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arrival upon it; for which reason, he would not permit it to be acted in his house.” An opera on the subject was, however, produced at the theatre in Smock Alley, Dublin, in 1739. A correspondent of the Tatler, Oct. 8th, 1709, is anxious that Sir Richard should be admitted into the list of famous men, as one “ who began the world with a cat, and died worth three hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling, which he left to an only daughter three years after his mayoralty.”
Sir Richard Whittington, whose name has been taken for the hero of this romance, was Lord Mayor of London early in the fifteenth century. See Stowe's Survay of London, ed. 1605, p. 521. According to Stowe's Annales, p. 567, "he builded the library of the Grey Friers, and the East end of the Guild Hall in London, with divers small conduites called bosses, and the Weast Gate of London called Newgate."
This story is stated by Sir William Ouseley to be founded on an oriental narrative, and it is related in a Persian MS. that in the tenth century one Keis, the son of a poor widow of Siraf, embarked for India with his sole property, a cat : there he fortunately arrived at a time when the palace was so infested by mice or rats, that they invaded the king's food, and persons were employed to drive them from the royal banquet. This cat was useful in the same manner as Whittington's, and its owner was similarly rewarded. See further in Keightley's Tales and Popular Fictions, pp. 241-266.
In the Description of Guinea, 1665, it is recorded “how Alphonso, a Portuguese, being wrecked on the coast of Guinney, and being presented by the king thereof with his weight in gold for a cat to kill their mice, and an oyntment to kill their flies, which he improved, within five years, to £6000 on the place, and returning to Portugal, after fifteen years traffick, became the third man in the kingdom.”
The tale of Whittington was dramatized early in the seventeenth century. According to the Biographia Dramatica, iii, 402, there was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company by Thomas Pavier, Feb. 8th, 1604, “ The History of Richard Whittington, of his lowe byrthe, his great fortune, as yt was played by the Prynces servants.” This play is alluded to in the Knight of the Burning Pestle, 1613. Pepys mentions a puppet-show on the story, Sept. 21st, 1668 :-" To Southwarke fair, very dirty, and there saw the puppet-show of Whittington, which was pretty to see ; and how that idle thing do work upon people that see it, and even myself too !”
At the end of this chap-book is the ballad beginning “Here must I sing the praise of worthy Whittington,” which is printed in the Crowne Garland of Goulden Roses, 1612, and has been reprinted in Evans, ed. 1810, ii, 325, and elsewhere.
80. THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SHEFFERY MORGAN,
THE SON OF SHON AP MORGAN. 12mo. Newcastle, c. 1760.
On the title is a cut of a Welshman, with a leek in his hat. It describes the adventures of a Taffy from his birth to his death, how he travelled towards London, took a journey to the North, was robbed, turned doctor, and at last died of a surfeit. It appears, from allusions in it, to have been composed in the seventeenth century. Shon ap Morgan is mentioned in Taylor's Workes, 1630, i, 117.
81. THE WELCH TRAVELLER, OR THE UNFORTUNATE
If any gentleman does want a man, As I doubt not but some will want, and then, I have a Welchman, though but meanly clad, Will make him merry, be he ne'er so sad : If that you'll read it, read it thro', I pray, And you'll not think your penny thrown away. 12mo. London, n. d. A curious metrical account of the misfortunes of a poor Welchman, said to have been written by Humphry Crouch. A Newcastle edition, in my possession, printed about 1760, says, “ by Humphrey Cornish.” It was published as early as 1671. It is illustrated with cuts. At p. 10 is one of Taffy and an old woman seated in stocks. Taffy's Indictment, which concludes the tract, is as follows :—“Imprimis, for troubling the shepherd to help him out of the pit : Item, for selling the jerkin for a groat which was borrowed : Item, for casting dust into the hostess's son's face : Item, for casting the fish and rotten eggs into the hostess's face : Item, for throwing apples at the country-man, having the worst
of it himself: Item, for taking the gold ring : Item, for calling the justice booby : Item, for sitting in the stocks with an old woman : Item, for creeping into the smoak-loft, and then falling down into the fire : Item, for acting the part of the devil, and putting all the house in bodily fear : Item, for scaring all the children in the town : Item, for scaring the sexton in the church : for which loose behaviour he was obliged to stand in the pillory, where we shall leave him till the next pranks he plays."
82. THE MERRY TALES OF THE WISE MEN OF
Gotham. 12mo. Printed and sold in London, n. d. This has a cut on the title of a Gothamite hedging in a cuckoo, with the inscription, “ Coocou. Gotam.” It is the same cut that is fac-similed in Collier's Roxburghe Ballads, p. 126. The first known edition is entitled, “Merie Tales of the Mad Men of Gotam, gathered together by A. B. of Phisike Doctour”: the colophon is, “ Imprinted at London in Flet-stret, beneath the Conduit, at the signe of S. John Evangelist, by Thomas Colwell,” bl. l., n. d., but probably between 1556 and 1566. Allusions to these tales are very numerous, and exhibit their great popularity. Wither, in his Abuses, p. 80, says :
And he that tryes to doe it, might have bin
One of the crew that hedg’d the cuckow in. They had attained public favour much earlier. In Philotimus, 1583, the “men of Goatam” are remembered as having tied “their rentes in a purse about an hare's necke, and bad her to carrie it to their landlord;" and they are decried as “ witlesse devices" in Dering's Workes, 1614.
83. THE HISTORY OF ADAM BELL, CLIM OF THE Clough, AND WILLIAM OF CLOUDESLIE.
Who were three archers good enough,
The best in the north country. 12mo. Newcastle, n. d. This is a somewhat modernized version of the well known poem reprinted by Ritson and Percy, but the variations between them are well worth the notice of a future editor. It has the following cut on the title, which originally appeared in Robin Hood's Garland, 1670; representing Robin Hood, Little John, Queen Catharine, the Bishop, the Curtal Friar, and the Beggar. See Mr. Gutch's edition of the Robin Hood Ballads, i, 364.