether vnprofitable, nor any way hurtfull: very fit to passe away the tediousnes of the long winters euenings, in Two Parts, 1598, 4to., is probably the first edition, for the following entry in the Stationers' Books seems to relate to it:

"19^o Octobris [1597]

"Raphe Blore Entred for his copie vnder thande } of Mr. Dix and Mr. Man a booke } vi^d." called The gentle crafte intreatinge } of Shoomakers.... }

(Liber C. fol. 25.)

Verses of various kinds are inserted in these novels.

P. 21, l. 7, one whose imployment for the Pageant was vtterly spent, he being knowne to be Eldertons immediate heyre.]—An allusion to Anthony Munday. During a long life he figured in various capacities,—as a player, an apprentice to Allde the printer, a retainer of the Earl of Oxford, a Messenger of her Majesty's Chamber, Poet to the City, dramatist, writer in verse and prose, and draper. He also excited considerable attention, and drew much trouble on himself, by his efforts in detecting the treasonable practices of the Jesuits. According to the inscription on his monument in the church of St. Stephen, Coleman Street, he died in his 80th year, August 10th 1633. (Stow's Survey, B. iii. 61. ed. 1720.) For a fuller account of Munday and his writings, see Chalmers's Biog. Dict., Collier's Supplementary volume to Dodsley's Old Plays, Warton's Hist. of Engl. Poet., iii., 290, seq. ed. 4to., Ritson's Bibl. Poet., and Lowndes's Bibl. Man. His Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, and Death of Robert, &c. (in the latter of which, if not in the former, he was assisted by Chettle) are reprinted by Mr. Collier in the volume just mentioned; his English Romayne Life; Discovering the Lives of the Englishmen at Rome, the orders of the English Seminarie, &c. and his Banquet of daintie Conceits, &c. may be found in The Harl. Miscell. VII. 136, IX. 219, ed. Park; his Triumphes of Reunited Britania, Metropolis Coronata, and Crysanaleia, the Golden Fishing, are included in Nichols's Prog. of K. James, i. 564, iii. 107, 195; and extracts from his translations of various romances are given in Sir E. Brydges's Brit. Bibl. i. 225, 135, ii. 561.

Gifford thinks it probable that most of the annual pageants from 1591 to the death of Elizabeth were produced by Munday (Note on B. Jonson's Works, vi. 328). Though Kemp declares here that his "imployment for the pageant was utterly spent," yet Anthony furnished the city shows for 1605, 1611, and (in spite of an attack made on him by Middleton in 1613—see my ed. of Middleton's Works, v. 219, note), for 1614, 1615, and 1616.

Except a "Song of Robin Hood and his Huntesmen" in Metropolis Coronata, I am not aware that any of Munday's ballads are extant—unless indeed the "ditties" in The Banquet of daintie Conceits may be regarded as such; but there is no doubt that they were numerous, and hence, in the present passage, he is termed the "immediate heyre" of William Elderton. This personage,—who is said to have been, at different periods of his life, an actor, the master of a company of players, and an attorney in the Sheriff's Court, London,—obtained great notoriety by his ballads. See a list of his pieces in Ritson's Bibl. Poet.: vide also Warton's Hist. of Engl. Poet. iv. 40, ed. 4to. His song "The God of love," &c. (of which a puritanical moralization still exists) is quoted in Shakespeare's Much ado about Nothing, act v. sc. 2. His Verses on the Images over the Guild-hall Gate may be read in Stow's Survey, B. iii. 41, ed. 1720; his ballad of The King of Scots and Andrew Browne, in Percy's Rel. of An. Engl. Poet. ii. 207, ed. 1794; his New Yorkshyre Song, in Evans's Old Ballads, i. 20, ed. 1810; and his Newes from Northumberland, The Dekaye of the Duke, The daungerous Shooting of the Gunne at the Court and A moorning Diti upon Henry Earl of Arundel, in The Harl. Miscell. X. 267, seq. ed. Park. Elderton appears to have ceased pouring forth his doggrel about the time that Deloney began to write. In 1592 he was dead: see Nash's Strange Newes, Of the intercepting certaine Letters, &c., 1592, Sig. D. 4. He was nearly as famous for drinking as for rhyming: of two epitaphs on him, preserved by Camden, I subjoin the first:

"Hic situs est sitiens, atque ebrius Eldertonus; Quid dico, hic situs est? hic potius sitis est."

Remaines—Epitaphes, 56, ed. 1605.

P. 21, l. 11, mistery.]—art, trade.

P. 21, l. 14, making.]—poetical composition.

P. 21, l. 15, Macdobeth.]—This mention of a piece anterior to Shakespeare's tragedy on the same subject has escaped the commentators.

P. 21, l. 21, the bankside.]—In Southwark, where the Globe and other theatres were situated.

P. 21, l. 29, hoddy doddy.]—A term of contempt, which occurs in B. Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, Act iv. sc. 8, Works, i. 141, ed. Gifford, and is used by a comparatively recent writer, Swift. See Richardson's Dict. in v.

P. 21, l. 30, habber de hoy.]—"A Hober-de-hoy, half a man and half a boy." Ray's Proverbs, p. 57, ed. 1768.—The word is variously written: see Jamieson's Et. Dict. of Scot. Lang. in v. Hobbledehoy.

P. 21, l. 30, squall.]—probably, poor effeminate creature. Taylor, the water-poet, describes the rich foolish gallant calling his harlot,

"Ducke, Lambe, Squall, Sweet-heart, Cony, and his Doue."

A Whore, p. 112.—Workes, 1630.

and Middleton, who employs the word several times, seems to use it in the sense of wench: see his Works, iii. 55, v. 575. ed. Dyce.

P. 21, l. 32, Derick.]—hang,—the name of the common hangman when this tract was written: he is frequently mentioned in our old plays.

P. 22, l. 6, Mundus Furiosus.]—Mundi Fvriosi sive P. A. Iansonii Narra[tio]nis Rervm Tota Europa Gestarum, Continvatio ab Anno 1597 vsque ad annum praesentem 1600. Coloniae, 1600, 8vo.

P. 22, l. 7, Cullians.]—scoundrels.

P. 22, l. 13, this beggerly lying busie-bodies name brought out the Ballad-maker.]—Kemp, I conceive, alludes here to Richard Johnson, who is still remembered by his Famous Historie of the Seuen Champions of Christendome, in two Parts, of which the earliest extant edition (what edition the title-page does not indicate) was printed in 1608, 4to. Ritson remarks that this celebrated romance is mentioned in Meres's Palladis Tamia (fol. 268), 1598. Observ. on Warton's Hist. of Engl. Poet. p. 23; but I can produce a notice of it anterior to that date from the Stationers' Books:

"20 Aprilis [1596]

"Jo Danter Entred for his copie vnder thande of } the Wardens, A booke Intituled the } famous Hystory of the Seven Champions } of Christiandom, St. George of } vi^d." England, St. Dennys of Fraunce, St. } James of Spayne, St. Anthony of Italy, } St. Andrewe of Scotland, St. Patrick } of Irland, and St. David of Wales, }

"6 Sept. [1596]

"Cuthbert Burby Entred for his copie by assigment } from John Danter, Twoo } bookes, viz. the first pte and second } pte of the vii Champions } vii^d." of Christiandom. Reservinge } the workmanship of the printinge } at all tymes to the said Jo } Danter.... }


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